As part of last year’s autoTRADER.ca Awards, we assessed luxury compact cars in their own category for the first time, and taking the win after all the votes were tallied was the Genesis G70. Proving last year’s win was no fluke, the G70 garnered the most votes once again this year to become autoTRADER.ca’s 2021 Best Luxury Compact Car, winning the title for two years running.
The luxury compact segment has some intimidating and storied competition, and our jury of more than 20 automotive experts from all over the country considered all of them before voting on a winner. After assessing all the contenders against key criteria including design, technology, performance, user friendliness, safety, efficiency, and value, five vehicles were shortlisted to move onto the final round of voting: The Genesis G70, BMW 3 Series/4 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, and Acura TLX.
So what’s the G70’s magic formula for besting these perennial favourites? In short, it does everything it should do, as well as or better than its rivals, and it does it all for a price that’ll leave money in your pocket compared to the competition. It may not have the badge recognition of a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, but it has benchmark driving dynamics, a full suite of top-notch tech, premium interior finishings, and plenty of luxury sport mojo.
“It’s nothing short of a masterpiece of what a modern, dual-purpose sedan should be,” summarized autoTRADER.ca’s Road Test Editor Dan Ilika in his review of the G70.
The 2021 Genesis G70 is available in six trim levels (each with all-in pricing), and buyers get their choice of a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 making 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Pricing starts at $43,000 for the 2.0T Advanced trim (which this year gets standard-equipment LED headlights) and runs up to $58,000 for the 3.3T Sport trim. Almost all trim levels get all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, but in a welcome nod to the ever-shrinking cohort of stick-shift sport sedan aficionados, the 2.0T Sport model, priced at $45,000, gets rear wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission (and a proper manual handbrake as well).
On the road, the G70 has a distinctly German feel thanks to chassis development that was headed by former BMW engineer Albert Biermann. It “blends nimbleness and firm athleticism to perfection,” said Ilika. In a three-way comparison test against the Mercedes-Benz C 300 and BMW 330i XDrive, Jeff Wilson lauded the G70’s brilliant dynamics, and remarked that “The more I drove this car, the more I loved it.”
When equipped with the 2.0L engine, the G70 is decently quick, accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in about 6.5 seconds, but it was the smooth and refined 3.3L V6 that won the hearts of autoTRADER.ca’s experts. The V6-powered G70 will sprint from a standstill to 100 km/h in about 5 seconds flat, with a sensation that reviewer Tom Sedens likened to having “the hand of God pushing you back in your seat.”
Inside, autoTRADER.ca Associate Editor Dustin Woods described the G70 as “visually appealing and intuitive.” autoTRADER.ca’s journalists were united in their praise for the G70’s quilted leather upholstery (all trims except the entry Advanced trim get genuine leather), although they also agreed that the back seat is on the tight side compared to segment rivals such as the BMW.
One of the G70’s few concessions to price is that its infotainment system and some of the switchgear are sourced directly from parent company Hyundai, prompting Ilika to comment that “While the infotainment interface is one of the best on the mainstream market for … ease of use, it lacks the flair that’s expected from a premium system.” The G70 makes up for this with an impressive depth of features on offer, including seat cooling and active driver seat bolsters that move around to keep one’s torso in place when cornering.
A hidden factor in the G70’s success is Genesis’ available white-glove service, which allows buyers to test drive a G70, sign for it, have it delivered and even get it serviced, all without ever stepping inside a brick-and-mortar dealership. It’s said that time is the ultimate luxury, and also that time is money. With the G70, Genesis delivers a superb luxury compact sedan that respects both your time and your money. Given a value proposition like that, brand cachet is sure to follow.