We drive the latest model from Genesis – the new prestige brand from South Korea.
Genesis would probably rather we didn’t mention the ‘H’ or ‘K’ words, but it would be odd not to add some context to the arrival of Genesis in Europe.
Already well known in its home market, as well as the US, Canada, Russia, the Middle East and Australia, Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, meaning its other sister brand is Kia. Think Lexus/Toyota and Infiniti/Nissan.
Of course, in Europe it faces a tough task, especially when it comes to stealing sales from the German big three – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
However, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve to entice buyers, most notably a unique buying experience, generous warranty and VIP aftercare package.
There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.
It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).
What’s more, the 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.
Anyway, enough about the Genesis concept, what about the all-new G70 Shooting Brake? Well, not only is its name steeped in history, but it’s also one of the most elegant estate cars on the market.
Only available in Europe, it competes with the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes C-Class Estate, plus the Volvo V60.
Just like the Genesis G70/G80 saloons and GV70/GV80s SUVs launched in 2021, the G70 Shooting Brake is offered with a choice of conventional petrol and diesel engines. Yes, strangely for a new brand, there’s no hybrid assistance, let alone a pure electric version.
All that will change later in 2022 when Genesis launches its first fully electric cars, then from 2025 it will only roll out EVs.
The engine choice for the G70 Shooting Brake is between a 2.0-litre petrol (194bhp or 241bhp outputs), or a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel.
All the units have four cylinders and a turbo, feeding their power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
We tested G70 Shooting Brakes fitted with the diesel unit and the most powerful petrol engine.
Competitively priced from £35,250 to £41,880 (the 5-Year Care Plan is included), there are three generously equipped trim levels on offer – Premium Line, Luxury Line and Sport.
It’s packed with the latest safety kit too, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot collision avoidance tech.
Inside, it oozes quality and it’s been well put together. There’s plenty of space up front, but it’s slightly cosier in the back, especially for an adult passenger sitting behind a taller driver. In fact, if the driver sits low in the car there’s no room for the rear seat passenger to place their feet under the front seat.
With that caveat, the cabin is a comfortable, plush place to be and there’s a decent 465 litres of luggage capacity (expanding to 1,535 litres with the rear seats flipped).
There’s a conventional layout for the driver, so thankfully there are still a few dials and knobs alongside the 10.25-inch touchscreen, while the seating position is superb.
Overall, the G70 Shooting Brake handles well. The combination of supple ride, sharp steering, balanced suspension setup, grip and body control are impressive.
The petrol’s 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds is quicker than the diesel (7.7 seconds) and respectable, rather than smile-on-your-face territory.
There are four driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+). We spent most of our time in Comfort (perfect for cruising).
Sport adds a little more urgency, especially in the torquey diesel, which also benefits from a piped in engine growl when you put your foot down.
The eight-speed auto is fine, but it will frustrate more spirited drivers because it has a tendency to hold onto lower gears, especially with the petrol.
If the lack of any form of electrification is a surprise, then the economy offered by both the petrol and diesel engines is positively old school.
On paper the diesel can manage up to 41.8mpg, but we couldn’t get higher than mid-30s, while the petrol has a claimed high of 30.2mpg (real world early/mid 20s, unless driven like a saint). CO2 emissions are up to 182.1g/km and 217.4g/km respectively.
Verdict: The sleek, elegant Genesis G70 Shooting Brake combines plush materials and excellent build quality with a sporty yet comfortable drive. Go for it if you want a VIP owning experience and you like standing out from the crowd.