The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is an oddity in the Korean brand’s current model line-up.
Although it’s based on the G70 saloon which has been on sale around the world since 2018, the Shooting Brake was designed and developed exclusively for the European market, where there’s still a demand for premium estates like the BMW 3 Series Touring, Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate, plus the more leftfield Volvo V60.
The Shooting Brake name might be a slightly pretentious way of avoiding calling it an estate but, in fairness, it’s a really handsome sleek looking thing that feels deserving of the label rather than plain old estate. It’s long, low and elegant with some eye-catching details such as the quad lights front and rear and the toothsome crest grille. The stretched lines and elongated roof make it better looking than the saloon, and more practical too.
Beneath the sleek and unique exterior, the interior feels rock solid and plush. It’s not quite as modern or slick looking as more recently designed Genesis models but it is still impressively made and equipped. The central controls are clear and logical - with actual dials for climate control, thank God - and the materials are all top-drawer. The cream coloured, quilted and diamond-stitched Nappa leather that adorned our test car’s seats and doors was a particular highlight, especially compared to the often dour finish of its German rivals.
Space in the front is generous and the seats are spacious, comfortable and adjustable to the nth degree, meaning you’ll have no problem finding the ideal driving position. Rear space, however, isn’t a strong point. There isn’t a huge amount of legroom and, even in the estate, the roofline slopes to rob passengers of headroom. The tall transmission tunnel also means a fifth passenger will really struggle. At least the boot - with powered tailgate - is a decent size. There’s room for a couple of sets of golf clubs and suitcases, although its 465 litres isn’t quite as generous as in the German alternatives.
Genesis is on a march to electrify as much of its range as possible. Along with the dedicated GV60, there are now all-electric versions of the GV70 and G80 but not the G70. Instead, it’s stuck with a 2.2-litre diesel or, as tested here, a 2.0-litre petrol.
The four-cylinder turbo engine makes a surprisingly meaty and sporty noise. It’s artificially enhanced, of course, but it’s a pleasant change from the usual bland four-cylinder drone. It’s a shame that the performance doesn’t quite match up. There’s decent initial shove and a sub-seven second 0-62 time isn’t bad but as speeds increase it feels like it’s running out of puff. In-gear acceleration isn’t helped by the smooth but ponderous auto transmission. And even if petrol prices are coming down, 27.7mpg is a hard pill to swallow.
While the G70’s interior is more than a match for its German rivals, it can’t match them for driving dynamics. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the way it performs. It rides impressively and handles in a competent manner but it lacks the sporty edge or driver engagement that something like a 3 Series offers. It feels far more comfortable eating up the miles at an easy cruise thanks to its balanced ride and quiet cabin.
Like the rest of the Genesis range, the G70 Shooting Brake is keenly priced to undercut several rivals and there’s no haggling via its direct sales team. The range starts at just over £35,000 - the same as an Audi A4 Avant - and our mid-range Luxury trim car is still cheaper than the entry level BMW 3 Series or C-Class. Even before the £10,000 of options fitted to our particular car, there’s plenty to keep driver and passenger happy, with leather upholstery, heated seats, LED headlights, a 10.25-inch media screen and electronically controlled suspension. The extra innovation pack includes a head-up display, 12.3-inch 3D instrument panel, wireless phone charging and front parking sensors, while the comfort seat pack features heating in the rear, ventilation in the front, electric cushion extension for the long-legged and electric side bolsters that give you a wee squeeze when you engage sport mode.
As with all Genesis cars, buyers automatically get a five-year care package that covers warranty, servicing and courtesy car, all dealt with at a time and location to suit you. It’s part of what the brand hopes will set it apart from its traditional rivals and attract buyers more interested in convenience than badge snobbery.
That package is an attractive one but it means very little if the cars can’t compete with their declared rivals. The G70 Shooting Brake isn’t quite as practical or engaging as its big-selling rivals but is more than a match when it comes to looks, luxury and specification.
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake Luxury
Price: £40,775 (£50,095 as tested); Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol; Power: 241bhp; Torque: 260lb ft; Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive; Top speed: 146mph; 0-62mph: 6.9 seconds; Economy: 29.5-30.2mpg; CO2 emissions: 212-217g/km