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Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

Can the estate version of the G70 cut it against some very talented opposition in the premium compact executive market?

Summary

The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is a value-for-money premium estate though it's not that spacious and lacks any electric powertrain elements.
Design
7.5
Comfort
7
Driving Experience
7
Value for Money
7
Safety
9

Summary

The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is a value-for-money premium estate though it's not that spacious and lacks any electric powertrain elements.

The Genesis G70 Shooting brake is an estate version of the mid-sized G70 saloon that launched soon after the Korean premium brand arrived in the UK in 2021.

Shooting Brake? The term dates back to horse-drawn days and referred to a practical vehicle created to carry guests to shooting parties. It then evolved to describe two-door sports cars with estate-style back halves, particularly from British sports car manufacturers. Today’s manufacturers have hijacked the phrase to describe regular estate cars with more emphasis on style than load-lugging practicality. Genesis is not the first to use the term, with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz (among others) offering ‘Shooting Brakes’ of some description.

So what we have here is a version of the G70 saloon with more space, which Hyundai’s upmarket sister brand hopes will take on big hitters such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and BMW 3 Series Touring. One major drawback, however, could be the newcomer’s propulsion options – our Expert Rating Index currently scores the G70 at 55%, with the biggest complaint being a weak range of engines with no sign yet of any electric options.

What’s new about the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake?

It may be Korean but the fifth Genesis model launched in Europe was also designed in Europe, reflecting where the brand sees most potential sales for the G70 Shooting Brake. Genesis G70 cars share their underpinnings, and handling-friendly rear-wheel-drive powertrain, with the much-admired Stinger from sister brand Kia.

The front half of the G70 Shooting Brake is unsurprisingly identical to the G70 Saloon. But the rear half is very similar too – there are no changes to the side window profiles, instead the rear screen pillars are extended upwards and backwards to meet a gently sloping roof line and combined with a huge lump of a rear spoiler.

All of this makes for a good-looking car, but perhaps not quite the levels of load-lugging practicality that generally sends buyers in the direction of estates.

How does it look?

Genesis describes the Shooting Brake profile as having ‘eye-catching coupe design cues’, novel for an estate, but it’s true to say that the car is attractive on the eye. Its general low stance, long bonnet and short front overhang give it a purposeful visual appearance – and yes, the strong side-window design and that roof line that slopes gently downwards towards the rear do offer some coupe-like impressions.

The front end is particularly distinctive, with its large and deeply pointed V-grille flanked by pencil-slim lights. It’s bold and will certainly be noticeable in the rear-view mirror of cars one catches up with, but not in an outrageous way like some rivals. In fact we’d argue that overall the G70 Shooting Brake is a better-looking car than its four-door sister.

What’s the spec like?

Genesis really scores points on its perceived rivals when it comes to specification. Three trim levels are on offer, dubbed Premium Line, Luxury Line and Sport Line, the latter two distinguished by their potential buyers – with Sport Line the emphasis is on a more racy look and enhanced mechanical specification rather than more equipment, adding such items as 19-inch wheels, upgraded Brembo brakes and a mechanical limited-slip differential.

Plenty of equipment is a prime element of Genesis cars and you get a lot for what compared to more mainstream upmarket rivals is not a lot of money – prices start from just over £35,000. For example dual-zone climate control, auto-dipping headlamps and the like are standard on all versions. Note, however that if you want the more powerful of the two petrol engine options you will need to go to Luxury Line trim, which is the car have driven here. It adds such niceties as heated seats and steering wheel, plus bigger wheels.

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Safety kit is impressive too – the G70 has earned a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, aided by a standard specification that includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control that will bring the car to a stop in traffic and restart it, and lane-keeping tech. Genesis also emphasises that it’s not all about active safety, pointing to its introduction of a new centre airbag – should the car suffer a side collision this airbag prevents the two front seat occupants hitting each other.

What’s the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake like inside?

We’ve already said that such ‘lifestyle estates’ prioritise form over function and this is true of the G70 Shooting Brake. While there’s plenty of room up front, the sleek looks translate to a rather cosy rear-seat environment, while the boot space of 465 litres (extending to 1,535 litres with all the rear seats lowered) is not exactly cavernous and with quite a narrow opening to load it.

We like the general interior treatment of the G70 – our test car certainly felt upmarket the moment one slipped into the Nappa leather seats, though it’s worth adding that these are options and we haven’t tried the standard fare.

The driver’s environment refreshingly retains a fair few physical dials and knobs, instead of turning everything over to touchscreens. The centre console is, however, dominated by an 11-inch infotainment touchscreen with all the smartphone compatibility one would expect, though the long screen is a big stretch for a driver wishing to use apps that place their controls on the left-hand side.

The seating position is quite low which adds to the sporty feel of the car – visibility is good all round, though relying on technology behind one’s head with blind-spot monitor and parking sensors and cameras all included in the standard specification.

We particularly like the Innovation Pack, a £3,250 fitted option on our test car which replaces the analogue instrument dial with a 12-inch digital display – activating the indicator turns either the speed or rev dial into a camera view of the side one intends to turn into and whether any traffic might be coming up on it. The pack also adds a head-up display and matrix LED headlamps.

Our test car was also fitted with the Comfort seat pack, which adds lots of adjustability in lots of directions, while also including electric steering wheel adjustment.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Shooting Brake engine range replicates that of the G70 Saloon, unsurprisingly, and that means just three options – you can have a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol unit with either 197 or 244hp, or a turbo diesel of 2.2 litres with 200hp on offer. All are combined as standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and drive through the rear wheels.

Our test car was fitted with the more powerful petrol option, and it is certainly a refined yet enthusiastic unit, as one would expect from a car targeting rivals wearing the badges of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. From rest 62mph comes up in seven seconds while it also offers a sprightly five-second 31-62mph time, great for swift overtaking moves.

But – and it’s a big but – fuel economy that struggles to hit 30mpg and CO2 emissions levels north of 200g/km might have been typical of the premium market not so long ago, but today they are very previous-generation. The lack of any electric element to these powertrains, even to the extent of mild hybrid support, is likely to be a major minus factor for potential G70 buyers and make the car a virtual non-starter for business buyers looking at their benefit-in-kind tax rates.

What’s the G70 Shooting Brake like to drive?

The driving bit is where the G70 Shooting Brake scores most of its plus points – its on-the-road performance is hugely enjoyable behind the wheel and nothing like one might expect from an estate. It’s almost as if the designers made driving dynamics their only priority, and insisted on the low and wide body and well-sorted rear-wheel-drive powertrain.

The petrol engine is certainly keen, but in a relaxed way – it pulls strongly right through the rev range while never sounding as if it’s making any effort doing so. The auto shifts are well-timed, precise and very rapid when needed, which as mentioned combines with the engine’s potency to make rapid overtaking very easily accomplished.

Standard equipment on our test car includes adaptive dampers – switching to the sport setting does add some stiffness to the suspension and aids precise turn-in. Combined with the handling-friendly rear-propulsion this makes for confident cornering, though the feedback through the steering cannot match what one gets from a BMW, still the leader in this area.

Verdict

There’s a lot to like about the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. It may be more practical than its saloon sister, but it is also arguably better looking with a slippery, rakish style, while inside it combines plenty of luxury touches and loads of comfort with a reasonable degree of space.

On the road, the car is a revelation. It’s highly enjoyable to drive with precise handling, excellent roadholding and quality ride comfort. As such, it really can be considered a viable rival to the German big hitters in the premium market.

The G70 Shooting Brake scores on value too – starting prices are low compared to rivals and even if you go for the base model you get a lot of equipment, which might sway buyers in the direction of the Korean contender.

One can’t get away, however, from the fact that by only offering traditional petrol or diesel engines to buyers, Genesis is off the radar of today’s market which is now racing towards electrification. Until that major failing is addressed, the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake will remain a bit player.

Similar cars

Audi A4 Avant | BMW 3 Series Touring | Mazda 6 Tourer | Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate | Peugeot 508 SW | Skoda Superb | Subaru Levorg | Volkswagen Passat Estate | Volvo V60

Key specifications

Model tested: Genesis G70 Shooting Brake Luxury Line
Price (as tested): £50,020
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo petrol
Gearbox: eight-speed automatic

Power: 244 hp
Torque: 353 Nm
Top speed: 146 mph
0-62 mph: 6.9 seconds

Fuel economy (combined): 30.2-29.5 mpg
CO2 emissions: 212.4-217.4 g/km
Euro NCAP safety rating: Five stars (2021)
TCE Expert Rating: 55% (as of Jan 2022)

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake reviewThe Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is a value-for-money premium estate though it's not that spacious and lacks any electric powertrain elements.