Genesis G70 Shooting Brake (2021) review
Genesis' first estate lags behind the best in class, but it's still a viable alternative.
James Fossdyke
James Fossdyke

Published on December 9, 2021

The Genesis brand hasn't been in Europe all that long (and it's not yet in Ireland), but it has certainly been busy this year, releasing no fewer than five new models within a matter of months. The latest addition is the gorgeous G70 Shooting Brake, a stunning and more practical version of the 3 Series-rivalling G70 saloon. Can the South Korean wagon hold a candle to its European rivals?

In the metal

The G70 Shooting Brake is a glorious thing to look at. The front end is smart enough, with its curved surfaces and the distinctive grille. It's all standard premium car stuff, but there's nothing wrong with that. And viewed from the right angle, it doesn't immediately look like an estate - more a kind of four-door coupe. But from the back it's absolutely sublime. The spoiler, the curved glass, the two-stripe taillights... It's just stunning.

Inside, it's slightly less stunning, but it's still every inch the premium executive car. Unlike so many modern cars, the G70 has kept the buttons on the dash, and it's all the better for that. There's no faffing about with a touchscreen to change the temperature or switch on the heated seats. It's just there, exactly where you expect it to be.

The buttons aren't perfect, because they look a little bit too plasticky for our liking, but they feel robust and well-engineered, which is more than can be said for some so-called 'premium' marques. And everything else feels well built, too. A few mainstream-feeling plastics can be found low down (on the sides of the transmission tunnel, for example) but generally the quality is very good.

And the design is also strong, albeit heavily influenced by Bentley's current styling. The digital instrument cluster, for instance, feels heavily inspired by that of a previous-generation Bentayga, with classic-style 'dials' and a timeless kind of font. But it has some neat tricks Bentley hasn't come up with, including the little camera displays that pop up when the indicators go on, showing the driver what's lurking in the blind spot.

Yet while some of the Genesis' tech is ahead of the premium car curve, other aspects feel slightly less up to date. The touchscreen is based on existing Hyundai and Kia tech, so it's logical and clear, but it isn't as slick as the more contemporary systems used in the GV70 SUV and the G80 saloon. Prodding the on-screen buttons might be easy enough, but it can take a while to respond, and that spoils the illusion of quality somewhat.

Yet the most disappointing aspect of the Shooting Brake is, ironically enough, the practicality. This car, which was designed to add space to the G70's list of talents, isn't actually that roomy. The boot measures just 403 litres when loaded to the window line, and that's around 20 per cent smaller than a BMW 3 Series Touring's luggage bay. That said, folding the back seats down frees up just over 1,500 litres of space, and that is a match for the BMW in the same configuration.

However, the boot is not the G70 Shooting Brake's Achilles heel. Instead, the rear passenger space is the real disappointment. Legroom is unremarkable at best, and headroom is little better than in the saloon, which comes as a real surprise. But it seems that sloping roofline and swooping rear end has come at a cost. A 3 Series would be a more practical car.

Driving it

G70 Shooting Brake customers will get a choice of three engines, with two 2.0-litre petrol options joined by a 2.2-litre diesel. The entry-level option is the 197hp petrol, which is only available on the 'basic' Premium Line models. As is the case across the G70 Shooting Brake range, that engine comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and it drives the rear wheels.

In that format, the G70 Shooting Brake has enough get-up-and-go for a 0-100km/h time of 9.3 seconds, which is fairly unremarkable in this section of the market. For those who choose the higher-specification Luxury Line and Sport Line models, there's a 245hp version of that 2.0-litre engine, which offers a more respectable 6.4-second 0-100km/h time and a slightly higher top speed.

But those engines are both thirsty, guzzling their way through between 8.5- and 8.9 litres of petrol per 100km, while emitting between 193- and 204g of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled. And those are the official figures; drive less economically and those engines will drink even more.

To get something more economical, the only option is the 200hp diesel engine. That will get through just under seven litres of diesel per 100km, which might prove slightly more palatable, and the performance penalty isn't that great. The 0-100km/h sprint takes 7.7 seconds. The diesel engine is arguably the pick of the bunch, offering a more bass-rich sound and keeping the fuel bills in check at the same time.

Admittedly, that engine isn't quite as refined as that 2.0-litre petrol engine, but it's still relatively hushed. At motorway speeds, neither makes much noise and they only come to the fore when the accelerator pedal gets closer to the carpet. Wind noise is more of an issue, particularly on motorways and fast major roads.

Genesis has designed and developed this car purely for the European market - it won't be available elsewhere - and the suspension has been tweaked accordingly. But we tested the car in the UK, which is slightly more representative of Irish roads than the smooth surfaces of the continent, and found it wanting. It isn't quite as jiggly as the G70 saloon, but it rides more heavily, sagging into large depressions and fidgeting over smaller imperfections. It isn't horrendous, but it can feel a bit unsettled, especially at low speeds or over sharp bumps.

And it doesn't make up for that shortcoming with any real dynamic ability. The handling is fairly tidy, and the rear-wheel-drive layout gives it a decent balance through corners, but the steering is light and numb, which makes it difficult to engage with. It also leans more than the saloon when it's pitched into bends, with the extra weight over the back wheels hauling the car over.

Other minor complaints include the odd decisions the gearbox electronics will sometimes make, ordering the transmission to change gears at some unwise moments. And when one of the Sport or Sport+ driving modes is selected, the steering becomes artificially weighty, with no increase in feel. It's a bit disconcerting when you're in a hurry.

For all these problems, don't go thinking the G70 is a terrible car to drive, because it isn't. But it isn't perfect, and it's up against some seriously accomplished rivals that offer far more engagement, or comfort, or both. It simply can't live up to the standards set by the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Volvo V60.

What you get for your money

Genesis is very much in its infancy in Europe, and it's currently selling cars to customers in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Ireland, like so many other countries, misses out on the South Korean upstarts for now. As we've previously reported, the brand is likely to come here once it has a few electric models on its books.

Over in the UK, the G70 Shooting Brake is offered in three different trims, with the 'basic' Premium Line joined by the mid-range Luxury Line and the top-end Sport Line. All three come with goodies including LED headlights, alloy wheels and leather upholstery, as well as a digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration systems are also standard, as is a reversing camera, parking sensors and keyless entry with push-button ignition.

Opting for the Luxury Line adds extras such as a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and electronically controlled suspension, not to mention smarter leather seats and an electrically operated tailgate. Then there's the Sport Line, with more aggressive styling, Brembo brakes and bigger alloy wheels, plus a limited-slip rear differential and "metallic" pedals.

Genesis supplements all that equipment with five years of free servicing, a five-year warranty and a kind of concierge service that will come and collect the car when it needs maintenance, leaving a shiny courtesy car in its place. There's no need to visit a physical dealer at all, although whether that service will become available to customers in Ireland remains to be seen.


The Genesis G70 saloon never quite hit the spot, and the Shooting Brake does little to improve its credentials. The suspension is less fidgety than its four-door relation and it's much better looking, but that's about it. Despite the smart cabin and the refinement, it isn't a match for the more established models from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and co.

That said, it does deserve a place in the same league as those cars. It's well built, it looks the part and it feels different. The style and attitude set it apart from the established marques, and there's some charm in that, but that won't be enough to give the Germans any sleepless nights.


Tech Specs

Model testedGenesis G70 Shooting Brake
Enginein-line four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol
Transmissioneight-speed automatic gearbox, rear-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat estate
CO2 emissions193-204g/km
Irish motor tax€790 per year
Combined economy31.7-33.2mpg (8.9-8.5 litres/100km)
Top speed235km/h
0-100km/h6.4 seconds
Max power245hp at 6,200rpm
Max torque353Nm at 1,450-3,500rpm
Boot space403 litres
SafetyEuro NCAP rating for Genesis G70
Rivals to the G70 Shooting Brake (2021)