Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is an appealing wagon, even if its slightly flat four-pot will dim its allure for those who want something a little quicker.

If it was fighting on looks alone, we wouldn’t bet against the G70 Shooting Brake. In a segment where style counts for a lot, this swoopy, sleek wagon body certainly cuts a handsome figure from any angle.

A rival for the likes of the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Audi A4 Avant,  the turbo four-cylinder wagon is priced from $79,000, almost on par with the BMW 330i M Sport wagon. The G70 wagon, while a little over $15,000 more expensive than the entry-level sedan version, does offset the price by equipping itself with most of the goodies in the Luxury and Sport Line Packages. And there isn’t a great deal more to spend if you wanted to, as the more powerful V6 twin-turbo found in its sedan sibling is not available.

That’s a shame, but it could change if the model does well. The Shooting Brake’s most promising markets will be in Europe, which is also why Genesis’ German-based development engineers had a free reign in how it was tuned. Australia is a beneficiary of that too, as there is no local tuning and we take what the German experts have come up with.

The G70’s basic platform underneath is shared with the Kia Stinger, which means rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Power is produced by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo producing 179kW and 353Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km dash in under 6.5s, which feels about right when giving it some stick.

The engine is respectable and quiet but pretty ordinary feeling, providing a performance level that’s assertive enough but not enlivening or energetic – there’s no sparkle. There’s certainly some stirring four pots in existence, such as the sportier fours from the likes of BMW and Alfa Romeo, but the Genesis mill isn’t quite as inspiring. It does the job well, though, and is no slouch.

However, it has connected feel and a really well-tied down body when you’re having some fun. Body control is well supported and the rear-wheel drive wagon has nicely balanced grip levels. It never crashes or bristles over lumps and bumps, but has closely checked, nicely clipped body movements. The tyres make for some surface roar and feedback, particularly when you use the sportier driving modes which are less forgiving, but good touring comfort levels can be returned to the car by a simple tweak of a knob on the centre console.

Steering feel ebbs and flows from good to numb and heavy, but it’s never a serious bugbear and doesn’t prevent you from enjoying the car’s handling. Cornering poise is certainly good enough to entice you to dial back the stability controls on a winding road, and explore how keenly this car can use that slippy diff to tighten its line under power. As it turns out, it’ll do that encouragingly well.

The driving position could be lower, but Genesis prefers to put the 200mm sub-woofers for the Lexicon premium audio system (which sounds pretty potent) underneath the front seat cushions rather than elsewhere; so at least they don’t take up space in the boot. There are clever ‘stereoscopic’ digital instruments (the 12.3-inch ‘3D’ digital instrument display) which trick the eye with some apparent three-dimensional depth, and there’s a useful head-up display too.

Material richness is great in places (the leathers in particular), though some of the ‘chrome’ dashboard fixtures still look quite plain and plasticky by luxury-class standards.

Rear cabin space is about average for the segment – adults can travel, but it’s a bit of squeeze around the knees and feet – but the 465L boot space offers a sizable advantage over what you might get in a svelte sedan or four-door ‘fashion’ coupe, and the car’s visual appeal suffers not a jot for it. Back seats that fold down 40:20:40 come as standard, but it’s not a capacious wagon.

This is a car with an appealing design that will be the motivating factor for many buyers as the wagon body doesn’t bring a great deal more flexibility than the sedan. It has the makings of an appealing driver’s car in some respects, though it probably doesn’t quite follow up on them well enough that you might recommend it as a really compelling alternative to one – perhaps the brawnier V6 could change that if it becomes a thing. But it does prove what Genesis is capable of, and if Genesis is going to establish itself, it needs fewer conventional, traditional, forgettable sedans and SUVs and more cars just like this.


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Practical Motoring

The team of journalists at Practical Motoring bring decades of automotive and machinery industry experience. From car and motorbike journalists to mechanical expertise, we like to use tools of the trade both behind the computer and in the workshop.

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