Save the wagons!
Manufacturers across the globe are slowly cutting the humble station wagon from their respective line-ups, as consumers continue to flock to SUVs. That said, some brands are still preserving the body style.
Even rarer than a wagon is the Shooting Brake, traditionally a rakish cross between a wagon, coupe and hatchback. Mercedes-Benz was fairly successful with its CLA and CLS Shooting Brakes, but both have been discontinued in Australia – though the former lives on abroad.
Here on test we have the 2022 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake, something of a bold move from the Korean luxury upstart given the global decline in wagon demand, and stiff competition from established marques.
Based on the facelifted G70 Sedan, the G70 Shooting Brake was conceived with European tastes in mind, and is offered in Australia with one engine and one trim level – although you have an optional styling package to change the aesthetic from stately to something a little more sporty.
The G70 Shooting Brake is available in one core specification in Australia, priced from $79,000 plus on-road costs.
It gets the 2.0 four-cylinder petrol engine as the sole powertrain option (no 3.3T V6), and the Luxury Package – usually a $10,000 option on the G70 Sedan – is fitted as standard. The Sport Line Styling Package is a no-cost option for the G70 Shooting Brake, adding exterior and interior enhancements. It’s usually a $4000 option on the sedan.
2022 Genesis G70 pricing:
- Genesis G70 Sedan 2.0T: $63,000
- Genesis G70 Shooting Brake 2.0T: $79,900
- Genesis G70 Sedan 3.3T Sport: $76,900
All prices exclude on-road costs
Given its wagon body style, the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake faces a slowly decreasing amount of competition.
The Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring, meanwhile, soldier on in the niche premium wagon market, while Volkswagen’s Arteon Shooting Brake presents as another challenger.
Key rivals include:
- Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI quattro S line: $76,000
- BMW 330i Touring: $79,130
- Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake: $70,740
All prices exclude on-road costs
G70 Shooting Brake 2.0T highlights:
- 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite navigation
- Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- Automatic high-beam
- Intelligent Front-Lighting System
- Limited-slip differential
- 19-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres
- 15-speaker Lexicon sound system
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated rear seats
- 16-way power driver’s seat with memory
- 12-way power passenger seat
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Geometric patterned aluminium trim inserts
- Power tailgate
- Electro-chromatic rear-view mirrors
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Keyless entry and start
- Wireless phone charging
The Sport Line Style Package ($NCO) includes:
- Unique 19-inch alloy wheels
- ‘Sport’ grille
- Dark chrome exterior highlights
- Metal pedals
- Swirl patterned aluminium trim inserts
- ‘Sport’ quilted upholstery
The Genesis G70 Sedan has a five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on tests conducted on the pre-facelift model in 2018 – however, the G70 Shooting Brake isn’t currently covered by this rating.
It received an adult occupant protection score of 81 per cent, a child occupant protection score of 86 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection score of 69 per cent, and a safety assist score of 81 per cent.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- AEB with junction/pedestrian/cyclist assist
- Blind-spot assist
- Blind Spot View Monitor
- Rear cross-traffic assist
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Lane-keep assist
- Lane Following Assist
- Leading vehicle departure alert
- Surround-view cameras
- Safe Exit Warning
- Rear occupant alert
- Front and rear parking sensors
- 10 airbags, incl. front-centre airbag and rear-side airbags
Pretty much exactly like the sedan.
The design is old Genesis, which means it doesn’t get the curvy, techy design of the GV70 and GV80, or even the larger G80. It’s more Hyundai Plus, with clear links to its parent in the switchgear and even the infotainment system, which doesn’t get the full Genesis re-skin like its stablemates.
Some of the buttons and dials are a little plasticky given the price point, and again hark back to its Hyundai and Kia origins. The overall look and feel doesn’t really make it feel like a huge step up from a Kia Stinger, for example.
Highlights include a new 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster which the Stinger doesn’t offer, as well as a 10.25-inch central touchscreen that, while an improvement over the pre-facelift G70, isn’t the newer 14.5-inch unit you’ll find in the GV70, G80, and GV80 that runs a more Genesis-exclusive interface.
The infotainment unit runs a blend of the latest Hyundai/Kia system with Genesis graphics. It’s not a full upgrade to the latest software in newer models with the 14.5-inch screen, but it’s fully featured with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired), as well as the gimmicky Sounds of Nature program which can play a catalogue of ambient sounds like rainforests, snowy footsteps, or a fireplace.
Nappa leather with quilting adorns the seats of the G70 Shooting Brake; usually it’s part of an optional package for sedans. Our tester was specified with Velvet Burgundy hide which has lovely brown and red tones to it depending on how the light hits, and the front seats themselves are super comfy and offer heaps of adjustment (16 ways with driver memory).
The steering column offers power adjustment for that extra luxe vibe, and the sporty steering wheel with perforated leather trim feels nice and substantial in the hands, if a little dated in its hub and button design.
Other nice features include a colour head-up display, wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated front seats, and physical dials for the dual-zone climate control.
The aluminium trim on the centre console and on the doors looks and feels like the real deal (Genesis tends to not do imitation trim), but some of the knurled dials and matte switchgear feels a little plasticky compared to the materials used in newer Genesis models. As I said before, it feels a little Hyundai Plus in areas.
While the aluminium trim and Nappa leather feel high-quality, we had some quality issues with our tester. The sunroof rattled on the move which was infuriating, and the suede-lined A-pillar on the driver’s side wasn’t fastened properly and would routinely pop out when the vehicle was left out in the heat – not really a ‘luxury’ feel.
Storage is decent, with toothed cupholders, a shelf under the centre stack to store your phone (with wireless charger and USB ports), a decent bin under the front-centre armrest, and slim bottle holders and pockets in the doors.
The second row is less impressive.
Most mid-size premiums sedans and wagons aren’t palatial in the back, but the G70 in both Sedan and Shooting Brake versions is best described as ‘tight’ if you have anyone north of six-feet tall in the front.
Leg and knee room is below average for the class, even with the scalloped seatbacks, and it’s tight on toe room if the driver likes to keep their seat low. The centre seat is even more compromised given its raised base and the fairly large hump in the floor for the driveline.
Amenities include rear air vents, map nets behind the front seats, a USB charging port, convenience switches to move the front passenger seat to open up more legroom, bottle holders in the doors, and a fold-down centre armrest with two cupholders.
Further, there’s ISOFIX anchor points on the outboard seats and top-tether points across all three rear positions.
Behind the second row, the G70 Shooting Brake has a luggage capacity of 465L (VDA) which, while not the most capacious wagon boot in the class, is a pretty substantial improvement over the G70 Sedan’s 330L (VDA) claim.
Worth noting, however, is the rakish tailgate eats into the upper portion of the luggage area, meaning taller items may have to be laid down rather than stood up. Further, Genesis doesn’t quote a cargo volume with the rear seats folded, which don’t fold particularly flat, reiterating the G70 Shooting Brake’s more style-led intentions.
Cargo area amenities include remote releases for the back seats (which fold 40:20:40), netting in the sides to keep smaller items from rolling around, as well as valet and first aid kits in textile-trimmed carry bags. Posh.
Under the boot floor is a space-saver spare wheel.
Unlike its sedan-bodied sibling, the G70 Shooting Brake is available with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which features outputs of 179kW (6200rpm) and 353Nm (1400-3500rpm). It shares this engine with the Hyundai i30 N and Kia Stinger.
Drive is sent exclusively to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic. Genesis claims a 0-100 time of 6.4 seconds – in the realm of hot hatches.
The Shooting Brake doesn’t offer the beefy 274kW/510Nm 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 available in the G70 Sedan, which is a shame given high-performance wagon rivals are pretty much limited to the Audi S4 Avant until the new BMW M3 Touring launches, but the European skew probably has something to do with this – other Genesis models in Europe don’t get V6 petrol engines like Australia and North America.
Fuel consumption is rated at 9.1L/100km on the combined cycle, with 95 RON premium unleaded required as a minimum for the G70 Shooting Brake’s 60L fuel tank.
If you’ve driven a G70 Sedan or even a Kia Stinger with the 2.0-litre four, there aren’t many surprises here.
The rear-drive platform underpinning both the G70 and its Stinger cousin has been complimented for its sharp dynamics, and the Shooting Brake is no different.
It has a low-slung, hunkered-down feel that inspires confidence at speed and when navigating bends. There’s a real sports car-like character to how it rides and steers, and that rear-drive balance means the front wheels don’t have to be overloaded with steering as well as getting the power down.
That’s not to say it isn’t comfortable, because that taut chassis is paired with well-sorted suspension and damping that noticeably errs on the sportier side of things, but is rarely crashy over pimpled city streets even with the standard 19-inch wheels and staggered 225/40 front and 255/35 rear low-profile rubber.
Performance from the 2.0 T-GDi petrol engine is a mixed bag. It’s arguably better suited to daily driving rather than spirited runs up a mountain pass.
It’s effortless around town, with all 353Nm available from 1400rpm, and the Hyundai Motor Group’s in-house eight-speed automatic shifting as snappily and intuitively as most ZF-sourced units.
The quick, fluid steering means the G70 responds with almost pin-point accuracy to driver inputs, and it makes daily commuting and navigating city streets a bit of fun.
Refinement on the move is good for the class but not groundbreaking, with some road noise from the Michelin Pilot Sport performance rubber at higher speeds, particularly on coarser bitumen. Wind noise is well suppressed, though the four-cylinder petrol engine can get a bit gruff under hard acceleration, and the Active Sound Design (fake sound pumped through the speakers) doesn’t really do anything to help that.
As noted earlier, we had problems with the sunroof rattling loudly and the A-pillar trim coming loose and popping out. We’re sure that not all units have this issue, but it seems sub-par that an $80,000 vehicle had such basic quality issues.
While it doesn’t have adaptive damping, the G70’s character changes quite a bit in its Sport and Sport+ settings, which sharpen throttle response and weight up the steering, also putting the Active Sound Design program in its most prominent setting. It certainly makes the 2.0T more peppy, though the artificial feel of the steering makes it heavy but not necessarily more engaging.
That said, Sport+ loosens the traction control to the point where the torquey powertrain likes to try and kick out the rear for some classic rear-drive fun if that’s your thing.
On a more positive note the G70’s suite of assistance systems are up there with the best, with adaptive cruise, lane centring and Blind Spot View Monitor features all taking the load off extended highway trips and working as well as any other brand’s equivalent tech.
Genesis covers its line-up with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with premium 24/7 roadside assistance bundled in for the same period.
Further, scheduled servicing is free of charge for the first five years, which in the case of the G70 2.0T and 3.3T covers the first 50,000km as the intervals are 12 months/10,000km.
Genesis also offers a conditional Service Concierge where your vehicle is picked up and returned for servicing if you’re within 70 kilometres of the Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane CBD, with a courtesy vehicle offered for use while yours is awol.
Those wary of resale values given Genesis’s infancy in Australia can have peace of mind thanks to the recently launched guaranteed future value program too, which we cover in more detail here.
Real-world fuel consumption wasn’t quite as frugal as Genesis’s 9.1L/100km combined claim, with the trip computer showing 10.5L/100km after more than 500km of mixed driving. The Audi A4 45 TFSI and BMW 330i wagons claim to be much better on fuel (7.3L/100km and 7.0L/100km respectively), though the gap would likely shrink with real-world use..
The G70 Shooting Brake will be sure turn heads, and will likely be a ticket into a very exclusive owner’s club.
If that’s the sort of thing you’re after, it’s the perfect car for you. However, if you’re a little more pragmatic and rest more weight on all-round competencies, it’s not quite there.
Despite the Shooting Brake branding it’s essentially a wagon, and doesn’t really add that much practicality over its sedan equivalent both in terms of cargo capacity and rear seat space. Further, while it’s on the sportier side of things it can’t match the prowess of a 330i Touring.
The fact it’s more old than new Genesis inside is another drawback, showing stronger links to its Hyundai/Kia lineage than the brand’s latest line of SUVs, which really forge their own path and offer far nicer cabins.
It’s also not priced super sharply, despite the all-you-can-eat equipment list, and there are some questions raised over build quality given the rattles and loose trim in our test car.
Long story short, the Audi is more practical, and the BMW is more fun to drive. What the Genesis does offer is set and forget ownership, distinctive design, an all-you-can eat equipment list, and exclusivity.
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MORE: Everything Genesis G70