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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

From the off, it’s looking like the G70’s sports saloon ambitions have taken a back seat. That much-touted manual gearbox is nowhere to be found, and nor is the potent 3.3-litre V6 that is offered in the US. Instead, we get to choose from 194bhp and 241bhp versions of a 2.0-litre turbo petrol and a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel, as tested here. All are rear-wheel drive and paired with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox that was developed in-house.

Despite the modest 18in wheels on our Luxury Line car, there are plenty of sporty cues. The slightly generic headlights of the pre-facelift model have been replaced with Genesis’s signature twin LED slits and, together with the ‘crest’ grille and multitude of character lines and creases, there is a certain arachnoid aggression to the design. Regardless of the detailing, in a world of SUVs, there is something refreshing about a classically proportioned three-box saloon with a long bonnet and a low profile. To show that Genesis is serious about succeeding in Europe, there is also a Shooting Brake version, even if the rear end looks a little tacked on, with more than a hint of mid-noughties Subaru Impreza estate about it.

The chrome tips may be a little oversized, but at least the exhaust is real. Diesel G70s get two pipes, while petrol models get oval ones either side of the bumper.

Mechanically, there are a fair few holdovers from the G70’s sports saloon ambitions, too. Genesis’s literature proudly talks about how the G70 underwent confirmation testing at the Nürburgring and, while our 197bhp diesel is not going to set any new lap records there, all G70s come on fairly sporty tyres. Base models get Bridgestone Potenzas and Sport Line petrols’ 19in wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, the same as on a Porsche 911 GT3. On those Sport Line trims, Genesis will even throw in a limited-slip differential and upgrade the single-piston brakes to Brembo four-pot items on the front and two-piston calipers on the rear.

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The core platform is a relatively known quantity. Developed specifically for Genesis models, we actually first saw it in Europe under the Kia Stinger. It is fundamentally the same in all other current Genesis models, with MacPherson struts at the front, a multi-link at the rear and rear-wheel drive. The platform does allow for all-wheel drive, but all G70s in the UK are rear drive only.

The structure uses mainly high-strength steel, and while there is some aluminium in the bonnet and suspension strut tower reinforcement bars, our diesel G70 with half a tank of fuel still weighed in at a porky 1751kg on Millbrook’s scales. It’s worth bearing in mind that modern compact saloons aren’t actually that compact any more, but it’s still more than 100kg heavier than a comparable BMW 3 Series 320d.