At the start of this road test, we wondered whether the European G70 would stay true to its original billing as a sports saloon or follow its more recent range-mates and prove to be a comfy cruiser. In practice and on British roads, it’s a slightly muddled recipe.

There is without a doubt a talented and balanced chassis hiding in there and rear-wheel drive and performance tyres mean you rarely worry about traction or grip on dry roads, either. However, it lacks the ultimate polish of the BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE.

The ‘blind spot view monitor', which replaces the tacho with the view from a camera down the side of the car when you turn on the indicators, is so elegantly useful that you wonder why no one else does it.

The G70 turns in keenly, but the steering is the first element that lets it down. It responds in a linear fashion, but it’s too light, slightly vague and on the road fairly mute, which can leave you second-guessing your inputs.

Most road surfaces are dealt with in a natural fashion, with body control that is generally tight, particularly resisting roll well. On bad road surfaces, it will start to fidget and shimmy where an XE would glide calmly over the same bumps. Luxury Line and Sport Line cars get adaptive dampers, but the effect on either ride or handling of changing the driving mode is close to imperceptible.

None of this is at all bad. The Genesis is a pleasant car to drive down a twisty road, and drivers coming from lower segments or SUVs will still perceive it as a step up, but in the face of competition like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, XE or 3 Series, the G70 fails to bring anything new to the table.

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Track performance

The G70 is not a track car, but the Kia Stinger has proved their shared platform’s potential. Indeed, a few laps of Millbrook revealed a balanced, if not especially engaging, chassis. Thanks in part to ContiSportContact 5 tyres that are the same 225 section front and rear, it turns in eagerly and can be adjusted on a trailing throttle through longer sweepers.

Big compressions are taken without fuss and without upsetting the stability control, and you can be confident that the car is always on your side, even though you won’t feel it through the steering. Loading it up in corners means some feedback eventually filters through, but it’s just too light and mute. With everything on, the traction control is cautious to the point of being intrusive, but it is possible to just relax the traction control without defeating everything. That will allow some wheel slip without letting the car go sideways, which is a better compromise. You can also turn everything off using a button on the centre console.

Ride comfort and isolation

If the G70 doesn’t convince as a sports saloon, it does do better as a luxury cruiser. The tight body control means the G70 can feel busy on rougher surfaces. It’s not excessive, though, and far preferable to the lolling floatiness of the GV80 SUV. The secondary ride is imperfect too, but not to a bothersome degree.

Noise insulation, meanwhile, is on point. On our test car’s smaller wheels, it was a few decibels quieter than the 320d at every speed except at full power in fourth gear, where it matched the BMW. That’s consistent with our subjective impressions of a car that is very quiet at a cruise but has a diesel engine that is marginally noisier than some others.

The seats contribute to the luxurious picture. They’re broad and supportive, and lumbar adjustment comes as standard. The driving position is sound, with plenty of adjustment, though you can’t get the seat all the way down on the floor. Taller drivers should consider the Comfort Seat Pack, which adds electric cushion extension.

All G70s get Genesis’s full suite of active safety features with the exception of the optional but very useful ‘blind spot view monitor’, which replaces the speedo or tacho with a blindspot camera when you turn on the indicator. On the motorway, the lane keeping assistance and blindspot assistance work imperceptibly until they are needed. On rural roads, the lane assist is particularly meddlesome, though, and it takes two button presses, three taps of the screen and a swipe to turn it off. We’ll reserve judgement on the adaptive cruise control, as our car had some error messages and didn’t perform entirely consistently. Previous experience of Genesis systems suggests it should work reasonably well, though.