► Five-door version of new (to UK) G70 saloon
► Rear-wheel drive platform shared with Kia Stinger
► Driven in petrol and diesel forms
Following hot on the heels of the Genesis G70 saloon comes this – the second variation of the theme – the Shooting Brake. As you will have no doubt have deduced from the accompanying images and traditional-sounding name, this is a bit of a segment-straddling effort – part hatchback, a dash of coupe, and just a soupcon of estate...
The cynical among you might suggest we've been here before, with the very saloon-shaped doors combining with additional glazing and tailgate at the rear being reminiscent of the Subaru Impreza's transformation into a Wagon. But whatever your thoughts on the execution, there's no doubt that the G70's transformation into Shooting Brake spec has been a striking one.
With a decent range of cars on offer – and some beauties on the way – Genesis wants to now establish itself as a premium player with a difference. To help on that journey offering a concierge-style package with all of its cars, and hoping that buyers will be swayed away from their BMWs, Audis and Mercedes-Benzes, on the promise of a better standard of service and more left-field cars – we're looking forward to seeing how it pans out.
The G70 saloon has been around internationally for a couple of years, but the Shooting Brake is an all-new version. The addition of the tailgate has enhanced the way it looks – in profile, it retains the familiar long bonnet and short front overhang of the G70 saloon, but the flowing roofline at the rear gives it stand-out appeal. From some angles, it genuinely looks like a coupe.
The saloon it's based on is a nice-looking thing, though – and is dripping with Genesis's latest design language. So, you get split headlights and taillights, that large G-Matrix grille, which you certainly can't confuse with anything else, and a low-line bonnet that you only get with a longitudinal engine and rear-wheel drive. Genesis's output might not be the most conventionally handsome, but it's certainly some of the most striking in a sea of executive-class conformity.
Under the skin, it's familiar stuff, sitting on the same platform as the Kia Stinger and powered by a pair of four-cylinder engines. It's odd that we don't get the Stinger's 3.3-litre six in the UK, instead relying on a 2.2-litre diesel and a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol in 200 and 245hp forms.
What's it like to drive?
Like the saloon it's based upon, the G70 is very good to drive, and you can tell from the first corner that it has the engineering fingerprints of Hyundai's head of R&D Albert Biermann all over it. The car's overall alertness begins with the highly-geared, direct steering and roll-free turn-in that's free of any slop.
Considering this is the company's first entry into the compact executive market, it's a very impressive performance – up there with the likes of the Jaguar XE and BMW 3 Series for driver involvement.
In Sport mode, it's the most fun, but for every other occasion, dial it back to comfort and enjoy the ride. The steering and gearchanges slacken off a little and a degree of additional ride quality make this a good motorway cruiser, even if it's endowed with more tyre noise than we'd ideally like. In terms of comfort, the 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class have the G70 licked. As an overall package, it's good, but this will come as no surprise that it's not on the same page as the BMW.
Performance and economy
The lack of engine variety is this car's biggest drawback – and the choices that Genesis have gone with lack adventurousness. In petrol form, it delivers the goods, but you're left with the feeling that it's a placeholder – it's punchy when you push it, but hardly memorable.
Official fuel consumption is 35.4mpg and that's someway behind the opposition, especially as you'll find yourself driving it hard quite often, dragging the economy down further. Given it's closely related to the firecracker in the Hyundai i20N, it's a disappointment, because there are no real aural thrills to be had here.
The diesel is equally capable, but unmemorable – putting in a solid performance (giving its best in Sport mode) and proving to be at its best when wafting along, rather than assertively owning the outside lane of your local motorway. We'll give it this – It's refined at speed, which is all that most owners will really want. But overall, neither engine never really feels like it's up to the job of entertaining in the way that the chassis does. Shame.
What's it like inside?
Again, it's like the saloon. So you get the same blend of tastefully hued materials, pleated leather and its button-fest dashboard. It's a nice-looking affair is no worse to look at than a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, but the Mercedes-Benz C-Class just does it all so much better. Build quality and controls are top notch, too. The digital instrumentation is nice to look at too, with a subtle 3D effect that adds real depth to the view ahead.
The interior highlight is the optional Innovation Pack, which brings you a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that will show you – on screen – what's happening alongside when signalling left or right. Sounds gimmicky, but it really does work on the move. Other than that, it's standard digital fare, and it all works seamlessly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It's roomy in the front if you like a low-slung driving position, but the rear bench isn't quite so generous, with tight legroom being the biggest criticism. Of its rivals, we'd say only the Jaguar XE is more cramped. Despite its swoopy coupe-like rear styling, the luggage space in the Shooting Brake is not bad at all – the carrying capacity with the rear seats down is 1565 litres, which beats the BMW 3 Series Touring's 1510, let alone the 1300 you get in the sleeker 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake: verdict
The G70 Shooting Brake is a likeable, left-field choice in a sea of me-too designs, and we like it all the more for that. It's good to drive, with keen handling, but let down by a weak range of engines and a lack of any sort of electrification. We suspect it's a grower, and most will be sold on the strength of Genesis's promised customer support rather than the car's relative merits compared with the opposition.