You have to admire the chutzpah. Manufacturers from right around the world have come to Europe to challenge the established premium brands, but few have met with much success. From America came Cadillac and Chrysler, failed and left. Japan’s Infiniti fared no better. Even in Europe and despite striving for decades, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and, more recently, DS have tried to steal a slice of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz’s pie and done little more than feed off the crumbs on the floor.
What hope, then, for Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis, which is now in the UK with a range comprising a large SUV and saloon, and a smaller saloon and estate, all trying to convince you to forsake your premium maker?
The car I drove was a G70 SB (for shooting brake), a smart-looking BMW 3 Series Touring rival with chintzy diamond-pattern leather upholstery and a bit too much plastic elsewhere in the interior. The 245bhp turbo four delivers credible performance and the rear-drive chassis is surprisingly engaging. Rear room is tight but up front the car is quiet and comfortable.
Not much to dislike then, but even less to suggest it’s going to threaten the big guns. Being nearly as good isn’t nearly good enough and it’ll take more than competitive pricing plus collection and delivery servicing to tempt punters from their Audi Avants any time soon. Which is a shame because, as a car seen in isolation, I actually quite enjoyed it.
2022 Genesis G70 2.0T SB statistics
Engine 2 litres, four cylinders, turbocharged, petrol
Torque 260lb ft
Power to weight 145bhp per tonne
Transmission Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Top speed 146mph
Verdict Germans will not be worried