Genesis may be a new brand, but it has the luxury sports sedan on lockdown.

The 2020 Genesis G70 hits hard on all the small luxury sports sedan traits enthusiasts want: a smooth turbocharged engine, sharp handling, a firm ride, good looks, and tidy dimensions.

The G70 doesn’t try to please everyone. Instead, it appeals to enthusiasts who might think other automakers have forgotten about them, gotten big, or lost their way.

I spent a week social distancing––that feels like every week now, right?––grabbing groceries and supplies for family members, and attacking clover leafs to understand the G70. I learned that while it won’t please everyone, it isn’t a lease special, either, and its hits far outweigh its misses.

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

Hit: That smooth power

My G70 tester was powered by the more-powerful 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Base G70s are down a couple cylinders and more than 100 hp with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 252 hp. I love inline-6s because they’re so smooth (BMW, I’m looking at you). but Hyundai Motor Company has created a V-6 that does a good job of imitating the best Germany offers. Even its cold-start bark sounds like it hails from Germany instead of South Korea.

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

Hit and Miss: That size

Compared to some cars in its class, the G70 is small. Its footprint is small, its rear seat is small, and its trunk is small. The G70 is more in line with the size of an E46 BMW 3-Series from the mid 2000s than it is with the current 3-Series or Audi A4. Kids in car seats will find a lack of foot room, and a 6-footer will want more leg, knee, and foot room sitting behind a 6-footer. The trunk can hold 10.5 cubic feet of stuff. I was shocked the trunk could hold my entire Home Depot run, but it was tight.

Conversely, the smaller size is a boon to handling. The G70 carves sharper corners than its larger sibling, the Kia Stinger, and the shorter wheelbase is part of the reason why.

I appreciate and respect that the G70 makes no apologies for its compact space in today’s Must Do Everything For Everyone era, but families might skip over it for this reason depending on their tolerances for space. That’s alright because the gorgeous 2021 G80 is on the way for those people.

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

Hit: That detailing

It’s all about the details. From the copper accents in the headlight housings (part of my tester’s $1,300 Sport Package) to the texture of the scroll wheels on the steering wheel to the quilted leather with red stitching on the doors and seats, Genesis nailed the little things on this car. I especially appreciate the texture that adds some pizzazz to the analog dials in the gauge cluster. That’s some Bentley-level detail usually not found in an era of cheap-looking digital gauge clusters.

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

Miss: That weight

My G70 tester was equipped with optional all-wheel drive. It’s not an advanced system that can disconnect for better fuel economy or apportion power side to side on the rear axle, but combined with the mechanical limited-slip rear differential it does a good job of putting the power to the ground. It also adds 220 pounds. Weighing in at 3,998 pounds, the all-wheel drive G70 feels heavier, less tossable, and less frisky than the rear-wheel drive version. It’s the better setup for those who frequent snow-covered roads, but it’s not the enthusiasts' choice.

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

Hit: That focus

The G70 aims to be a luxury sports sedan, not a sporty luxury car. Again, the details come into play. The steering wheel has a smaller diameter than those of the competitors. The center stack is canted toward the driver and all the main climate control and radio functions have individual hard buttons. The driver-focused environment is topped off by easy-to-read analog gauges.

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

2020 Genesis G70

Hit: That Value

My $53,245 G70 tester came loaded with most everything one wants––or needs––in a modern sport sedan. The list of amenities included a color head-up display, quilted nappa leather, a suede headliner, adjustable shocks, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A comparably equipped German competitor would cost $60,000 or more.

Does pedigree truly matter? Do you need a particular German badge? If the answer to those questions is no, and you won’t use the rear seat too often, the 2020 Genesis G70 is an unapologetic sport sedan worth your attention.

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2020 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport
Base price: $36,445
Price as tested: $53,245
EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg city, 25 highway, 20 combined
The good: Smooth V-6, focused interior, great detailing.
The bad: AWD model feels less frisky, compact for its class, lacks pedigree for those who need it.