Genesis G70 review - design

The G70's facelift is one of the biggest and most convincing changes that we've ever seen

Evo rating
  • Striking design; interior quality and materials
  • Powertrains lacking; damping struggles with British roads; thirsty

I’m sure you’ll agree that if nothing else, the G70 has a striking look – all slim LED lighting signatures and broad, aggressive grilles – but the fundamental design was actually first revealed back in 2017, and it looked rather different. That original G70, designed under the eye of Peter Schreyer (Kia’s original big hire from the design studios of Germany), wasn’t widely praised. It featured a pretty dull spread of incongruous design elements borrowed from different compact executive rivals, paired with unresolved lines and garish details.

All of which makes the car we have in 2022 even more impressive; I don’t think we’ve ever seen a facelift that’s made such a huge change, and been done so convincingly. As with most midlife updates, the basic body in white is as before, made up of the door skins, rear quarter panels, glasshouse roof and its basic proportions, but all other exterior panels are new. Yet the most impressive part is how they’ve been blended so convincingly.

The look is, of course, dominated by the new grille and tiny headlights, but they’re so well integrated you’d never know they’ve been applied to a model that preceded a new generation of design language by over three years. The front wings and bonnet facilitate this new look, blending seamlessly into the profile. At the rear, the split tail lights share a similar basic shape to before, but do so with Genesis’s twin-bar aesthetic. Meanwhile, the lower bumper and bootlid’s reprofiling sync it all together. It’s been superbly executed, this time overseen by Luc Donckerwolke, ex-Lamborghini designer and the other big name in Hyundai/Kia’s design leadership.

The G70’s most striking form is the Shooting Brake, though, which swaps out the saloon's somewhat placid rear for something far more striking. Its very sharp rake and wraparound glass work brilliantly with the silhouette, and once again, its synergy with rear door skins and frames that had to be shared with the saloon is very impressive. When combined with a bright colour and the Sport Line’s five-spoke wheel design and chrome delete, it makes for one of the most striking executive cars on sale right now.

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