At launch there are three engine options, all with four cylinders and a turbo. The petrol options are both the same 2.0-litre unit with either 197PS (144kW) or 244PS (179kW). The alternative is a 2.2-litre diesel with 200PS (147kW). We’ve driven both the diesel and the lower-powered petrol and the oil-burner is the pick of the two. The petrol’s 0-62mph time of 9.3 seconds feels as sluggish in real life as it reads on paper and the complete lack of oomph isn’t useful for anywhere other than a motorway cruise.
The diesel, which will reach 62mph in a much more sensible 7.7 seconds, is still not exactly a speed machine but, with more torque available without having to wait for a slightly dim-witted gearbox to kickdown, will leave you much less frustrated when you try to change lane. We’ve yet to sample the more powerful of the petrols, but with a sprint at around six seconds it will hopefully provide a proper alternative.
The G70 Shooting Brake’s suspension setup feels primed for cruising and town work, where it really is excellent. Damping is calm while the springs feel soft, which means the G70 Shooting Brake can soak up most of the harshest of potholes (and the areas of Lisbon that we drove the car though had some whoppers).
There are four driving modes for the G70: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+, and none of them make the car a particularly heartbeat-raising prospect, but all have merits. Comfort is that cruiser, the comfortable car that that the G70 is will likely be. Sport adds a little more urgency (very little in the petrol) and Sport+ turns off the traction control and picks the throttle up faster. The dampers are adaptive, and you can feel the car tighten a little in the more performance-based modes, but only if you’re really paying attention.
The G70 Shooting Brake has been designed, or at least marketed, for some semblance of performance, and it’s not a mess if you’re on a good road. It feels like there’s a good chassis underneath the G70 although hamstrung by the drivetrain. Sport+ is the only real option for performance (Sport does change very little), and the car digs in reasonably well as you pitch it in, offering up some understeer but not really telling you anything about it through the wheel. Hang on and there’s grip to be found, the diesel’s torque is welcome and with the electronic aids silenced there’s a shimmy on power exit. Try this in the petrol and it will be more of a bog down and wait for the power. The limited-slip diff does mean traction is good, but the steering really will not tell you anything about it until you absolutely force it to communicate.
The biggest let down is the gearbox, an eight-speed auto developed in-house in which Genesis has specific tech to hold onto a gear for better exit. The slight problem is that hold on to gears is exactly what it does, for ages. There’s no permanent manual option, just an override, so it can be frustrating both when you want it to go up or down. The paddles are fine, but nothing special and while Sport mode makes little difference to the changes Sport+ will just hold onto one too low a gear constantly. This isn’t too much of a worry as you cruise round town, which, along with motorway driving, is the G70 Shooting Brake’s real home.