Different parts of the world have different automotive tastes. So when Genesis launched in Europe, it commissioned what it clearly thought was an appropriate new model for this new territory—the G70 Shooting Brake, a station-wagon version of the G70 sedan.
The longroof's creation may have been ordered on the basis of outdated evidence, however. Europeans still appreciate wagons but, like the rest of the world, are increasingly turning to SUVs instead. Nevertheless, the Korean brand's efforts have resulted in a handsome, useful addition to the lineup—one that bears a vague resemblance to the Lexus IS300 SportCross from the early 2000s. Sadly, Genesis has no plans to sell the Shooting Brake outside Europe. We drove one in the U.K. to discover what we're missing.
Like that long-ago Lexus SportCross, the G70 Shooting Brake is a lifestyle wagon rather than one designed to carry sizable loads, its design-led mission obvious in the rakish angle of its liftgate. The twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 that sits atop the G70 range in the U.S. hasn't made it to Europe, leaving buyers exclusively with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The 2.0-liter gasoline version is offered in 194- or 241-hp strength (each making 260 pound-feet of torque), while a 2.2-liter diesel makes 197 horsepower and a stout 324 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, with Europeans denied all-wheel drive. We drove the 241-hp version in plush Luxury Line trim.
The G70 Shooting Brake feels impressively well engineered, especially considering it's aimed at a limited market (the brand sold just 650 non-SUVs in all of Europe last year). The power-operated liftgate features an integrated spoiler that stylishly splits the glass area and can be opened using a button integrated into the rear wiper housing. The cargo hold itself is compact, with the aperture narrowed by the rear lights and a load-space cover barely larger than the sort fitted to most hatchbacks. Even with this removed, no dog could ride back there without feeling claustrophobic. Genesis reports 16 cubic feet of luggage space with the 40/20/40-folding rear seatbacks in place, just five cubic feet more than in the sedan, and 54 cubic feet with the seatbacks folded.
While the liftgate looks good and works well, the powered struts are inelegantly bolted to the rear pillars with no attempt to hide their mechanism. As with the G70 sedan, we're not fans of the fake plastic mesh embossed into the sides of the rear bumper, and the extra-large oval exhaust finishers that come with the more powerful gasoline engine look a little silly with no tailpipes visible inside them.
Forward of the rear doors, the Shooting Brake is, unsurprisingly, identical to the sedan. Beyond some areas of bright trim, the basic interior is dark and functional, but our sample car was augmented with the pricey option of beautiful quilted nappa-leather trim as well as the 3-D digital instrument cluster, which gives an impression of depth to the rendered dials. Front-seat space is generous with a good range of adjustment, but as in the sedan, full-size passengers in the rear seat lack legroom.
The Shooting Brake's turbo 2.0-liter engine gives plentiful performance. Refinement isn't perfect—there is a gravelly tone at idle, and the engine turns vocal when worked hard. But the four-pot has both a potent midrange and a willingness to run to its 6300-rpm redline. Genesis says the Shooting Brake is nearly 100 pounds heavier than the sedan. Our wagon's claimed 6.4-second 0-to-62-mph time is 6.4 seconds, 0.3 second slower than its sedan counterpart.
Powertrain responses in the gentler dynamic modes are a little slow—the transmission pauses before delivering kick-down gearchanges—but the gearbox then can be too eager in the Sport and Sport+ settings, with the latter seeming determined to stay in the lowest possible gear. Manual gear selection is possible through weighty metal paddles, but although the changes are brisk, navigating the eight ratios is made harder because the digital readout insists on displaying the gear it thinks the Sport Brake should be in for maximum fuel economy rather than the one it actually is in.
Genesis has created a bespoke chassis tune for the G70 Shooting Brake, and it's firmer the sedan's. That was evident on the sections of rough pavement we drove in the U.K. Despite standard adaptive dampers and smaller 18-inch wheels, the Luxury Line's suspension often jarred over imperfections, even in the soft Comfort mode. On the flip side, we saw disciplined body control as chassis loads increased, accurate cornering, and impressive traction in slippery conditions.
Our sample Shooting Brake lacked a limited-slip differential—that's reserved for the Sport Line—and when pushed hard, the vehicle feels clearly rear-wheel driven. It's hard to imagine many owners regularly choosing the frenetic Sport+ mode, which eases the stability control to allow tail-out antics. More relevant is the excellent cruising refinement, as the Shooting Brake's cabin stays hushed at rapid freeway speeds. Fuel economy was less impressive, as we saw the equivalent of just 23 mpg, giving 360 miles of range from the 15.8-gallon tank.
Compared with the station-wagon versions of the Audi A4, BMW 3-series, and Mercedes C-class that Europeans can also choose, the G70 Shooting Brake feels like a fresh alternative. It is well equipped and well priced against them, and it offers a greater level of exclusivity thanks to the novelty of the brand. During our time with the G70 wagon, one enthusiastic onlooker asked us if it was an Aston Martin. After reading the badge, another asked if Phil Collins had established his own auto company.
2023 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base 2.0T, $43,100; diesel, $45,950; high-output 2.0T, $49,750
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 194 hp, 260 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.2-liter diesel inline-4, 197 hp, 324 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 241 hp, 260 lb-ft
Wheelbase: 111.6 in
Length: 184.4 in
Width: 72.8 in
Height: 55.1 in
Passenger Volume, F: 55 ft3
Cargo Volume, behind F/R: 54/16 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3800–4000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 6.5–9.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.3–16.6 sec
Top Speed: 135–146 mph
FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 24–29/20–23/30–36 mpg