Shooting star from

Genesis

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake rear action
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake front action
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake rear static
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake tailgate
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake cockpit
Genesis G70 Shooting Brake load space

IS it a sporty coupe or is it an estate car? Whatever you choose to call it, this is one sleek and fine-looking motor car.

This, in fact, is the new Genesis G70 Shooting Brake and it ticks both the coupe and estate car boxes with a good measure of luxury thrown in.

The G70 SB is the latest arrival from the newest brand on the UK market. Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota - a premium brand which aims to steal sales from Europe's big five: Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Volvo.

Although the brand was only launched in the UK earlier this year, it has plenty of history in both the Far East and USA. Born out of the Hyundai-Kia conglomorate it has the engineering and design expertise of the mighty Korean company behind it.

So it's no upstart company and its heritage and provenance are obvious in the G70 Shooting Brake - its fifth model to go on sale here. Some might say a little too obvious - many of the controls, switches and instruments will be familiar to owners of high-end Hyundai models, for example.

But you get a lot more spec, almost every driver convenience and safety aid you can think of and plenty of luxury touches. Added up it means that from the moment you step inside. the G70 SB certainly feels a notch or three up-market from its top-spec Korean distant cousins.

Our test car came in Sport Line trim and was fitted with a 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine which drives the back wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Sport Line trim adds adaptive damping and a limited slip differential to the standard spec which enhances that feeling of greater comfort provides a smooth yet firm ride, pin-point handling and impressive roadholding. The braking system is also upgraded with a high-performance Brembo system and enhanced performance pads.

Noise from the power plant is little more than a hum once you're under way and, apart from on start-up, you'd be hard pressed to realise that this car is powered by an oil-burning engine. The 197bhp four-cylinder diesel has bags of torque and will crack the 0-60mph sprint time in less than 7.7 seconds, going on to a 140mph maximum. Official combined fuel consumption is 41.8mpg - we returned 39mpg in our brief first drive.

While it's clearly based on the saloon version of the G70, the Shooting Brake has been designed and engineered specifically with European drivers in mind and the drivetrain and suspension have been honed to provide more engaging performance than the saloon on which it is based. A low seating position emphasises the SB's undoubted dynamism and agility.

Inside, it's impossible to fault the control and instrument layout and surfaces and seats are impressively trimmed with quality materials. All's fine in the front, but rear seat leg and headroom isn't a strong point - unlike luggage space, which at 465 litres behind the rear seats and 1,535 with the seat backs folded, is 40 per cent up on the G70 saloon.

There's a total of six G70 Shooting Brake variants to choose from with either two litre petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engines and all with the eight-speed auto transmission. Prices start at £35,250 for the petrol-powered entry-level model.

The 2.2D Sport Line model we tried comes in at £41,430 and for that you get plenty of driving, safety and convenience aids including a 10.25 inch touchscreen, highway driving and lane keeping assistance, smart cruise control and forward and blind-spot anti-collision assistance.

On top of that the car came with two optional packages - Innovation and Comfort Seat packs - taking the price up to £46,530 and adding such items as a 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster, matrix LED headlamps, a head-up display, blind and surround view monitors, a wireless phone charger, electrically adjustable steering wheel, electric side bolster and cushion extension adjustments for both driver and passenger, front seat ventilation and heating and a driver's seat memory function.

Genesis is not just a new brand - it brings a new way of selling cars to the UK which it says optimises car ownership. There's no dealer network and customers are promised home pick-up and delivery at every step with warranty, all servicing, mapping and software updates, roadside assistance and an equivalent courtesy car covered for five years.

Based on our brief initial experience, this car is certainly good enough to compete in a notoriously status-conscious market but whether or not Genesis' promise of five years of hassle-free motoring with no hidden extras will persuade up-market buyers to make an exodus from Merc, BMW and Audi showrooms remains to be seen.

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