THE Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is almost certainly one of the best looking mainstream cars now available.
It looks gorgeous standing still and on the move.
To get the obvious out of the way, Genesis has nothing to do with the Bible, Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins, but is the newest car brand available in the UK.
As Lexus is to Toyota, Genesis is to Hyundai. And since last May, it has introduced five models to the UK, the G70 Shooting Brake being the latest.
The difference, however, is that while Genesis has been around in the US and other markets for a few years, the brains behind the brand have spent 10 years developing the G70 Shooting Brake especially for Europe.
Coming in three trim levels - Premium Line, Luxury Line and Sport Line - the Shooting Brake's footprint is the same as the previously-released G70 saloon, so, although the hinges of the tailgate have been set back into the roof to create a larger aperture for the 465-litre luggage area, it is only 40 per cent more than the saloon in terms of capacity.
That said, functionality is enhanced by the addition of three-way 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats. With these completely lowered, the G70 Shooting Brake delivers 1,535-litres of carrying capacity.
Luxurious touches abound throughout the beautifully finished cabin, not least in the finish of its comfortable and supportive seats soft Nappa leather seats. With plenty of quilted leather and knurled switchgear, it's a truly tactile and enjoyable place to be.
All of the buttons, displays and controls have been placed perfectly to simplify every interaction and allow the driver to maintain focus on the road. The centre console, which houses a number of functions including the heating and ventilation controls and, on top of the dashboard, the 10.25-inch infotainment system, is also neatly angled toward the driver for ease of use.
While there's no issue with room in the front of the car, the rear-space might leave taller passengers a little cramped. Kneeroom isn't too bad but the low-mounted front seats prevent you from sliding your feet under them. Six-footers will also feel their hair brushing the headlining despite a slight cut-out in the roof making headroom acceptable for everyone else.
All cars get smart cruise control, lane keep assist, plus forward and blindspot collision avoidance systems as standard. If you can afford the extra Â£3,250 ‘Innovation Package, your driver information display will be upgraded to a cutting edge 12.3-inch instrument cluster.
Quite brilliantly, this features a state-of-the-art 3D function which can display information in true three-dimensional clarity, while cameras mounted in the cluster monitor the driver's eye movements and use the information to enhance the areas directly in their sight line - a segment first that helps improve safety by reducing the time the driver's eyes are taken off the road. It sounds distracting and it takes a little getting used to but it's very clever.
The package also includes a clever and very useful carryover from the Hyundai range - a blindspot camera set-up, which shows you a rear view along from the side mirrors in the instrument panel when you turn the indicators on.
As on all Genesis models, the new G70 Shooting Brake features a front centre airbag. Positioned in the driver's seat bolster on the centre console side, this airbag deploys in just 0.03 seconds in the event of a side collision, preventing the two front passengers from colliding with each other or with vehicle components.
There's a choice of 2.0-litre petrol engines with 200 or 250bhp and a 2.2-litre diesel, all-matched to a smooth eight-speed auto. Genesis claim combined fuel consumption of 30.2mpg for the petrol model but, I feel certain most drivers will achieve much less.
One reason for this is that it can genuinely put a smile on your face. Genesis has clearly done a lot of work making this a virtually noise-free environment while cruising down the motorway at speed, and its very relaxing doing so.
However, their engineers have also made sure the Electric Power Assisted Steering is as natural as possible so, if you fancy blasting some country roads there's also good, direct steering and plenty of grip from the rear-wheel drive car, its precision and agility also aided by state-of-the art electronically controlled adaptive dampers.
It's worth knowing you can only buy Genesis models online. A Genesis Personal Assistant will bring a demonstration car to your home or office as required. There's also a five-point plan for customers which includes five-year unlimited warranty, five-year free servicing, five-year roadside assistance, and five-year access to a courtesy car.