It’s no secret we heart the Genesis G70. After earning our Best of 2019 Award, we bought one. It might be more of a secret, however, that the luxurious G70 comes from Hyundai parentage — the automaker known for its fuss-free, value-minded vehicles. Aside from its price, there’s nothing budget about the G70, but one feature has Hyundai written all over it: the G70’s multimedia system. Do we feel shortchanged that Genesis didn’t upgrade the luxury car’s setup, or does the mainstream Hyundai unit do the trick? It depends who you ask.
The multimedia system is a highlight, from the standard 8-inch touchscreen that sits high on the dash for good visibility to its large, physical dials for climate controls and handy volume and tuning knobs. But some editors are left wanting more, including Editor-in-Chief Jenni Newman.
“I mean, Old Navy and Banana Republic are owned by the same company (for now, though that’s changing),” she wrote. “I don’t want a $100 pair of Banana jeans to have the same look and feel as the Old Navy jeans. And yes, I’m a snob. Admittedly, Hyundai has a good multimedia system, but I think the on-screen graphics in the Genesis should have a completely different look and layout.”
Managing Editor Joe Bruzek agreed.
“I love the usability, but the screen resolution and colors look off to me, just like they do in regular Hyundais,” he said. “It’s not as sharp as BMW’s new system, nor Audi’s. It’s a minor gripe on a system that I otherwise prefer to use over everything else out there.”
But why mess with a good thing? Other editors question the need to change something that’s already ahead of the pack.
“It’s the same user-friendly system as you get in so many Hyundai and Kia models, and I’m 100 percent fine with that,” countered Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays. “Want a cautionary tale? Look at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ luxury brands, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Maserati has a reskinned version of FCA’s terrific Uconnect system, the same one from so many Jeep and Dodge models. Alfa, meanwhile, has a dreadful stand-alone system. Genesis should stay the course here.”
Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Fred Meier agreed.
“The latest Hyundai-brand vehicles have a simple and intuitive multimedia system,” Meier said. “Why change that for the sake of change in the Genesis G70? Toyota makes the Lexus multimedia systems more ‘interesting,’ and you see where that has gotten them.”
Some editors, however, question why Genesis didn’t give the G70 the system that’s in the larger G90 sedan. The G90’s system looks different graphically, and it also includes console-based, multifunction knob and button controls.
“Genesis could have given the G70 a console controller knob for the multimedia system like what’s in the full-size G90, but what’s currently there is easy to use, and that’s what matters most,” said Senior Research Editor Mike Hanley.
Would a knob make it a better system? According to Genesis spokesman Kevin Smith, the brand opted not to give the G70 the G90 treatment for a variety of reasons. Smith told us that adding a knob-based system would detract from the driver-centric, cockpit focus of the G70’s cabin. Space was a consideration, too. The G70 has smaller proportions than the G90, which means less room for storage cubbies and cupholders if a console knob was added.
“The G70 is small enough and the screen reachable enough that I never felt like I needed another way to control it,” Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder said. “Would some kind of differentiation be welcome, be it graphical or content-related, because this is a more expensive, luxury car? Yes. Should that make it a lesser system in the process? Hell no.”
It’s no secret that consumers — us included — just like touchscreens, and Smith cited that factor in the G70’s design.
“For a younger demographic target like the G70, touchscreen controls reign supreme,” he said.
On that, the editors agree.
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