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How the 2019 Genesis G70 Saves Date Night

2019 Genesis G70

Few things kill the liberating magic of date night faster than reminders of my messy family. I have three kids and drive a minivan; it's missing a door handle (story for another day) and its windows wear a permanent layer of sticky fruit-strip fingerprints. It is the very picture of a date killer. Luckily, I have options through work, and my recent test car had plenty of pixie dust to amp up date night: the 2019 Genesis G70.

Related: 2019 Genesis G70 Video: Get Over Your Biases, It Really Is That Good

Wait, you've never heard of the G70? Where've you been? The G70 is the third vehicle from Hyundai's new-ish luxury brand. It's the smallest sedan in the lineup, following the G80 and G90 sedans.

The G70 competes against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Can it upset these luxury sports sedan stalwarts? We think yes. It easily won over our editors to take home Cars.com's annual Best Of award for 2019. Then we bought one.

The G70 offers two turbocharged engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 3.3-liter V-6, with standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission drives both, but you can also get the 2.0-liter with a six-speed manual. (Our model is an all-wheel-drive V-6 Prestige.)

For date night, I took it to a local Spanish tapas restaurant — fancier than our usual family burger joint — and the G70 was a total upgrade (and not just because it has all its door handles). We took the scenic route on Lake Shore Drive and the G70 pours on the power from a stop; it's also a blast to drive even on slower roads, with a suspension tuned for a firm, athletic feel. Pedal to the metal, the 3.3-liter G70 will clear 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, Genesis says. Because I'd like to stay off the Chicago Police Department's radar, I can't confirm this, but suffice it to say that fun was had.

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Its credentials inside are just as impressive, with occupants in our Prestige trim coddled in high-end materials like quilted Nappa leather seats and various stitched surfaces. Many luxury makers do this well, too, but unlike rivals, the G70 lacks all fussiness with clean, streamlined controls and a no-nonsense multimedia system. Genesis has untested luxury cachet, but our test car turns heads with its dynamic-yet-tasteful looks and striking Mallorca Blue paint job. It raises eyebrows everywhere it goes. 

Pricing is just as attractive. Base four-cylinder model pricing starts slightly less than $36,000. Our V-6 AWD Prestige model with all-wheel-drive stickers for just north of $51,000 and is filled with goodies like a head-up display, 360-degree camera system, heated front and rear seats, cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging and a moonroof.

The 2019 G70's main competitors start at more — by a little to a lot. Compare it against the 330i ($41,245), A4 ($38,395) and C-Class ($42,395), and the extra cash savings is good for several fancy dinners out.

True, there's no replacing my minivan for real life, but I'll grab every chance I can to ditch the van for the G70. And — oh, darn — my three kids and their car seats don't quite fit.

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