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  5. 2019 Genesis G70 vs. 2019 Lexus ES

John Coyle | July 10, 2019

In this corner, we have the 2019 Genesis G70. It's the latest addition to Hyundai's luxury brand, which became a separate entity is 2015. It's all-new for this year.    

Next, we have the 2019 Lexus ES. It's Lexus' offering in the mid-size luxury sedan segment, and along with a full redesign, it has a new trim level for 2019.    

Both the Genesis and Lexus are great options for luxury buyers, so let's take a look at the engines, cabins, infotainment, and price to determine a winner.


First, let’s look at the powertrains. Genesis offers two engines for the G70. Base models get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder packing 252 horsepower, which is available with either a eight-speed automatic or six speed manual. Opting for the 3.3-liter engine means 365 horsepower is on tap, but the automatic is the only transmission option. Base models are EPA rated at 22 miles-per-gallon city, and 30 highway, which V6 models get 18 city, 26 highway.

There are also a couple of choices for the ES. The most powerful is a 3.5-liter V6. It’s good for 302 horsepower, which is mated to an eight-speed transmission. No manual is available, and it’s EPA rated at 22 miles per gallon city, and 33 highway. There’s also a hybrid option, which has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor, and puts out 215 horsepower. It’s rated at 43 miles-per-gallon city, 45 highway.

While either Lexus gets better fuel economy than the Genesis engines, we like the additional available power from the V6, and also the availability of the manual gearbox.

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Cabin Interiors

Now, let’s look inside the cabin. In the luxury segment, you expect a refined interior, and the Genesis delivers. The touch points are soft, the build quality feels outstanding, and details like contrasting stitching and well-bolstered seats contribute to the excellent environment. The roomy cabin doesn’t exactly translate to the trunk, however, as there’s just 10.5 cubic feet of space.

Lexus is known for high-quality cabins, and the ES 350 is no exception. With eye-catching angles, and judicious use of wood and aluminum trim, there’s lots to love here. We particularly liked the way the far edge of the infotainment display was integrated into the dashboard, and in comparison, we think the unit in the Genesis looks tacked on. With 16.7 cubic-feet of space, there’s also significantly more room in the trunk.

This is tough, as both cabins have great style and materials. But we’re going to give the Lexus the edge here, thanks to a more pleasing integration of its central display.

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Infotainment System

One of the biggest compliments you can give an infotainment system is its ease of use, and the Genesis nailed it. While it’s not as flashy as some competitors, there’s little learning curve to contend with, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto means that even first-time users will be able to make selections and be on their way in a snap.

In contrast, the infotainment in the ES is more complicatated, and relies on a touchpad to navigate the menus for various settings. While Amazon Alexa integration is an interesting touch, the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support stands out as an oversight in the segment, as it’s available many vehicles costing significantly less.

While the Lexus does have plenty of great features, the execution of its infotainment systems remains an Achilles heel for the brand. So we’re going to give the win to Genesis here.

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At this point, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t evaluated the G70, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has named it a 2019 Top Safety Pick. It comes standard with great features like forward collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, while rear cross traffic alert, and options like a surround-view camera and parking sensors are also on the menu.

Like the G70, the Lexus ES hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA, but also earned Top Safety Pick Status from the IIHS. Save blindspot monitoring it includes most everything that standard G70 models do, but adds cutting-edge features like bicyclist detection and automatic headlights.

While the list of standard safety features differs slightly, both these vehicles are excellent choices for safety conscious buyers. So we’re going to call this a draw here.

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Value and Price

Now, it’s time to talk price. The Genesis G70 starts at $34,900 for four-cylinder models, and V6 models come in at $43,750.

In comparison, the standard Lexus ES starts at $39,750, the hybrid at $41,560, and the sportier F Sport versions command $44,285.

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Overall, we think the Genesis is the better pick here, given it's more powerful available engine, solid infotainment system, and better dynamic driving dynamics.  

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