Distinguishing between the two corporate cousins
It’s no secret that the 2018 Kia Stinger GT and the 2019 Genesis G70 share the same platform that’s an evolution of the one found in the current-generation Genesis G80. Both cars share the same engine lineup, a base 2.0-liter turbo-four with 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque or a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. There’s also an adaptive suspension system, a drive mode selector with a custom setting, and Brembo brakes on the V-6-powered variants. An eight-speed automatic transmission is shared between both cars.
Albert Biermann, Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice President of vehicle test and high performance development, declined to discuss the differences between the two at the Genesis G70’s global launch in Korea, so we never got an answer. Until now, that is. Motor Trend has now driven both the Stinger GT and the G70, and we’ve found what distinguishes the smaller compact Genesis sedan from the larger Kia fastback with four doors and a hatch. Ride comfort is a key difference between the two vehicles. Being a larger, heavier grand tourer, the 2018 Kia Stinger GT has a more compliant suspension all around. Sport mode does stiffen things up, but that doesn’t come at the cost of ride comfort because the Stinger’s ride remains surprisingly smooth even on rough pavement. The 2019 Genesis G70, on the other hand, is tighter and more buttoned down, but its ride is also stiffer and a little less compliant. The electronically controlled suspension on the G70 is more aggressive in Sport mode, meaning you’ll feel the road more.
Get both the Stinger GT and the G70 on a winding mountain road, and you’ll find more differences between the two cars. The Stinger GT drives as big as it looks, and its curb weight of around 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg) means its reflexes aren’t as sharp as the G70. That doesn’t mean it’s sloppy. The Stinger GT handles well for its size and manages to not feel like a lumbering behemoth. Hop into the G70, and you’ll notice that its smaller size and shorter wheelbase make it livelier through the corners even in its heaviest form with all-wheel drive. It handles as you’d expect of a compact sport sedan to, meaning it’s sharp, agile, and right at home in the twisties, especially when everything is in Sport mode. There’s less understeer in the G70, meaning it’s easier to rotate through the corners or get it to drift. On both the Stinger GT and the G70, steering feel is much improved compared to previous vehicles from Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. They both feel better, but not the same. The Stinger GT offers precise steering, but it’s lighter and a little more isolated, especially outside of Sport mode—giving it the feel of a proper long-distance GT car. Put it in Sport mode, and it does add weight but not to the point that it’s overly heavy or extremely touchy. The G70’s steering, on the other hand, is quicker, more precise, and has superior weighting in Sport mode than the Stinger GT. It also reacts quicker to your inputs, which is especially helpful when you’re having a good time on winding roads.
Where the Stinger GT separates itself as a grand tourer is in its body control. There’s more body roll on the Stinger GT, and it’s immediately noticeable on winding roads where the body smoothly transitions side to side. Hop into the G70, and you’ll immediately notice that it’s more planted, there is less body roll when going through corners, and it feels buttoned down through the turns, giving the driver a better sense of control from behind the wheel. Size and weight are the most obvious differentiators between the Kia Stinger GT and the Genesis G70. At around 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg), the Stinger is long and heavy, and it feels it on the road. Sure it’s nimble for its size, but its weight keeps it from being as lively as the G70. We’ve yet to weigh a U.S.-spec G70, but the model we drove recently in Korea checks in below 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg) even with all-wheel drive. The weight difference and the fact that it’s 2.8 inches shorter make the G70 feel livelier, especially in its most aggressive mode. Its tidier dimensions help it “shrink” when you’re behind the wheel, making it easy to place on the road.
Other than the obvious differences in size, weight, and looks, chassis and suspension tuning distinguish the 2018 Kia Stinger GT and the 2019 Genesis G70. Although they share the same platform and powertrain choices, save for the six-speed manual option that’s exclusive to the four-cylinder G70, both cars behave differently on the road and are tuned for different tastes. Those looking for a fun compact luxury sport sedan should choose the G70, and buyers in search of a comfortable grand tourer that manages to offer great handling for its size and have a massive cargo area will be better served by the Stinger GT.