2023 Genesis G70 Review: Will It Dog?
A surprisingly engaging sport sedan with an ample amount of practicality.
The 2023 Genesis G70 bravely runs a gauntlet between cool-looking and kitschy. The more you poke around it the more interesting it gets; the more you drive it the more fun you can have. But what surprised me most was how practical it is. And Bramble the dog loved it.
A bold pentagonal grille and twin-slit headlights have become the signature Genesis face but every other aesthetic element looks like it was lifted from another popular look in the car world. Your dog might not notice this, but I feel compelled to point it out. The lower grilles have the curving of a tuner car body kit. Fender grilles look like they came from a Euro luxury car while the red Brembo-branded calipers are classic sports car style. Inside, the quilted stitching does a decent Bentley impression and the fake aluminum trim looks like it was cribbed from a Mustang.
Yet in spite of (or because of?) all that—the G70 looks pretty damn good.
Welcome to Will It Dog, The Drive's car review series for canine owners. In this article, we'll look at what the G70 sedan's like to live with if you have dogs and point out any specific aspects that help or hurt its case as a pooch taxi.
Our main test dogs Bramble, Indi, and Silas are littermates; half Golden Retriever (dad) and half Australian Shepard (mom), Bramble's the smallest at 40-odd pounds while her brothers are about 60 pounds apiece. They're energetic animals but comfortable with car rides, harnesses, and travel. You can click here to see my favorite photo of them and their TikTok is pending.
2023 Genesis G70 Specs for Dog Owners
- Base price (as tested): $46,750 ($56,445)
- Seating capacity (people): 5
- Seating capacity (dogs): 3
- EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg city | 26 highway | 20 combined
- Observed fuel economy: 21.5 mpg over 256 miles (rural driving, mostly casual)
- Cargo volume (trunk): 10.5 cubic feet
- A. Rear door sill height: 15”
- B. Rear door width (wide point): 27”
- C. Rear seat to ceiling height: 36”
- D. Trunk to ground height: 27”
- E. Trunk height: 17”
- F. Trunk depth: 38”
- G. Trunk width: 42”
- Quick take: Spry luxury sedan with surprising practicality.
- Will It Dog Score: 8/10
*Dimensions measured manually with a tape measure at the point most representative of usable space.
Interior Materials and Layout
The G70 is a traditional medium-sized sedan with low doors and a high trunk lid. Rear seats are really deep, and a passenger (or dog) can kind of nest into them—we’ll end up talking about this a lot. There’s plenty of headroom for larger creatures, and passengers up to Bramble’s size can curl up very securely.
The seats themselves are sumptuous and comfortable. They’re in a really nice happy medium of tautness that feels fancy without swallowing you like an old basement couch. I let Bramble sit on the leather at first and she clearly loved it, snuggling herself into the shape of the Firefox logo in no time. But when she tried to hop in after wrestling in the mud with her brother—I just couldn’t stand the idea of paw prints all over the leather quilting. Fortunately, a seat cover didn’t seem to diminish her enjoyment of the G70’s rear area.
Finished in an ultra-soft microfiber suede, the headliner is another high point on the Sport Prestige trim G70 and is just lovely to look at. But be advised: It does attract errant wisps of fur, and peeling stuff off it can be slightly annoying.
Plastics are the only area that kind of betrays the opulent ambiance. There’s not much in the way of hard surfaces that an animal secured in the back seat could access, but I did notice that the electronic parking brake lever had clearly been scratched by human fingernails. So I’d imagine a pooch could mark it up too. At the risk of nitpicking, I have to point out that the turn signal stalk felt off-puttingly flimsy. Not a dealbreaker, but it did break the spell of fanciness a little bit when I went to make turns.
Climbing In and Out
The rear door sills, and seats for that matter, are really pretty low to the ground. A dog, even a small one (or an elderly human) could go from the street to the seat very easily. Not much else to say about that one. I had no trouble climbing into the car with Bramble to buckle her harness into the seatbelt.
Trunk access, on the other hand, feels quite high. Not that you’d be loading a dog into a sealed trunk like this, but it’s pretty far off the ground for heaving in heavy cargo.
Driving With the Dog
I mentioned nesting in the interior section above—the rear seats are deeply bucketed so a medium-sized dog is kind of naturally tucked into them (even with a seat cover and a seatbelt harness). I bet a hefty labrador’s butt would be inclined to fall into the leather-quilted pits in the back seat of this car.
The G70 has auxiliary seat controls and limo-style switches on the left side of the right passenger seat that lets a driver easily scootch the passenger seat up if it’s empty. These are great for driving around the VIPs in your life, including Very Important Pups. Bramble was very curious about the noise but in all seriousness, this feature would be really useful if your dog’s on the larger side and you need to adjust an empty passenger seat for them.
If your dog rides unrestrained (which we officially recommend against), the low center console will be an easy avenue for them to climb into the cockpit. Cute, but dangerous. A backseat barrier (like this) would mitigate that at the cost of style points. Ideally, run a harness that’s rated for car use. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength harness is the cheapest I could find from a reputable brand with claims of crashworthiness ($39.05 on Amazon). We’ll dive into the pros and cons of that unit in another review, but the point here is that Bramble was able to wear it securely while still sitting comfortably in the car. In her safest position, sitting upright, her snoot rests almost perfectly at the bottom of the window while her body’s still secured with the seat belt. And since the G70’s rear windows go all the way down, she can sniff the breeze without her head being outside the vehicle.
Driving in General
Smooth, quiet, beautifully poised through turns and over rough roads. At dog taxi speeds, usually an approximation of the posted speed limit, the G70 feels nothing less than supremely competent. Genesis is clearly trying to sell the car’s vibe as sporty as much as luxe, but I’m used to my “sporty” cars being rattly antagonistic tin cans. I was enjoying the quilted leather and quiet exhaust note in comfort mode so much that I personally wasn’t really enticed to mash the gas pedal and get wild for the first few days I spent driving the thing. But man, acceleration from a slow roll to a thunderous charge is deeply satisfying. It almost feels like riding an old-school turbo surge in the best kind of way.
Sport mode encourages a little more fun by basically shifting more aggressively and making the gas pedal seem more sensitive, sport+ goes so far as to adjust the seat bolstering and traction control. Cycling through modes is easy with a nice little selector on the center console, but to be honest I appreciated the G70 most in comfort mode, even when I was driving with a bit of a snarl. This is Will It Dog, not Will It Track, so I can’t say I came near the car’s limits of performance but I will say that Bramble seemed much more comfortable during spirited driving in this than she did in the Integra. I think the depth of those seats went a long way.
One last note I’ll leave you with is about the paddle shifters because they’re excellent in every way. Lovely smooth, metallic feel on your fingers, satisfying click action, and the transmission itself responds with superb swiftness. Really a pleasure to use.
Two dogs fit quite comfortably in the back seat of the G70, they could even stack up on top of each other on one seat with ease. You wouldn’t be able to buckle two this way, though. Seating three dogs abreast would be no problem here, and even if you had a huge breed, I think two of them could share the rear bench without issue.
The G70’s shallow-looking trunk had me skeptical about the car’s carrying capacity. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did my folding kennel tuck neatly into the trunk, transversely or not, it also fit fine taking up only one passenger's-worth of space in the passenger area. This is important because if you’re on a multi-day road trip and your car’s loaded with all kinds of stuff, getting the kennel in and out every night is going to be annoying if it’s all the way at the bottom of your trunk. And since hotels sometimes will require you to have a kennel for your canine companion, being able to easily pull it out would be a boon.
2023 Genesis G70 Dog-Friendliness Verdict
The G70 is a great dog taxi as long as you take some critical caveats into consideration. Medium-sized dogs fit perfectly, they’re well-kept in place (especially with a proper harness), and the cargo hold swallows a collapsable kennel easily. If you think you need an SUV just because you have a dog, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.
However, there are a few attributes that might keep you away from this vehicle as a dog owner. The interior materials are way too nice to put paws on; you’re going to need to put a cover over the rear seats and if your dog likes to poke at things you might even want covers on the interior door cards. It’s also very easy for an unrestrained dog to climb into the cockpit.
Small to medium-sized dogs that are generally chill and tidy will go great with this car. Large dogs that are well-behaved could work too if they’re the only passenger you’re carrying. Rowdy dogs would run a high risk of damaging the car’s interior elegance, though.
Featured Dog Car Gear and Travel Accessories
- Harness: Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength ($39.05 on Amazon)
- Seat Cover: Dickie’s Repreve ($29.88 at Walmart)
- Hard Kennel: PetMate Vari Kennel (1998 model, $NLA) (Similar: $159.50 on Amazon)
- Soft Kennel: Backcountry x Petco Foldable Dog Travel Crate ($169.99 at Petco)
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