Several years back Genesis separated — in a brick and mortar way — from parent company Hyundai, in hopes of re-marketing itself as a performance sedan, similar toNissan/Infiniti and Honda/Acura.

It is too early to tell if the separation is going to bear fruit, but its 2-year-old G70 is a step in the right direction.

The base G70 includes a manual six-speed gearbox that tips the fun scale. It’s one of the few remaining manuals out there for the pure enthusiasts that prefer all out control.

Pros:

Attractive styling

Great warranty

Good tech assortment

Cons:

Turbo four lacking

Tiny back seat

The G70 is available in three trim levels and two engine choices; base 2.0-liter turbo ($36,500); Sport 2.0-liter turbo manual transmission ($39,500) and 3.3-liter V6 twin turbo ($45,650).

The rear-wheel-drive models can be equipped with all-wheel-drive except for our test car, the G70 Sport with manual transmission. The others are tied with an excellent eight-speed transmission that is quicker than the manual thanks to electronic speed shifting.

A walk-around reveals European-inspired quarter panels with contemporary door handles and a large netted grille sharing a Lincoln look.

Nineteen-inch alloys add a sportiness along with upgraded Brembo brakes with high performance pads.

The South Korean automaker points to Audi and BMW as key rivals for its high-end models’ G80 and 90 and to a lesser degree with the G70 although its price to value ratio is high.

We were impressed with the interior appointments although the steering wheel controls are tiny. Leatherette (like leather) front seats are comfortable and the driver has a 16-way adjustable bucket seat while the passenger has half that. Both are heated and ventilated. Back seat passengers do not enjoy the same comfort however with cramped legroom.

Aluminum trim panels are good-looking, and the tilt/telescoping steering wheel adjusts to give the driver a clear shot at instrument panel readings.

While high end Genesis models tuck the infotainment display screen into the dashboard, the G70 does not and the result is a stick on and out screen that cheapens an otherwise stylish cabin.

Easy to reach adjustable drive mode switches are located to the left of the gear shift handle and allow the driver to select between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom settings. We did not notice much difference between them.

Contact independent automotive columnist Len Ingrassia at lenscarcorner@comcast.net.

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