SEDAN CONSTRAINTS MEAN GETTING LOADED IN THE G70 ISN’T AS SIMPLE AS IT COULD BE
I GNORE THE automotive application of the term ‘parcel shelf’ and it sounds like a terrific thing; the place you come home to and find the courier has left you the cool stuff you forgot you ordered after a boozy night on eBay, like that Porsche 911 barbecue apron and the nose-hair trimmer.
But really, in a car, who puts anything on the parcel shelf? Unless you’re a Camry-owning Uber driver with a tissue box dressed up with a decorative doily back there, or you actively want to be hit in the back of the skull with a six-pack while under heavy braking, I’d say no-one.
I’ll go a step further and declare the parcel shelf the work of Packaging Satan. It’s a mostly useless impediment to making full use of folding rear seats, sitting there virtually mocking you as you attempt to load and then later access large items in the boot.
At least, that’s how I’ve come to see the parcel shelf in the G70. Okay, it may justify its existence on the basis of structural rigidity and a place to house the rear audio speakers, but mostly it just sits there getting in the way.
I’m sure the Genesis productplanning gurus considered a sportback design at some point for the G70, but no doubt it was torpedoed by a clinic of Chinese customers who inexplicably think that a bootlid and fixed rear glass are automotive status symbols that show the world they’ve really made it.
Working as the parcel shelf’s evil offsider in this dastardly double-act is the G70’s small boot aperture. Recently I gave a friend a lift to the airport, and loading her full-sized suitcase required a technique usually reserved for a postman trying to stuff a parcel into a mailbox slot. First, get one end in, then shove, swear a little, then open the passenger door and drag the thing in over the folded rear-seat backrest.
Similarly, transporting my bike requires removal of the front wheel, and even then, surgical precision is needed to find the specific angle at which the frame and seat post can clear the rear inner wheelarches.
But the real kicking came the weekend I needed to drive to the other side of Sydney to save a few hundred bucks on a discounted washing machine. My partner saw the transportational outcome of this a mile away, and lit up brightly as she tossed me the keys to her Honda HR-V, saying, “Oooh, cool; car-swap day!”
Here’s my final gripe (I promise) regarding packaging. Genesis wants to be taken seriously as a premium brand, and I think we can all agree that one key element to being perceived as ‘premium’ lies with attention to detail. A car needs to imbue that feeling that the designers have considered every small aspect of how you use the vehicle, and have ensured that mantra of ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’ has been resolutely applied. So it’s disappointing – perplexing, actually – to first open the boot of the G70 and see that no specific cubby has been created for the first-aid and roadside-assistance kits, nor the warning triangle. All three appear as a complete afterthought, as if someone has gone, “Huh? I didn’t know we needed to include this stuff!
Um, throw me the Velcro...”
Seriously, these items really are attached with that magical micro hook-and-loop fastening system that adheres them to the boot carpet, meaning they sit right in the spot where you may want to load, I dunno, a suitcase or a bicycle…
GENESIS G70 ULTIMATE SPORT
Price as tested: $79,950
This month: 624km @ 11.6L/100km
After a bit of faffing around with the registration process, I now have the G70 synched to the Genesis Connected Services app on my phone, and had a chance to assess its usefulness. Most handy for me is the remote start and ‘cabin condition’ function. When the car has been parked in the summer sun, the ability to hit the Engine Start button on the screen, and automatically set the HVAC to full Arctic Chill mode for five minutes before I actually return to the car, is great for making me (marginally) less sweaty than James Brown’s jockstrap. Just a shame the G70’s black dash acts as a major heat sink, and takes so long to cool after the car has been parked in the sun.