Which four-cylinder sports sedan? | Genesis G70 vs. Alfa Romeo Giulia vs. Kia Stinger

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jul 12, 2022 | Alfa Romeo, Kia, Genesis, Genesis G70, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Four-Cylinder Engne, Sports Sedan, Kia Stinger

Photography Courtesy the manufacturers

The Genesis G70, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Kia Stinger all represent potent sports sedans in their top, V6-powered trims–but what about the lower-spec, four-cylinder models? Does power truly reign king, or does less actually equal more?

Regardless, if you had to choose between the four-cylinder version Genesis G70, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Kia Stinger, which one would you pick? (And if you choose none of these, then what?)

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GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/12/22 9:21 p.m.

Am I paying for it? G70. Someone's else's dime that will also pay for maintenance- Alfa all day. 

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
7/12/22 9:24 p.m.

Alfa just cuz(the look) ......regardless of the "issues"
 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/22 10:09 p.m.

I chose the Alfa, and I'd probably do it again. IME the "issues" are somewhat overblown (and a lot of them were on early QVs and not the four bangers).

That said, I think any of the three would make a nice change from the ubiquitous 2/3/4 series.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
7/13/22 8:02 a.m.

If the left and right cars are in there flanking the Alfa, there should be an S60 R-design with the new B6 twin charged mildbrid, the Polestar flash, and sport suspension package.  That drivetrain is very very drivable for 2 liters.

 

rkammerer
rkammerer New Reader
7/13/22 11:58 a.m.

The Alfa looks the best, the Stinger has a hatchback, but 3 years ago I went with the 2019 G70.  Because front engine, RWD, LSD, and most important to me manual transmission.  That took the other two right off my list.

After 3 years, some thoughts.  The 2.0 turbo motor is adequate for such a porky car, when in Sport mode.  Comfort and Eco modes it feels old Corolla slow.  It has modern "low down torque" tuning, and falls on it's face as the revs climb - gutless well before redline.  In Sport and driven with some vigor, low 20s MPG.  On my commute in Eco, I can nudge up to 30MPG indicated.  Averaging around 25 MPG.

Shifter is fine, clutch effort is very low without much feel.  That can be a challenge, since off-idle tip in is wildly different between the three drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport) - that combined with a crappy one-second throttle kill after releasing clutch "for smooth take off" - makes you feel like a new driver every time you switch modes.  Brembo brakes are real good, but dusty.

LDS is OK, but noisy in parking garages - which dealer says is normal.  The 2.0 Sport MT comes with PS4s, in a silly 19" size for looks, and staggered width.  I would prefer 18" square for ease of rotation.  Suspension is meh, suitably soft springs for a commuter.  It could use a lot more rebound damping out back, on dips the back oscillates a lot.  Steering is artificial - EPS.  In Eco and Comfort, may as well be a 70's Buick - drive with a finger.  Sport mode adds weight, but still no real communication to the front.

It drives a lot bigger than it's dimensions suggest.  Front end is tall, and way out there compared to dimensionally similar 2008 TSX I have.  With that, the rear seat is decorative - reminds me of the luxury coupe rear seats.  Headroom OK, but your knees are buried in the back of the front seats, and I'm only 5'8" and like to sit on top of the wheel.  The trunk room screams "we aren't used to packaging RWD Diff under a car", very little vertical room - about 1 suitcase tall.

Fit/finish/interior seem OK to me, but I'm used to old ratty Miata.  Radio has an actual volume knob, and the HVAC system is also real buttons / knobs.  Most of the rest of the infotainment is via touchscreen.

So far, only 2 recalls (ABS module catches fire, trunk latch pin breaks).  First service, noted it was 1qt low on oil already.  Dealer has been overfilling since then by 1/2 qt.  Now at 13k miles, valve cover gasket leaking notably on passenger side, stinks of burnt oil after you park it. 

Verdict: Great on paper, adequate as an "appliance plus" level commuter, but not engaging as I hoped.

karplus2
karplus2 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/13/22 8:11 p.m.
rkammerer said:

The Alfa looks the best, the Stinger has a hatchback, but 3 years ago I went with the 2019 G70.  Because front engine, RWD, LSD, and most important to me manual transmission.  That took the other two right off my list.

After 3 years, some thoughts.  The 2.0 turbo motor is adequate for such a porky car, when in Sport mode.  Comfort and Eco modes it feels old Corolla slow.  It has modern "low down torque" tuning, and falls on it's face as the revs climb - gutless well before redline.  In Sport and driven with some vigor, low 20s MPG.  On my commute in Eco, I can nudge up to 30MPG indicated.  Averaging around 25 MPG.

Shifter is fine, clutch effort is very low without much feel.  That can be a challenge, since off-idle tip in is wildly different between the three drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport) - that combined with a crappy one-second throttle kill after releasing clutch "for smooth take off" - makes you feel like a new driver every time you switch modes.  Brembo brakes are real good, but dusty.

LDS is OK, but noisy in parking garages - which dealer says is normal.  The 2.0 Sport MT comes with PS4s, in a silly 19" size for looks, and staggered width.  I would prefer 18" square for ease of rotation.  Suspension is meh, suitably soft springs for a commuter.  It could use a lot more rebound damping out back, on dips the back oscillates a lot.  Steering is artificial - EPS.  In Eco and Comfort, may as well be a 70's Buick - drive with a finger.  Sport mode adds weight, but still no real communication to the front.

It drives a lot bigger than it's dimensions suggest.  Front end is tall, and way out there compared to dimensionally similar 2008 TSX I have.  With that, the rear seat is decorative - reminds me of the luxury coupe rear seats.  Headroom OK, but your knees are buried in the back of the front seats, and I'm only 5'8" and like to sit on top of the wheel.  The trunk room screams "we aren't used to packaging RWD Diff under a car", very little vertical room - about 1 suitcase tall.

Fit/finish/interior seem OK to me, but I'm used to old ratty Miata.  Radio has an actual volume knob, and the HVAC system is also real buttons / knobs.  Most of the rest of the infotainment is via touchscreen.

So far, only 2 recalls (ABS module catches fire, trunk latch pin breaks).  First service, noted it was 1qt low on oil already.  Dealer has been overfilling since then by 1/2 qt.  Now at 13k miles, valve cover gasket leaking notably on passenger side, stinks of burnt oil after you park it. 

Verdict: Great on paper, adequate as an "appliance plus" level commuter, but not engaging as I hoped.

I made the same decision for the same reason as you. I agree with your review. I have gotten used to the clutch and throttle kill but only drive in sport mode now. My 2020 has about 32k miles and it was a phenomenal commuter car before I got a work vehicle. Only issue I have had is having to get the transmission replaced because the backup camera wouldn't turn on. I'm already having the issue again and have to wiggle the shifter to get it to come on. 

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
7/13/22 8:16 p.m.

Don't know what happened to the post I made yesterday morning, but...

Curious as to why the CT4 isn't on this list.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/13/22 8:41 p.m.

Honda Accord sport 2.0 manual

psteav (Forum Supporter)
psteav (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/14/22 8:41 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Not making them anymore, and they were practically unobtanium when they were making them.  But if you find one, they're fantastic.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/14/22 10:25 a.m.

Probably the Alfa just because I love the looks but I can't think of a scenario in which I'd buy a four cylinder sports sedan.  I want my sports sedan to have a naturally aspirated V8 talking to me.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito UltimaDork
7/14/22 10:42 a.m.

Man, that's a tough one. 

Genesis: Good on paper, seems to be halfway decent in reality

Alfa: Looks great, but it might be in the shop for most of the time you own it

Stinger: I've heard these are flat out "not fun" in non-GT trim. Overzealous nannies and lots of wheel hop under hard acceleration. 

I'd probably end up with the Genesis, even though the heart says Alfa. The review I saw on the Stinger that made it look less engaging to drive than a 1996 Camry put that out of the running for me. 

thewheelman
thewheelman Reader
7/14/22 12:40 p.m.

I've only driven the Alfa, but that's because the other two didn't interest me. My only complaint is lack of headroom, especially in the sunroof cars (6'3"). Steering is awesome and the 4 cylinder has some character, even if it doesn't sound all that great. The transmission is a ZF 8 speed, which is one of the best modern torque converter automatics made. Make sure you get a RWD version with the limited slip differential (look for a Q2 badge on the trunk). 

Check out Madness and Eurocompulsion for performance parts, if that's your thing.  

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