Genesis can do no wrong right now. New SUVs and crossovers storming up the popularity charts with their combination of style, distinctive luxury, and focused pricing, while its line-up of sedans casts skepticism on the idea that that’s a dying segment. Arriving to shore up the range is the refreshed 2022 Genesis G70, smallest and most affordable of the sports sedans.
It’s the model with which Genesis began to show us just what it was capable of back in 2017, adding several awards to the automaker’s trophy cabinet in the years since. This 2022 refresh doesn’t upset the core competencies that helped there, and that’s a good thing.
Judging by the reaction online, I’m in the minority by virtue of not being entirely swayed by Genesis’ design revamp for the 2022 G70. With the automaker’s new quad-segment headlamps, larger and more curvaceous grille, and lower-fascia refresh it certainly looks more like the rest of the modern Genesis range. At the same time, I do think some of the original’s squinting aggression has turned into something vaguely insectile now, like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.
It’s definitely more of a head-turner than the old car, I’ll give it that. The old design was purposeful but not especially distinctive. Here, there’s no doubting that you’re looking at a Genesis – once, that is, you’ve answered the “what is that?!” question that you’ll hear a fair amount of.
Inside, meanwhile, things haven’t changed quite so significantly. Think more feature upgrades than an all-out redesign. A 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen is now standard, replacing the old 8-incher, but better still is that it now runs Genesis’ newer software. That puts welcome distance between the G70 and Hyundai’s interface, and goes a long way to making the 2022 car feel more special.
The trick 3D instrument cluster that Genesis offers on its bigger cars isn’t available here. Instead, you get a mixture of analog and digital graphics. My G70 3.3T AWD tester also had a heated steering wheel, dual automatic climate control, and a 12-way power front passenger seat.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still standard – and still wired rather than wireless – and every trim gets at least 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting front and rear, a power trunk with hands-free open, heated front seats, a 12-way power driver seat, blind spot warnings, Highway Driving Assist – that blends adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping – and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assistance. The 3.3T (along with the 2.OT Prestige trim) and up adds leather, a Lexicon 15-speaker audio system, wireless phone charging, a sunroof, and bigger alloys.
Pricing starts at $37,525 (plus $1,045 destination) for the 2.0T RWD and $39,625 (plus destination) for the AWD version. That’s about fifteen hundred dollars more than the outgoing car, though you get more standard kit with it. The turbo four-cylinder is still good for 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque; sadly, the six-speed manual that Genesis had been offering with it won’t be on the cards for the US.
Instead it uses the same eight-speed automatic as the G70 3.3T with its twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6. That gets 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, and starts at $42,100 (plus destination) for RWD and $44,200 (plus destination) for AWD.
It’s a great powertrain, capable of turning its hand to luxury cruising as well as some more eager driving. In comfort mode, it’s firm but not unpleasantly so; the optional Sport Prestige package adds adaptive dampers, along with beefier Brembo brakes and a limited-slip rear differential.
The latter would be of most use if you click the drive mode dial to Sport or Sport+ where the G70 gets more fun. The tailpipe soundtrack can be made more throaty compared to the somewhat subdued pre-refresh car with an optional active exhaust, but either way the V6 sounds positively gleeful as the revs climb. Even without the rear diff, though, things didn’t seem unruly as power made its way to asphalt, and Sport+ mode throws in rev-matching for when you use the paddle shifters. It also pulls back some of the electronic safety aids, mind, so choose wisely.
It’s a genuinely fun car to drive, and while BMW 3 Series fans probably won’t be wrong when they declare their sedan still has an edge, they’ll also have to dig significantly deeper to afford that. Genesis’ standard equipment list is enough to make any German luxury car buyer wince, and what you lack in outright badge prestige you make up for in rarity.
Practicality isn’t quite the G70’s strong point. The trunk is a snug 10.5 cu-ft, and rear legroom is definitely tight for adults. As for economy, the EPA says you’ll get 17 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined from the V6. In my own, mixed driving, those numbers seemed reasonably accurate.
2021 Genesis G70 Verdict
If the original G70 was Genesis demonstrating it could blend in with the compact sports sedan crowd, then this 2022 refresh is the four-door clearing its metaphorical throat and demanding some attention of its own. It deserves that, too. The G70 isn’t just a good alternative to the go-to picks of the segment, it’s a good car, period.
My inclination would be to skip the 2.0T cars and go straight for the V6: the smaller engine is fine, but the 3.3T suits the Genesis better. Upgrading to get the active rear diff is a driver-focused treat, but even the standard spec car is plenty plush. Part of Genesis’ charm is its value – the 5-year/60,000 mile warranty remains impressive – and the $45,745 all-in of my review car feels like a sweet spot.
Undoubtedly, the big movers-and-shakers in the auto world right now are SUVs and crossovers. Genesis, with its expanding line-up there, clearly isn’t ignorant of that fact. That it continues to make not just decent but actively appealing sedans feels like something worth celebrating, then, and with its splash of new style the 2022 G70 refuses to be overlooked.