The Genesis G70 was already such a powerhouse of a premium sedan.
The Korean luxury brand’s smallest offering has been scooping up awards since it launched, including a 2021 AutoTrader.ca Award for Best Compact Luxury Car, beating such European hard-hitters as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and more. It also won the award for Best Overall Car in 2021, meaning it got overwhelmingly high scores from our team of automotive experts.
Improving on a vehicle that’s already so impressive is a tough task, but with the refreshed 2022 Genesis G70 the brand has raised the bar for itself in a meaningful way.
As far as facelifts go, this overhauled G70 is about as aggressive as they come. The sedan looks from the outside to be a completely new car even though most of its mechanicals have been carried over from the previous iteration.
I loved the strong, clean design of the pre-facelift G70. Although it definitely borrowed some styling cues from other brands enough that if you squinted you could have mistaken it for something else, it was very pretty.
The refreshed G70, meanwhile, doesn't look like anything else out there, for better or worse. The brand’s now signature split headlights look excellent on the GV80 SUV, but there’s something about the roundness of the area around the headlights that just doesn’t sit right with this sedan. I appreciate the uniqueness of the design, however, and I even like the large new grille. To make the options even more interesting, Genesis is offering a few new paint colours and even a matte finish grey on the Launch Edition G70.
The sedan’s rear end is a design triumph, its integrated ducktail spoiler both nostalgic and thoroughly modern. To streamline the look back there, Genesis moved the licence plate lower so that it now sits in the bumper. It also removed its signature winged badge, swapping it out and proudly displaying the Genesis name on the trunk instead.
Inside, the design is much the same as the previous G70 with some new finishes and trims being offered, but the design holds up, so there was no need for a sweeping update for the interior. It exudes the right kind of sporty luxury. The ability (only available on the Sport trim) to wrap portions of the dashboard in the same red leather as the seats and to have contrast red stitching on the portions that are black leather livens the space up drastically.
The 2022 Genesis G70 is available with the same powertrains as before: a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque; and a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and come standard with all-wheel drive. The system is rear-biased for a sportier feel and can theoretically send as much as 100 per cent of the available torque to the rear axle if needed.
A new mechanical limited-slip differential (only available on the 3.3T Sport model) and the ability to turn off traction control in the new sport+ mode enables sideways hijinks, and brake-based torque vectoring enhances cornering performance in models that don’t come with the new differential. A new drift mode and a launch control mode for V6 models have been added to spice up the drive even more. Admittedly, I wasn’t able to test them, but need I say more about how serious Genesis is about delivering a hard-hitting sporty sedan?
One of the biggest complaints about the G70 was that although it performed like a sport sedan, particularly with the V6 under the hood, it didn’t sound like one. Customer feedback is taken seriously at Genesis and the brand has addressed this common complaint by adding a variable exhaust valve for the refreshed 2022 G70. Available on the upgraded V6 and triggered by selecting the sport or sport+ modes, it adds three hp and a deeper, more aggressive exhaust sound. The noise inside is a mixture of the engine itself and synthesized sound being pumped in through the speakers, and drivers can adjust how loud it is via the infotainment system. This seems a bit disingenuous in my books, but the added level of engagement is still appreciated.
The G70 has always been blessed with capable and punchy powertrains and while the 2.0L is a good start, the 3.3L twin-turbo V6 is where it’s at.
Driving Feel: 9.5/10
Any doubts of the brand’s ability to build a convincing sport sedan should vaporize as soon as you experience the G70 from behind the wheel. The specs hint at how good it is, but the real story is how confident and natural the car feels when driven like you’re in charge of the getaway. The chassis balance, the feedback and sharpness of the steering, the suspension’s ability to provide both stability and comfort, and the ease of quick directional changes all add up to deliver a driving experience that’s world-class. Not only is the G70 engaging when it needs to be, but it’s also comfortable and luxurious when you want, and that duality – its ability to do both so well and inspire so much confidence in either situation – is what makes the G70 such a winner.
Under full throttle, the V6 takes a beat to react but delivers smooth and surprisingly fierce acceleration, while the Brembo brakes provide strong and consistent stopping. Even under unpredictable conditions where it was being pushed, the transmission kept up with my demands and the sedan was easy to place exactly where I wanted it, making it both enjoyable and rewarding. The electronically variable suspension on the 3.3T Sport model has a lot to do with this confident duality. The closest BMW competitor, the M340i, perhaps responds more urgently and with more ferocity, but the G70 might feel less artificial, which, to me, is more important.
Genesis includes its entire suite of safety and driver assistance technology as standard in every G70, which is almost unheard of in the luxury car segment. The full list includes lane-keep assist, lane-centring and lane-following, adaptive cruise control that’s radar- and navigation-based, blind-spot monitoring, safe exit warning that prevents occupants from dooring a cyclist or exiting if the system detects another car incoming, a new front centre airbag to prevent front-seat occupants from smashing into each other in the event of a collision, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beams, driver attention warning, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision-avoidance assist that detects pedestrians and can “see” around a junction. This works if you’re making a left turn but your view of oncoming traffic is blocked by another motorist making a left from the other side of the intersection; the system will “look” around the visual obstruction and warn you if a car you can’t see is incoming.
The G70 currently gets top marks for safety from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the same will hold true for the refreshed model. Additional driver assistance features only available on higher trims are the blind-spot monitoring cameras and a surround-view system.
The 2022 Genesis G70 gets two significant feature updates: a larger 10.25-inch wide-format touchscreen, and an eight-inch digital instrument display. One third of the dashboard is analogue, with a traditional speedometer and fuel gauge, while the other two-thirds is the new optional digital screen. The new screen allows for a camera-based blind-spot monitoring system that shows a live feed of either side of the car when the turn signal is being used. It's an odd setup, because full digital dashboards that span the whole gauge cluster area are being offered on much of the G70’s competition, but also on models that are in lower price brackets. It’s a good update, but Genesis could have pushed the bar even higher with a larger screen here.
On V6 models, the list of standard features is long: 19-inch wheels, sunroof, heated steering wheel, leather seats, real aluminum trim, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 16-way power driver seat with memory, power-adjustable steering column, puddle lights, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (wired connection only), a head-up display that shows when another vehicle is in your blind spots, wireless phone charging, power trunk, and more.
Everything you need is included, but the G70 lacks some of the gimmicky tech features like 75 colours of ambient lighting or gesture controls that some of its competitors have. Two unique features that the refreshed G70 gets in other markets are the ability to use your phone as a key and a built-in dash cam, but they’re not available here yet and Genesis Canada was not able to confirm if they’ll ever be offered here. If these are features you want, make sure to let Genesis know; the brand takes customer feedback very seriously.
User Friendliness: 9/10
Everything is easy to find in the Genesis G70: buttons are labelled well, all the menus make sense, the layout and controls are straightforward, and everything is where you expect it to be. Luckily, the brand has leaned on Hyundai’s expertise in creating user-friendly and intuitive layouts but has changed the design and look of the system so that the experience feels more upscale.
The native navigation is also easy to use, though the search functions take a bit too long to load, and it’s still not as intuitive as Google Maps. When using Android Auto, there’s a dead zone on the right third of the screen and it’s not able to display anything in that section, so it feels like a waste of valuable screen space.
The G70 is easy to navigate through tighter city locales and is simple to park with its great top-down 360-degree parking camera.
Occupants don’t have a lot of space or cubbies for small item storage and the trunk measures just 297 L. A BMW 3 Series has 481 L in the trunk, which is a huge difference.
It shouldn’t be a shock that space for rear-seat passengers isn’t generous; this isn’t the type of car that’s built for a family of four, but someone who only needs the rear seats occasionally. Still, head- and legroom (especially if there are taller passengers in the front) is tight for anyone sitting in the back.
On a long drive, the driver's seat proved comfortable enough to keep fatigue at bay, and in sport or sport+ modes the bolsters tighten around the driver to keep them from sliding around while cornering.
A blue-light filter is even available for the infotainment screen, which a great way to reduce eye strain, and the audio system performs well, which is a welcome relief from the excessive wind noise that seeps through into the cabin on the highway.
Fuel Economy: 7/10
The 2.0L model is rated at 11.4 L/100 km in the city, 8.2 on the highway, and 10.0 combined, while the 3.3L model gets 13.5 L/100 km in the city, 9.1 on the highway, and 11.5 combined. After about 300 km of driving on mostly highways with some country roads and city driving mixed in, the V6 model I was testing was returning a rating of 10.7 L/100 km, which is respectable considering how hard I was pushing it at times. Keep in mind that it requires premium fuel. As a comparison, the BMW M340i (a close competitor to the upgraded G70) is powered by a turbocharged inline-six and is rated to get 9.2 L/100 km combined.
Typical of the brand, the 2022 Genesis G70 hits hard in the value department. The fact that any paint colour, any interior colour, all-wheel drive, and all the safety features are included as standard makes its $45,000 starting price for the 2.0T model a downright bargain. Keep in mind there are no options, but more features get added as the trims go up, and Genesis has “all-in” pricing, so destination is included in the sticker price. The starting price for the 3.3T V6 model is $54,000, while the 3.3T Sport I drove clocks in at $59,000 – both excellent value for the money.
I can recommend the 2022 Genesis G70 confidently to any premium small sedan shopper over the Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, or Acura TLX. The G70 is undeniably better than any of those entries in almost every way. Each of those sedans has dealbreakers while the G70 has none. Even next to its German competitors, the G70 offers more value without sacrificing any of the hallmarks we’ve come to expect from the segment. It’s not just a good effort for a new luxury brand but an excellent car, period, even when compared to established rivals. Perhaps the only item the G70 lacks next to those German models is the brand prestige and some of the gimmicky tech features.
Although that lack of brand recognition and cachet is an issue, I see the 2022 Genesis G70 as a car a driver might buy if they want a capable sport sedan but aren’t into following the crowd. For those renegades, the G70 won’t disappoint.
|Engine Cylinders||Twin-turbo V6|
|Peak Horsepower||366 hp|
|Peak Torque||376 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy||13.5/9.1/11.5 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||297 L|
|Model Tested||2022 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport AWD|
|Price as Tested||$59,100|