2022 Genesis G70: Almost Perfect

Published on May 18, 2021 in First Drives by Marc-André Gauthier

Despite being only five years old, Hyundai’s luxury brand has built a lineup where each and every model can easily be compared to the finest German vehicles out there. The refreshed G80 midsize sedan and all-new GV80 midsize SUV are two examples that particularly stand out with stunning build quality.

In the compact luxury segment, the G70 means business, too. And since the folks at Genesis can’t seem to sit still for long stretches, they went ahead and gave the car an extensive makeover for 2022. We’ve just had our first drive and came away very impressed.

Photo: Marc-Andre Gauthier

Athletic, Premium Design

Our tester was a top-of-the-line Genesis G70 3.3 Sport, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6. At $59,000, it’s a pretty big step from the entry-level G70 2.0T Select, which retails from $45,000.

The new-look G70 immediately fascinates with a large, diamond-shaped grille up front that brings it in line with the G80 and G90. But while those two put the emphasis on luxury, the smaller G70 has a more athletic appearance. It will be the same thing with the upcoming GV70 compact SUV, by the way.

Photo: Marc-Andre Gauthier

For sure, the 2022 model does not lack elegance. No matter how you look at it, designers did a terrific job on the outside. Maybe the wheels could be a tad less fancy since the rest of the car is busy enough already.

The redesign pays off the most inside, where the lines are more attractive, the centre display boasts high-quality graphics, and there’s that definite feeling of sitting in a luxury car. One complaint about the infotainment system, however: Genesis did not include a controller on the centre console. Depending on how far you sit, you may have to stretch to reach the entire surface of the touchscreen. If you use Apple CarPlay, for instance, accessing every icon could prove difficult.

Photo: Marc-Andre Gauthier

The front seats are extremely comfortable and quite supportive. In Sport+ mode, the side bolsters will even squeeze you a little bit more. In the rear, legoom is not very generous. If you’re six feet or taller, good luck putting someone right behind you.

Sharp Handling

There are no powertrain changes for 2022. The base turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine returns with 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, while the available twin-turbo V6 delivers 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Oh, that’s right: you get three more horsepower with the latter in Sport+ mode courtesy of a new exhaust valve that opens up to increase the sound of the engine.

In both cases, the eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels. The AWD system was engineered with a rear-wheel bias, so in the right conditions you get a RWD-like driving experience.

Photo: Marc-Andre Gauthier

On the road, the 2022 Genesis G70 can feel quite different depending on the drive mode you select—Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Custom. In Comfort mode, the car is pleasant to drive but not as smooth as one could wish for. You could probably say the same thing about the competition, mind you.

Leaving the G70 in Sport+ mode all the time is quite tempting. It turns off traction control, stiffens the suspension, cranks up the exhaust and makes the steering quicker to create an impressive machine overall.

Despite the added stiffness, the ride remains enjoyable thanks to the electronically controlled suspension that adjusts to road conditions. The transmission is so smart and quick it always seems to be in the right gear. The only downside is the lack of feedback and precision from the steering. It’s not on the level of the BMW 3 Series yet.

Photo: Marc-André Gauthier

But you know what? The G70 still corners with stupefying confidence. All the components and systems work seamlessly together to deliver exceptional handling. And while there’s no performance model to rival the BMW M3, the twin-turbo V6 does such a convincing job that you have almost no reason to wish for some 150 extra ponies.

Ultimately, the 2022 Genesis G70 is a spectacular compact luxury sedan. Don’t let the winged logo stop you from taking it for a test drive.

Test drive report
Test model 2022 Genesis G70
Trim level 3.3T Sport
Price range $45,000 – $59,000
Price as tested 59 000 $
Warranty (basic) 5 years/100,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 5 years/100,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) 13,5 / 9,1 / N/A L/100km
Options N/A
Competitive models 2021 Audi A4, 2021 Cadillac CT5, 2021 BMW 3 Series, 2021 Lexus IS, 2021 Acura TLX, 2021 Volvo S60, 2021 Infiniti Q50
Strong points
  • Superb new look
  • Refined cabin
  • Advanced powertrains
  • Impressive handling
Weak points
  • Some infotainment controls need a revision
  • Tight rear seats
  • Steering lacks feedback
  • Still no performance model
Editor's rating
Fuel economy 4.0/5 It’s more efficient than a Mercedes-AMG C 43 or BMW M340i.
Comfort 3.5/5 In Comfort mode, the ride is smooth. It’s no G80, however.
Performance 4.0/5 Both available engines deliver strong performance and the autobox is a smart operator.
Infotainment 3.5/5 The interface is sleek, but we’d like more control options.
Driving 4.0/5 What a fun car! It just needs a more direct steering.
Overall 4.0/5 If it could just offer more feedback and precision, this compact luxury sedan would be perfect.
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