2021 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport: Sophisticatedly Playful

Published on November 17, 2021 in Test Drives by Miranda Lightstone

Every now and then a car comes along that surprises us. Maybe it's in the design, maybe the drive or maybe in the amenities, but something about it grabs your attention and makes you take note of the vehicle you’re piloting.

Well, the 2021 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport surprised me - in all those ways. Having driven the previous generation G70, it’s safe to say this is far removed from their first iteration and that is a very, very good thing indeed - even though Genesis brought home the North American Car of the Year award in 2019.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

New Look: New Lease on Life

Makeovers are the best way to bring out the best in people, and the same can be said for cars it seems. The new exterior and interior look of the Genesis G70 not only brings a much stronger brand awareness and identity, but it also takes the Genesis to a level of luxury we feel they were always trying to get to, but were never really quite sure how to get.

From the outside, the Genesis G70 wears the new front fascia with aplomb and it looks stellar. The linear headlights coupled with the oh-so imposing blacked out grille and rear bumper really suit the midsize sedan’s style, and are a direct connection to the entire Genesis lineup, be it car or SUV.

Really, there is nothing overtly aggressive or sporty about the exterior look of the G70 - thankfully they haven’t gone the route of BMW and plastered a front end that only a bother could love up there. In fact it’s all rather smooth and demure. Despite that, it makes a helluva statement on the road, and get some serious attention no matter the exterior colour.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

Speaking of colour, the red leather interior is absolutely spectacular. And despite no one ever really asking for diamond quilted seats in a Genesis, they’ve given them and we are not at all upset about the overall look and effect. Not only are they comfortable, but the overall look of the very red interior despite being quite bright is likely to wear very well and keep the same level of luxury no matter the vehicle’s age.

In terms of interior amenities and technology, Genesis packed the G70 with subtle design details, touchscreens and easy-to-access buttons and knobs. It was so nice to have a large navigational turn dial to access the onboard HMI system, as well as buttons for drive modes and the HVAC controls.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

Some of my favourite features included electronic buttons accessible by the driver on the front passenger seat to move the seat backwards and forwards without having to move or lean over to reach the other side of the seat, as well as uber cool digital video displays in the gauge cluster that are displayed when you activate the turn signal- which you can also find on certain Hyundai models like the all-new Santa Cruz and Tucson.

Sophisticated Levels of Performance

Normally, when we take a car that has a potent 3.3L V6 under the hood for a drive we come away a little windswept and short of breath. Such was not the case with the G70, however, that didn’t mean it didn’t perform. Far from it. In fact, the V6 had a lovely sound and when pushed it was quite impressive and quick. With 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, the 8-speed transmission handles the power well and really gets this midsize moving.

The biggest fault we can find with the G70’s performance is the fact that it is no longer available with a manual transmission, but even that is forgivable since the automatic does so well at controlling gear changes and smoothly letting your rocket forward. There are even drive modes to choose from that can take the G70 3.3T Sport from touring car to track legend in just a few clicks.

Driving the Genesis G70 reminded me a great deal of driving a BMW 3 Series. It was dynamic, controlled and stuck to the road when I needed it the most. The throttle response was crisp, handling on point, and I never felt like the G70 was unable to handle itself, no matter the input or turn-in.

Photo: Marc-Andre Gauthier

Oh, What’s In a Name?

The Genesis G70 is a fantastic vehicle inside and out. It drives extremely well, and it handles just as you’d expect any German rival to. It has all the interior luxuries and comfort you’d expect from a high-end vehicle. It can be hand-delivered to your front door. Oh, and it costs quite a bit less than those other luxury manufacturers as well, starting at just under $60k.

So, why don’t we see more of them on the road?

Sadly, the thing that hurts Genesis the most is the logo/name on the front and back. While they continue to make headway and conquest sales from the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi, the sad truth of the matter is that logos speak volumes in terms of street cred. Parking a Genesis in your driveway just doesn’t carry the sale clout as a Bimmer or Merc, despite the Genesis being just a little bit better in certain areas (and costing less).

Genesis will get there, that’s for sure. And for now they will continue to produce high-quality vehicles that will shock and impress anyone who takes the time to investigate the Korean brand that really has taken luxury and performance to a new level, but at a lower price.

Test drive report
Test model 2021 Genesis G70
Trim level 3.3T Sport AWD
Price range $43,000 – $58,000
Price as tested 58 000 $
Warranty (basic) 5 years/100,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 5 years/unlimited
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) 14,1 / 9,5 / 11,4 L/100km
Options N/A
Competitive models Acura TLX, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Buick Regal, Cadillac CT5, Infiniti Q50, Kia Stinger, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Volkswagen Arteon
Strong points
  • Stunning design inside and out
  • Luxurious amenities
  • Great engine performance
Weak points
  • They took away the manual option
  • Suspension feels rough at times
  • Wish for better gas mileage
Editor's rating
Fuel economy 3.5/5 Obviously, this is a sportier vehicle but even cruising at the highway I watched the gas just melt away ...
Comfort 4.0/5 Quilted leather everywhere!
Performance 4.0/5 The 3.3L turbo is lovely and responsive, and the sound of the engine gives it personality
Infotainment 4.5/5 Super easy to use, great design and functional
Driving 4.5/5 Some might complain about the brakes, but this vehicle is meant to perform and it does
Overall 4.5/5 It's impressive to see the changes Genesis has made from the previous generation to this one, and they were all the RIGHT changes
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