If you have any doubt about the seriousness of Genesis’ challenge to the seemingly unconquerable domination of the luxury car market by Germany’s automotive troika, consider the redesigned 2022 Genesis G70 sedan, designed to fight the hegemony of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, not to mention less-popular compact rivals such as the Cadillac CT4 and Lexus IS.
If Genesis were any other car company after four years, the 2022 G70 would have been treated to little more than a new grille and taillamps, especially given the declining consumer interest in sedans. Yet the 2022 G70’s entire exterior wardrobe has been updated except for its doors and roof. Powertrains also carry over.
The 2022 Genesis G70 comes in six ascending trim levels: Standard, Prestige, 3.3T Prestige, Sport Advanced, Sport Prestige, and 500 Launch Edition models — 250 rear drive and 250 all-wheel drive.
By redesigning the G70, stylists have noticeably increased the car’s visual presence, treading carefully in the path blazed by its Teutonic challengers, but endowing the car with a markedly unique persona. Up front is Genesis trademark crest grille, flanked on each side by twin horizontal daytime running lamps that visually suggest the brand’s winged logo.
Larger lower air intakes lend the G70 a wider, more aggressive appearance. Side sculpting continues to be defined by a parabolic line that accentuates its perfect stance. In the back, the trunk’s rear edge curves to create an integral rear spoiler. Its cut lines suggest the crest grille, while its quad headlamps frame it to once again recall the Genesis logo. It’s distinctly handsome, with the ideal balance of sportiness that Genesis terms “athletic elegance.”
Decked out in extravagant diamond quilted upholstery and accented with aluminum trim, the Genesis’ driver-focused cabin remains a paragon of convenience and comfort. Head and legroom are generous up front, although legroom is noticeably scarcer in the back without concessions from those in front. Road and tire noise is minimal.
Certainly, the 2022, like the first Genesis G70, feels above its station, thanks to a lower instrument panel wrapped in leatherette, rather than textured plastic. Trunk space is a little more than 10 cubic feet, so pack wisely. Thoughtfully, the gooseneck trunk hinges are boxed in, so they won’t mar luggage.
Standard and Prestige trims are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque through an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire. The 6-speed manual transmission, previously optional on rear-wheel drive 4-cylinder models, is no longer offered.
However, all models have steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting. Other trim levels get a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 and an 8-speed automatic transmission producing 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option, and capable of sending 100% of the engine’s power to one end or the other if needed.
If you opt for the 4-cylinder G70, you’ll get EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20-21 mpg city, 28-31 mpg highway and 23-24 mpg combined. On 6-cylinder G70s, expect fuel economy of 17-18 mpg city, 25-27 mpg highway and 20-21 mpg combined.
Safety and Technology
Genesis significantly updated the G70’s driver-assistance safety features, with standard blind-spot collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, rear cross-traffic assist, safe exit warning and forward-collision assist. A surround view monitor, blind-spot monitor, and parking spot distance warning are optional.
Given its place in the line-up, and the younger buyers it attracts, it’s no surprise that Genesis engineered an all-new electronic platform featuring an 8-inch full-color LCD screen in the instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch high-def touchscreen with cloud-connected software that allows you to check on your car remotely. It also allows for over-the-air software updates. Thoughtfully, a valet mode locks the head unit when the G70 is being valet parked.
But Genesis didn’t stop there. If you own an Android phone, you can use your phone as a digital key to lock or unlock and start your car and access the trunk. Genesis also supplies an NFC card that can also lock, unlock and start your sedan. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
Unlike most compact luxury cruiser customers, half of G70 buyers opt for the six, far more than is typical for the segment. And no wonder. While Genesis didn’t provide a 4-cylinder for testing, the V-6 provides all the power you need to tackle the twisties with gusto.
For 2022, Genesis adds a Sport+ mode in addition to the Sport mode, which tames the eco-minded insanity that plaques too many alleged sport sedans. On 4-cylinder models, it raises the idle by 1,000 rpm, and engages sportier tuning to the mechanical limited slip differential. On V-6 models, it prevents the transmission from automatically upshifting, and engages sportier tuning to the mechanical limited slip differential and electronically controlled suspension.
It also does something outrageous in all-wheel-drive models: it allows you to drift — something you previously never experienced with all-wheel drive. But the vehicle naturally rotates around in corners, beautifully balanced and clearly communicating what’s happening.
It’s an absolute delight to drive, with body lean very well tamed. The ride is absorbent and comfortable without some of the softness you might experience in larger Genesis models. It’s very impressive, and an absolute delight to drive.
The 2022 Genesis G70 is exemplary, an accomplished blend of European and South Korean priorities that easily matches the excellence of its competition, if not surpassing it, offering consummate handling, an excellent tech package, and an interior more lavish than its entry-level luxury competitors. Euro-snobs may look askance, but the Genesis easily outclasses most, if not all, of its competition, and all for thousands less.