Genesis is an interesting brand, leaning more toward sport or luxury depending on the model in question. While they do a great job of building well-equipped, decadent vehicles, their smallest sedan of three is also their most fun. The 2022 Genesis G70 is not a new car, with minimal changes for the new year to bring it in line visually with the rest of the lineup. I’d spent some time with two friends’ Genesis G70s about two years ago – one manual, one automatic – and Genesis loaned me this 2022 G70 for a week to see if I still thought their sportiest sedan was much of a contender.
What Is It?
This is a 2022 Genesis G70, the brand’s smallest sedan and basis for their excellent GV70 compact crossover. First introduced for the 2019 model year, the 2022 G70 is a facelift. 2022 models get revised bumpers, headlights and taillights, and front grille. Inside, the biggest update is a 10.25″ touchscreen where an 8″ screen used to reside.
My G70 loaner was the “enthusiast’s special” of sorts – rear-wheel drive and a twin-turbocharged V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Genesis continues to offer a 2.0-liter turbo four with 252 horsepower as their base engine, and it’s a good one… but the 3.3L V6 rips in comparison. Gone is the six-speed manual pairing with the four-cylinder – my friend Nate may be one of about six people who actually chose that transmission, despite Genesis predicting a five percent take rate – and thus, every 2022 Genesis G70 sends power through an in-house eight-speed torque-converter automatic. Rear-drive is standard, all-wheel drive optional with either engine.
Adding to the driver’s car build of the Adriatic Blue test car were two equipment packages. Sport Advanced added a variable-valve exhaust, ventilated seats (driver gets an extendable thigh support and adjustable side bolsters), and 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires. Sport Prestige sits on top of the Sport Advanced package to add Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, adjustable suspension damping, and a heads-up display, among other goodies.
Pricing starts at $38,500 (or thereabouts) for a 2022 Genesis G70 with the 2.0-liter four and rear-wheel drive. My loaded-except-all-wheel-drive G70 3.3T Sport Prestige came in at $51,945. All-wheel drive adds $2,000. Spend less money on a set of snow tires and have more fun hanging the tail out wherever you go.
Hanging the Tail Out and Other 2022 Genesis G70 Shenanigans
Within five minutes of my test car being dropped off, I found myself counter-steering as the rear end pushed wide. I wasn’t hooning the car – just turning out on to my street to get my hair cut. Regardless, the twin-turbo V6 makes plenty of torque down low and even at moderate revs, the car wants to play.
Thankfully, the G70’s playful nature comes with a dash of composure. I spent a Saturday with friends, driving the 2022 Genesis G70 on back roads throughout Maryland and having as much fun as we could on our side of the double-yellow. Throughout our day, the G70 was communicative, with good steering feel and a tossable chassis. Twisting the Drive Mode dial to Sport+ cranked up the damper firmness, which provided minimal body roll yet retained a compliant-enough ride.
Genesis provides a tall-person-friendly driving position, and bolstering helped keep me in place without being fussy for daily driving. It’s a shame the adjustable bolsters and thigh support aren’t provided for the front passenger, though.
I appreciated the sharp throttle response, and the eight-speed automatic was a decent partner. Unfortunately, despite Genesis’ claim that “Sport+ can change the shift pattern and hold gears as you bounce off the rev limiter to extract the most performance from your G70,” I could never make the transmission listen to me entirely. There was no rev-limiter-bouncing, but it was smart enough most of the time. I turned off the piped-in engine noises on the touchscreen, and found the twin-turbo V6’s soundtrack to be pleasant for a vee design. It’s no silky inline six, but it’s a good noise, especially through the adaptive exhaust.
Brakes were a strong suit, with excellent initial bite – even when cold – and progressive pedal travel. Back roads are generally less demanding compared to track use, but fade was nonexistent in my driving. I had full confidence that I could push a bit and trail brake a touch through a tight corner, over and over.
Genesis does include Launch Control with the G70, and while it made for some fun testing, I didn’t find it particularly helpful in leaving stoplights or Starbucks drive-throughs compared to rolling on to the throttle myself.
Coming in at 3,774 pounds, the rear-drive G70 3.3T carries a 10.34 pounds-per-horsepower ratio, which is plenty quick for a four-door sedan. All-wheel drive adds 113 pounds to the curb weight.
More ‘Sane’ Driving in the 2022 Genesis G70
When the roads straighten out and you take the 2022 Genesis G70 for a haircut or date night or a road trip, “playful” doesn’t much matter compared to a quiet ride and decent creature comforts. Again, the G70 excels. It’s a competent cruiser, and though the suspension is certainly softer in Comfort mode, it doesn’t wallow around. Steering lightens up and the transmission gets a touch lazier, but the car is still poised and ready for an off-ramp.
Front seats enjoy plenty of space, but the back seat is t-i-g-h-t tight. It’s old-E46-3-series tight, but I also am not sure how much I mind. Genesis’ G80 provides more rear-seat room, and the whole point of the G70 is to be relatively compact.
Genesis also revised the gauge cluster layout for 2022, keeping an analog speedometer next to a large center screen and digital tachometer. Watching the sun reflect off of the speedometer’s small details made me miss traditional gauge clusters, and I was annoyed by the digital portion of the cluster being slightly off-centered from the steering wheel.
On the highway, wind noise is minimal, with the Michelin Pilot Sport tires providing most of the non-engine din if you have the sound system muted. Genesis employs Lexicon for their sound systems, and while the G70’s audio isn’t quite as mind-blowing as their other models, I still enjoyed the system quite a bit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and Genesis’ infotainment software is both easy to use and provides plenty of customization if you dig in to the menus.
Highway driving is also made pleasant by Genesis’ Highway Driving Assist, a suite of driver assistance gear that is very well done. Lane centering is particularly good, and the car can provide steering assistance through turns using GPS data even if you have the rest of the system disabled. Other Genesis vehicles offer Highway Driving Assist II, which adds lane change assistance to the suite’s features.
Genesis is competing with other compact sporty sedans, to include the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Though I wish a few small details of the 2022 Genesis G70 were different, it’s a high-value all-rounder that leads with performance and provides the right sporty-lux experience day to day.