2022 Genesis G70 Review: First Drive

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick


Engine: 3.3L V6 Turbo
Output: 368 hp, 376 lb-ft
Transmission: 8AT, AWD
US fuel economy (MPG): 17/25/20
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 13.5/9.1/11.5
Starting Price (USD): $38,570 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $53,445 (inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $45,000 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $59,000 (inc. dest.)

You didn’t envy the Genesis team tasked with giving the G70 its mid-cycle update.

Improving on greatness is tough. When the G70 showed up on the scene for 2019 it wowed critics, including this very publication when we named it our 2019 Car of the Year. Genesis stole BMW’s lunch money, building a better compact sport sedan than the venerable 3 Series, yet also undercutting it.

Get a Quote on a New Genesis G70

In the three short years since, Genesis has spread its distinctive Athletic Elegance design language across its rapidly expanding lineup. As the final hold-out, now it’s time for the G70 to get the twin-line treatment. Thankfully, Genesis hasn’t messed with the basics, producing a satisfying compact sport sedan that continues to offer outstanding dynamics at a remarkable value. Now it even looks cooler, too.

What’s new?

For 2022, the Genesis G70 sure looks different from the model before. This is a pretty substantial facelift, doing more than lightly tweaking the shape of the lights. The whole front clip is changed, with a curvier nose framing that big diamond-shaped grille. The quad-line headlamps are more angled than the ones found on the statelier G80. While they’re flush with the surrounding bodywork, the design of the headlights almost makes them appear sunken in, like the G70 wears its front fascia like a mask. It’s a striking look that draws plenty of glances during my day with the car.

SEE ALSO: Genesis GV80 vs BMW X5 Comparison

The rest of the G70’s wrapper is more similar to what came before. The most noticeable change along the sides of the car are the pretty twisted-spoke alloy wheels of this 3.3T Sport tester, and (functional) side vents aft of the front axle. Swing around to the back and the taillights cut the same shape out of the bodywork, but now feature a thin, body-color strip bisecting them. Genesis says this was done to remind current G70 owners that they’re still a part of the family.

Overall, it’s a handsome design, with the right sport sedan proportions and stance. I’m not sure it will age as gracefully as the less unique original, though.

Genesis has also tweaked the interior. The architecture is the same, but you’ll find improved materials throughout, and a larger infotainment screen perched atop the dash. My tester is a Canada-exclusive color combo: in America, the only way you’ll find this red interior is in the Launch Edition. Everything looks and feels properly luxurious inside. The quilted leather seats are incredibly comfortable, and there’s ample head- and legroom for front-seat passengers. The rear seats remain the G70’s weak point, though. While they’re comfortable, legroom is at a premium, even with the front seat set to my average 5’10” build.

Engaging drive

One area Genesis hasn’t fiddled with is the engine lineup. Lower trims stick to a perfectly useful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This top-rung 3.3T Sport uses the larger turbo V6, also a carryover from the original G70. Power is now quoted at 368 hp, a 3 hp bump on account of a new variable sport exhaust. Torque remains unchanged at 376 lb-ft, available from barely over idle all the way to 4,500 rpm.

SEE ALSO: 2021 BMW M440i xDrive Review: Baby Grand (Tourer)

An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. Genesis has dropped the six-speed manual on the 2.0-liter, citing poor sales. Both rear- and all-wheel drive are available for both engines, though Canada sticks to AWD only.

The six-pot is a driver’s best friend. It’s ever so slightly more responsive than I remember its larger, 3.5-liter sibling being. In newly available Sport+ mode, it also sounds better, that new exhaust unlocking a sweeter note from the 3.3-liter. The eight-speed auto does a fantastic job picking the right ratio for the occasion, too. It will quickly shuffle to the top of the range for highway cruising, but will drop a few gears when the driver asks for more go.

There’s also a set of paddle shifters behind the wheel to manually control the ‘box. The system responds quickly enough to the pull of either paddle, but for a car as focused on driving enthusiasm, the lack of a dedicated “manual” mode is disappointing. Every time the G70 comes to a stop, the transmission reverts to D.

No matter the driving mode, there’s an innate rightness to how the G70 drives. It’s reasonably supple in Normal, with well-judged dampening giving it just a hint of edge. Switch over to Sport and the electronically controlled suspension stiffens up, with more control in its vertical movements. It never becomes harsh—it only increases the G70’s glued-to-the-road feel. The steering wheel has a welcome amount of resistance too, and a tight ratio means it’s easy to point the nose into a corner with only a small turn. This AWD model still feels distinctly rear-biased too, rotating around a point that feels very slightly behind your lower back. Basically, you’ll want to take the scenic route back from work every time.

You’ll pay for all the fun at the pumps, though. The G70 3.3T AWD is rated 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined, notably lower numbers than the BMW M340i xDrive (22/31/25 mpg, respectively). Canadian figures are 13.5/9.1/11.5 L/100 km. For what it’s worth, my day included a lot of, ahem, spirited driving, and I still averaged 21 mpg (11.2 L/100 km).

More tech

The larger, 10.25-inch central infotainment screen is a welcome improvement. While it isn’t the same impressive setup as the 80-series models, it’s still quick to respond and easy to navigate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, though you’ll need to bring a USB-A wire.

More important than the infotainment is the 8.0-inch digital instrument panel screen. Standard on all trims, the setup uses a combination of analog and digital, allowing for an added level of customization ahead of the driver. On this trim in particular, it also allows for Genesis’ helpful Blind-Spot View Monitor, which replaces a dial with the respective side camera view when a turn signal is active. There’s also a head-up display, which is crisp and easy to read, no matter how sunny and gorgeous the day is.

SEE ALSO: Genesis GV80 vs BMW X5 Comparison

Genesis is proud of offering nearly all of its driver assists standard across the G70 lineup. This includes automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, safe exit assist, driver attention alert, a radar-based rear occupant alert, auto high beams, and smart cruise control. Highway Driving Assist is also standard, which uses the cruise control and lane-keep assist together.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the trademark Genesis “seat hug,” too. When entering Sport mode, the driver’s seat side bolsters gently squeeze you into place. The sense of occasion is great.

Who’s the target audience?

Even if the market continues to favor SUVs, there’s still a certain reputation luxury sport sedans carry. Some folks still want that, and so the Genesis will stack up against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, as well as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Prices start at $38,570 ($45,000 CAD) for the 2022 G70, including destination. That undercuts all three of the Germans by multiple thousands, and the gap remains when you upgrade to the V6. The most affordable 3.3-liter runs $43,145 for the Standard trim in the US; Canada’s V6 lineup begins at the $54,500 Advanced trim. AWD is a $2,100 option on all trims in America ($2,000 on Sport Prestige and Launch Editions).

If you’re looking for something less predictable than zee Germans—and if you’re interested in the G70, that’s a fair assumption—there’s also the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Lexus IS. The Giulia perhaps gets closest to the G70’s keen handling/ride balance, while the Lexus offers the only naturally-aspirated V6 in the segment.

My tester is the top 3.3T Sport Prestige AWD (or simply Sport in Canada). With a sticker of $53,445 ($59,000 CAD), it’s the de facto range-topper, including the electronically controlled suspension, Brembo brakes, limited-slip rear diff, head-up display, Nappa leather seats, and suede headliner. A limited amount of Launch Editions are also available, all in a matte paint with unique 19-inch alloys. They all feature the red leather interior you see here, which as mentioned before, is available on the Sport as well in Canada.

Final thoughts

With the 2022 G70, Genesis has made a great sedan even better. The original’s bold statement was in its dynamic makeup, establishing itself as a genuine contender in the compact sport sedan market. Now the G70 has a look as bold as its driving experience. It still has a handful of shortcomings—a tight rear seat and the V6’s thirst being amongst them—but in the $50,000 space, the 2022 Genesis G70 looks set to remain our favorite sport sedan out there.

Discuss the 2022 Genesis G70 at our Genesis G70 forum.

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  • Excellent powertrain
  • Stunning looks
  • Impressive value


  • Tight rear seats
  • Thirsty V6
  • …that's about it
Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

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 1 comment
  • Bagger Bagger on Dec 02, 2022

    This G70 looks terrific as does the Giulia. As a fan of sport sedans, either of these would be a great choice. Like the exclusivity of the Alfa Romeo (and the coolest badge) but as an owner of a '19 Stinger GT-Line, being a little biased, I'd likely pick the G70 as that smooth base 2.0T is a real joy to drive...