The Genesis G70 has always been an oddity in the luxury sport sedan ranks. when it first arrived on the scene, it was a spunky underdog that combined Korean build quality with a level of performance that was missing in other Genesis products. While the manual-equipped version had a transmission that was woefully inadequate for the job, the real moneymaker in the room was the eight-speed automatic which proved to be a potent combination when paired with the right driver. With such a strong start, the second-generation G70 had a very tough act to follow, but did Genesis do a good job of producing a follow-up worthy of praise? We were keen to find out.
Launch Edition Matte Paint Wows, Requires Special Care
The exterior styling of the 2022 Genesis G70 ditches some of the clutter that dominated the older design in lieu of a more consistent suit of clothes that follows two main themes. The first is the large mesh shield grille which is shaped like the Genesis logo and forms a very key part of the design. While the shape has been synonymous with Genesis models for a while now, the grille here is now a more noticeable piece of the Genesis identity.
In addition, parallel lines also play a prominent role with the headlights, taillights, and even the brake vents all getting in on the act. The result is a look that’s understated but that’s fine with us considering some of the wild styling extremes that rivals like the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class have adopted in recent years. Our Launch Edition tester also arrived with a coating of matte grey paint, but while the slick paint gave our tester a unique look it also comes with special cleaning procedures. That includes not going through traditional car washes (the brushes will destroy the paint) and using hand wash only to help keep it looking its best. While this extra amount of effort will undoubtedly irk some buyers, you have to pay to play as you say, and if you’re willing to embrace the paint’s unique needs, it will reward you with plenty of stares in the long run.
G70 Interior A Massive Step Up In Quality And Luxury
Slip inside the 2022 Genesis G70 and you’ll discover that the interior has also benefitted from its fair share of upgrades. While the first-gen G70 felt like it was too dialed in at times, it’s evident that Genesis designers were given more design freedom this time around. Minimalism still reigns supreme, but the diamond-quilted leather seats and door panels provide a higher degree of polish. The materials here are high quality and are balanced out by the clean design for the dash and center console.
The designers here were not obsessed with throwing the rug out of what worked in the past and thus were allowed to mix elements from both old and new-school luxury together into a very distinctive cabin experience. The G70 still shares alot of its architecture with the Kia Stinger but when you compare the two side by side, the G70 emerges as the mature and sophisticated counterpart to the Kia’s wild euro sport-inspired layout.
The G70 is also a refreshing reminder of how analog switches can still make a positive impact with the G70 pitching tech-filled haptic feedback controls for simple analog units that help control various functions. This helps greatly reduce frustration, and also slices away at distractions when out and about through town. Our lone gripes center on some of the common faults that the G70 shares with other luxury sport sedans. The sloping roofline cuts into the rear-seat room for taller occupants and the trunk is also tight.
G70 V6 Is A Darling Out On The Freeway
Performance for our tester came from the range-topping 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which produces a healthy 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The G70 can also be equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder but the V6 is the ticket to go for if you’re looking to unlock the G70’s full potential. The engine delivers strong waves of torque and power through the bulk of the powerband yet it manages to do so in a smooth and assertive manner.
While some will say that you can get the same performance exhilaration from the Kia Stinger and its V6, put the G70 through some twisty sections of road and the difference between the two is night and day. The G70’s wheelbase is shorter than the Stinger’s and that helps improve handling, with our tester feeling confident and composed when we tasked it with hard performance driving. The V6 and some of the upgrades that Genesis engineers have made to the suspension have helped push the G70 closer to German rivals like Audi and Mercedes-Benz but we think that more work needs to be done to the steering system before this upstart Korean can truly dethrone the BMW 3-Series in achieving the perfect mixture of fun and value.
An eight-speed automatic is the sole automatic transmission here, and while some folks will miss the manual, the eight-speed is the perfect dance partner for this engine with the shifts being smooth and consistent especially when the G70 is placed in Sport and Sport+ modes. If you were to compare the 2022 version with a 2020 model in this category, the improvements make quite a difference.
The Genesis G70 originally started life as a value-focused luxury offering and it still retains this distinction with a base price of $39,875 for a base 2.0 liter equipped model. Our lightly optioned all-wheel-drive Launch Edition tester had a base price of $54,750 with a few minor accessories helping pus the final price to just over $55,000.
That’s slightly less expensive than an inline-six equipped BMW M340i xDrive and a Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG with both of these German entries noticeably raising the price if buyers pack on optional extras and equipment. The G70’s newfound maturity erodes some of the upstart value-themed pricing that once defined the outgoing model, but this bolder confidence comes with higher amounts of standard equipment, luxury, and technology which should please a wider range of buyers.
Regardless of how you view the 2022 Genesis G70, there’s no denying that it’s a noticeable improvement over the outgoing G70. Genesis was clearly out to prove that the 2022 G70 will be a viable stepping stone for the brand and a big step forward versus being an unwelcome step backward. The Launch Edition will be a 2022 model year exclusive, but look for the rest of the G70 model lineup to continue to be a formidable threat to the established luxury sport sedan order.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.