2022 Genesis G70 3.3T AWD First Test Review: A Better Sport Sedan
Sometimes automakers take the safe bet. Take the Kia K5, for example. When it launched, no longer under the now-retired Optima name, it was difficult to distinguish stylistically from the previous, highly successful model. The Genesis G70’s story is the opposite; our 2019 Car of the Year has received a heavy refresh just three years into its life, with a focus on adopting Genesis’ latest “Athletic Elegance” design language. The visual changes are thorough enough that the 2022 G70 could be confused for a new generation of the sport sedan—just peep its head- and taillamps—but under its skin, the compact Genesis carries over the dynamic chassis and punchy powertrains that helped it earn our Golden Caliper.
Behind the Wheel
So, indeed, while the exterior looks new and refined—the better to match newer stablemates such as the GV80 and recently redesigned G80—the 3.3-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine in our test vehicle is familiar. It makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, and mates to a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. In the case of our car, the power was sent to all four wheels via optional all-wheel drive (rear-drive is standard).
Adding AWD increases the G70’s curb weight, but it also adds more grip and surefootedness to the car, particularly in inclement weather. Press down on the accelerator, and the G70’s V-6 delivers power cleanly and quickly, and the delightful sound it makes grows more thrilling as it spins toward redline. In a straight line, the refreshed G70 3.3T AWD hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and completes the quarter mile in 13.4 seconds at 106.6 mph. While those numbers are plenty respectable, they nevertheless trail those of the G70’s all-wheel-drive competition. A 2020 Audi S4 Quattro we tested zipped to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, as did a 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic. We haven’t yet tested the new 2022 Acura TLX Type S as of this writing, but we expect it to return similar numbers to the Genesis; similarly, we have yet to strap our gear to a BMW M340i xDrive, but a nearly mechanically identical M440i xDrive coupe hit 60 in 4.0 seconds at the track.
Move from the spreadsheet to the road, however, and the numbers fade into the background. The G70 bends itself into corners swiftly, with smooth responses to your steering and pedal inputs, and it clearly communicates its level of grip to the driver. The same suspension that offers carefully controlled body motions in corners also delivers a refined ride, particularly in its Comfort chassis setting. Then you flip to Sport mode—and beyond to the new Sport+ setting.
In Sport, the transmission and throttle programming are livelier to deliver a more dynamic experience, with the gearbox holding cogs longer. The stability control’s reins are slackened ever so slightly, too. For maximum performance, the new Sport+ mode unleashes more of the beast within: The exhaust is louder, and the steering is heavier but no less balanced and precise than in the other settings. Sport+ will also hold gears at redline when the transmission is in manual mode, but it’s probably best saved for a racetrack or a lightly trafficked two-lane road, as the setting really backs off the electronic stability and traction controls.
Besides, around town or on a commute, we’d rather enjoy the G70’s refined, composed feel and comfortable cabin than stay in max-attack mode all the time. As it did when we named it Car of the Year, the updated G70 still delivers here, too, equaling or bettering the experiences of the competition, especially when you consider its feature set and value.
Plenty of Goodies for the Money
We were impressed when we learned the G70 we were testing was an entry-level 3.3T. The so-called Standard trim is very well equipped for its $45,245 price, and the only option added to our car was the $500 Vik Black exterior paint. (It’s not a bad-looking car in black, but there are more charismatic colors.)
The 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use, has clean, high-resolution graphics, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The cabin materials—from the seats to the door panels—are largely soft-touch, and Genesis’ designers paid attention to details: The HVAC knobs and accompanying surrounds feel nice and look elegant, and the shifter’s low, compact form and its placement in the center console leaves enough room to easily access the bin ahead of it and just under the climate controls. The mix of leather and metal comes across as premium and makes a great visual and tactile impression. The most glaring weak point is interior space for rear-seat occupants. Legroom is quite limited for adults—regardless of their size—and foot space is constrained, too, with little room for toes due to the intrusion of the front seats.
Although the Sport Advanced or Sport Prestige trims have more goodies, the Standard comes with heated front seats with 12-way adjustability, a power-adjustable steering wheel, Bluetooth, navigation-based adaptive cruise control functionality, power-folding side mirrors, fancy Genesis logo puddle lamps, rain-sensing wipers, and more. We really only missed having ventilated seats and a wireless phone charger, but those are reserved for the upper trims, along with items such as a 15-speaker Lexicon audio system, a sunroof, a 360-degree camera, and a mechanical limited-slip differential.
Unlike other luxury automakers that limit some safety technologies to higher trims, the G70 comes with a long list of active safety features from the start, including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, forward collision avoidance assist, automatic high-beams, lane keep and lane following assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and safe exit warning, and more. Front and rear parking distance sensors are just about the only thing that aren’t bundled into the basic 3.3T.
Should I Buy the New G70?
Across its lineup, Genesis has pinned its reputation on design, engaging dynamics, and value, and the updated 2022 G70 absolutely follows that philosophy. The twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 model feels sporty, engaging, and athletic and its chassis delivers a captivating driving experience. You ou get a lot of car for your money, too, when viewed against the big players in its segment, namely the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The G70’s fresh style gives it another leg up, too. Genesis giving its entry-level luxury sedan a thorough makeover may not have been the safest bet, but it was the right one to make.
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