By Derek Price
Three years after its introduction, Genesis is updating the G70 sports sedan to make it snazzier than ever.
Even before the enhancements, the G70 was a favorite among people who’ve driven it and know what it is: Hyundai’s attempt at beating German luxury cars at their own game. It’s perhaps the closest thing to a BMW that doesn’t brandish a BMW badge, with a rip-roaring engine, Nurburgring-tuned suspension and classy, muscular body.
The fact that it carries a lower price and longer warranty than most of its competitors is a bonus, balancing out the fact that you’ll constantly be asked, “What is a Genesis?”
For 2022, the G70 tries to answer that question even more emphatically.
It’s a luxury car, for starters, with substance and design that lift it beyond what’s expected. New styling in front and back help it look the part, with narrow slits for lighting, a gigantic diamond-shaped grille and more sculptural fenders than before.
Inside, a bigger 10.3-inch touchscreen looks more integrated with the overall design, not quite the afterthought it appeared to be last year. All the controls are angled toward the driver, signaling in a not-so-subtle way that this car is built for the thrill of driving first, transportation second.
Any doubts about that focused mission will be dispelled when you stab the gas pedal.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit that uses a turbocharger to make 252 horsepower, enough to feel quick when you push it.
If you want over-the-top power, a 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 is the ticket. It makes 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, which was complete overkill but also ridiculous fun in my tester.
You can get your G70 with all-wheel drive, but sending power strictly to the rear wheels is more fun, as I see it. One of the best things about driving a sports sedan is being able to kick in oversteer any time you want, sliding the back end around with the throttle. With RWD, the G70 has a puppy-like playfulness in corners that I just love.
Like most of its competitors, the G70 is gloriously quiet at highway speeds. Some pleasant noise from the V6 will seep in when you really mash the throttle, but most of the time it sounds as sedate as cars can get.
When coupled with the near-silent highway ride, Genesis’ driver assistance features make long road trips feel refreshing, not tiring. Highway Driving Assist uses lane centering and radar cruise control to make freeway travels effortless.
Pricing starts at $37,525 for the Standard trim, which — despite the name — comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can’t get the G70 with a manual, sadly.
All-wheel drive adds $2,100 to that price.
The version performance lovers really want, the one with the 3.3-liter V6, starts at $42,100.
Pricing tops out at $54,500 for the Launch Edition with all-wheel drive and a flashy matte paint surface.
At A Glance
What was tested? 2022 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Sport Prestige ($42,100). Options: Sport Advanced Package ($4,300), Sport Prestige Package ($4,000). Price as tested (including $1,045 destination charge): $51,445
Wheelbase: 111.6 in.
Length: 184.4 in.
Width: 72.8 in.
Height: 55.1 in.
Engine: 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 (365 hp, 376 lbs.-ft.)
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Fuel economy: 18 city, 27 highway
Why buy it?
Lined up next to its German and Japanese competitors, it’s an impressive value. It offers legitimate sports-sedan performance, luxury-car opulence and handsome looks.