2022 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Sport Prestige l Review

I like to think of these reviews as an ongoing story. Each week a different vehicle rocks up to my house and delivers a unique experience. Well, except late December when I ended up with (a thankfully mild case of) COVID. Across each loan I feel like I can start to make some meaningful comparisons, and the sporty sedan segment is one of my favorites.

Plus, this loan was timely since I’ve been car shopping for…well I’m not sure. Stay tuned. Luckily, I’ve had some great cars recently to compare it to as well, like the TLX Type S. So, I was excited to get a week with the 2022 Genesis G70 with the big motor and loads of options. Let’s see how it advances my sport sedan storyline.

Genesis G70 Overview

As usual, I’ll start out with a bit of history and a quick overview of the G70 lineup. You gotta know where you started to know where you’re going. Or something Forrest Gump said, I don’t remember. Actually, the G70 doesn’t have much of a history, Hyundai created the first Genesis as part of the Hyundai lineup back around 2008. However, that was the predecessor of the larger G80. Thankfully they decided to introduce the smaller G70 for 2019.

For those unfamiliar with the current Genesis lineup, it’s pretty alphanumerically intuitive. The cars start with “G” and the SUVs start with “GV”. The higher the number, the larger the car. You can currently choose between the G70, G80, G90, GV70, and GV80. That makes the G70 the smallest, and cheapest, Genesis on the market.

Like a lot of modern Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis models, it was penned by German auto designer Peter Schreyer. I filmed an interview with Schreyer at the unveiling of the Kia Stinger at the North American Inter…Detroit Auto Show. Funny story, a couple of days later at a Hyundai/Kia event, he was tending bar for us media folks at a cool little pub, clearly having partaken in the spirits he was giving out. In my opinion, he has one of the best designer resumes in the game right now, having designed just about every good South Korean car after leaving VW/Audi. Sorry, I’m getting sidetracked, es tut mir leid.

The latest G70 starts at a very reasonable $37,775 for 2022. However, if you want to spend sub-$40K make sure you’re OK with the 2.0L turbo four that delivers 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. While it’s still very well equipped, naturally I was more interested in the bigger 3.3L twin-turbo V6 that will get you an impressive 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. It’s the one you want, more on that in a bit.

When you choose the TTV6, you can opt for the normal G70 or the “Launch Edition” in RWD or AWD. We got to check out the 3.3T RWD with a base price of just over $42,000 and the $8,300 Sport Prestige package added. That, naturally, gives you both the Sport, and the Prestige packages. Here, check it out for yourself.

All in and you’re just under $52,000. Let’s see what’s what.

Exterior

Styling is subjective, except for basically everything that Genesis is making right now (and most of Kia and Hyundai). It’s not perfect, but I absolutely love it. If you disagree, you’re wrong. I was at a gas station and the young couple next to me said “nice Bentley, I really like that”. Despite the similarity, I was floored. I let him know it’s a Genesis and when he realized what I was on about, he was very impressed. The guy in the Audi next to us did not seem as amused.  

Since I almost only have good things to say, I’ll try to find something I don’t like about the G70’s exterior design. If I’m honest, I don’t love the split headlight design. It works better at certain angles, but overall looks a little disjointed. The rear treatment looks the business though. On to the inside where I have more to say.

Interior

Inside the story is quite good as well, but not perfect. The interior is made of materials that you would expect to see in a $50,000 luxury vehicle. I really didn’t have any complaints about the textures and feel of anything across the interior. Like a lot of Hyundai et al vehicles, it’s just a pleasant and easy to use place to spend some time.

The diodes to show the radio station numbers are stupid cool and the roller volume on the wheel is functional. Thankfully, there Is still a dial when Don’t Stop Believin’ comes on.  The seats are great, with the right amount of adjustability, firmness, and comfort.

Complaints? I’ve got a few, but they are all pretty minor and could be due to user error. I kept moving the position of the Heads Up Display (HUD) to where I could actually see it but it moved back every time I restarted the car. The Qi charger didn’t work, ever, but that’s been par for the course in just about every tester I’ve had recently.

2022 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Sport Prestige

I didn’t like that the turn signal camera is only on the tach, that’s different than other Hyundai and Kia vehicles I’ve driven. Typically in those vehicles if you signal left, it’s on the speedo, if you signal right, it’s on the tach. However, in the G70, the driver display is bifurcated with analog on the left and digital on the right. I don’t like that since it feels partially done. 

From a practicality standpoint, it would make a great daily driver. The LATCH attachment for a booster seat was a bit of a challenge, it kept catching on the cover. However, the rear seat room wasn’t bad and the G70 has pretty good trunk room. More than enough room for hockey practice. Love that it even has remote start, helpful on a cold morning.

Driving

In the end, the exterior rocks, and the interior is quite good, but what I enjoyed most about the G70 was the drive. I’ve been on a campaign to make Sport Mode actually functional. In most cars it’s absolute garbage. Not in the G70. Sport is solid, it will let you get the rear a little loose and it even tightens up the seat to help keep you in place for lateral Gs. The car actually feels different in Sport mode, which is exactly what you want.

However, as good as Sport is, Sport Plus is an absolute hoon! It will happily shift down all the way to first gear coming to a stop, and sound very good doing it. Although interesting to note, the G70 uses artificial engine/exhaust sounds. Typically I don’t care, but I switched it off since it sounds a bit too fake. The G70 handles great, I’d definitely be happy with the RWD version. Also, the brakes are fabulous. I had a pedestrian decide to pop out in front of me and my panic stop was just about perfect. Thanks Brembo.

Criticisms are minimal, like some Hyundai vehicles, the nanny intrusions are ever present. Several times the system jumped in to panic brake based on things it thought it saw across the side and front of the vehicle.

Summary

If you’re in the market for a fast, luxury sedan, it should very much be on your list. It’s quite good.

5 Comments

  1. Great review, as usual. I feel like I come back to the same reactions a lot, but a 250hp engine seen as a weak entry level machine…when Volvo introduced the 850R with 250hp, it was treated as an uncontrollable, exquisite piece of FWD engineering, made for a select few wealthy folks with remarkably good taste. The G70 barely weighs 10% more and surely controls its power better, but will this kind of power ever feel normal?

    About the panic braking: Can these automated features be turned off? The inability to use the cruise control/TACC on a Tesla 3 without it braking upon meeting or passing semis on our narrow two lane roads was really the biggest reason we scratched it off our “to buy”-list. Dumb shit sold as smart features is nothing I want in my driveway.

    1. I don’t know whether the extra safety features can be turned off individually on the current-gen G70, but it used to be possible. I have a 2019 G70 (one of the unicorns with a manual transmission and an all-mechanical handbrake), and it has a forward collision assist function (i.e., it beeps at you, and then at some point hits the brakes for you) that can be turned on or off from a software menu. You can also set the aggressiveness of the system, i.e. whether it warns you “early”, “normal”, or “late”, but I don’t know how big a difference that setting makes.

      Something else that I noticed while thinking about this, which I found interesting: one of the things I like about my 2019 is that it has individual hardware buttons on the lower-left part of the dash to toggle lane-keep assist and blind spot warning on and off (made it easier to play with those features and see what they were all about before inevitably deciding to leave them off). Wish there was one of those for the forward collision assist, too, but that one had to be buried in menus… Anyway, in the interior photos of this 2022, that button panel looks like it only has the dash illumination rocker switch and the fuel door and trunk release buttons. I’d guess the other functions can still be toggled, but if they can it’s probably from a software menu someplace.

      1. When we had our test drive marathon last fall, turning off lane assist – and finding those options buried on screen – was one of the first things to do on basically every car we tried. I found it very eerie with the steering wheel working against me. And, again, our roads are narrow, poorly marked and often obscured by dirt or snow. Not looking forward to stuff like that being mandated.

        I wasn’t aware that you own a G70. How has it held up? Are you happy with it?

        1. Sorry for the late reply; doesn’t look like I get email notifications of comments or responses, or maybe they’re just disappearing into the junk folder…

          Anyway, I’ve really liked the G70. I’ve been driving a lot less than what used to be typical since the onset of the pandemic, so I’ve only got about 15K miles on it so far, but it’s holding up well. There is an intermittent, fairly quiet rattle/creak coming from somewhere around the infotainment screen — not really what you want in a rather low-mile, entry-lux kind of car, but if that’s the worst complaint I have, I figure I’m doing pretty well. Other than that, honestly I bought it at a time that I didn’t NEED another car, but I’d been thinking about getting something a little less boy-racer than my WRX (MY2011 hatch). I’d daydreamed about getting a car with ventilated seats, the one new luxury option I really, truly coveted, but I figured there’d never be an attainable car (read: not upper-end sports car/grand-tourer) that combined a luxe feature like that (though granted, especially with Hyundai and Kia, they’re WAY more common now) with three pedals…and then the G70 came out. The manual-trans models came in only one trim/configuration, but other than requiring the smaller engine (probably just as well, really; it’s not quite as quick as the WRX, but it’s no slouch), it was practically exactly how I would have set it up a la carte. Manual trans and handbrake, of course, but also the limited-slip diff, bigger brakes, full LED headlights, nicer stereo, heated and ventilated seats…and NO sunroof, praise be. I’m on the taller side and prefer the extra inch or so of headroom, not to mention the reduced complexity. To use the internet parlance, it was basically my brown, manual-transmission, diesel station wagon, so I felt almost compelled to vote with my wallet and not just be the car-enthusiast armchair “shopper” that car folk are sometimes ridiculed as being. (Of course, car folk are also well aware of how much new cars depreciate off the lot, so the smarter car folk than me don’t buy new, which is a lot of where that perception comes from, but…)

          That’s the long way of saying that yes, I’m definitely happy with it. There are some nits I can pick with it, but most of them really just come with the compact-sport-sedan territory (small backseat, especially behind me; so-so trunk space; occasional brake squeal from the uprated pads). The manual trim level also unsurprisingly died after that first year, so I don’t have any regrets buying mine when I could (especially considering the current pandemic car market, as well…). For day-to-day it’s a pretty great jack of all trades. Much quieter and more solid than the WRX, no surprise, more comfortable ride, not as fast but definitely more tractable (the WRX has much more of that old-school-turbo, Jekyll-and-Hyde character). I haven’t driven contemporary Audis/BMWs/Lexuses (Lexi? whatever) to be able to compare to, but they weren’t available with a manual either, at least not without stepping up to something with an M badge.

          Lastly, yes, fully in agreement about the lane keep assist. I like having the separate hardware button because it was really easy to toggle on and off while on the move and see exactly what it did. The roads around here are much friendlier to automated systems than the narrow and partially-obscured ones you describe, but I still found it kinda spooky, both in the resistance to whatever corrections I might want to make, and in the fact that when left to its own devices, it started turning in just a little later than I’d be comfortable with, to the point that were I the guy next to me on the freeway, I might be thinking, “this guy does notice that the road is starting to curve here, right?” It was neat to see the current state of tech, but it’s not for me. Burying these things in menus, or even mandating them, is not a trend I look forward to, and it’s at best a Band-Aid for inattentive or lackluster drivers.

  2. I’m not a big fan of the split lights either, but it goes to show how many formerly luxury features are now available on entry-level cars. A luxury brand has to do something like those lights to differentiate itself. They don’t add anything to the car’s functionality, and stylistically they’re love/hate–but they’re expensive. Hondas and Chevys won’t have them anytime soon, if ever.

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