Wheels

Genesis G70 Sport keeps luxury carmakers looking over their shoulders

The Genesis luxury brand has never let anyone intimidate it, if anything it has been wise enough to step back, admire the best and pivot from the less-than-desirable in the class. Patience pays off when it comes to good things and the 2022 Genesis G70 is a very good thing.

I recently tested the new Genesis G70 sport sedan for a week and found it to meet the high bar that has been set by the overachieving brand from Korea. On the outside, the 2022 Genesis G70 ups its level of refinement while managing to institute some serious branding influence, which whenever it’s achieved is the gold standard for the luxury performance class.

Exterior

The all-new grille, shaped like the Genesis logo, is bold and aggressive while remaining very aligned with the rest of the front-end design. The huge outline of the Genesis logo is far more pronounced upfront and it really helps push the identity of the relatively-new Asian brand.

The smart use of edgy, horizontal lines in several design aspects in the side panels, brake vents, headlights and taillights deserves to be recognized for what it is not — overdone. Far too many in this class seek to separate themselves by adding more design cues (read: busyness) to their sedans and SUVs.

The 2022 G70 sedan is handsome and offers a sloping and speed-inducing front nose and gentle lines that ease over the passengers to form a sleek profile that doesn’t try to be too wind-resistant or low (this pays dividends inside the cabin). A wide selection of sport-based rims, including flat black hues, provide ample options to customize your sporty sedan.

Cabin

Inside the cabin, you will find a roomy, quiet and very comfortable place to relax on the road. From the moment you enter the G70 you feel enveloped in luxury materials, fit and finish. As was the target for the first G70, this new edition is compelling in every sense of the luxury bar. A good value? You bet it is.

For some nay-sayers, they will cite the G70‘s common architecture with the Kia Stinger as an issue. Trust me, and if you have had the pleasure to drive a Stinger you already know, the Stinger hits so high above its competitors that the G70 can be proud of its inner working being shared.

One of my favorite features was the diamond-quilted leather seats and door panels that added a new level of refinement to the interior. The materials are all high quality and manage a well-balanced existence with the somewhat minimalist design for the dash and center console.

Front row seating is excellent, with plenty of headroom and legroom. Power seating adjustments make for ideal seating positions and sightlines. In the second row, you lose some headroom as the roofline dives a bit to the rear trunk lid, lopping off some inches for the taller passengers.

Performance

My tester featured the range-topping 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which is also on the Stinger (though that’s where comparisons cease to be equal). The powerplant will produce an impressive 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. While the G70 can be had with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, give yourself the upgrade and be glad you did it.

This 3.3-L engine, paired with the 8-speed automatic, offers excellent power and torque throughout the entire powerband and I didn’t run into any situation I felt it was not up to the performance task I was putting it through.

My V6, along with the obvious tweaks the engineers added to the suspension, makes the G70 a true counterpart to several of the German competitors it has targeted. It may not yet be up to the BMW standards of drive and responsiveness, but I give it a couple of years to get there.

Of course, all of this refinement and performance is offered for thousands less than those competitors. While the G70 may have cut its teeth as a value buy in the class, its distinction is undeniable when you get a look at the base price of $39,875 (2.0 liter). My tester offered the V6 power upgrade, as well as all-wheel drive. With a base price of $54,750, this G70 is well below the competition long before you start adding up all the standard equipment you get with the base.

• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years’ experience driving, testing, and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations, and vehicles.