TEST DRIVE 2022 Genesis G70 — Can it Down 3? Are you looking for series?

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The 2020 Genesis G70 3.0T was my first car. I was hopeful. After hearing good reviews, I was optimistic about the Genesis brand. I also liked its design and thought that it appeared good. It was a good car, but it wasn’t my favorite. There were some areas that I felt could be improved if Genesis wanted to compete with other cars in this segment. But, I was able to see a lot and felt that Genesis was on the right path.

Genesis listened to my minor complaints, which was a good thing. The Genesis G70 was updated for 2022. It has new exterior and interior parts, as well as some changes to the drive. This car could easily be one of the best in its segment.

Look Good, Feel Good

The pre-facelift Genesis G70 was a good looking car but it lacked a signature design. Since then, Genesis sort of rebranded its style with a split headlight and split taillight design. The look started on the G80 sedan, made its way to the GV80 SUV, and is now featured on the G70 and it looks really good. It’s not as achingly pretty as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, as premium looking as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or as handsome as the G20 3 Series. However, it’s a smart looking design with styling that is now instantly recognizable as a Genesis. I like it quite a bit.

Although Genesis’ huge grille may be criticized, I think it is a good design. As someone who constantly criticizes BMW’s massive grilles, I can already hear my hypocrisy. Genesis, however, seems to have integrated the large grille into its front design, instead of just adding a huge grille to an already existing design. The Genesis’ shiny, blingy grille looks kinda funny, but in a humorous way.

Split headlights look great, but the front intakes give it a sporty and purposeful appearance. The same goes for the taillights. Although the actual housings for the taillights aren’t much different than the one on the prefacelift, the split design within them is very sharp. The Genesis G70 AWD Sport Prestige was my test vehicle. It came with 19-inch five-spoke, black wheels. These wheels looked great, but the Launch Edition 19-inch lightweight wheels look better.

Genesis made a couple minor improvements to the cabin but they make a world of a difference. For starters, the old gauge cluster was replaced with the same one as seen in the G80 and GV80, which is good news, as the newer Genesis dials are absolutely lovely. The speedometer is analog and one of the prettiest analog dials I’ve seen on a modern car. It looks like it could be a Swiss watch. While the tach is a digital version of the same analog dial. Why make it digital? Because it turns into a side-view camera when you flick a turn signal on and it works brilliantly.

The new infotainment screen is another small but significant improvement. This is a completely new system that I haven’t seen on any other Genesis model. It’s also different than the others, making it the best brand-ever. The touchscreen interface is completely touch-friendly, eliminating the rotary dials from the G80/GV80. It’s also very simple to use. Although there are too many submenus, the screen is the fastest and most responsive that I have used. The layout is also clear and simple to comprehend. Apple CarPlay is also available as-standard, but Android Auto can be wired. This is annoying for those who have used it in BMWs or Audis which use wireless technology.

On the whole, though, the infotainment system is vastly improved and very easy to use, which makes living with the car far more enjoyable. BMW’s iDrive is so good that when driving another car, even another great car, I end up missing it. The Genesis system isn’t nearly as good as iDrive but it’s good enough to live with and, most importantly, it doesn’t take away from the experience.

It is very well-designed interior. They are soft, comfortable, supportive, adjust well, and have power side bolsters which automatically squeeze when you turn on sport mode. It is large and comfortable to hold. The controls are easy to understand and use.

Most of the materials are top-notch but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the few hard plastics and cheapish-feeling window switches. There were also a few less-than-stellar fitment issues. For instance, the center console storage lid was a tiny bit wobbly and the driving mode dial felt a bit cheap. However, there was nothing egregious and nothing that would prevent me from buying the car. The G70 doesn’t have BMW-like build-quality but it also doesn’t have BMW-like prices. So you gotta take the good with the bad.

Even small improvements can make a big difference

The 2020 Genesis G70 was a good car, but it wasn’t great when I drove it. Genesis managed to nail a few key elements the first time, including steering and chassis balance. The G70 felt more responsive than the 3 Series. The G70 is just as precise, but it’s lighter and more responsive. Although it isn’t quite Alfa Romeo Giulia, the car’s very close. Pre-facelift G70 had great balance, was fun to drive and had traction control disabled.

However, there were some problems. First, the suspension tuning was not correct. It was too stiff and too loose. It was not terrible, but the engine was far from the 3 Series or Audi A4 and Alfa Giulia’s composure. It also had a lack of enthusiasm in its engine. The eight-speed auto transmission tuning was good, but it could be a little confused and slow on manual upshifts.

Now, Genesis has kept what was great about the pre-facelift car; its excellent steering and great chassis; but mostly fixed its issues. The adaptive suspension in my test car felt really nice in its comfort setting; not too firm but still composed enough. In sportier settings, it went a bit too stiff, so I kept it in comfort. It’s not quite as composed as the 3 Series’ suspension but it is softer and more comfortable, so that’s the tradeoff.

The twin-turbocharged 3.3 liter engine produces a better sound. It’s actually one of my favorite engines. The BMW B58 engine is better, but the B58 has a better sound than many engines below $100,000. The engine also produces a healthy 376 horsepower and 365 lb-ft torque. Although it isn’t as powerful or as fun to use, the G70 can reach 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Although it isn’t an exceptional engine, the G70 can still run on this powerful motor without any problems.

Thankfully, though, Genesis seemingly fixed the transmission. Maybe I’m just nuts but this new car’s eight-speed felt better than I remember, with quicker shifts in manual mode and better shift logic when left to its own devices.

There is no perfect solution

The Genesis G70 had its issues, just like any other car. Although the quality problems in the cabin may turn off premium buyers, they were really minor. Although the transmission is better than that of the 3 Series ZF 8-speed, it is not as good as any other transmission. It also needs some suspension tuning. The tires were the biggest problem I had with my car.

My test car came with Michelin Primacy all-season tires, which just weren’t up to the task. A set of Michelin PS4 tires would go a long way to improving the G70’s overall handling feel.

It can really beat the best!

I enjoyed every moment of my week driving the G70 2022. This is a great sport sedan. The G70 can now compete with the BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Giulia in the sport sedan segment, thanks to a few modifications Genesis made for 2022. All of these cars excel at different things than the Genesis. The Genesis G70 3.0T, however, is an extremely well-rounded package. It combines many of these great characteristics into a fun, engaging, driver’s vehicle.

This is the best part. The Genesis G70 AWD Sport Prestige came equipped with blind-spot monitors and surround-view cameras, as well as premium Lexicon speakers and diamond-stitched leather seating (with red belts). It came with all the usual active safety features, and a sticker price just below $53,000. This is less than what the BMW M340i starts at. You’d need to pay more than $60,000. for an M340ixDrive that includes all the same equipment.

Is the BMW M340i worth that much money over the Genesis G70 3.3T? I’m not so sure anymore. After I drove the pre-facelift G70, I thought that it was a good budget alternative but that the M340i was worth the extra cash. Now, I just don’t know. The G70 has its minor quality faults and it isn’t perfect but it’s more fun than the M340i and comes in at almost $10,000 cheaper, when equally equipped. As an overall package, it’s really hard to ignore that fact.

Before I drove this G70 facelifted, you could ask me which car was the best in its class. Do you want the most powerful driver’s vehicle? This is the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Do you want the most powerful engine and best transmission? BMW 3 Series. The most beautiful interior! Mercedes C-Class. Those are probably all true, let’s be real.

However, the G70 is such an extremely well-rounded package, one that combines many of the attributes of all those great cars but at a much lower price that it’s hard to ignore. If there’s a truly best overall car in the segment, price included, it might just be the Genesis G70 3.3T.

Publiated at Tue 31 August 2021, 19:01:05 +0000

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