New 2022 Genesis G70 review

Nick Francis

05 Oct 2021

1/8
The new 2022 Genesis G70 offers a Korean alternative to premium saloons like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But does it have what it takes to rival those heavyweights?

YesAuto Score:

61/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Plush interior  

+ Generous standard kit

+ Unique styling 


CONS:

- Small boot

- Cramped back seats 

- Less fun to drive than some rivals


Verdict: The G70 is let down by lack of room in the back seats and boot, and you will have more fun driving some of its rivals, but a plush interior and decent levels of standard tech mean it’s not totally embarrassed by the competition. 



2022 Genesis G70 review: the five-minute read


Genesis is a new-to-the-UK premium car brand that wants you to buy its cars instead of BMW, Mercedes and Audi products. They do say you should always aim for stars...


Owned by Hyundai - which itself is a hurdle to overcome in this snobby end of the car buying market - the assault by Genesis over the last few months has been ferocious, bringing through a slew of models in various shapes and sizes, all brand new for its European launch.


All brand new, that is, except for the one we’re discussing here. 


The G70 saloon – a rival to cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Jaguar XF – has actually been sold in the US and China since 2017, making it pretty old for a ‘new’ car.


It has been facelifted for the UK launch though, and it stands out on the road thanks to attractive Genesis design cues like the quad headlamps and that blingy grille. It really does turn heads, and for many that will enough to make the purchase: cars like the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are such a common sight on the roads we sometimes wonder if they're giving them away with boxes of corn flakes.



So far all UK-specific Genesis cars have impressed us with their opulent interiors, and to an extent the G70 is no different - the lashings of soft, plush materials help earn its position in the premium saloon segment. It doesn’t feel quite as polished as other Genesis models though, and things like the T-shaped drive selector look a little dated.


The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system is quick to respond to inputs and we like the fact there are plenty of physical shortcut buttons to access common menus, but it’s not as intuitive as BMW’s iDrive system, and it isn’t nearly as big or pretty as the system in the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. 


While space in the front of the G70 is plentiful it’s a cramped affair in the back, taller passengers will be digging their knees into the seats in front. The 3 Series and Audi A4 both offer more space in this respect. The boot is also on the small side too: at just 330-litres it is beaten by more or less every rival. 


Even though the G70 shares its underpinnings with the Kia Stinger, sadly Genesis is not offering a V6 version in the UK. Instead there is a choice of two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines – 197hp and 244hp – and a single 2.2-litre diesel good for 200hp. 


All of the engines feel strong enough for a car of this size, and the shove from the bigger of the petrols is impressive, fun even. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a decent ‘box, not at all indecisive or hesitant, but BMW’s auto’ is that bit sharper.



Even though there’s plenty of poke from the engines the G70 is not what you would call a sporty car – it’s certainly not as much fun to drive as the BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE or Alfa Romeo Giulia. The damping feels a little too soft in Eco and Comfort drive modes, then too brittle in Sport and Sport Plus, which is frustrating.


Body control in corners is decent though, and while the steering isn’t exactly endowed with much feel it is accurate and quick to respond to inputs.


Of all the new Genesis models that have arrived so far the G70 is our least favourite, but that’s not to say it’s a bad car. It just doesn’t argue its case against the German’s as well as models like the G80 large saloon and GV70 SUV. 


It’s important to know that Genesis offers a concierge system that allows you to book a car to be dropped off at your home for a test drive, as well as pick up your car for a service and leave you with a courtesy car, all for no extra cost.


Those levels of convenience, plus the fact all G70s come with an extensive range of standard kit, will be enough to make some people get over the fact they won’t have as much fun driving it as they would something from Germany, Italy or the UK. 


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Extended read…



2022 Genesis G70: interior and infotainment 


After a run of recent model launches we know Genesis’s interior game is on-point, and by and large the G70 possesses the same levels of style and build quality as its cousins, such as the G80 and GV70. That said, certain features look a little dated, like the T-shaped drive selector, which reminded us of something from a 2015 Toyota


Genesis hasn’t skimped on the materials, soft leather coats all the parts your fingers touch, and everything feels robust enough to stand up to heavy-handed kids. The silver switchgear can look a little cheap in a certain light, but not drastically so. 


Overall the cabin of the BMW 3 Series feels that bit more premium, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has more wow-factor, but the G70 is as good as anything else when it comes to comfort. The seats are plush and supportive, and everything is thoughtfully laid out. 


Thankfully there are no complaints from the all-important infotainment system. The 10.25-inch screen is crisp and clear and the high resolution is matched by quick response time to inputs. The menus are easy to navigate and it comes as standard with sat nav as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


An optional 12.3-inch driver’s display features 3D graphics which, while we think can look a little chintzy, does display information clearly. It also tracks the driver’s eyes so it can enhance the area being looked at, and it will even remind you to keep your eyes on the road if it thinks you’re becoming distracted. 


Other standard kit includes front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, blind spot collision assistance, dual zone climate control and automatic high beam assist. Most of these would be expensive optional extras on other cars in the class.


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2022 Genesis G70 practicality


From a driver’s point of view the G70 is a practical car to live with, the front of the cabin is spacious and the seats offer a great range of adjustability, as does the steering wheel, so you won’t struggle to get comfy. Visibility is good too thanks to large expanses of glass and slim A and B-pillars.


The centre console cubby is a decent size, and you can tidy away things like phones and wallets in the storage area in front of the drive selector. Other cars have more useful hiding spaces though, like the Audi A4. 


A bigger problem is the back seats: passengers will have more legroom in just about every rival to the G70. Anyone over six feet will find it cramped, especially over a long journey. 


It’s a similar story when it comes to headroom, especially in the middle of the rear bench, which is also hampered by a large transmission tunnel that further encroaches on legroom. 


And it’s not as if the cramped rear seats are compensated for by a large boot – at 330-litres it’s the smallest in the class. It might explain why Genesis is bringing though the G70 Shooting Brake soon, which will be able to swallow much more stuff thanks to the estate-style boot.  



2022 Genesis G70 engines 


Even though the G70 shares its underpinnings with the Kia Stinger, sadly Genesis is not offering a V6 version in the UK. Instead there is a choice of two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines – 197hp and 244hp – and a single 2.2-litre diesel good for 200hp. 


The more powerful petrol can cover off 0-62mph in an impressive 6.1 seconds, which is only a whisker slower than similarly priced BMW 330i. You get more standard kit in the Genesis though, which is worth keeping in mind. 


Even with the lively sprint, none of the G70 models feel sporty. Rather, they feel strong and capable, even the diesel and smaller petrol engines are up to fast overtakes and composed motorway blasts. 


According to WLTP figures the diesel engine averages 44mpg, which is poor when held against the equivalent Germans, which all sit in the 50s. This means the G70 is unlikely to find too much love from company car fleet managers. 


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2022 Genesis G70 driving


All versions of the G70 are rear-wheel drive, but that doesn’t mean any of them handle sportily, like the BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia do. But it is an easy car to drive for the most part. 


The engines are strong and refined enough for both high speed and around-town driving, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox which comes as standard is very good, we never found it to be hesitant or confused. 


We did find the adaptive damping a little baffling though. When using Eco or Comfort drive modes it felt too saggy and pillowy over bumpy ground, but when switched to Sport or Sport Plus it became excessively brittle.


The steering is light, which is handy when negotiating tight roads and parking spaces. It weights up on faster roads and feels accurate and responsive, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of communication with the road. Body control in corners is decent too.


Ultimately you will have more fun driving just about any of the cars the G70 is up against, but especially the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia. But if you're more concerned with a comfortable drive than a pulse-racing commute then you'll find what you're looking for here.


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Nick Francis

05 Oct 2021