SAN DIEGO — Every once in a while, I’ll drive a car and wonder why it isn’t more popular. Many decently average cars are nonetheless extremely popular, but the other way around is a rarity.
A great car that you don’t see on the roads very much typically has something wrong with it. The Alfa Romeo 4C is the best example of this. It’s an incredible driver’s car, making perhaps the best engine noise of any four-cylinder around, and it’s one of the last sports cars with proper manual steering.
However, you don’t see many of them around because it has atrocious reliability and is extremely difficult to get in and out of. It’s a budget supercar, with supercar drawbacks. Still, I love it.
But then, occasionally, you’ll have a winner of a car that hasn’t been discovered by most of the world. And that’s the case with the redesigned 2022 Genesis G70. This is an astonishingly good sports sedan that should be at the top of the list for anyone considering a BMW 3-Series, an Audi A4, or a Mercedes C-Class.
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Those are all great vehicles, but I think the G70 has them beat on price, looks, and that all-important factory: exclusivity. There aren’t many of them around, so when you see one, you know the owner is someone with class and style. Or at least knows a strong value proposition when they see one.
My 2022 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T listed for $45,745 and was incredibly well-equipped. The engine is of particular note, a 3.3-liter turbo V6 making 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft, mated to a silky smooth 8-speed automatic. For $2,100 less, Genesis will sell you a rear-drive version instead (though you also lose the heated steering wheel, for some reason).
Genesis is to Hyundai as Lexus is to Toyota, so it has much excellent Hyundai tech inside. The company’s terrific adaptive cruise control and active lane-centering system are here, as are all the expected safety things like automatic emergency braking (including a feature that’ll brake if you try and turn left in front of oncoming traffic).
Blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, and windshield wipers, and a feature that’ll keep you from opening your door into an oncoming vehicle are here too. And speaking of safety, the G70 includes a center airbag that pops out of the center console between the front passengers, one of the only cars to do so.
It doesn’t have quite the brand cachet
The G70 is incredibly well sorted on the road (albeit with a firm, sporty suspension that should be familiar to anyone who has been in a BMW before), and it should be since it was tuned at the Nurburgring — and Hyundai’s (now former) head of R&D was poached from BMW a few years back.
As always, you can spend more for some go-faster bits, including a $3,900 option on the 3.3T AWD that adds a limited-slip differential, heads-up display, nicer leather, and a 360-degree camera. If those go-faster bits make you go too much faster, it also upgrades you to a Brembo brake system.
The $4,300 Sport Advanced Package gives a bunch of nice look-and-feel upgrades, as well as ventilated seats and an improved stereo.
But I did not find my $46,000 G70 to be lacking in any way. This car was refreshed for 2022, and it’s nicely elegant inside. A sizeable 10.25-inch touchscreen sits atop the center stack, with some easy-to-understand controls for climate sitting below.
A large bin in front of the chunky shifter is perfect for your phone, while sporty leather seats hug you in a soothing embrace. CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, though not wireless.
And the outside looks just as good as the inside, especially the Genesis signature quad lights. Two LED strips by each headlight give the Genesis a memorable front end by day or night. The look is echoed in the rear, with taut lines pulling back to a very Germanic rear-end. The car suggests speed and agility, which is what it delivers.
And with a 5-year/60K-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100K powertrain warranty, it’ll keep delivering that experience for many years to come.
I have praised Genesis vehicles many times, and I suspect I’ll continue to do so. Hyundai seemingly can’t make a lousy vehicle right now, so it makes sense that the luxury division wouldn’t either.
The G70 is a car that should be selling in far higher numbers than it currently is. Still, it doesn’t have quite the brand cachet that its competitors from Ingolstadt and Munich do — but it also means you won’t be driving the same thing as four other people in the Starbucks drive-thru line.
And isn’t that something worth paying for?