Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Reviews 2021 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport AWD Review: Still Under-Appreciated

2021 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport AWD Review: Still Under-Appreciated

Expectations continue to be shattered with the Genesis G70. It is as good as everyone says it is

  • Base pricing for the Genesis G70 starts at $43,000 in Canada, $36,000 in the US.

  • This “entry-level” sport luxury sedan remains one of the best in the segment.

  • Brand recognition is its only real shortcoming.

I’m guilty of not adequately setting my expectation when picking up a Genesis. In my defense, it doesn’t happen very often – driving a new Genesis product. But even so, I have enough experience with the G70 that I should not come away thoroughly elated from a week-long test of this car.

But I do. And I was and the reason why is that no matter how many layers I peeled through while studying and evaluating the 2021 Genesis G70, I could find nothing inherently wrong with the car.

2021 Genesis G70 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Almost perfect

Now, it’s not perfect but frankly, to report that the rear quarters are snug and that I’m always annoyed by the Hyundai Group’s electric steering’s poor on-center feel is like complaining that ice cream is too cold – it’s pointless. Seating on the rear bench is limited, and obviously so, and, as for steering, maybe I’m the problem…

Because, there are only positive things to report on the G70, and it’s been this way since it launched three years ago. This car’s fault has nothing to do with it, it has to do with the brand. But there’s change afoot as Genesis is on a serious product offensive with the GV80, upcoming GV70, and 2022 facelifted G70, to name but these examples. Simply put, Genesis brand awareness is why there aren’t more of these on the road.

If it was possible to conduct a blind “taste-test” with the G70 and its main competitors, I promise you it would be voted as one of the top choices for performance, styling, and features.

Attractive on all fronts

As far as looks are concerned, the 2020 and 2021 Genesis are identical (other than LED headlights being standard for 2021) and their conventional yet sporty design is very pleasing. For 2022, the G70 adopts the brand’s unique Parabolic Lines which, from the shared pictures, works best on the smaller cars, in my opinion. My tested Siberian Ice Sport model also encompassed the Sport Appearance Package which includes 19-inch wheels, dark chrome exterior accents, tinted head- and taillights, and adds plenty of visual credibility.

2021 Genesis G70 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The cabin will be unchanged with the facelift, and that’s just fine. Plainly, the dashboard’s layout and ergonomics are nearly perfect. The absence of gloss-black surfaces, in favour of textured plastic surfaces, is refreshing – assumingly, this will change in the G70’s follow-up generation.

Fit, finish, and materials are premium, and everything comes together flawlessly. The multi-way adjustable seats, finished in quilted leather with contrasting stitching, are supportive and comfortable at once. The sense of intimacy is very real from the driver’s seat.

Twin-turbo V6 and adaptive dampers

This feeling is never more real than when exploiting the twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6’s impressive power. With 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm, this G70 is far quicker than you might imagine. The standard and very competent 8-speed automatic transmission sends the power to all four wheels, which at the rear includes a limited-slip differential with the Sport trim.

2021 Genesis G70 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This means that all the power is put to good use, in all driving circumstances. Spec-hungry folks will like the fact that the G70 3.3T AWD can pull sub-5 second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprints with ease. The swell of torque is sustained through the rev range, ferociously pushing the car forward. The featured Brembo brakes, as part of the Sport trim, are nothing short of excellent with great pedal feel and response.

Also part of the Sport ensemble with the 3.3T is the Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension (GACS). Affected by settings and driving conditions, the dampers really do deliver the best combination of comfort and handling within the set parameters. Even when in Comfort mode, the balance is perfectly suited for spirited driving.

A top choice in the segment

The bottom line is that this car is remarkably gifted in every measurable way. At $58,000, my tester is a powerful bargain. A similarly-equipped 2020 Audi A4 is at least $3,000 more and is severely down on power. The math and comments are nearly identical for a 2020 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC and the 2020 BMW 330i xDrive.

2021 Genesis G70 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

While I can tell you I’d have a Genesis G70 over a Lexus IS or an Infiniti Q50, and possibly over a Cadillac CT4, I’m not 100% about the Germans… Come to think of it, I’d opt for a G70 over an A4 too.

Yes, the Genesis G70 is that good. And I need to remember that.

2021 Genesis G70 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2021 Genesis G70 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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