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Genesis G70 engines, drive and performance

2021 onwards (change model)
Performance rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Alan Taylor-Jones Published: 31 August 2021 Updated: 10 October 2023

  • Sports Line chassis is particularly engaging
  • Engines don’t do it justice
  • Brembo brakes on Sport model

Petrol engines

The top 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine has 245hp, which is good for a claimed 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds. The problem is that it never feels quite as fast as the numbers suggest, with less low-down urgency than a 3 Series with similar power. You won’t find anything punchier than this, and certainly no six-cylinder or plug-in hybrid powerhouses unlike rivals.

That’s partly the fault of the engine, since peak power is delivered at a heady 6,200rpm, although the G70’s near-1,700kg weight is a contributing factor. It also suggests the entry-level 197hp petrol will be downright weedy, even though it has the same 353Nm of torque as the 245hp unit.

Diesel engines

There’s a single 2.2-litre diesel with 200hp and 440Nm of torque, so this should deliver a meatier performance than the petrol options. We’ve only tried this engine in the GV70 and G80 so far, and can confirm that it feels muscular low-down, but it’s nowhere near as refined as the petrol engine when accelerating and not desperately fast.

2022 Genesis G70 front cornering

What’s it like to drive?

  • Fast steering adds a sporty feel
  • Suspension is well controlled
  • Not too firm to be uncomfortable

It’s a shame that the G70’s engine line-up is rather lacking, because it’s actually rather good fun in the bends. That’s thanks in part to it being rear-wheel drive like a 3 Series, and some of the sporty character that can be found in the Kia Stinger is also present here.

In Sport trim you get adjustable suspension that you can soften or stiffen, beefy Brembo brakes and a limited-slip differential to boost traction, too.

The steering is well weighted and gives you a decent sense of connection to the front tyres, boosting confidence. Sport mode on cars fitted with adjustable suspension stiffens things up quite a bit without making the car too stiff for a B road, with not much body lean giving a sense of agility. You can have quite a bit of fun, although if anything it could do with even more power to make full use of the chassis.

2022 Genesis G70 rear cornering

Part of this sporty character can also be put down to the tyres. Rather than just slinging any rubber on its cars, Genesis specifies different tyres for different versions of the G70. Bridgestone and Continental boots are found on lower spec and comfort versions of the G70, while the Sport model has a set of track-friendly Michelin Pilot Sport 4s as standard.

Despite this the G70 rides well, even on large diameter wheels. There are 17- or 18-inch wheels as standard, depending on model, while the Sport model has 19-inch rims. But even this model absorbs bumps better than an equivalent 3 Series, so the G70 is a great motorway cruiser. It’s pretty quiet, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts smoothly, too.

We have yet to try the more comfort-oriented versions of the G70, but while these will sacrifice ultimate cornering grip for a more comfortable ride, they should still feel eager in corners when you want to have some fun. The adaptive dampers that are available on higher-spec cars that will also help contribute to this.