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The 2022 Genesis G70.

Emily Atkins/The Globe and Mail

How do you improve on perfection? That’s the challenge that Genesis faced in refreshing its G70 sedan for 2022.

Perfection might be a bit strong, but when the car was launched in 2019 it was widely lauded, garnering numerous awards including the North American Car of the Year. That’s about as close to perfection as you can expect for a new car, and it sets a high bar for a refresh.

Wisely, Genesis has largely left a successful formula alone. The sedan still offers great performance, good looks, comfort, and safety in a reasonably priced package.

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The refresh adds a few cosmetic touches on the exterior, a minor interior tweak, new safety features, and a performance enhancement. Together they add to the car’s appeal, making it an even better sports sedan without jacking up the price.

With a starting price of $45,000, the 2022 G70 offers a choice of a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged or 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo engine. Our Sport model tester came with the larger engine, and was priced at $59,000.

The Launch Edition tops the lineup, with unique wheels and matte grey paint, at $61,000. Only 30 of these cars are coming to Canada, one for each Genesis dealership across the country.

As with all Genesis models, you get a car spec’d by the manufacturer. There’s no upgrade path or customization to drive the price upwards. They also come with five years or 100,000 km of free scheduled maintenance, roadside assistance, courtesy vehicle and other goodies.

The new G70 has been aligned with the Genesis brand image, which it describes as “athletic elegance”. In practice this translates to a new grille design and the addition of the brand’s distinctive headlights that are split by a horizontal stripe of bodywork. The V-shaped insets behind the front wheels have been replaced by a more subtle air intake that reduces wheel-well turbulence.

Whether it’s better looking than the first edition will be a matter of taste; the headlight design is reminiscent of a sci-fi robot helmet visor. Likewise, the interior is garish, making use of too many shiny materials and varying textures. Glare off the centre console can be blinding on a sunny day, even with the ample sunroof closed. And the new 10.25-inch display screen remains an ugly afterthought, just bigger now.

The sedan offers great performance, good looks, comfort, and safety in a reasonably priced package.

Emily Atkins/The Globe and Mail

But these quibbles are purely cosmetic. Where it counts, the G70 has been improved. Added for 2022, the Sport + mode allows the driver to control upshifts, delivering more spirited and direct performance. The new variable exhaust valve system on the 3.3T models adds three horsepower and amplified engine noise.

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Together, these tweaks enhance the car’s performance enough to be noticeable, but without spoiling the pure driving experience. The G70 remains an amenable and joy-inducing ride with great highway manners combined with responsive power and handling when the mood strikes.

Perhaps the most noticeable upgrade in 2022 is the addition of numerous new safety and autonomy features. Seven major enhancements include new collision avoidance systems, lane keeping and advanced distance keeping cruise. The highway driving assist and navigation-based smart cruise control are simple and intuitive to use and easy to get used to.

The car stays in its lane without needing steering input, and although it enters a bend later than most human drivers, it performed reliably in our tests. It also reduces speed in corners and will automatically reduce cruise speed to stay within the posted speed limit.

Genesis says it’s positioning the 2022 G70 against the BMW 3-series, among others. With 252 and 368 hp respectively, G70 power falls just below the BMW baseline and M-powered engines. Likewise the Genesis is priced just under the BMWs. Shoppers looking for a sporty, performance-oriented sedan should make a point of driving all the alternatives before making up their minds.

As the new kid on the luxury car block, Genesis has a lot to prove. This new version of the G70 reinforces the manufacturer’s credentials as a builder of quality, performance-oriented vehicles that can compete against its well-established – and pricier – rivals.

Tech specs

2022 Genesis G70

The new G70 has been aligned with the Genesis brand image, which it describes as 'athletic elegance'.

Emily Atkins/The Globe and Mail

  • Base price: $45,000
  • Price as tested: $59,000
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbo 4 or 3.3-litre twin turbo V6
  • Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 kms; city/hwy): 13.5/9.1
  • Alternatives: BMW 3 Series; Mercedes C-Class; Audi A4 and A5

Looks

The G70′s updated looks are distinctive and eye-catching. A new diamond-shaped grille and fascia are more streamlined than the previous version, while the split headlights make it unmistakable as a Genesis. Overall it is a sleek sedan without being flashy.

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Interior

The G70s comfortable seats and great visibility are offset by over-the-top decorative accents and cramped rear seats. The 3.3T Sport tester came with a bright red interior. Combined with shiny carbon and chrome accents and black trim, the effect is busy and evocative of a house of ill repute. The new larger display screen is no improvement on the previous edition; it still looks like an afterthought, protruding from the dash.

Performance

This is the G70′s raison d’être. Smooth, responsive, and strong, it is a driver’s dream. Piloting the 3.3T Sport tester over winding back roads demonstrated superb throttle response and steering, along with braking to match thanks to big, four-piston Brembos (with attractive red calipers up front). The eight-speed transmission is mapped to provide maximum entertainment in the new Sport + mode, and the manual shift mode delivers the kind of control you expect from a high-performance vehicle. While launch control is a totally superfluous feature, it adds to the smile factor, if you can find a safe place to try it out.

With a starting price of $45,000, the 2022 G70 offers a choice of a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged or 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo engine.

Emily Atkins/The Globe and Mail

Technology

Genesis has packed the G70 with standard safety features including advanced highway autonomy. Its self-driving capabilities keep the car within its lane and at a safe distance from the car in front. Surround view and blind spot cameras add to the already excellent visibility, while the new front centre airbag is a segment first safety feature. Connectivity is easy and call quality is crystal clear. One complaint is overly complex, nonintuitive menus for controlling the infotainment system.

Cargo

The G70 is not about how much you can carry. The trunk is low and the shape not especially accommodating. However, the rear seats do fold on the off chance you want to use your performance buggy for hauling flat cargo.

The verdict

The original G70 was a tough act to follow with its multiple awards and strong fan base. The 2022 model offers just enough extras to gild the lily without ruining the performance.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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