2024 Genesis G70 — Checking all the boxes

By David Boldt

(June 9, 2024) We’ll get this out of the way from the git-go: If looking for a sport sedan in a crowded parking lot, filled with the all-too-predictable inventory of crossovers, SUVs and big trucks, have your remote handy — ‘cause what you can’t see you might be able to hear. And at the Parking Spot near LAX Airport that’s exactly what I did; I couldn’t see the Genesis G70, but in hitting the unlock feature of its remote I was able to hear it.

And once I did see it, I gotta’ tell you: This Genesis G70, the entry point into the still-new Genesis lineup, is a compelling alternative to its more established competition.

This G70 recipe dates back 40+ years, when BMW first added rear doors to its already-ubiquitous 3 Series. An athletic chassis, responsive powertrain and genuine room for four should be a no-brainer, but prior to the 3 Series 4-door few OEMs had attempted it — and almost no OEMs had succeeded. BMW succeeded wildly, and while the platforms have gotten bigger and the technology all-consuming, you can still detect — under all of its almost two tons — a smidgeon of that Ultimate Driving Machine.

With its entry-level sport sedan, the team at Genesis would hope to deliver more than a smidgeon. Available with either a base turbocharged four or twin-turbocharged V6, the G70 benefits from a refresh for the 2024 model year.

Underpinning that refresh is the decision to dump the G70’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four and replace it with 2.5 liters of turbocharged four, adding 48 more horses (bringing total output to an even 300) and bumping the torque to 311 lb-ft. That power is directed to either the rear wheels or all wheels (our test model was rear-wheel drive) via an 8-speed automatic. (And with that, this: While not believing sedans need to offer a manual trans, this sedan would be absolutely ‘perfecto’ with a stick. And I’d hope the suits at Genesis would recognize that…)

Beyond the drivetrain is sheetmetal fully appropriate to a decade of ownership — as is, coincidentally, the Genesis 10-year drivetrain warranty. While the signature grille is a tad overdone, on the smaller scale used for the G70 the opening is proportional, something which can’t be said for the crossovers and larger Genesis sedans. The G70 comes with curves, but they’re conservative, while the greenhouse is generous. And since the 4-door is designed with rear-wheel drive, the cabin sits back on the chassis; you’ll not confuse this with Hyundai’s Sonata or Elantra.

Inside, with our press vehicle’s $4200 Sport Prestige trim you’ll enjoy perforated leather seating with piping(!), a wider choice of interior colors, what Genesis describes as a ‘wide’ sunroof, and a host of audio and electronic upgrades. While I have nothing against "sport" or ‘prestige," I was more impressed by the positioning of the driver and his or her three occupants.
Although rear seat passengers aren’t riding in limo-like luxury, a family of four can comfortably go wherever they want to go, and while the 11 cubic feet of trunk space isn’t lavish, neither is it uncomfortably small – and that space is made more practical with a folding rear seat. For an empty nester, the available room for a long weekend’s worth of travel is absolutely perfect.

On the road the G70’s suspension, steering and braking hook up to provide whatever you’re inclined to do; the platform is comfortable, composed and controlled. It’s what I remember BMW delivering back in the day, and while the 2.5 turbocharged four isn’t as explosive — or expressive — as the twin-turbo V6, neither does the base four require a $50K-plus investment. The G70 starts at about $43K, and even with the Sport Prestige trim and all-wheel drive barely exceeds $50,000.
If there’s a caveat when considering a Genesis, it’s the relative shortage of retail outlets. While Benz and BMW are seemingly everywhere in metro zip codes (unless, of course, it’s a multi-ethnic zip code…), Genesis is still mostly aligned with Hyundai stores, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, Hyundai dealers aren’t attuned to providing luxury ambience or luxury customer treatment. If your municipality offers just one Genesis outlet and you’re underwhelmed by the service, you really don’t have a choice beyond staying underwhelmed. Hyundai, Kia and Genesis products are generally reliable, but it’s nice to have choices.

If push came to shove and I was replacing my Miata with a real piece of transportation, the G70 — probably in base/leatherette/no sunroof form — would be on a very short list. It checks most of the boxes; with a roof-mounted bike rack (and stick shift!) it would check them all.