Behind the Wheel

2020 Genesis G70 Review: Worthy competitor to existing luxe-mobiles from Germany, Japan

The Genesis G70 has not received any major updates for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

When catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while — usually because of COVID-related lockdowns and such — the conversation inevitably comes around to: "What have you been doing to keep busy?"

In my case, it basically sums up to writing, playing Xbox with friends (which is a solid way to keep human interaction going when stuck at home), venturing out to Costco for essential supplies, and making turkey sandwiches.

I also spend quite a lot of time behind the wheel of cars. Taking a solitary drive to nowhere in particular is a fun thing to do in normal times, but I've been driving to nowhere more than usual over the past few months both to review my test cars and for the positive mental health aspects of getting some fresh air.

2020 Genesis G70 The G70 features a sporty back end.Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

I have friends who are mildly horrified to find themselves whispering "I even miss my commute." I totally get this, particularly since I work from home. A commute is a time for solitude — you get some time away from both the family and your work. It's a time for you to just focus on driving, or listening to your podcast, or Taylor Swift or whatever.

Nothing makes you appreciate stop-and-go traffic more than not having to sit in it anymore. And it's both those drives-to-nowhere and the stop-and-go traffic that makes me particularly appreciate my test car this week: the 2020 Genesis G70.

Genesis is Hyundai's new(ish) luxury brand, competing with Lexus and BMW and Mercedes and the like. The G70 is a compact sports sedan, going up against the 3 Series, C-Class, IS, and A4 — and it does a terrific job of it.

My tester was fully-loaded with the 3.3T Sport Package, which means it sported a 365-horsepower and 376 lb-ft 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. Which means it's fast. And then Genesis loaded it up with a sporty suspension, limited-slip diff, Brembo brakes, all-wheel drive, and a bunch of other stuff to make it go fast and handle well. It worked, too.

A six-speed manual transmission is available on the G70 but Genesis saw fit to lend me one that had a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Genesis G70 The interior of the G70 is sleek and well-appointed. Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Inside was the same story. There were gorgeous quilted leather seats, a terrific heads-up display, Hyundai's phenomenal adaptive cruise system with lane-keeping, a great stereo, and a bunch of other stuff like a suede headliner which is unnecessary but still kind of fun.

Don't get me wrong, any car that prices out at $51,275 is going to be nice and chockablock full of features. But the Genesis G70 seems just a little bit better in that department. Perhaps it's because it comes with the same terrific warranty that Hyundai offers on all its cars: a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, plus 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.

Or maybe it's the Genesis Concierge service that — even before COVID — let you set up at-home test drives and delivery of your new car to your house (because we all know how much fun dealerships can be).

I do have a couple G70 nitpicks though. If you look on the front grille, which is the centerpiece of a rather excellent front end, there's a largeish plastic rectangle in the center. This is where the radar for the adaptive cruise control sits, and it causes a bit of a jarring effect to the overall look of the car. It doesn't quite fit right, and I wish there was a better way. As we get cleverer and more complex safety systems, hiding these sensors will be an increasing challenge. I imagine Genesis will get better at this as well.

2020 Genesis G70 Genesis has given the model the features and drive experience sports sedan buyers are looking for.Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Finally, there's the Genesis badge itself. It just doesn't have the presence that this car — which in all other respects is a worthy competitor to the existing luxe-mobiles from Germany and Japan — deserves. The blue-and-white BMW logo or the four-rings of Audi or the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz... they're all instantly recognizable and totally distinctive.

The winged Genesis logo looks to me a bit like a Bentley knock-off, a badge not worthy of the stellar vehicle it's attached to. And in this market, brand cachet counts for a lot. But if the worst thing I can say about a car is that I don't like the badge? That's a pretty big compliment in itself.

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The G70 got a makeover for 2022.

Genesis

The Genesis G70 got a refresh for 2022, which brought an updated interior with new tech, along with a massaged front- and rear-end. I'm spending a week testing the renewed sports sedan, and have some initial thoughts after two days with the new model. I drove the 2021 G70 and felt that it was a cohesive package with few major downfalls. The 2022 model's improvements have made me like it even more. A full review will be out next week, but in the meantime, here are three things to know about the 2022 Genesis G70.

It's Plush


2022 Genesis G70 The G70's interior is top-shelf and gorgeous to look at.Genesis


Close your eyes and step into a G70 and you'll be hard pressed to believe you're sitting in anything other than a European luxury sedan. The cabin is gorgeous, and features high-end materials, great visibility, and intuitive technology. The front seats are sporty but supportive and comfortable, and high trim levels features super diamond stitched leathers and very few low-rent materials inside.

It's Quick

I'm testing the Sport Prestige 3.3T model, which his powered by a – you guessed it – twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine. With 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque on tap, the car will boogie. Its 0-60 mph time lands a at a modest 4.7 seconds, but Genesis did a good job of building in enough drama to make things interesting. The car's sonorous exhaust, rush of power off the line, and responsive transmission all work together to create a special experience. Even G70s equipped with the lesser turbocharged 2.0-liter engine still feel quick, thanks to 252 horsepower.

It's Gorgeous


2022 Genesis G70 The G70 isn't a large car, but offers enough room for a family of four to ride in comfort.Genesis


I tested a Genesis GV80 a few months ago, and found that it was the first car I'd driven around town that caused people to stop and take photos. Now, with the G70, I have my second. Despite a few awkward lines, created when Genesis added the split headlight and taillight look to the car, it's otherwise one of the sleekest and most eye-catching sedans around. Deeply sculpted sides and the large-but-not-too-large diamond grille also add to the look.

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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