2024 Genesis G70 First Drive Review: New four-cylinder sweetens an already great deal

Since its introduction for the 2019 model year, the Genesis G70 has been one of our favorite sport sedans. It’s even doing decently with customers, as is its brand’s best-selling sedan, making up 19% of total sales. And weirdly, the G70 is the oldest model in the lineup, having only received an exterior refresh for 2022. So with seeming sales success, it’s all the more surprising that Genesis saw the need to refresh the car once again, with the bulk of the changes for 2024 being focused on the entry-level four-cylinder G70. The good news is that the underlying car remains an excellent all-around machine, and can even be fun thrashing it on closed courses. But as good as the foundation is, some more renovation is due to keep it near the top of the class.

Even though much of the car is carry-over, there are indeed changes for 2024, and the biggest is the new turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder for the base G70s. It’s basically the same unit that the dearly-departed Kia Stinger got in its final days. It makes 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, increases of 48 and 51, respectively (and respectable). It’s still coupled to an eight-speed automatic and either rear- or all-wheel drive. And to match the additional power, the four-cylinder now gets the same Brembo brakes as the V6. That includes rotors that are 1.2 inch larger up front (13.8) and 1 inch larger at the rear (13.4), plus four-piston front calipers.

There are minor aesthetic changes throughout the range, too. Dual exhaust outlets are included on both the four- and six-cylinder cars now, plus some new paint colors. Inside, the buttons and knobs for the infotainment system, as well as the start button, have been given a light tweak; the climate control knobs have given way to a touchscreen for most functions; and there are some new trim patterns. Finally, Genesis Digital Key, which lets you use your phone as a key, now works with iOS, and Genesis Connected Services is standard for all G70s. That enables connected user profiles, remote access, crash assistance and stolen vehicle recovery assistance.

2024 Genesis G70

While we didn’t get much time in the four-cylinder G70 (our drive was restricted to a brief and bland stretch of Phoenix city streets and interstate, as well as some autocross runs), it is a significant improvement. Just as it was in the Stinger, the 2.5-liter is much more usable out of boost, and in boost, it’s genuinely speedy. As Genesis notes, it’s also the most powerful entry-level engine in the segment, topping the also-peppy 280-horsepower Alfa Romeo Giulia

Those brakes are excellent, too. They have serious, confidence-inspiring stopping power, as evidenced by our track time, and that was with the heavier V6. The only complaint would be that when driving hard, the pedal is on the soft side. You’ll also want the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires to take full advantage of the G70’s chassis, though, as the Primacy Tour A/S rubber gives up much faster. Granted, that’s if you’re focusing on the “sport” in the sport sedan name. The Primacy tires are more than acceptable for street driving. 

The engine and brakes both accentuate some of the innate advantages of the four-cylinder, too. The biggest is simply that it’s noticeably lighter, specifically up front. Weight for the 2024 model hasn’t been given yet, but last year, there was nearly a 300-pound difference between the four- and six-cylinder cars. Taking all that off the nose makes the four-cylinder much more eager to turn in, and the steering is shockingly lighter compared to the big V6. It’s damn quick and pinpoint-precise with both engines. With more feedback, it would be among the best-steering cars out there. The transmission is the same eight-speed as before, and it feels pretty much the same in both cars, offering prompt and smooth shifts, albeit not as good as the Germans provide. It’s not quite as efficient as before, with the rear-drive car dropping from 25 mpg combined to 24; the all-wheel-drive car stays at 23. But it’s still more efficient than the 21 mpg combined for the V6 (20 with all-wheel drive). Considering that the horsepower gap between engines has shrunk while the efficiency and price gap remains the same, the four-cylinder is no longer just for the more budget conscious.

2024 Genesis G702024 Genesis G70

Still, there’s plenty of reason for enthusiasts to get the carry-over twin-turbo V6. While the four-cylinder has gained power, the V6 still has more: 365 horsepower (368 when the variable exhaust is open) and 376 pound-feet of torque. It delivers it with a wallop, and that’s exciting, and it does so all the way to redline. So much so it feels underrated. It can be a little tricky to be smooth with power applications with how hard the boost hits, but it’s always entertaining. That variable exhaust adds a little more volume to the growling engine note, which is also much more invigorating than the comparatively pedestrian four-cylinder. 

Then there are the V6 G70’s chassis upgrades over the four-cylinder. Both the rear- and all-wheel-drive versions get an electronically controlled limited-slip differential that makes a big difference in helping get the power down through corners. Adaptive suspension is included, too, which offers softer tuning in the comfort mode, and stiffer in the sport modes. Both are actually quite compliant, but being able to get a bit more firmness for sporty driving is appreciated, even if it is just a small amount. Of note, traction and stability control remain on even in the more free-wheeling Sport+ mode. There is a full-off unofficial “drift mode,” but Genesis did not tell us how to do it. There are plenty of places you can find the button sequence online, and if you’re thinking about tracking a G70, you’ll want to know how to do it, as the Sport+ settings can still be intrusive.

On a side note, we’d really love to see Genesis offer an even higher performance version of the G70. It’s really good as it is for sporty driving, from the engine to the brakes and differential. But it seems like Genesis could have a serious track weapon with stiffer suspension, more lenient traction and stability control, and maybe even more power. This car deserves a variant to directly take on the M, AMG, RS and Blackwing cars of the world.

2024 Genesis G70

But sport sedans in this segment have to also deliver on some luxury, and the Genesis models continue to do well, but are in danger of being overtaken and left behind by the competition. Ride quality is superb, feeling very smooth and controlled. The cabin is quiet, and the engines don’t make much noise unless you’re seriously caning it. The quilted leather and interior color schemes give a good first impression, but closer examination lets it down a bit. The switchgear, even with the updates, feels a bit Hyundai-like, even down to the aluminum-look plastic. Hyundai has very good switchgear for mainstream vehicles, but it’s a step below the German competition. The same goes for some of the dash plastics. Plus, it all still looks like the car from 2019 – the rest of the Genesis line-up has thoroughly leap-frogged this car in style and quality. It really would’ve been nice to see the brand do more inside. And a side note, there’s still no wireless phone mirroring, and the wired data port is USB-A. We would’ve traded the gimmicky touchscreen climate control panel for updates to those features.

The G70 also continues to be priced well. The base four-cylinder car starts at $42,695, which is less than the BMW 330i, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Acura TLX and Mercedes-Benz C 300, sometimes by multiple thousands of dollars, all while offering more performance. The Cadillac CT4, another excellent driver’s sedan, does start under $40,000, but that’s for the 237-horsepower 2.0-liter model. To get power comparable to the G70, you need to opt for a higher trim with the 2.7-liter 310-horsepower engine, and that starts higher than the G70. The V6 G70 starts at $51,145, and that’s multiple thousands less than the BMW M340i or Acura TLX Type-S.

It’s quite impressive that, even with just minor changes since its introduction more than half a decade ago, the G70 is still so good. It’s still excellent to drive, whether when racing or relaxing, and it’s a killer deal. And even though there are things that we want to see improved, we’re still happy to recommend the G70 to anyone. We just don’t want Genesis rest on its laurels, no matter how good they are.

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