Viable German alternative. The Genesis brand isn't new at this point, but it's still in its teething phase - and most buyers have little idea of what it means or stands for. This makes it that much harder for Genesis to stand out to luxury car shoppers who turn like clockwork towards brands like Mercedes or Lexus. Yet Genesis is trying to break into the space nonetheless, and the excellent 2022 G70 sport sedan is one of their most significant efforts.

The G70 competes against some of the most resolved and refined luxury stalwarts: the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The two nameplates have earned serious respect among shoppers and critics alike for their well-rounded personas. They've set a high bar to clear, but the folks at Genesis clearly aren't intimidated. Considering the G70's taut chassis, excellent pair of powertrains, and a glamorous interior, why should they be?

To keep up the momentum, the revised 2022 G70 now features more standard tech and features as well as a massaged front fascia to keep the styling aligned with the recently-released GV80 and GV70 SUVs. The question isn't whether this is enough to keep the Genesis G70 competitive, but whether it's enough to convince customers that this is a viable alternative to their favorite German sport sedan.

Punchy engines, nimble chassis. Genesis models feature two powertrain options: a base 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a twin-turbo V-6. Pricing will surely point most buyers towards the four, but rest assured this isn't a second-rate engine. Its 281 horsepower is plenty among the similarly-rated engines used by rivals, and it can get to 60 mph in a respectable seven seconds.

Of course, the real peach is the throaty, muscular twin-turbo V-6. Displacing 3.3 liters, this engine cuts down the 0-60 mph sprint to just 4.5 seconds, sounding lovely the whole way up the speedometer and tachometer. We found it has an excellent throttle response despite a touch of turbo lag.

This year, every G70 uses an eight-speed automatic - we'll miss the old six-speed manual that had been offered, rare and obscure as it was. Luckily this gearbox knows how and when to swap cogs. We didn't suffer through a botched shift during our time behind the wheel, despite our best efforts to stymie the transmission.

The chassis holds corners with a firm yet forgiving confidence; the steering feels nicely weighted and direct; the suspension can be dialed to a just-right setting thanks to a variety of modes.

Our one complaint? The standard suspension pair with the V-6 is too stiff for anyone whose commute isn't done on a racetrack. The optional adaptive dampers cure this grievance, but we'd still like to see the regular setup be a little more forgiving on ordinary roadways.

Rather inefficient. The G70 is no fuel miser: in its thriftiest form, the EPA cautions it will return 21 mpg city, 31 highway, 24 combined. Opting for all-wheel drive that version drops those ratings to 20/28/23 mpg.

The V-6 is thirstier, demanding fuel at the rate of 18/27/21 mpg in rear-drive form and 17/25/20 mpg with the available all-wheel drive. In 2021, those fuel economy figures leave something to be desired.

That said, this segment as a whole hasn't fully embraced the industry-wide turn towards hybridization and electrification. The Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, and Cadillac CT4, for instance, don't offer any sort of alternative to traditional gasoline power. Yet the C300 does at least offer up to 35 mpg highway, while the Audi A4 can do 34 mpg on the interstate. The C63 is also equally efficient as the V-6 G70 despite its two extra cylinders and additional 250-odd horsepower.

Cabin fever. Once you're snugly embraced by the decently bolstered seats, the details of the G70's cabin begin to reveal themselves. There's the slight driver-oriented cant of the center stack. The just-right amount of physical buttons enable you to adjust radio and climate without taking your eyes off the road. The nice mix of colors and trims, especially when the available red leather is ordered. And everything has a look and feel of real quality. Overall, this is a nice place to be and measures up well against the bar-setting German competition.

Mounted up high on the dash is a 10.3-inch touchscreen, which for this year has been made standard on all trims. We're happy to see it used across the board, but unfortunately, it now means wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is no longer available. For whatever reason, this system isn't set up for wireless smartphone integration the way the old 8.0-inch screen was. Some might be put off by this, but we think it's a small tradeoff for the additional two inches of screen and its more advanced interface.

Now if only we could get an additional two inches of legroom in the back seat. As a rear-drive car, the G70 inherently struggles with space utilization: a 112-inch wheelbase affords less than 35 inches of legroom. The trunk has less than 11 cubic feet of available cargo space, though the rear seatbacks do fold down.

This is a genetic malady that afflicts any car that sends power rearward. The larger Kia Stinger - which shares the same platform - is more spacious, but only because it sits on a longer wheelbase. If you check out the interior dimensions of the 3-Series and the like, you won't find figures that much better than what the G70 is putting up. This is yet another reason why crossovers are now dominating the market.

Final word. The Genesis G70 doesn't have heritage. There is no badge to flaunt because name recognition is still in the works. And it doesn't offer the diversity of models pilfered by competing cars. And yet, despite all that stacked against it, the G70 is a dark horse in a gilded segment. The chassis is the real deal, dialed in and tight, goading you into corners. The twin-turbo six gives the inline jobs from BMW and Mercedes a run for their money. The interior, too, strikes the bullseye when it comes to fit, finish, style, and quality.

Clearly, Hyundai engineers didn't phone in their first sports sedan. With how thorough a job they did polishing this four-door, we're reminded of the early efforts of Lexus and Acura - two brands that over-delivered in a big way in order to cement their reputations quickly and definitively. We hope the excellent G70 can do the same for the fledging Genesis brand.

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