In the five years since Genesis separated from Hyundai to form a distinct luxury brand, we have seen new models populate the product line. Three sedans rolled out in succession, followed by a pair of SUVs. The latest model, the Genesis GV70 SUV, arrives for the 2022 model year and is on sale now. Importantly, the GV70 brings a terrific combination of amenities and value to a crowded segment.
Genesis offers the 2022 GV70 in two trims: 2.5T ($41,000) and 3.5T ($52,600). Add $1,045 for the destination charge. This model seats five, offers a pair of turbocharged engine choices, and comes with standard all-wheel drive.
The GV70 follows close on the heels of the GV80, the larger of the two Genesis SUVs. The GV70 shares some of the styling points, including exquisite LED lighting, a chrome grille, and handsome character lines. Overall, its muscular persona features powerful shoulders, handsome wheels choices, upright roof pillars, and a high beltline. Lots of detailing across the front end and diffuser panel impart visual interest.
Inside, the cabin may be the winner. Our top-of-the-line 3.5T trim pulled out all the stops with its two-tone color scheme. Rich leathers with dual stitching, knurled knobs and switches, exquisitely detailed carbon fiber, and microsuede suggest a far more expensive model than it is. We admire Genesis’ attention to detail, choice materials, superb fit and finish, quiet interior, and general comfort. Take note of the interior lighting, especially at dusk when subtle backlighting appears.
We shall say the GV70 seats four comfortably or five in a pinch. The back 60/40 split fold-down bench seat is thick and supportive, but three adults seated across makes for a tight squeeze. The best seats are in the first row as they offer excellent support and generous padding. Heated and ventilated seats are available as well as massaging front seats. The latter automatically activates, by delivering well-timed kneading when you need it most. You can control these features on the display panel as well.
Behind the rear seat is 29 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the seat down and that space nearly doubles to 57 cubic feet. When properly equipped, the GV70 pulls up to 3,500 pounds. That’s average for the class.
Tech and Safety
All trims come with a 14.5-inch touch-screen display. This unit sits on top of the dashboard and occupies a significant chunk of real estate. Besides touch-screen access, the display is managed by a dial located at the base of the center console. It takes some getting used to, but once you are comfortable with using it, you may not want to go back. Indeed, the dial is easier to reach than the display and move quickly between commands.
The screen controls all manner of vehicle operation, including climate, audio, navigation, and smartphone integration. You will not find a paper copy of your owner’s manual in the glove box. Instead, it is accessible on the display screen. We are fans of the 12.3-inch digital display cluster, which is available with some packages. It is bundled with a head-up display, which makes it easier to track your speed and follow driving directions.
On the safety front, all models come with blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and adaptive cruise control. Automatic high beams and active lane control are also included. We appreciate the blind-spot camera system that activates with the flick of the left or right turn signal stalk. The video feeds directly to the instrument panel and effectively broadens the driver’s view of the surroundings. Further, a surround-view camera system brings in an added measure of exterior viewing all around.
There is not a slack GV70 model to be had and that is a good thing. Genesis offers two engine choices and both work with an 8-speed automatic transmission to route power to all four wheels.
The standard engine is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. That is more horsepower than the competing BMW X3. The second choice is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine with 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. This one powered our test model.
We were very impressed with the boosted V6 engine. This one delivers excellent step-off acceleration and strong passing power. It shines on the straightaways and supplies five drive modes, including a pair of sport modes. The Sport+ mode is the most raucous of the quintet as it adds weight to the steering, extends transmission shift points, and sends a sweet note out of the exhaust. We will not say that the GV70 handles as well as the similar G70 sedan, but it does a decent job of staying centered on twisting roads and moving in and out of corners with ease. Except for certain amount of body roll, this SUV mirrors the performance of the sedan in most ways. And, yes, the V6’s limited-slip differential does a better job of distributing power when you need it.
You cannot go wrong by ordering the base model and choosing the Select Package, which is a $4,000 upgrade. This one adds a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, and an 18-speaker Lexicon audio system. Your final cost stays below $47,000 and that represents an excellent price point for this stylish, well-equipped compact luxury SUV. Look out, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz as the competition has arrived.
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