The hits keep coming for the Genesis marque, but are we surprised? Five new models in five years and Hyundai’s luxury brand continues to provide a strong statement for itself. Soon, a sixth model will roll out, its first dedicated all-electric model. Meanwhile, the 2022 Genesis GV70 is here, a compact sport utility vehicle that brings verve and value to the class. We were able to preview one, and as usual, we were also quite impressed.
2022 Genesis GV70
The Genesis GV70 is a compact to medium-sized SUV with room for five. It is available in a pair of trims: 2.5T ($41,500) and 3.5T ($52,600), plus $1,045 for the freight charge. Genesis offers sub-trims as well, which are packages with names such as Select, Advanced, and Sport Prestige.
Customers have a choice of two turbocharged engines paired with an automatic transmission. Genesis made all-wheel drive standard, which is oftentimes an upgrade for this segment.
The GV70 is the second Genesis SUV, as it follows the GV80 to the market. Genesis launched its brand with a succession of three sedans, followed by the two SUVs. The GV70 is built on the same platform underpinning the G70 sedan.
Highlights of the 2022 Genesis GV70
Arriving in summer 2021, the Genesis GV70 bridges the small and medium-sized luxury utility vehicle segment. With this review, we are focusing on the highlights and key features first before sharing our driving impressions of the V6.
Since its 2017 launch, Genesis has been delivering models that exceed expectations. We saw elements of that when the Genesis and Equus were under Hyundai. But to set the new brand apart, something new was needed. Enter the SUVs.
The sedans are beautiful as are the SUVs. When we test drove our first model, the GV80, comparisons to far more expensive models such as Bentley were made. Both Genesis SUVs possess a stunning presence. Importantly, the GV70 loses little to the GV80.
The GV70’s front fascia parallels the other Genesis models with its diamond-shaped grille. The quad LED headlights are separated by LED lights for a distinct expression. Lovely cutouts, carefully conceived character lines, and other touches such as third profile windows and unique diffuser trim add interest. Neoteric wheel designs, large wraparound tail lamps, and fat exhaust tips are sporty embellishments of note.
Certainly, the exterior is captivating. But the interior is even better. That may seem difficult to fathom, but it is true. Some describe the dashboard as resembling an aircraft wing. We see what they mean, but even if you do not, the styling is there.
Specifically, the instrument panel is the primary focus of the dashboard, along with an oblong display on top of the dash. The top and bottom parts are separated by a long vent port and this is where the “wing-like” look comes in. What’s especially stunning, though, is the contrasting colors, particularly with the dark top and vibrant red bottom in our test model.
You must look around to find plastic touches. High-end materials dominate and include aluminum trim, knurled buttons and switches, various other metals, and patterned carbon fiber pieces.
The leather seats are handsome and comfortable, but it is the Nappa leather on the top trim that makes a significant difference. All trims come with heated front seats. Ventilation and massaging are available. We found the driver’s seat on the 3.5T model exceptional as this one includes 16-way power adjustment, power side bolsters, and the seat extender, all welcome features.
Take note of the available heated outboard rear seats. They not only warm the backside, but they recline up to 26 degrees. We found that area slightly more spacious than the comparable G70 sedan. Moreover, the sloping roofline does little to impede headroom.
Genesis supplies 28.9 cubic feet of standard cargo space between the 60/40 split fold-down rear seat. Fold those seats flat and the storage space nearly doubles. Both figures are about average for the class.
It is too early for crash test results to grade the GV70. Even so, we expect strong scores from both the IIHS and the NHTSA once the testing has been accomplished. Notably, the GV70 comes with eight airbags. One of the bags deploys between the front seats, keeping the passengers from hitting each other or slamming into the dashboard.
The list of standard features includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Also, blind-spot monitoring, active lane cruise, and adaptive cruise control with full stop and go. Other features include automatic high beams and parking sensors.
There are a few options available including rear-seat minders and a surround-view camera system. We were particularly impressed with the side camera system that is activated with a flick of the turn signal. In doing so, the driver’s field of vision expands to the left or the right with the output displayed on the instrument panel.
For a starting price of $41,000, the GV70 is shockingly well equipped. This model comes with a 14.5-inch touch-screen display with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, wireless charging, and USB ports.
Among the upgrades are an 18-speaker Lexicon audio system and a surround-view camera system. The upgraded sound system is amazing as it fills the cabin with a concert-hall quality vibe.
What are your performance requirements? Happily, the GV70 comes with not one, but two engine choices. And both are turbocharged.
The standard engine is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This one develops 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Let those numbers sink in for a moment as they represent a power density that is quite impressive for the class.
Inasmuch as the first engine has strong power output, the upgraded engine is almost impossible to ignore. This one is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine with 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. It is sharp and makes the GV70 move fast. The run-up to 60 mph takes place in under 5 seconds. Both engines work with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
On the Road
We have driven Genesis models with both engine choices. The standard engine is strong, but we think even with the smaller GV70, the V6 is the better choice.
This engine delivers V8-equivalent performance, which is represented by strong step-off acceleration and passing power. Indeed, the turbos kick in immediately, rocketing this SUV to highway speeds and beyond in short order. No, the GV70 does not handle like the G70 sedan, but it comes quite close. On the straightway, it shines brightly.
A stiff body keeps the GV70 relatively composed. We say “relatively” because there is always some body roll present. It does not do a stellar job as a Porsche Macan when hanging the curves or while entering or leaving corners, but our complaints are few and our praise is earned. The available electronic limited-slip differential shifts 100-percent of the power to the rear wheels when needed.
The engine is strong and works well with the automatic transmission, which never seems at a loss for finding the right gear for the moment. Under full throttle the exhaust hums, but it is not especially loud. We can imagine Genesis developing a performance line with larger turbos producing even more power with the V6. Until then, the engine choices are quite remarkable.
The low starting price for the GV70 is a true eye-catcher. It is difficult to imagine a feature-laden luxury model such as this one priced from under $50,000, well equipped. We have seen comparably loaded mainstream models come in awfully close to this price threshold. Clearly, Genesis has them in mind and is doing everything it can to win new customers to the brand. Thus, we see the GV70 poaching customers from its luxury competitors as well as winning new customers to the class.
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