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Genesis has firmly established itself as a real brand with serious intentions about the luxury car market. With a bedrock of great products in the G70 and G80 sedans, plus the GV80 SUV, and a few others, the new GV70 smallish SUV seems to continue the upward trajectory of the winged Korean nameplate. As the smaller offering compared to the GV80, the GV70 runs on the C2 platform from the G70, and shares powertrains with it: The stout 3.5T Lambda engine, and the 2.0T Theta engine. Even though Genesis is very much still the new kid on the block, its products feel mature and well-aged and this release feels as assured and confident as any I’ve seen. Reviewers seem to enjoy the SUV, even if it isn’t setting the world alight.

For this Review Rundown, I looked at a bunch of articles and videos by our friends across the industry to get some different perspectives and info on the 2022 Genesis GV70. I came away with high hopes for the smaller Genesis SUV, and respect for the work that the team at Genesis has done to truly challenge the big players in the market, a very 1989 Lexusesque effort. As the first GV70 ever, this one has set a high bar for future iterations, and I hope that Genesis continues to make it a better luxury SUV over its lifetime.

Here’s the Scoop

Genesis is still a fresh player, even for the wealth of industry experience that its engineering team brings. Names like Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW M division, work at Genesis to bring the brand up to speed and even beyond competitors. Because of that, the GV70 has something to prove up against some big guns from Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. This is the product that might make or break Genesis, with the swelteringly hot SUV market being the arena everyone wants a piece of. Hell, even Mack Hogan at Road & Track contended that every Genesis before it was a warm-up act for the real moneymaker GV70 and GV80 SUVs. 

Up against the more expensive Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC, I happen to think that the GV70 offers a compelling value argument for zero compromise. That is with a huge caveat: appearances matter in this market. This is a badge-driven segment, and I fear that the public may still be warming up to the Genesis brand and its spotty dealer network. Onto the evaluations.

On Interesting Tech And How It Compares To Competitors

According to the pros, the GV70 blows the rest of the segment out of the water in terms of interior quality and value. A well-built interior combined with smart styling seems to make a pleasant, airy interior space with a great lineup of colors to boot. It also attracted praise for the unintrusive and smooth driver assistance systems and some extra bits of thoughtfulness that are always great signs of a well-resolved product.

Kristen Lee for The Drive: “Standard GV70s come with all-wheel drive, the eight-speed automatic, the four-cylinder engine, 18-inch wheels, the 14.5-inch infotainment screen, the eight-inch driver information cluster, leatherette seats, various driver-assistance systems, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The test car Genesis loaned me was the top-tier AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige trim that included a darker grille, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, the twin-turbo V6, the 12.3-inch 3D digital gauge cluster, a panoramic roof, 21-inch wheels, and a premium leather package. The final vehicle price came out to $64,045.

Competitively, the GV70 stacks up against the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5, Acura RDX, and Jaguar F-Pace. Among those, the base $42,045 Genesis is the more affordable option and definitely comes with a plusher interior. The whole thing just looks and feels newer. Plus, it’s different; you don’t see many Genesis models on the road yet so it’s fun to stand out in a segment that, by virtue of its popularity, is now quite mundane.”

Brandon Turkus for Motor1: “As for the V6, you’ll be spending at least $53,645. Our top-of-the-line test model, meanwhile, starts at $63,545, which is quite dear compared to the Acura, Lexus, and Lincoln, although all three are down considerably on performance. Even relative to the Germans, though, the GV70 Sport Prestige is a pricey thing – when similarly equipped, the Audi SQ5 and BMW X3 M40i cost about the same amount, and the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 isn’t too much more. More worrying for customers who want real performance is the presence of the X3 M and GLC 63, barely $10,000 away. The good news is that a lack of options keeps that price from inflating too much.

While we can’t recommend the GV70 as an alternative to any of its high-performance rivals, as a pure luxury vehicle, this is another successful product from Genesis. A class-leading ride and interior, advanced technology, and comprehensive active safety mark it as the new luxury leader in this segment. Why are we not surprised?”

I would like to note that $10,000 makes a huge difference here, contrary to what Motor1 said.

Craig Cole for CNET Roadshow: “There’s a pecking order in the luxury-car business. Excluding niche companies that sell ultra-high-end vehicles, European brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo generally reign supreme. Then come the Japanese, who are a rung or two above America’s Cadillac and Lincoln. This hierarchy is well established but under siege. South Korean upstart Genesis is on the warpath and its 2022 GV70 is poised to depose segment leaders and usurp the small luxury SUV throne. 

That sounds a bit hyperbolic, but after driving the Sport Prestige-trim GV70 I’m convinced it’s the segment leader, or at the very least one of the best offerings in its class. 

Sharing the same basic underpinnings with the excellent G70 sedan, the GV70 SUV is dressed to impress. With that shield-shaped grille, quad lamp assemblies at both ends and sweeping body lines, this SUV looks upscale without necessarily resembling any of its rivals — well, unless you consider the Porsche Macan a competitor, then there’s definitely a resemblance.”

On The Interior

A clear highlight in any of the reviews we quoted here, the interior of the GV70 is a standout feature of the car. The only disappointment being registered is with the lack of lower support from the seats, an issue our colleague Kristen Lee at The Drive found particularly annoying. 

MotorTrend: “Like its exterior, the 2022 Genesis GV70’s interior is quite a bit different from what we’ve seen in other Genesis models, particularly the GV80. The new smaller sibling’s cabin takes its inspiration from airplane wing profiles: An oval theme is seen throughout the interior, with the shape occurring in the center dashboard, center console, and door panels. A black strip runs along the door panels, meets the air vents, and continues across the dashboard, tricking your eye by hiding the center vents and adding an upscale touch. These kinds of details make the GV70 stand out in a competitive segment.

The cabin also shines with its quality materials and feeling of airiness. The driver-centric interior borrows some cues from the GV80, like haptic HVAC controls and the 14.5-inch touchscreen, the latter also controlled via a raised rotary knob in the center console. Volume and tuning controls take the shape of elegant rollers and are integrated close to the drive mode selector, while the crystal rotary shifter handle leverages space in the center console.”

Mack Hogan for Road & Track: “The theme continues inside. We’ve previously noted that the Genesis GV80 has one of the best interiors in any car under $100,000; the GV70 adapts the same style to a sportier, smaller, and cheaper canvas. What it lacks in grandeur it makes up for in clever detailing and thoughtful touches, from the fingerprint reader that can function as a keyless ignition to the intricate patterns in the ambient lighting. Color, too, is used to striking effect. Both the outside and inside of the GV70 can be optioned with hues far more adventurous than anything the Germans offer: Matte burgundy paint, dark green leather, blue sports seats. Stuff you’d never see in a largely bland segment.”

Derek Powell for Car and Driver: “​​The interior carries on a similar theme, with lots of swoopy, flowing lines across the cabin. The tapered forms and bold use of brightwork remind us of peak ’60s American car design. And while most competitors offer only a few interior color choices, the GV70 has seven, including a rather alluring two-tone blue and green color scheme. Genesis also offers 13 exterior paints.

As much as we enjoyed the interior design and materials, the eternal battle between form and function has not reached a peace. The curve of the door panel intersects awkwardly with the armrest, leaving your elbow unhappy. And while the aforementioned shift knob is a tactile delight, it sits just ahead of the identically sized infotainment control wheel. More than once we conflated the two dials, accidentally switching radio stations instead of shifting into Drive. Rear-seat space is a little tight in legroom, but the cargo area is slightly larger than some competitors.”

On Performance and Road Refinement

The GV70 seems to be a great cruiser, a car at home as a luxury vehicle with no airs as a sports SUV. The fact that sport SUVs exist at all is ridiculous, and Genesis seems to agree with me; the easygoing leather-trimmed missile character of the small Genesis with the 3.5T engine makes for a serene experience. 

Craig Cole for CNET Roadshow: “The steering is nicely weighted and unusually crisp for an SUV, though the GV70’s ride is a bit too firm for my taste, even in comfort mode. This stiffness doesn’t beat you up, but neither does it provide much of a handling benefit. Nonetheless, this Genesis drives well, even if it feels a bit larger than it actually is and it never encourages you to do irresponsible things. Dynamically, this SUV is competent but not outstanding.”

Kristen Lee for The Drive: “​​The driving route Genesis put me on included quite a bit of tight and curvy canyon-carving. The GV70 performed just fine, but I could tell it wasn’t in love with the terrain. The steering feel, regardless of whatever drive mode I put it in, was always on the numb side. It’s a nice and lightweight setup that’s great for relaxed driving but doesn’t betray much information about what the front wheels are up to. There’s also no hiding the SUV’s higher center of gravity and weight.

Cruising around is where the GV70 really shines. The suspension rides over bumps with cloud-like assurance. Transmission shifts come smoothly. The brakes grab progressively. I have no insight into how the four-cylinder engine performs, but the twin-turbo V6 in the test car offered more than enough gumption for merging and passing. It’s also a bit louder than it was in the G80 I tested a little while ago; I could hear the motor going more at higher revs here.”

Derek Powell for C/D: “Our test drive was limited to the top-shelf 3.5T Sport Prestige trim. While we didn’t make use of the optional differential to swing the tail wide, we did find ourselves hammering through the extremely tight and twisty canyon roads just east of Malibu. Sport Plus drive mode increases steering effort, amps up the powertrain, and stiffens the adaptive dampers, giving the GV70 the impression of a credible performer. The 375-hp V-6 proved quite willing, but the chassis and all-season tires are happier coddling passengers than they are cornering at the limit.”

Brandon Turkus for Motor1: “Instead, it was off the PCH and on the inland hills, through Topanga Canyon and along Mulholland Drive, where the GV70’s dynamics failed to impress. On paper, this crossover should wow – it shares the C2 platform with the G70 sedan and carries a multi-link suspension layout at all four corners, in addition to our Sport Prestige tester’s standard all-wheel drive and torque-vectoring limited-slip rear differential. But along the twisties, the GV70 left us cold no matter which mode we chose.

Its mild-mannered handling character provides adequate control of roll, squat, and dive but little actual verve in corners. You can rocket out of a bend, as the all-wheel-drive system can shuffle up to 100 percent of the torque to the rear axle, and, once there, the LSD can overdrive one side or the other. But if you want assertive handling or an impressive level of lateral grip, it’s hard to recommend this 4,453-pound crossover. That combo of weight and a comfort-oriented suspension are anathema to fun driving.”

On Drivers Assistance Tech

Another highlight of the GV70 is its much-praised driver assistance suite that comes as standard. It includes much of the industry-standard suite with the addition of BCSA which is blind spot monitoring with collision avoidance, and some other trick advanced assistance features.

Kristen Lee for The Drive: “There’s also an impressive suite of driver-assistance tech that comes as standard: highway driving assist, lane-following assist, lane-keep assist, forward collision-avoidance assist, and blind-spot collision-avoidance assist. (BSCA is a step above your average blind-spot monitor, as it “automatically controls the vehicle” to stop you from merging into another car you can’t see.) Genesis’ Highway Driving Assist II feature is an option, but one I’d recommend shelling out a bit extra for because it helps the car stay centered in its lane even while going through a curve and monitors for other cars about to cut you off.”

Brandon Turkus for Motor1: “Unlike all but the RDX and NX, though, the GV70 comes standard with an attractive active safety suite, which includes the acclaimed Highway Driving Assist (HDA). Option up, though, and you’ll find the GV70 is one of the smartest cars on the road. Our tester carried the next-generation of HDA, unimaginatively named HDA 2, which adds automatic lane changes, along with navigation-based active cruise control that uses machine learning to better match the owner’s driving style. Drivers can even adjust how much assistance HDA 2 applies, how hard it accelerates, and how quickly it reacts.”

Craig Cole for CNET Roadshow: “Other no-extra-charge amenities include blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams and rear parking sensors. Heated front chairs, a 12-way power driver’s seat and keyless entry with pushbutton start are standard, too, as is Highway Driving Assist — Genesis’ name for adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and lane centering. Depending on model, Highway Driving Assist II is also available. It includes the aforementioned functionality plus lane-change assist. In testing, Highway Driving Assist II works seamlessly. It does an excellent job keeping the GV70 in the center of its lane and attentively adjusts the speed to match that of the vehicle ahead. The system is particularly useful in heavy congestion, gently stopping the GV70 when things grind to a halt and automatically starting it again once traffic starts moving.”

Special Segment: On Thoughtfulness

I just wanted to share this blurb from Mack Hogan of Road and Track about a nice little feature of the GV70 that protects from poor air quality and sealed the deal for Mack.

Mack Hogan for Road & Track: “It’s almost suspicious. There have been times where cars have appeared to be great values, but a look below the beltline or under the hood revealed rampant cost-cutting, details missed, options skimped. I kept trying to find the same in the Genesis, poring over surfaces to see where the money was saved. Cheaper materials certainly exist, tucked away in back corners, but nothing worse than what you’d find in a Mercedes or Volvo. Surely, I thought as my drive back to Brooklyn neared the end, I’d find a detail the company had skimped on.

Then, without warning, the windows started to go up as I went into the tunnel. An alert flashed across the center screen, informing me that the climate control was going into recirculation mode. Later, I learned that the GV70 had detected potentially hazardous air quality and automatically battened down the hatches. That’s a feature you won’t find in the brochures— or anywhere else in the auto market, originally designed as it was for South Korea’s pollution season. It’s now available here and optional in the settings menu, a little sign that the company really is trying to do everything right.

As I left the tunnel, the air quality increased and the GV70 automatically returned the windows to their former fully open setting. My, what a breath of fresh air can do.”

Photos

Here’s a quick album of pictures of the GV70 from Genesis. If an angle you were looking for isn’t in here, check out the Genesis site.

2022 Genesis GV70: First Reviews Are In and People Seem Pleased With It
2022 Genesis GV70: First Reviews Are In and People Seem Pleased With It
2022 Genesis GV70: First Reviews Are In and People Seem Pleased With It
2022 Genesis GV70: First Reviews Are In and People Seem Pleased With It
2022 Genesis GV70: First Reviews Are In and People Seem Pleased With It
2022 Genesis GV70: First Reviews Are In and People Seem Pleased With It

Verdict

It seems that the 2022 Genesis GV70 is a refreshing entry into a red-hot market. I appreciate that Genesis seems to have gone back to the SUV fundamentals of luxury and some utility while injecting style and design into a decidedly bland segment. Seems like a winner, but will buyers take to the new automaker?

Review Context

All of the reviews for the 2022 Genesis GV70 were conducted in Southern California on a course that took writers up the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, which is diverse terrain and a good course to evaluate a car. Writers were directed on a certain route that included the Malibu canyons and plenty of highway driving up to Santa Barbara via US-101.

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