by Ian Wright
The all-new 2022 Genesis GV70 luxury compact crossover has a primary mission: Genesis is seeking to convince first-time luxury buyers that the popular BMW X3 and Audi Q5 aren't the only game in town when it comes to comfortable family utility and sporty vehicle dynamics. It uses the larger GV80's approach to comfort, technology, and build quality and adds a dose of performance ideally suited to its size. The GV70 also has a fresh and handsome face compared to its older German rivals, and its appeal should increase with the Korean company's reputation for reliability and customer service.
Under the hood is a choice between a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower or a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 offering a bucket-full of torque along with 375 hp. Add either of those to an elegant exterior and a stylish interior, and you have a recipe for what could be the newest segment leader. To find out if it is the sum of all its parts, we spent a week with the GV70.
This compact luxury crossover SUV is new for 2022 and slots in under the midsize crossover SUV that is the GV80. Genesis has blessed the GV70 with an attractive exterior design, a range of impressive engines, and a refined interior, with the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 offering an impressive 375-horsepower punch. Although one can easily spot some characteristic GV design elements, the exterior features various model-specific styling elements. The 2022 GV70 comes with a ton of standard tech features and is competitively priced against its European rivals.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
When we first pulled away in the GV70, it was with a smile. We're fans of the larger GV80 already, and the GV70 has the same feeling of assured comfort and style straight off the bat. After our first trip out to explore with the GV70 3.5T, we learned Genesis is serious about the Sport part of the package. Our week-long loaner was the 3.5T AWD, which comes standard with the Sport package, so ride comfort was our first concern. The ride is firm, as expected of a sport trim where keeping the chassis cornering flat is ideal, but the suspension is compliant in the right places despite being on the Prestige-optioned 21-inch wheels. The throttle response is a little touchy in Comfort mode for our taste, but it's outright aggressive in Sport and Sport+ modes, which we appreciated. Initial bite on the brakes is strong, but then braking becomes progressive. Around town, though, the brakes can be grabby. When unleashed, the V6 engine is an animal, but around town, it settles down and is nicely refined.
On a windy road, the steering and chassis are even more responsive than expected, and the grip level is confidence-inspiring, as is the entertaining rear-biased AWD system when it comes to getting the power down. Initial turn-in is particularly impressive, likely improved by the torque-vectoring limited-slip rear differential supplied with the Sport Prestige package and bolstered by the sticky rubber. The steering is heavily weighted, super-responsive, and clinically direct. Around town, we never lost the feeling that the GV70 is a sporty crossover, but it's capable of being a comfortable commuter and grocery-getter. Just be wary that in 3.5T AWD guise, the GV70 is always willing and wanting to play. It can be quite aggressive when poked, so we spent most of our time in Comfort and Sport mode as Sport+ is just a tad too aggressive for the road.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
With the GV70, Genesis has cut right to the heart of the compact luxury segment by delivering oodles of style, comfort, and aggressive sportiness for those who want it. In base model spec, the four-cylinder engine is more than adequate for swishing around town and the occasional backroad blast, while the six-cylinder offers even more oomph and a beast mode. In its lower trim guises, the GV70 easily goes head to head with BMW X3 in style, ride comfort, and performance. However, in its 3.5T configuration, don't expect the GV70 to be an X3 M killer just yet when it comes to dynamics. Still, it nearly matches the BMW X3 M40i for pace and feels more agile. Essentially, f you're looking at a BMW X3, Audi's Q5, or the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, then you really, really should be test-driving a GV70 in a similar trim as well. Genesis has put the Germans on notice here.
|Genesis GV70||300 hp||22/28 mpg||$43,150|
|Genesis GV80||300 hp||20/24 mpg||$55,800|
|BMW X3||248 hp||23/29 mpg||$46,200|
The GV80 was introduced in 2021 as Genesis' new luxury midsize SUV and rides on a bespoke platform, unlike the GV70. The GV80 is the larger car and is over nine inches longer than the GV70. With this comes more front and rear legroom and far superior cargo space. Behind the first row, you get 84 cubic feet of space compared to the GV70's 56.9 cubes. Under the hood, the GV80 shares its 300-hp 2.5T and 375-hp 3.5T engines with the GV70 and sends its power to all four wheels via the same eight-speed automatic transmission. Both cars are similarly specced in terms of features, but the GV80 does let you have a third seating row. The GV80 is a relaxed vehicle on the road and not as sporty as the GV70, but it will suit larger families better. Depending on your needs, there isn't a bad SUV here.
The BMW X3 is one of the most popular compact luxury crossover SUVs in the US, and offers a great balance of practicality, luxury, and safety. On top of that, it's also one of the better compact crossover SUVs to drive. Starting at nearly $44,000, the BMW is more expensive out the gate, and with a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing only 248 horsepower, it's also down on power. In M40i xDrive configuration, the BMW manages to offer slightly more power than the 3.5T Genesis, but at a significant price premium. Inside, the BMW shares its general cabin design with the rest of the BMW family, and build quality is good, but the Genesis offers more standard features and passenger space. Both cars offer good trunk space, but the BMW offers more when the seats are folded down. The X3 will be the top choice for brand snobs, but we think the Genesis GV70 offers better value for money.
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