Audi and BMW have a new problem.
The all-new 2022 Genesis GV70 luxury compact crossover has officially debuted with full details following a light reveal in October. Compared to the larger GV80, the GV70 has a sportier appearance and attitude inspired by the South Korean brand's "Athletic Elegance" design philosophy.
The GV70's goal is simple: lure away BMW X3 and Audi Q5 customers and bring in first-time luxury buyers. Genesis, like Hyundai and Kia, has become known for offering more for less while also pushing bold exterior styling. It's a successful formula that continues with the GV70. As segment rivals continue to age, the GV70 offers a fresh face consumers are bound to find appealing. Given that Genesis has already proven itself in key areas such as reliability and customer service, the new GV70 is very much the right vehicle at the right time.
It's clear that Genesis focused heavily on the GV70's exterior design and those efforts have paid off. Described as having a "sporty and powerful appearance," the GV70 boasts the brand's latest design language, such as the large Crest Grille inspired by the Genesis logo. That grille extends below the quad headlights for a more athletic attitude. Designers also added skit plates on the bottom of the bumpers.
From the side, a single character line begins at the top of the headlights and runs along the vehicle's side all the way to the muscular rear fenders. Above those fenders is a coupe-like roofline. Chrome trim can be found along the top of the front and passenger side windows and along the C-pillar. The taillights also take on the split look and sport ultra-thin signatures. Special attention was given to the rear bumper with its G-Matrix pattern and uniquely-shaped muffler. We also like the body-color diffuser.
Those who opt for the Sport package will benefit from a different front bumper design, 21-inch wheels, dark chrome instead of shiny trim, and a larger exhaust pipe. Three new exterior colors include Mauna Red, Barossa Burgundy Metallic, and Barossa Burgundy Matte.
Like the exterior, Genesis held nothing back for the interior design, which is inspired by the aerodynamic sections of airplane wings. The slim air vent and thin chrome line that surrounds the driver aims to give the impression of space, while the oval shape surrounding the controls was a bold choice. For simplicity and elegance, the number of buttons was reduced on the central dash above which sits a 14.5-inch LCD display touchscreen. The GV70 also gains the GV80's 12.3-inch all-digital driver's instrument cluster. The shift-by-wire gear selector is really a knob designed to resemble a fine piece of jewelry. We also like the ambient lighting surround the climate controls.
Sport models come with a three-spoke steering wheel, unique colors, and optional carbon-fiber trim on the center console and doors. All GV70s can be optioned with numerous interior color combos, such as the two-tone Ocean Waves/Pine Grove and Gray/Velvet Burgundy.
Under the hood, the GV70 has two options: the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 304 horsepower or the optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with a healthier 380 hp. Both are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is optional. Drivers have four drive modes to choose from: Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom. The Sport Package tacks on a fifth mode, Sport Plus.
Safety takes a priority with driver-assist systems such as Highway Driving Assist II, which controls the steering wheel during lane changes, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist that controls vehicle speed based on the set speed limit, and the navigation-based Smart Cruise Control that can, among other things, reduce vehicle speed in a curve. Additional systems include a fingerprint authentication system and Advanced Rear Occupant Alert with radar sensors.
Genesis has not yet revealed official GV70 pricing but a $40,000 or so starting price would be about right for the segment. Sales will get underway in 2021 though no specified date was announced.
The competition includes heavy-hitters like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Volvo XC60. Interestingly, the GV70 does not offer a hybrid or plug-in hybrid variant at this time, unlike its rivals. While this could deter some buyers, the GV70's bold appearance inside and out further augmented by its advanced safety technologies and assist systems could change some minds. Above all, Genesis has produced a potential new segment leader and there's no doubt competitors have already taken notice.