2022 Genesis GV70 first drive review: Usurper of the throne

There is a pecking order in the luxury car business. Excluding niche companies that sell high-end vehicles, European brands such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz And Volvo generally reign supreme. Then come the Japanese, who are a step or two above the Americans 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 overthrow the leaders of the segment and usurp the throne of small luxury SUVs.

It sounds a bit hyperbolic, but after driving the Sport Prestige-trim GV70 I am convinced that it is the leader of the segment, or at least one of the best offerings in its class.

Share the same basic foundations with the excellent sedan G70, the GV70 SUV is dressed to impress. With that shield-shaped grille, quadruple lamp clusters on either end, and sweeping body lines, this SUV looks elegant without necessarily resembling any of its rivals – well, unless you consider the Porsche Macan a competitor, then there is definitely a similarity.

The bodywork of the GV70 is distinctive and athletic, but its cabin is what truly amazes. At least in the top-of-the-range Sport Prestige form, this interior sets a new standard. The seats are finished in sumptuous Nappa leather and suede, there are stunning carbon fiber accents that feature a unique woven pattern that looks like nothing else in the automotive world, and then there’s the crystal clear control knob for the system of infotainment, which feels as good as it sounds (although it’s similar in size and mounted too close to the rotary shift selector so that it constantly grabs one instead of the other).

This interior features a subtle oval theme that is fresh and modern. A large curved piece of bright work extends over much of the dashboard, surrounding the climate and lighting controls. The door handles are surrounded by oval-shaped frames and many other accents are similarly rounded.

There’s no other way to put it: the interior of this luxury SUV is stunning.

Genesis

Further distinguishing the interior of the GV70 from other luxury SUVs is its brilliant color palette. In addition to boring beige and black, you can also get ultramarine blue, which looks like the deep ocean. Havana Brown and Pine Grove Green are as distinctive as they are eye-catching, but for those with even bolder tastes, a bright crimson called Sevilla Red is also offered and is seriously captivating.

Overall, the interior of this Genesis is warmer and more welcoming than what is found in many German vehicles and is less robotic than the things Japanese companies offer these days. Basically, Genesis figured out how to push boundaries without going overboard.

Standard equipment includes a large and narrow 14.5-inch display that opens elegantly from the dashboard, although it’s not so tall as to obstruct forward visibility. Normally, you navigate the GV70’s fast and intuitive infotainment system with a console-mounted control dial, but the panel is also a touchscreen. Yes, it can be a bit handy, especially while driving, but it’s nice to have both input options. Of course, Apple CarPlay And Android Auto are the standard fare, and you also get a wireless charging plate and nine-speaker sound system, though an array with 18 sound emitters is available.

The style of the GV70 is distinctive And attractive.

Genesis

A stylish dashboard fingerprint reader is included in every GV70. It allows you to access driver profiles, start the vehicle without a key and provides access to valet mode. Digital key functionality is also available. This feature currently only works with Android phones, although I have been told that support for Apple devices is under development. Similar to Lincoln’s Phone As A Key, this feature allows you to lock or unlock your vehicle, upload driver profiles, or share a virtual key with other people – all from the convenience of your mobile device.

Other free services include blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams and rear parking sensors. Heated front seats, 12-position electric driver’s seat and keyless entry with push button start are also standard, as is Highway Driving Assist, Genesis name for adaptive cruise control with stop-and functionality. -go and centering of the lane. Depending on the model, Highway Driving Assist II is also available. Includes the above functionality plus lane change assistance. During testing, Highway Driving Assist II works flawlessly. It does a great job keeping the GV70 in the center of its lane and carefully adjusts the speed to match that of the vehicle ahead. The system is especially useful in heavy congestion, smoothly stopping the GV70 when things stop and automatically restarting it when traffic starts moving.

Speaking of driving, two engines are offered in the GV70. A 2.5-liter turbo-four serves basic duty and is good for 300 horsepower and 311 foot-pounds of torque. The optional unit is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that delivers a hefty 375 hp and 391 lb-ft. This engine offers strong acceleration and is very refined, but it doesn’t feel particularly special.

It is too easy to confuse the infotainment control dial with the rotary shifter because they are mounted next to each other on the center console.

Genesis

An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in the GV70 and is totally perfect about 90% of the time, although you will occasionally feel – and feel – shift up at lower speeds. By improving traction in a variety of conditions, all-wheel drive is standard.

With that V6 under the hood, expect 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Combined, the GV70 should return 21 mpg. The four-cylinder engine is more efficient, but not by much.

The steering is pleasantly weighted and unusually crisp for an SUV, although the GV70’s ride is a little too firm for my taste, even in comfort mode. This stiffness doesn’t bother you, but it doesn’t offer much of a handling advantage either. However, this Genesis drives well, even if it looks a little bigger than it actually is and never encourages you to do irresponsible things. Dynamically, this SUV is competent but not exceptional ..

you could do A lot worse than Genesis GV70.

Genesis

All this excellence will cost you, although not as much as you might expect. An entry-level 2022 Genesis GV70 starts at around $ 42,000, including $ 1,045 in delivery charges, below the Audi Q5 And BMW X3 a couple of dollars each. Of course, the Sport Prestige model I’m evaluating here is a bit steeper, but it still costs around $ 64,000, which honestly feels like a bargain given how luxurious this SUV is. If you’re still not convinced to try the GV70, all Genesis models come with free scheduled maintenance and home pickup for 3 years or 36,000 miles. This small perk should make life with one of these vehicles an almost seamless experience

With an opulent interior, cutting-edge design and competent dynamics, the 2022 Genesis GV70 is an exceptional vehicle. Put it at the top of your shopping list if you’re in the market for a small luxury SUV, it won’t disappoint.


Editor’s Note: Travel expenses related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the automotive industry. The opinions and opinions of the Roadshow staff are ours and we do not accept paid editorial content.