Review: 2022 Genesis GV70 is sensational
Beautiful and brilliant to drive...Genesis keeps the streak of producing phenomenal luxury vehicles.
Review and photos of the 2022 Genesis GV70 by The Road Beat.
What is it?
Genesis, the luxury brand/division of Hyundai/Kia, isn't just making waves with their new models as much as tsunamis. The GV80, a large SUV tested back in the spring, was brilliant. Now comes the GV70, a 'compact' luxury SUV. There's not much else to say, really, other than it's an enormous achievement. The platforms are shared across models, and so since one drives good, the others follow suit. Engines are the same, too, as this GV70 features the same stonking 3.5L twin-turbo V6 as the GV80, but in a smaller, more lithe body. This is real luxury at a (relatively, mind you) feasible price. And no, there's no cost-cutting evident anywhere. Why pay more of your dough made from GameStop on a Mercedes when you can have the arguably better vehicles for less?
Nearly everything. On the outside, from just about every angle, it's a gorgeous bit of kit. Combining classic elements and the sloping roof with its neat c-pillar, plus a modern, big 'ole grille, the GV70 is quite pretty. Ditto goes for the matching, parallel head and tail lights. Open the doors, and this example is garnished in a stunning red leather while metal switchgear and beautifully dutiful screens make their cases known, with the cockpit reminding me of a vintage Riva or Chris-Craft. Don't be surprised when I tell you of the shear quality every you look and touch. It's not just for looks, this, being made with an artisan level of craftsmanship. Seriously, the first time you open the door on a GV70, you will be more than 'wowed.'
On the road, the Genesis shines further. Driven normally, it can be mundane albeit with a heftier steering effort than competitors, but it can be remarkably easy to drive and waft around in. Steering is direct and accurate, and the ride absorbs most anything you throw at it despite the large-diameter (21 inch!) wheels. Oh, it's also eerily quiet inside, too. However, up the pace considerably, and the GV70 becomes what a modern BMW wishes it were. The steering's weight adds to these sporting credentials, inspiring confidence and precision. Attacking corners, you might as well be in a well-honed sports sedan. Oh, what's that? Yeah, Genesis' sedans are also wonderful to drive quickly, so it's no wonder the dynamics are very relatable. The suspension will lean and load naturally on its corners, while the all-wheel drive system is not afraid to send power to the rear. With the driver aids totally eliminated, you can even achieve power-on oversteer in the GV70 (lol) with its balance. Seriously, the front-end communicates like you wish your ex would have (admittedly and to be clear, I was the guilty one there), insisting on available grip and inviting for more. And once you get on the power, prepare to launch down the straight and for the next corner.
Power doesn't feel as immense as it should at first, with the eight-speed auto's insistence to shift early to avoid fuel-sapping boost. Though, take control with the paddle shifters to get the revs up, put your foot down, and the tachometer's needle soars to the redline at a rapid pace. Harnessing all 375 horsepower, 0-60 MPH comes up in a rampant 5.2 seconds and the speed seems to keep piling on. Sure, there are M, AMG, and RS Audi models that are quicker still, but what's the point in a car like this? You'll enjoy the power here; it's PLENTY impressive. If you don't need that much thrust, there's a potent four-cylinder model available as well for less.
Very little. This is a compact SUV, so while the second row is livable, you won't want to spend a five hour drive back there exactly. The cargo bay will be spacious enough for most everyday errands and needs, but again, if you want space, then you'll want the GV80 with its third-row seating and cavernous storage abilities.
The gear knob is a little interesting to use at first, with its low-profile and weighted resistance to turn, but you do get somewhat used to it. Also in the vicinity are rolling volume controls that are pretty to look at with their knurled metal architecture (lots of beautiful metalwork here), but are oddly placed and not the easiest to use. I like simple dials, please. With that said, some of the controls for things like the air, radio, and so on, could be better to operate; it just takes time to learn to navigate this sculptured interior. A scenic environment, but not the most ergonomically correct. While we're on the looks, the wheels are an acquired taste for sure.
If you're looking to save on gas, then this GV70 is not the vehicle for you. Averaging only 19 MPG in my hands, that at least grew to 26 on the highway, but it's not what you'd call fuel efficient by any means. The bigger GV80 did even worse with its identical twin-turbo V6 motor.
So, a sure thing?
I mean, how could you not recommend the GV70. It's pretty inside and out, with that standout interior design, and it drives very, very well. If you don't require the absolute most in interior space, then the GV70 will work for you. At an as-tested price of $64,045, this top-of-the-line Sport Prestige, even while good value compared to the competition, is still a lot of money. However, the impressive base model with the same engine rings in over $10,000 less. If you can make do with 70ish less horsepower, you can even spend $20,000 less. Obvious rivals include Porsche's Macan, Audi's SQ5, Mercedes GLC43, and BMW's X3 M40i. Even with price thrown out of the equation, the GV70 is so good that it shouldn't even matter. Yes, you'll have to answer the tiring question of, "What's a Genesis?" but it's time to spread the news: Genesis is a real player out of nowhere and deserves all your attention.
2022 Genesis GV70 Sport Prestige AWD
As-tested price: $64,045
Pros: Benchmark style and luxury inside and out; Great to drive
Cons: While not as expensive as rivals, still isn't 'affordable'
Verdict: Money no object, the GV70 should still be at the top of your list