It’s the new kid on the block but it has already won accolades like Motor Trend’s SUV of the year for 2022 as it bested 35 other comparable SUVs. J.D. Power also named it their best premium nameplate for its Vehicle Dependability Study.
What we speak of is the Genesis GV70 compact AWD SUV. This compact SUV has everything anyone would desire in a utility vehicle, and then some.
Genesis is Hyundai’s top-tier luxury brand such as Acura is to Honda and Lexus is to Toyota. And the GV70 is a stand-out in the compact market and destined to be a top seller for the company. Genesis also has their larger GV80 mid-size AWD SUV that we reviewed, and it too is a winner in several ultra-luxury categories.
The GV70 is sexy and chic looking outside and gorgeous inside. Its exterior profile gives it the appearance it’s moving 65 mph standing still.
While at a filling station a fellow at the next pump admired it and said the front looks like a Bentley and the back an Aston Martin. Understandable.
With LED headlights and taillights, a sloping roofline with integrated roof spoiler, 4.5-inch round tailpipes and neat alloy wheels, GV70 is an eye-grabber. It’s offered in Standard, Select, Advanced and Sport Prestige trim levels.
Each trim level can be had with either a 2.5 turbo inline 4-cylinder, or 3.5-liter turbocharged V6. We were privileged to have tested the Sport Prestige level with the robust 3.5-liter V6.
GV70s interior is exceptional. The best we’ve seen on any comparable SUV. Atop the dash is an expansive 14.5-inch touchscreen operable also by voice commands
that serves the audio, navigation, alerts, functions, features and rearview camera with overhead and side view systems. It’s complimented with heated/cooled Nappa leather seats complete with rich suede inserts and carbon fiber trim.
The 16-way power driver’s seat, (when opting for the 3.5L engine) has extended under thigh support with a massage feature (Ergo Motion) that automatically adjusts the seat posture after a period of driving, or can be manually activated. But that’s not all. Front seat side bolsters automatically change with the driving mode selected. Or, can be overridden. In Sport and Sport Plus modes, the bolsters automatically close in against the torso to hug the body ever so snugly for spirited driving support. As for the front passenger seat, it reclines as does the comfy heated rear seats.
As a segment first, there’s an airbag that deploys between the front seats to protect the front passengers from hitting the console or one another.
An exquisite touch of tempered glass encircles the round console mounted multi-media controller and rotary gear selector that has a push button “P” on top for Park gear. That took a little getting used to coming from a shift handle or a column shifter. But the acclimation period was short. One suggestion here for Genesis designers, the controller should be smaller in circumference than the gear selector. Sized the same as they are, can be confusing.
Another cool touch is that the SUVs ambient lighting changes color.
HVAC controls are a combination of round temperature selects and touch sensitive air direction switches plus front seat temperature controls.
A Drive Mode switch on the fore console, next to the wireless phone charger, provides Snow, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes. The latter is for performance driving that even has a launch control mode. When selecting a mode, the gauge outlines change color i.e... Eco is blue, Comfort is white, Custom is orange, Snow is white, Sport is red while Sport Plus is a collage of yellow and white like lightning bolts.
There’s also a steering assist feature (warns when not keeping at least one hand lightly on the wheel) that keeps the SUV between the highway lines, and Remote Smart Parking Assist that uses the keyfob to remotely park the GV70 into tight spots from outside the vehicle.
Over on the 12.3-inch instrument cluster, that exhibits a 3D type effect, it contains a detailed driver information display showing various alerts such as when a vehicle in front pulls away from a stop light and the driver may be looking elsewhere and a car behind is about to toot a horn to get you moving. Plus, when activating the left and right turn signals, a camera displays in the gauge cluster to show the blind sides in case any vehicles or bicyclists sneak up there. A nice safety feature.
GV70s cargo area, that has a low 29.5-inch lift-over, was spacious with 28.9 cubic feet of cargo space that measures 37.5 inches deep, 41 wide and 28 high. Flip the rear seatbacks and space expands to 56.9 cubic feet for 70 inches of loading depth. Beneath the cargo floor is a bin for small item storage that shares the space with the space saver spare tire.
Operationally, GV70 drives heavenly on tall 21-inch Micheline tires. It’s a quiet rider with exceptional handling characteristics. GV70s electric power steering provided a good amount of road feel and sharp, tight turns exhibited no body lean. This SUV is tight. And it’s aided by the available electronic limited slip differential that sends torque to the wheel that needs extra traction.
Power wise, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 churns out 375-hp and 391 lb/ft of torque. Coupled to the standard 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and auto start/stop engine technology, it rates EPA mileage estimates of 19 city, 25-highway. Acceleration was quick and the turbo kicked-in seamlessly with virtually no noticeable turbo lag. The combination has a tow capacity of 3,500 pounds.
The GV70 came with an exceptional list of standard safety features like lane keeping/following assist, blind spot collision avoidance/rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist, safe exit assist/advanced rear occupant alert, intelligent speed limit assist and more. For the amenity list it included panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, fingerprint recognition, high beam assist, power folding heated outside mirrors and lots more.
The options list began with Mauna Red Paint ($500); Sport Advance Package ($5,000) that adds a host of niceties like Nappa leather seats, suede headliner, Genesis Digital Key, surround view monitor, parking collision avoidance assist, Lexicon audio, remote parking assist, several trim features and more; Sport Prestige Package ($4,900) includes 21-inch Sport alloy wheels, limited slip diff, carbon fiber trim, manual rear side sunshades and about four more. These extras took the base price of $52,600 to $64,045 with delivery.
Genesis GV70 comes with a 5 year/60K mile new vehicle, 10/100K powertrain, and 7/Unlimited anti-perforation warranties.
There are only two vehicles I hated to return after my customary weeklong test, and the GV70 is the third one. It’s truly the new benchmark for compact SUVs.