t’s 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. Its front end takes on the look of a Bentley and the back end, an Aston Martin. Pretty distinguished company I’d say.
With LED headlights and taillights, a sloping roofline with integrated roof spoiler, 4.5-inch rectangular 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 potent 3.5-liter turbocharged V6. We were privileged to have tested the Advanced trim model with the 2.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder that was loaded with every conceivable safety feature available today.
GV70s interior is a stand-out. The best we’ve seen on any comparable SUV. Atop the dash is an expansive 14.5-inch infotainment screen that’s operable by certain voice commands and controller. It serves the audio, navigation, rearview camera with overhead, frontal and revolving views and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. And depending on the weather, the screen background shows clouds for a cloudy day, dismal for rain and snowflakes for snowy days.
GV70s heated/cooled front seats have extended under thigh support and the front passenger seat reclines allowing the passenger to take a nap on long trips.
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.
The console mounted multi-media controller for the infotainment screen shares the console with a rotary gear selector below it that has a push button “P” in the middle for Park gear. That may take a little getting used to coming from a shift handle or a column shifter. But the acclimation period is short. One suggestion here for Genesis designers is that the controller should be smaller in circumference than the gear selector, as the shifter is a more important control.
Climate controls are digital with neat touch sensitive selections. And below them is a Drive Mode switch on the fore console that provides Snow, Comfort, Sport and Custom driving modes. When selecting a mode, the gauge outlines change color i.e... Comfort is white, Custom is orange, Snow is white, Sport is red.
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 38 inches deep, 40.5 wide and 28.5 high. Flip the rear seatbacks and space expands to 56.9 cubic feet for 68 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 19-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 2.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder churns out a hot 300-hp and 311 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 22 city, 28-highway mpg. 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 Barossa Burgundy paint ($500); Select Package ($4,000) that adds a host of goodies like 19-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, Lexicon Premium audio and more; Advanced Package (($4,150) added leather seating, heated wheel, Surround View monitor, remote parking assist, parking distance warning/collision avoidance rear assist plus advanced rear occupant alert, fingerprint recognition and more that took the base price of $41,000 to $50,695 with delivery.
Genesis GV70 comes with a 10 year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 3/36K complimentary scheduled maintenance, 3/36K complimentary Genesis Service valet, 3-year complimentary Genesis Connected S Services, three months of complementary SiriusXM satellite radio, three years of complimentary annual Multimedia/Navigation updates, and lifetime complimentary traffic data via HD-plus Traffic radio.
The GV70 is truly the new benchmark for AWD compact SUVs.