The 2022 Genesis GV70 rolls in between the lanes of the Porsche Macan and the Acura RDX. Its twin-turbo V-6 charges into the performance fray, but its standard features and overall value put it in a luxury class of its own. Affordable luxury? That’s an oxymoron that goes down better than jumbo shrimp.
The latest luxury crossover SUV may be the best effort yet by Genesis. The upstart brand’s fifth vehicle in as many years takes signature design cues from the larger GV80 SUV and compacts it onto a platform shared with the winning G70 compact sedan. Genesis hasn’t tapped into the peerless handling and control that defines Porsche and, to a lesser extent, lesser German brands, and the lack of a mild hybrid or other electrification limits its efficiency upside, but no other automaker equips its vehicles with so many luxurious features at a price that tops out under $65,000. Even the $42,000 entry-level GV70 makes me wonder how Genesis does it or how the other luxury players have gotten away with the six-figure flirt.
2022 Genesis GV70
The GV70 follows the GV80 with a choice in powertrains and models: the 2.5T houses a 300-hp 2.5-liter turbo-4, while the 3.5T packs a 375-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6. All-wheel drive is standard and a decisive 8-speed automatic is the only gearbox.
Genesis invited Motor Authority to drive a top 3.5T Sport Prestige in and out of Manhattan, where staying in town is as fun as going for a drive outside it. The GV70’s bold design features a large crest-shaped grille and a distinctive LED light signature that wraps the vehicle in a halo at night. All 3.5Ts are Sport models, and come with a broader lower grille, larger air intakes, a skid plate up front, 21-inch alloy wheels, and turbine-like tailpipes in back.
The GV70 honors many moods with its five drive modes. Sport and Sport+ modes delay the shift points, tighten the electronic assisted power steering, and progressively neuter the stability control. It rides on a rear-drive platform with a bias that only considers the front axle when it needs grip, and that helps the GV70 to always feel controlled. Launch control instructions passed too fast during the presentation for me to figure it out, but even from a stop in Sport+ mode, the GV70 evokes a smile more than a scream.
2022 Genesis GV70
Genesis didn’t release 0-60 mph times, but mid-four seconds seemed right, notwithstanding a slight turbo lag. The 391 lb-ft of torque comes on as early as 1,350 rpm, and the 8-speed automatic hits the right gear at the right time, unless you heed the redline’s calls with paddle shifters. All of the torque can be sent to the rear axle, but only 50% to the front axle and only when it’s slippery. The Sport Prestige comes with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential that sends up to 100% of the rear axle torque to the outside wheel to effectively shorten turns. The 7.3 inches of ground clearance didn’t inspire any off-road jaunts, but the GV70 cut through wood and dale with aplomb in the hilly farm country of Connecticut.
Genesis said it used fewer body parts than the competition to account for a stiffer structure. Body roll is evident but well controlled, but the 3.5T tips the scales at about 4,500 lb and it can’t match the composure of a Porsche Macan or other coupe-like performance crossovers. MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear suspension cushion the ride, and the 3.5T comes with an adaptive suspension that further distinguishes the moods of the drive settings.
The steering feels more precise than the flabbiness of the GV80, and even though the driver’s seat automatically squeezes the bolsters and raises the cushion in Sport modes, the GV70 does best as a grand tourer prone to flexing its power. Despite laminated glass and other sound deadening, road noise seeps in at higher speeds, in part from a sound sandwich made of 21-inch wheels and a panoramic sunroof.
2022 Genesis GV70
Genesis equips its 16-way power driver seat with Ergo Motion, which is a massage function that activates after an hour of driving to shift support here and there. The driver can control it as well, but to do so requires a deep dive into the polarizing 14.5-inch touchscreen.
The long screen and nuanced console dial have been criticized for looking better than they act, but the more time I spent futzing around with it, the more I came to appreciate all the many submenus and settings. The main screen shows eight tiles that can be reordered, but the content can’t be changed. I would have moved the seat massaging function to the Seats tile instead of the Setup tile, for instance.
The most rudimentary functions can be controlled through voice commands or redundant steering wheel controls; the dial is for deeper dives, and the touchscreen is a reach only for the most immediate needs, like shutting up navigation guidance. The submenus enable you to change settings for the myriad driver-assist features, such as resetting the adaptive cruise control settings from 1 to 5 for distance, acceleration, and reaction timing. Genesis says machine learning registers your driving habits even when not using cruise control and can update your driver profile accordingly. Once you spend the time to learn the logic and dig into the submenus, the screen becomes much easier to navigate.
2022 Genesis GV70
The tech and convenience features are almost as impressive as the standard safety features. The 3.5T Sport Prestige had almost all the options, ranging from a 16-speaker Lexicon sound system to a 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster that mimics a head-up display in the way it leans forward into the ether.
Other noteworthy innovations on the GV70 include a radar-based rear occupant alert that can sense a child or pet breathing motions, then send a text and sound the car alarm if they’re left inside; and a fingerprint-based “key” that can load your driver profile and start the car without a key, as long as you unlocked the car remotely with your phone.
The power, look, tech, and features all add up to luxury without the solar plexus shock of the luxury price. The GV70 has at least one limitation, though: It can’t be had with wireless Apple CarPlay, and the shrimp is on you.
Genesis provided airfare, room, and board for Motor Authority to bring you this firsthand report.