Review: The 2022 Genesis GV70 Trades Blows With The Best — But It’s Not Perfect

It's truly a great SUV, depending on what sort of driver you are

2022 Genesis GV70
(Images: TFLcar)
Styling that actually makes an effort Handling isn’t as sharp as I expected
Mind-blowing amount of tech Annoying infotainment/gear selector layout
Great value against German rivals Sub-20 MPG fuel economy

2022 Genesis GV70 Overview

After sampling the automaker’s breakout crossover, the GV80, I’ve definitely been ready to experience the sophomore album. As handsome, luxurious and well-executed as its big brother is, the 2022 Genesis GV70 aims more toward the sporty side of the luxury SUV segment. It doesn’t just want to sit vaguely near the likes of the BMW X3 or the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Genesis’ midsize model wants to beat them at their own game.

2022 Genesis GV70
Some folks won’t necessarily take to the GV70’s styling, but I think it looks great. At least it’s something different — not just a carbon copy of every other luxury SUV.

To that end, the sheer scale of technology underneath the Mauna Red paint is a bit overwhelming to take in, at least at first. The GV70 has two powertrain options, nearly every single imaginable safety feature, a 14.5-inch infotainment display and even fingerprint recognition, to name just a few. For the value we often mention against the German rivals, Genesis still executes this new SUV with a sense of solidity that should make you think twice about going with the pack for your next luxury SUV.

In fact, the 2022 Genesis GV70 does so much right that I’d almost, almost call it the new front-runner. It even starts off at a perfectly reasonable $42,045. But, there are still a few issues we need to cover.

This 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 is a good engine, but the transmission

Performance: A mixed bag

On paper, Genesis’ newest SUV has absolutely nothing to fear. A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder option kicks off the GV70 range, putting out 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. What we have here, though, is a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 putting out 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. That handily beats the Audi SQ5, and this more potent GV70 more or less trades blows with the BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43. When Andre clocked a 0-60 run at a mile above sea level, this 4,500-pound SUV even clocked a respectable 6.09 seconds.

Here’s the thing: It just doesn’t feel that quick right off the line. Part of that’s down to the 8-speed automatic transmission, which I felt leaned more toward smooth shifts than snappy ones, even in the Sport+ drive mode. Waiting a moment for the turbos to spool up also proved a bit frustrating, though once engine and transmission actually come on song you get a nice and satisfying surge. Small asterisk: I did test this at 5,600-ish feet above sea level, so your mileage may vary.

You should get at least 20 MPG…right?

Speaking of mileage, that’s another issue I have with the 2022 Genesis GV70. Again, on paper you should get 19 City / 25 Highway / 21 Combined MPG. Yeah, I didn’t even crack 19 MPG in the few hundred miles I drove the car. While this is supposed to be the sportier of Genesis’ SUV options — keep in mind it shares genes with the fantastic G70 sedan — it’s still a heavy SUV, and it shows in how quickly I ran through a tank of fuel, even without a lot of spirited driving.

In testing out acceleration and handling, the latter disappointed me too. Much like its sedans, I came at the GV70 expecting the sportier side of the coin to the stately GV80. Even with adaptive multi-link suspension and an electronic slip differential (available as part of the $4,900 Sport Prestige Package), this all-wheel drive model didn’t provide the on-rails handling experience I hoped for. Heavier steering effort comes into the mix as you work your way up the progressively sportier drive modes, but apart from adding effort, there’s little feel or feedback to inspire confidence if you really try to explore the GV70’s limits.

2022 Genesis GV70

Comfort and Convenience: A master class

I may grumble about my performance expectations for the 2022 Genesis GV70, but the interior is another story entirely. Bar none, the look and materials used here put this car right at the front of the pack. On the standard $53,645 Sport Prestige, at least, you get heated and ventilated leather seats for both driver and passenger, a panoramic sunroof, heated power-folding mirrors and that 14.5-inch infotainment display, naturally with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Fingerprint authentication also makes it more convenient for drivers to load in their own profiles through biometrics when getting into the car.

The GV70 we tested goes a couple steps further, though, with both the Sport Prestige Package and the $5,000 Sport Advanced Package. The latter adds Nappa Leather seats, a suede headliner and leatherette trim on the instrument cluster and door panels, for a start. Beyond that, you also get a heated steering wheel, Genesis’ Digital Key functionality (using your smartphone as a key), a surround-view monitor, front parking distance warning, rear parking collision avoidance, and a solidly loud 16-speaker Lexicon audio system. Remote Smart Parking Assist — Genesis’ branding for “Smart Park” — also comes in this package. The Sport Prestige Package adds in three-zone climate control, heated second row seats, rear sunshades and, most importantly, a 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster and head-up display.

You could spend at least an hour exploring all the features available through the infotainment system, as indeed I did:

One (small) irritation

The attention to detail in the 2022 Genesis GV70 is extraordinary, with one slight irritation. You use two rotary dials to control the infotainment system and the gear selection. That in itself isn’t a problem, except for the fact that the dials are roughly equal in size and spaced a couple inches apart. You see where this is going? About half a dozen times when I went to change into drive or reverse, I fumbled around the infotainment menus instead.

You can probably get used to that over time, and apart from that issue all the knobs and buttons feel satisfying to operate. The Genesis GV70 does still retain touchscreen capability too, so you do have some choice in how you want to go about controlling your infotainment experience.

What about space?

The 2022 Genesis GV70 offers plenty of room up front, though those in the rear seats may find themselves a bit pinched if they’re sitting behind a couple tall people. Fortunately, the right-side rear passenger does have some control over where the seat is positioned thanks to a couple buttons on the front seat bolster.

With the rear seats in place, the GV70 packs 28.9 cubic feet of cargo volume. Drop the second row, and that expands out to 58.9 cubic feet — slightly less than a BMW X3 or Volvo XC60, and on par with the Acura RDX.

Verdict: If you’re in the market, you have to give the GV70 a shot.

The new GV70 is a remarkable second act from Genesis. The whole brand carries a sort of swagger that only a relatively new brand can, showing some pluck and taking bold steps we don’t often see in this part of the market. In everyday life, its dynamics will work for most drivers (I’m just hard to please that way) — it’s just a different approach to what its rivals offer.

Then there’s price. Even this fully loaded model at $64,045 comes in less expensive than the equivalent BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC 43. Granted, you have to get the 3.5-liter engine and those option packages to get all the cool toys, but Genesis still brings its value games in bringing all those features.

Fortunately, you can also save about $10,000 by going for the less powerful GV70 2.5T Sport Prestige as well. That still offers a large chunk of the features I experienced here, just with 300 horsepower instead of 375. Fuel economy also improves with that move, making the car a better value proposition across the board.

This segment is one of the most competitive out there, and even just saying the 2022 Genesis GV70 can hang with this crowd is high praise in its own right. Despite my reservations, though, it does more than just hang in there — the newcomer trades blows with the best in the business. It’s a car that defines Genesis as a serious player, and both customers and rivals would do well to take notice.