Genesis thought outside the instrument panel to create the refined and sophisticated GV70
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I had been eager to test the Genesis GV70 since the company announced the arrival of its new small SUV back in early December 2020. The images presented a compelling design, but a couple of other luxury elements stood out:
• Its elite styling resisted an SUV image with unnecessary humps and bulges to reinforce an off-roading image.
• In addition to its long new-vehicle warranty, Genesis leapfrogs ultra-luxury warranties with these no-cost coverages:
1. Free scheduled maintenance and Genesis Service Valet care for 3-years/36,000-miles;
2. Free Genesis Connected Services for 3 years;
3. 3 years of free annual multimedia and navigation updates and lifetime traffic data via HD+ Traffic radio.
And this frosting of largesse can be heaped onto the new vehicle warranty of 5-years/60,000-miles bumper to bumper, and 10-years/100,000-miles for the powertrain.
The stand-out perk, however, might be the free service valet care. Genesis says, “Let us pick up and service your vehicle for you.” Genesis will perform a remote diagnostic check, then retrieve your vehicle for service and leave a loaner vehicle, then return your Genesis washed and cleaned.
Now that’s how a carmaker reassures its customers. Such a time-saver in this class could make a $60,000 compact SUV a no-regrets purchase. And there is little to regret about owning the Genesis GV70.
The compact-class GV70 is the second Genesis SUV, joining the midsize GV80 and the brand’s fifth model overall. The GV70 shares an architecture with the G70 sport sedan (and the Kia Stinger) making it more of a sport SUV, though Genesis has no true sport division … yet.
Every luxury-class manufacturer has at least one small SUV crossover in its lineup. Most have traditional styling treatments to remind of a rugged SUV for that great escape, which automotive marketers think is so desired by U.S. drivers.
Mercedes-Benz and the Porsche Macan are on similar trajectories for an SUV crossover that has carlike manners. Genesis thought outside the instrument panel to create the refined and sophisticated GV70.
No apology is needed for its cargo-crimping, coupe-like roofline. And the GV70 has what might be the best-looking rear-end in the business today. And the rest of the GV70 walkaround is balanced and comment-provoking, too.
The fist-forward “Athletic Elegance” design theme has a sweeping parabolic arch that slashes rearward from the headlights and descends to the center of the taillight. It is a muscular treatment without contrived bulges.
Genesis design and engineering is a progressive presentation of everything drivers have become familiar with — but smartly re-created.
Globally, the GV70 drivetrain is rear-wheel drive with optional AWD. But in North America, the GV70 has standard all-wheel drive. There are two choices of turbocharged and direct-injected powertrains with eight-speed automatic transmissions. The electronic transmissions include steering wheel paddle shifters and selectable performance modes of Snow, Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport-plus, and Custom, which allows individual preferences for steering weight, suspension firmness, etc.
• GV70 2.5T AWD starts at $42,595. The 300-hp, single turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder has 311 foot-pounds of peak torque from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm. Fuel-economy ratings are 22 mpg city, 28 highway, and 24 mpg combined, using the recommended premium fuel for peak performance.
• GV70 3.5T starts at $54,195 and includes the standard Sport package of 19-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, and Highway Driving Assist II. The 375-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 has peak torque of 391 lb.-ft. from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm. Fuel-economy ratings are 19 mpg city, 25 highway, and 21 mpg combined, also using the recommended premium.
Today’s GV70 3.5T tester was $64,045. Options included the Melbourne Gray matte paint for $1,500, the Sport Advanced package, $5,000, and the Sport Prestige package, $4,900.
Of the 12 paint colors offered, only Alta White is a no-cost choice. The other hues are either $500 or $1,500. Interior color themes are black, red, or blue, depending on paint color.
Find current pricing and incentives for the GV70 here.
I was not expecting the Genesis GV70 3.5T to be such a sleeper sport sedan, rich in visceral velocity. Dial up the performance mode of Sport-plus, pin the accelerator and the GV70 rears its beautiful head. This 4,451-pound SUV shows its German-inspired performance engineering with acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 5.09 seconds, according to testing by Genesis Korea.
For the hot-shoe driver, there is a launch-control feature that when activated raises the engine speed to 2,000 rpm for the hole-shot.
Both GV70 engines have a manufactured “active engine sound,” but it is quite realistic. For good effect, the dual exhaust tips have downspout-sized proportions.
I did not like the V-6 engine’s auto stop-start at idle. It took just a split second too long to restart and it can be hesitant in stop-and-go traffic. In those situations, I switched off the system, but I do respect the potential for emissions and fuel savings.
Real world fuel-economy ratings are not far off the official ratings. In a week of testing, my driving averaged 16 mpg around town and I worked up to 21 mpg on the highway. Not good when crude oil is $130 a barrel. But the GV70 hauls ass when you need a defining validation for choosing the V-6.
The eight-speed automatic is almost intuitive at providing just the right gear at the right time. When driving for fun in Sport or Sport-plus, the transmission clicks off downshifts with just a brush of the brake pedal. Then the electronics hold the gear until you exit the corner and roll on power for the next twist. The transmission is so adept at being sporty that I seldom felt the need to use the steering-column shift paddles.
Enjoy the traffic-calmed cabin, which is a good reason to buy a luxury vehicle. The Genesis GV70 shuts out the clamor with acoustic laminated glass at the windshield, front side, and rear side windows.
The body structure is as stiff as a full metal jacket, which reduces body flex and the resulting creaks and itchy sounds. Aerodynamic elements include the rear spoiler that helps smooth airflow at the top of the body and the front bumper air curtain that reduces airflow resistance around the sides and at the front wheels.
Road harshness is controlled by the tester’s 21-inch Michelin Primacy Touring tires, 255/40. The optional five-spoke sport alloy wheels — with sort of a twisted, waffled imprint — looked street wily with the Melbourne Gray paint.
Genesis uses an electronically controlled suspension to minimize the vehicle’s body lean when cornering. And with electronic limited-slip differentials (part of the $4,900 Sport Prestige package), cornering levels are increased by distributing power left and right to the rear wheels, according to the road surface and driving conditions.
The e-suspension uses adaptive dampers with a road-preview feature. The system scans the road ahead and the sensors process that information in milliseconds to balance ride quality.
In my driving experience, the e-suspension gave precise turn-in responses, but it is not as magically smooth as a magnetorheological damper, such as is used in some performance vehicles. I experienced a few unexpected jolts along rough patches and noticeable head-toss across speed bumps.
With its towing capacity of 3,500 pounds and a full-bodied curb weight of 4,451 pounds, good brakes are essential. And the GV70 3.5T is prepared with ventilated four-wheel discs with 14.2-inch rotors at the front and 13.6-inch rotors rear. (2.5T models also have vented discs, with rotors that are 13.6 inches front, and 12.8 inches rear.
Using a Level 2 driver-assist function is always helpful in heavy highway commuting. These systems keep watch when the driver doesn’t.
The Genesis system is reasonably consistent, but it will allow the vehicle to drift wide in a highway curve, crossing the white highway lines or Botts dots. The mapping for steering adjustments isn’t quite smooth and seems like an action of connecting the dots.
But I did appreciate the heads-up display (part of the Sport Prestige package). When using the driver-assist system, the HUD shows red alerts for side traffic. It is more visible during the day than warning lights in the side mirrors. And the heads-up display also shows gray profiles of nearby vehicles ahead and on either side.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Genesis GV70 a Top Safety Pick+ for 2021. The IIHS also gives Top Safety Pick+ ratings for the GV80 SUV, G80 executive sedan, and G90 flagship sedan.
The 2022 awards mark the third year in a row that the entire Genesis lineup of eligible vehicles has earned top honors.
All Genesis models are equipped with a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art driver assistance and safety technologies including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist.
Among eight air bags (including a front center air bag), other standard GV70 safety features include:
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Crossing and Turning. The system is intended to mitigate the risk of impacts when turning or crossing through an intersection;
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist. This feature helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle when departing a parallel parking spot.
- Advanced Rear Occupant Alert technology. Genesis says the GV70 is the first vehicle to feature radar-based detection of passengers in the rear seat, Genesis says. To alert drivers when a child or sleeping infant has been left in their seat, cabin sensors can detect when back-seat passengers move, and they can also detect small respiratory movements.
There is a sweet spot of roominess in the GV70 cabin. Headroom with the panoramic sunroof is about 38 inches and should accommodate 95 percent of drivers; especially with legroom of 41.3 inches.
Sightlines are open across the fenders, with help from small corner glass at the windshield pillars. Over-the-shoulder views are somewhat slim but no worries when parking — the surround-view camera system with guidance lines has billboard proportions from the 14.5-inch high-definition infotainment screen at the top of the instrument panel.
The standard 16-way power driver seat can be electronically positioned by the optional Smart posture control. The feature will set an optimal position based on the driver’s height and weight. It also sets positions for the steering wheel, side mirrors, and head-up display. See the function here.
The front passenger has eight-away power adjustment — and both front seats are heated and ventilated. The passenger seat includes a “walk-in device,” which is merely a power switch for a back-seat occupant to move the seat forward for more legroom; it is a trickle-down feature from chauffeur-driven sedans.
The 3D electronic gauge array is unique with large dials for the speedometer and tachometer. The tach might have merit for the V-6 engine, but it is also is wasted space for most drivers.
There are two large flat dials on the shift console: one for the transmission and the other to access cabin functions, audio, and infotainment. The dials are similar in size, and in the first four days of driving my hand naturally fell to the dial for cabin function. In time, owners will gain the muscle memory to go straight for the shift dial.
Genesis provides a full luxury treatment to the back seat when some brands back off on the details and even soundproofing. Legroom is adequate at 37.2 inches — but hope for short people in the front seats. However, the doors open to near-90 degrees for easy entry, and the seats are comfortably supportive.
Cargo capacity is slightly compromised by the sloping roofline, but there is nearly 29 cubic feet of space behind the back seat, stacked to the headliner. The cargo opening is wide at 41 inches, and fold the 60/40 back seat for about 6 feet in length.
The area is finished in quality carpeting, with a pair of large side lights, and a slim storage area under the cargo floor.
Despite the $64K price, a cargo roller cover is not included but is available for $200. However, carpeted floor mats are included.
The Genesis brand is still an outlier among luxury auto buyers who might be more comfortable committing to an Audi, BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes-Benz. But, in 2020, J.D. Power named Genesis the most dependable automotive brand, and in 2021 the brand was lauded as the most technologically innovative in North America.
Time is money and the extensive warranty package is a time-saving answer to the GV70 $64,000 question.
Body style: Compact, 5-seat 5-door SUV crossover in rear- or all-wheel drive
Engine: 375-hp, twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 with auto stop-start at idle; 391 lb.-ft. torque from 1,300-4,500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and 5 drive modes
Fuel economy: 19/25/21 mpg city/hwy/combined; premium fuel recommended for peak power
Max. towing capacity: 3,500 lbs. with trailer brakes
BY THE NUMBERS
Fuel tank: 17.43 gallons
Cargo space: 28.9 to 56.9 cubic feet
Front head/leg room: 39.6*/41.3 in. *without moonroof
Rear head/leg room: 39.1/37.2 in.
Length/wheelbase: 185.6/113.2 in.
Curb weight: 4,451 lbs.
Turning circle: 37.7 ft.
3.5T Standard equipment includes: Smartkey entry and locking with push-button ignition, with Nappa leather-trimmed upholstery, 16-way power driver seat (with power side bolsters and seat cushion), 14.5-inch high-definition infotainment screen, 12.3-inch 3D digital gauge array, 8-way power front passenger seat (with walk-in device), heated and ventilated front seats, 2 front USBs (data and charge) and 2 rear charging USBs, 9-speaker audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, electric parking brake with automatic hold, full LED lighting (headlights, taillights, running lights, and side mirror turn signals), power folding and heated (with a timer) side mirrors, outside approach lights with Genesis logo (at side mirrors), power one-touch panoramic sunroof, solar control tinted side and rear glass, acoustic laminated glass (windshield, front side and rear side windows), carpeted floor mats, power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, smart cruise control with stop-and-go, wireless charging, locking glove box, surround-view camera system with guidance lines
Packages on tester
Sport Advanced package, $5,000: Nappa Leather Seating Surfaces with Sport Pattern Quilting; Layered Edge Backlit Trim; Leatherette Upper Instrument and Door Panels; Suede Headliner; Heated Steering Wheel; Genesis Digital Key; Surround View Monitor; Blind-Spot View Monitor; Remote Smart Parking Assist
Parking Distance Warning – Front; Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist – Rear; Lexicon Premium Audio with 16-Speakers
Sport Prestige package, $4,900: 21-inch Sport Alloy Wheels; Electronic Limited Slip Differential; Nappa Leather Seating Surfaces with Suede Insert; Carbon Fiber Trim; Heated 2nd Row Seats; Manual Rear Side Sunshades; Acoustic Rear Door Glass; 3-Zone Climate control; 12.3-inch 3D Digital Cluster
Safety features include: 8 air bags, Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lane-Change Oncoming, and Junction Turning Highway Driving Assist; Driver Attention Warning; Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist; Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist; Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist; Safe Exit Assist; Intelligent Speed Limit Assist; Park Distance Warning – Rear; Launch Control and Hill Start Assist Control Vehicle Stability Management with stability and traction controls
Base price: $53,645, including $1,045 freight charge; price as tested $64,045
Options on test vehicle: Melbourne Gray matte paint $500; Sport Advanced package, $5,000; Sport Prestige package, $4,900;
Where assembled: Ulsan, Korea
Warranties: 5-years/60,000-miles bumper to bumper; 10-years/100,000-miles powertrain; Genesis Service Valet for 3 years or 36,000 miles provides a remote diagnostic check, vehicle pick up, and a loaner vehicle and return of the vehicleRead more