The GV70 is a new compact SUV from Hyundai's luxury brand, Genesis. It starts at $41,000.
With options, our tester reached $65,045. We drove it on-road and off.
The GV70 was impressive all around — it handled everything with ease and was comfortable to drive.
There's a good reason why the 2022 Genesis GV70 has won so many awards, and this September, the title of Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year was added to its accolades. The 2022 GV70 also won best activity vehicle among compact and midsize luxury entrants at the same event — pretty impressive for an all-new SUV in the class.
The award comes from a group of automotive journalists who test drove 19 vehicles on a mini go-kart track and on an off-road course at Mudfest, an event thrown by the Northwest Automotive Press Association at the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. Members have been testing SUVs and crossovers since the mid-1990s, and this year, I was one of them.
Genesis is Hyundai's relatively new luxury brand, and it does a good job of standing out. The 2022 GV70 sparks joy upon first sight, featuring Genesis' signature crest grille and a slick LED quad-headlight look. It's a new entry in the luxury compact-SUV class, and sits alongside the midsized GV80 in Genesis' SUV lineup.
(With automakers like Genesis, higher numbers often mean bigger cars — thus, the GV70 is smaller than the GV80.)
Drivers of the GV70 have two trims to choose from:
Genesis GV70 2.5T ($41,000, 22/28 mpg city/highway): The standard GV70 comes with all-wheel drive and a standard turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Although a long list of tech features come standard, drivers can still upgrade certain features by adding features packages.
Genesis GV70 3.5T ($52,600, 21 mpg combined): The GV70 3.5T has a 375-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine. Drivers can still add the Sport Advanced package ($5,000) or the Sport Prestige package ($9,900) to access more options, which include Nappa leather as well as more tech and safety features.
At Mudfest, I drove a $65,045 GV70 3.5T Sport Prestige model (with a burgundy matte paint job for an extra $1,500), which runs on the 375-horsepower V6. With this engine, the GV70 can earn about 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, or 21 mpg combined, according to the EPA.
The 3.5T Sport Prestige model features Nappa leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, Lexicon speakers, extra safety features, and an electronic limited-slip differential, as well as a 14.5-inch HD screen with navigation, surround-view and blind spot monitoring — and my personal favorite, a convenient head-up display that shows your mpg focused at infinity in the driver's view through the windshield.
On the first day of the on-pavement go-kart test drive, the Genesis GV70 was my top pick among the compact and midsize luxury utility vehicles.
Driving the GV70 on the pavement mini go-kart track, I had an extraordinary experience — especially with the convenient paddle shifters. The ride and handling was pleasant and the brakes were decent, helping me navigate around the tight pavement track with ease. The GV70 treated me with a courteous responsiveness in its agile steering around tight corners, careful but not harsh braking, and peppy acceleration.
The GV70 sits low compared to others in the class, not needing a stair-step to reach the driver's seat. The hood also offers reasonable visibility from the driver's seat, unlike other SUVs and trucks. In the back, the roof dips stylishly into a hatchback-style trunk, almost like a coupe. A panoramic roof and 21-inch sport alloy wheels — which have crest features matching the grille — add to the appeal.
In a mock-autocross event, the GV70 navigated around all cones with dexterity. The GV70's suspension is controlled electronically, and the Genesis has the ability to direct as much or as little power needed to each individual wheel. However, the drive-mode select feature offers custom mode settings, allowing motorists to customize — and save — preferential settings for the engine, transmission, steering, suspension, and all-wheel-drive system settings.
On the second day, this Genesis really shone on the off-roading course.
Off-pavement, the GV70 handles with grace, and the capability is very reasonable. I was comfortable, safe, grounded, and in control over a dirt hill, around a steep corner, and over an obstacle of logs in the sturdy GV70.
Drivers of the GV70 are going to find the cabin pleasant and enjoyable, as well as the driving experience — the driver's seat has a 16-way power adjustment and a four-way power lumbar adjustment with an ergonomic motion seat, and an integrated memory seat with smart posture care so you can position yourself perfectly over the pedals. The front seats are both heated and ventilated, and a wireless device charge and fingerprint recognition, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, make the cabin experience luxuriously enjoyable.
The commodious, tech-packed cabin successfully hushes road sounds, and the well-made materials are impressively high-quality, ultimately giving a roomy, opulent, and modern interior vibe.
Overall while driving the 2022 Genesis GV70, I had a comfortable driving experience in one of the nicest interiors in the class. The 2022 GV70 impressed on the pavement go-kart track, handling with a pleasant ease, and even provided a grounded, safe, insulated feel while navigating the off-roading course.
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