Monday, September 27, 2021
First Reviews 2022 Genesis GV70 First Drive Review: Now we’re talking

2022 Genesis GV70 First Drive Review: Now we’re talking

The 2022 Genesis GV70 has everything you want out of a compact luxury SUV, and with it Genesis should take a significant step forward.

Genesis has been on a nice roll in recent years, first with the GV80 mid-size SUV and then the G80 sedan, both receiving a ton of praise for their impressive design and surprising luxury.

The problem for Genesis is that although these two models compete in important segments of the industry, the volume isn’t there to sustain the growth of the new luxury automaker. The same could be said for the G70 compact sedan. With the new Genesis GV70, the brand hits a home run in what is arguably the most important niche for a luxury automaker.

2022 Genesis GV70

Offering a quality product in this segment could translate into double the number of sales for a manufacturer. That money can then be reinvested to update current products or bring new ones to market, and around and around we go. It’s no longer a secret that Porsche builds tens of variations of the 911 because the Cayenne and Macan sales volumes have made that possible. Hopefully for Genesis, the GV70 will do exactly that.

It will give the brand more nameplate recognition, there will be more of them on the road which means more potential consumers will notice, and everything the brand does well will have a chance to shine in front of a wider audience. Of course, for all of this to happen, the 2022 Genesis GV70 has to be a quality product. It certainly is just that, and although it isn’t perfect, it can hold its own against tough, established competition like the BMW X3, the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Audi Q5, the Lexus NX, the Volvo XC60, and the Acura RDX.

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Two Engines, Plenty of Performance

Like the GV80, the GV70 comes in two distinct versions, the 2.5T trims and the 3.5T variety. The difference between the two is under the hood where 2.5 models get (you guessed it) a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

The 3.5T trims are powered by a more powerful turbocharged engine, a 3.5-litre V6 that delivers 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. In a segment where no one offers over 300 horsepower standard, the GV70 comes out of the gate screaming with more horsepower from its 2.5-litre turbo than any other direct competitor, by quite a wide margin.

2022 Genesis GV70
2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Unfortunately, we couldn’t test drive the 2.5-litre variant for the purposes of this first contact with the new GV70. We will get to it later this summer and what we hope to find is a vehicle that delivers better performance than its German rivals for the same amount of money.

On paper, the 2.5T offers between 45 and 52 extra ponies compared with the Q5/X3/GLC trio which should translate into a sportier, quicker overall feel. We can’t wait.

As for the 3.5T, it’s plenty quick on the road and feels very dialed-in. There’s no hesitation from the engine when you pass and the 8-speed automatic does a great job at transmitting power as efficiently and smoothly as possible to all four wheels standard (in Canada).

Our GV70 3.5T Sport Plus model is the top trim in Canada and comes with an electronic limited slip differential which can send 100% of the torque to a single rear wheel as needed, meaning that you can push the Sport Plus through the twisties with confidence. Is it on the same level as a BMW X3 M40i? No. The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 also feels a bit tighter and quicker, but on the other hand I’d take the 3.5T Sport Plus over an Audi SQ5 any day.

If I were looking for balance, not just pure performance, I’d also seriously consider the GV70 3.5T trims, specifically because of the adaptive suspension system that can read the road ahead and adjust damping for improved comfort. You could feel the system working in the right way, and the comfort level is certainly on par and even superior to the GV70’s German rivals. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to call the GV70 the most comfortable compact luxury SUV in its class. It’s not by a wide margin, but still.

2022 Genesis GV70
2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

All The Tech You Want and Good Versatility

The Genesis GV70 does very well in the value department, offering impressive standard features including wireless charging, 12-way power driver’s seat, 8-inch LCD instrument cluster, a 14.5-inch HD centre screen, hands-free tailgate and a range of advanced driver assistance and active safety tech.

Highway Driving Assist II is the highlight of this tech suite, essentially providing automated driving so long as your hands stay on the wheel and conditions are right. It’s not as refined as similar systems and can be a bit jerky in how it reacts, but the fact that it is standard is impressive. Owners will unanimously appreciate the dual blind spot display that shows up in the instrument cluster, giving you a great view of the left or right sides when you activate your turn signal. This system should be in every vehicle.

It takes a bit of time to get used to the infotainment system and the rotary dial controlling it, but owners should be fine after a week or so.

The fact that you can get ventilated front seats and heated rear seats for around $55,000 in Canada along with rear climate, genuine leather, 19-inch wheels and a panoramic sunroof is even more representative of the GV70’s value proposition. Pair this with the standard 300-horsepower engine, and you have a luxury SUV that definitely gives you more for less.

As you climb the trim ladder, you will find an available Nappa leather option with suede which turns the GV70’s interior into nothing less than a work of art. The 21-inch wheels available on the 2.5T Prestige or both 3.5T trims are simply stunning too, and the GV70 doesn’t fail to turn heads. Even next to a Ferrari 488 in the parking lot of the fairly glitzy Owl’s Head golf club, Genesis’ latest SUV garnered quite a few looks.

Speaking of golf, the GV70 proved quite spacious in the trunk, fitting two golf clubs with room to spare for a few more. The rear seats are quite spacious as well despite the falling roof line, and even if you are around six feet you’ll be fine in the back.

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The 2022 Genesis GV70 gives owners another option in the cluttered compact luxury SUV segment, and it delivers enough value, space, and performance to get noticed by the big German trio.

More importantly, those automakers don’t give you the personalized buying experience Genesis provides with no-haggle pricing, vehicle pick-up and delivery for service, and at-home test drives. For buyers weary of dealerships, this is a significant plus, and the good news is that you are not compromising quality to enjoy the perks of owning a Genesis.

2022 Genesis GV70
2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70
2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Genesis GV70
2022 Genesis GV70 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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