By Cars.com EditorsDecember 9, 2021
As Genesis continues to fill out its lineup, the latest vehicle to join its assault on established luxury rivals is this, the GV70 Compact SUV.
With the GV70, Genesis has its sights clearly set on the lucrative compact luxury SUV market with competitors like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, but can the GV 70 compete against such a loaded field? Let's take a look. The GV70 gets a large crest grill, and the brand signature dual-line headlights. Sport models like this sport prestige get a darker colored grill as well as a body colored front bumper with larger front air. And wheel sizes for the GV70 range from 18s to these sport prestigious exclusive 21s. You come along the side of the GV70, this one has a lovely Melbourne gray matte paint, it's $1,500. Kind of hard to care for. Proportionally, it's about the same size as pretty much everything else in the class, to be honest, and it really looks like it too. Similar shapes, similar lines. In the back, the signature dual-line tail lights are present, and sport models also get these unique exhaust finishers, which gives it a really nice aggressive look. Genesis says the interior design is inspired by the elliptical cross-section of an airplane's wing, and you'll see that shape kind of throughout the cabin. It's a very cohesive look, gives it sort of a retro futuristic atomic age kind of thing. It might not be for everyone, but I really like it. There's solid visibility in all directions, at least for me, and it feels very roomy up front, despite this large center console. In the back, it's still fairly roomy. Although, I would have a hard time sitting behind myself with my preferred driver's seat position. There's lots of high-quality materials inside, and the physical controls, and bless their hearts. they're mostly physical controls. All feel nice, and substantial to the touch. Now, the sport proceeds here gets Napa leather with some suede inserts on the seats. And while the materials are really high-quality, I do think there could be a little bit more padding throughout the cabin. The GV70 also gets Genesis 14.5 inch touch screen. The graphics are clear, the menus are intuitive. The biggest problem, I have really long arms. Look at me not being able to reach the far corner of this. Fortunately, there's a controller, and also fortunately, it's not the sort of confusing flushed dial that we've seen in the GV80 and the G80. There are a few little problems with the controller. For starters, it's not the best way to navigate smartphone mirroring like Apple CarPlay. Also the positioning of it with the rotary gear selector is reversed from what I'm used to in most cars, most cars have the gear selector in the middle to the controller behind it. It's often while driving, I found myself reaching for the gear selector to try to do something on the screen. Fortunately, it won't let you throw it into reverse on the highway, and they do feel different so you can quick figure out pretty quickly that you know you're not grabbing the right one, but it's still kind of annoying. One interesting thing about the GV70 interior is just to the right of the steering column is this little fingerprint scanner. You can set up multiple driver profiles, and use the fingerprint scanner to do things like start the car without a key or access other things like payment features. I probably wouldn't use that. I'll stick the traditional keys, and cards and cash, but it's there if you want it. While most of the controls are physical, the climate panel does involve some touch controls for a few features like heated and ventilated seats, and the heated steering wheel and such. And then there are these buttons to the sides here and they look capacitive, but what's nice about them is the whole panel moves when you touch them. So you do get some feedback when you're hitting them, which helps, what I prefer more traditional, fully physical buttons for individual things. Yeah. But it's better than some of the touch things that other manufacturers are going towards. We haven't driven the 2.5 Turbo 4-Cylinder in the GV70 yet, but the 3.5 Twin Turbo V6 is a blast. At this output level, it's competing against the Audi SQ5, BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes GLC 43. I think the GV70 would hold its own in dynamic testing against all of those. The engine pulls hard, although there is some turbo lag, particularly when you're trying to pass, but once you get past that, it's a joy. The sport prestige models also add an electronic-limited slip differential for improved handling, and sport models get an extra sport plus driving mode. In fact, the sport and sport plus modes will help with some of that turbo lag. Steering in the GV70 is communicative, but not overly weighty, and while sport and sport plus will make it feel a little heavier, it doesn't really seem to do much in terms of improving feedback. Ride quality in the GV70 strikes a nice balance, it's firm in sport and sport plus, but comfortable in other modes, even with these 21-inch wheels. And no matter what mode you're in, the lack of body rolls in corners is really impressive. There is some impact harshness over things like expansion, joints and potholes, but I have a feeling some of that is down to these 21-inch wheels. Probably my biggest complaint with the GV70 driving experience is the breaking field. The pedal feels linear, but it takes a lot of effort to haul this down to a stop, and it's not always confidence inspiring. Based on Cars.com testing, the GV70 cargo volume is poor for the class. The GV70 starts at just over $42,000. And this loaded example is a little over $65,000. $1.500 of that is that lovely matte paint. That's a lot for a compact luxury SUV, but it's also likely to undercut most of its German rivals, particularly the performance versions, and especially once you start adding options to those. It should absolutely be on every compact luxury SUV shoppers list. But whether it does enough to convince those who care about a badge remains to be seen. 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