The luxury SUV market is a tough and competitive segment. But in recent years, the Genesis GV70 has made waves in this market with multiple awards from various publications. I named it the car of the year for 2021. But the previous model of the GV70 I test drove had the mighty twin-turbocharged V6 engine. This one has a more mundane turbo 4-cylinder. Does it lose its bite with the smaller engine?
Engine – The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine under the hood is 2.5L in displacement and it produces 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque (223 kW & 422 Nm). When compared to other luxury options with 4-cylinder engines, this GV70 has more bite. What’s really impressive is that the peak torque figure is reached between 1,300 to 4,500 rpms. This makes the engine responsive and it helps get the 1,965 kg (4,332 lbs) body off the line quickly. In everyday city driving, the GV70 feels as though it has enough pep to get by. On highways, the transmission will need to downshift a gear or two but the engine has enough power to overtake the semi trailer that’s barely doing the speed limit.
Fuel Economy – With this turbo 4-cylinder and AWD, the 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T is rated for 10.7 L/100km (22 MPG) in a city and 8.4 L/100km (28 MPG) on a highway. I averaged 10.3 L/100km (22.8 MPG) during my time with the SUV. Unfortunately premium fuel is recommended by Genesis.
Transmission – Shifting gears is an 8-speed automatic. In Comfort mode, the shifts are buttery smooth but not quite the fastest to react when you stomp on the throttle. However, in Sport mode, it reacts much more quickly.
Braking – The 2.5L Turbo version of the GV70 does not get the big 4-piston front calipers of the twin-turbo V6 version. It doesn’t need them. The standard brakes provide a sufficient amount of clamping force on the discs and are quite smooth while doing it. They can be switched between Comfort or Sport modes but sport makes the brake pedal feel too sensitive which in turn makes it difficult for smooth stops.
Handling – The 2.5L Turbo GV70 is almost 100 kg (220 lbs) lighter than the V6 version. Will you actually notice that difference? Probably not unless you drive them back to back. What you will notice around a twisting road is that this GV70 doesn’t have the same level of athleticism as the V6 version. This one is meant to be a little bit more focused towards luxury rather than sportiness. It does not get the adaptive dampers or limited slip differential of the V6 Sport version. However, it still has a planted and rear-drive biased feeling. The tires have plenty of grip around corners and the steering is direct, albeit lacking in feel. Again, this trim of the GV70 is more focused towards luxury driving than “pants on fire” driving.
Ride Comfort – With this model of the GV70 not being equipped with adaptive dampers, the ride is still one of the best among compact luxury SUVs. Rough roads and potholes are rounded off by the suspension so that the harshness doesn’t translate into the seats. Speaking of which, the front seats are fantastic for providing support and comfort whether you’re driving to and from work or on a long road trip.
Interior Space – Like many other compact SUVs, the front occupants have plenty of space. Though headroom is a tiny bit less in the GV70 compared to its rivals. The rear seats are reasonably spacious for adults. Sitting behind my driving position, my knees rub a bit against the back of the front seats but I am above average in height. More average height adults will find enough space. In the trunk, the 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T has 819 L (28.9 cu-ft) of cargo space with the 2nd row seats upright. Fold them down with levers in the trunk and the cargo capacity increases to 1,610 L (56.9 cu-ft).
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Thanks to the smooth ride and well insulated cabin, the GV70 provides a quiet and serene interior. Engine, wind, and tire noises are well subdued even on highways.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Genesis GV70 starts at $56,500 CAD ($41,500 USD). This Advanced Plus trim will cost you $60,500 CAD ($51,550 USD).
Gadgets – For the $60,000+ price tag, this GV70 Advanced Plus is pretty much fully loaded when it comes to luxury and tech features. Heated & ventilated seats, heated rear seats, panoramic sunroof, hands-free power liftgate, head-up display, Nappa leather upholstery, surround view cameras, wireless phone charging, 3-zone climate control, 16-way power driver’s seat, and the list just goes on.
The infotainment system is displayed on a 14.5” touchscreen that can also be controlled by the rotary knob on the center console. The far right items of the screen can be a bit of a stretch for those that don’t have long arms like myself. The system is quick to react to inputs and easy to navigate. Apple CarPlay & Android Auto are compatible but they have to be wired.
Interior Design – The interior of the GV70 is something that BMW and Mercedes-Benz should worry about because it looks gorgeous. Most of the materials are soft leather, aluminum, and soft plastics with a few hard plastics near your feet. There’s also ambient lighting but not as extreme as you would find in the GLC 43.
A couple of things that I don’t like are the climate controls and the steering wheel design. The climate controls are displayed on a touchscreen and I personally prefer physical buttons. As for the steering wheel, it just looks odd in this 2.5L Turbo version. The V6 version of the GV70 has a nicer steering wheel. Or if you opt for the 2.5T Prestige version of the GV70, it’ll come equipped with the same steering wheel as the V6.
Exterior Design – The 2022 GV70 receives the same shield design front grille that is on all other Genesis vehicles. The headlights are smooth and split in two just like the G70 sedan. But an odd design cue is the overlap on the hood next to the grille. Not sure why the designers didn’t make it flush. Around back, the double tail light lines are a mirror of the front DRLs. The exhaust pipes are different for this 2.5L version than the V6 and it is the easiest way to discern the two models. My favourite feature in the back is the integration of the 3rd brake light into the roof spoiler. Looks very unique.
Safety – The 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T Advanced Plus comes equipped with nearly every safety feature that is available from Genesis as standard. The only features that can be added if you move up to the Prestige trim is Parking Collision Avoidance – rear and remote parking assist.
The IIHS gave the 2022 Genesis GV70 a Top Safety Pick Plus. It received good scores in every category.
Warranty – Unlike the German rivals, the 2022 Genesis GV70 is covered by a 5 year / 100,000 km new vehicle and powertrain warranty in Canada. In the United States, new vehicle warranty is the same at 5 years / 60,000 miles but the powertrain warranty is 10 years / 100,000 miles. Better yet, Genesis vehicles come with a valet service. So when it’s time to take the car for a service, Genesis will pick it up for you and provide a vehicle for you until your car has had its service done. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here.
Conclusion – In the end, while the 4-cylinder version of the Genesis GV70 does not have the same driving dynamics of the V6, it can still be a large thorn in the side of the established German rivals. This turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is more powerful than the German offerings and you get more than just an engine. The GV70 is very competitively priced against those other SUVs. It is an excellent luxury compact SUV which is why I named it the car of the year for 2021.
Thank you to Genesis Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Genesis.com