Genesis GV70 — Learning to love the new Genesis

By Casey Williams

(January 5, 2022) I am a big fan of Genesis, but was not loving its new GV70 compact crossover from photos. The swoopy rear windowline and bubble rump didn’t look especially menacing, even if the rear echoes the classic Porsche 928. It looked handsome enough from the front with its car-grater grille, but nothing special against others in its class. Then, this sinister beast with flat gray paint appeared and I got an attitude adjustment.

Trading cheery colors and brightwork for Melbourne Gray paint and black chrome completely changes this Korean’s demeanor. It looks ready to throw down with tyrants over its mesh grille, LED headlamps, 21” dark alloy wheels, and thin wrap-around taillamps. Hungry air intakes up front, deftly creased flanks, and trumpet exhausts out back mean business. Go topside to see the panoramic moonroof.

If the exterior reaches down under for inspiration, the interior channels Spain. Seville Red trim will have you fighting imaginary bulls, but quilted Nappa leather seats with suede inserts, thick leather-wrapped steering wheel, and suede headliner calm souls back down. Heated/ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and dual zone automatic climate control keep everybody comfy. Caress carbon fiber and aluminum trim.

There’s all kinds of wizardry, starting with the fingerprint recognition starting. Big knobs on the console looks like John Spartan’s seashells, but one is a knurled gear selector while the other one conjures infotainment functions. Further forward are rollers for volume and tuning plus a switch for the drive mode selector. Devices connect to the suave Lexicon Premium Audio system via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless charging.

A head-up display and 3D effect gauges bring driver’s eyes forward. A full suite of safety tech includes adaptive cruise with lane centering, automatic emergency braking, safe exit assist, and rear child alert. You can even check on your car through its around-view cameras from your smartphone.

That’s all before you go for a drive. Base GV70s come with a 300 horsepower turbo-four engine, but that wouldn’t do for our edgy accomplice. This one scats with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 delivering 375 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque – all routed to the all-wheel-drive system through an imperceptible eight-speed automatic transmission. Shift it via paddles during backroad “me time.”  Use the drive mode selector to configure the powertrain and handling for varying conditions. More impressive, the electronic suspension employs a camera that adjusts tuning in real time. Fuel economy for all this bliss rates 19/25-MPG city/highway.

Step into the throttle or crank the GV70 into a corner and you’ll brighten a smile. The rear seat is a little tight, but it’s also a pretty good family car with power hatch and ample luggage space. Genesis has delivered a German-challenging road machine that revels in all its bad attitude. And, that’s pretty good.

The GV70 starts at $41,000, but came to $65,045 with the Turbo-V6 and Sport Prestige package. Competitors include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, and Audi Q5.