2022 Genesis GV70 Review: Form Over Function

Stylishly sophisticated, the new Genesis GV70 emphasizes form over function.

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When drivers are ready to move up to a luxury brand, they frequently consider a small or compact SUV. The 2022 Genesis GV70 addresses this type of buyer.

Based on the same platform as the Genesis G70 sports sedan, the new 2022 GV70 is a low-slung SUV better used on pavement than dirt. It comes with standard all-wheel drive (AWD), but the platform’s rear-drive origin results in appealing dimensions. The GV70 has a short front overhang, a long hood, a cabin set back on the wheels, and a tapered roofline giving this Genesis a nearly coupe-style look. The GV70 competes with a wide range of compact crossovers, but those most like it include the BMW X3, X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and GLC Coupe.

2022 Genesis GV70 engineChristian Wardlaw

Genesis offers the GV70 in 2.5T and 3.5T configurations, the latter swapping a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for a twin-turbo V6. Packages of options are available for each model. The GV70 2.5T offers Select, Advanced, and Sport Prestige upgrades over the standard specification, while the GV70 3.5T is available with Sport, Sport Advanced, and Sport Prestige feature collections. Prices range from the low $40,000 to the mid-$60,000 range.

Supplied by Genesis, the test vehicle came in 3.5T Sport Prestige specification, equipped with extra-cost Melbourne Gray matte-finish paint and a Sevilla Red over black interior. The price came to more than $65,000, including the destination charge.

2022 Genesis GV70 interior dashboardChristian Wardlaw


Proportionally, the new 2022 Genesis GV70 is appealing. A convergence of curves gives the SUV’s haunches a busy look. While the simulated exhaust outlets are oversized, the SUV otherwise looks terrific.

Inside, the GV70’s forms and décor resemble the Art Deco movement of a century ago, rendered now with plenty of high-tech wizardry. The result is a genuine work of art — the test vehicle’s Sevilla Red accents and dazzling trim served perfectly to highlight the aesthetics.

Elegantly detailed minimalism is the rule within the GV70. However, form takes on as much importance as function. For example, at one point during testing without looking down and away from the road, I twisted the large round transmission gear selector dial instead of the large round infotainment selector dial while driving on the freeway. They reside right next to each other on the center console and are the same size. The transmission also performed as expected.

2022 Genesis GV70 center console controlsChristian Wardlaw

Furthermore, some markings on the polished aluminum controls can be hard to see during the daytime (this is not a problem at night). Genesis also employs touch-panel technology for the steering wheel controls and the climate system, which could easily go wrong. But in this case, the company’s approach works well. The haptic feedback touch-sensing buttons instantly respond to input.

For the most part, materials are top-notch in terms of quality. As a result, the GV70 Sport Prestige looks, feels, and smells like decadent luxury. The attention to design detail is extraordinary in a GV70 when properly outfitted.

Considering that the test vehicle had 16-way power adjustment for the driver and 12-way for the front passenger, heating and ventilation, Ergo Motion self-inflating side bolsters for sporty driving, plus Smart Posture Care fatigue resistance, the SUV surprisingly wasn’t as comfortable as expected after several hours of driving. Specifically with the thigh bolster extended, I still wished for a better combination of leg support and seating height.

2022 Genesis GV70 back seatChristian Wardlaw

Rear-seat comfort can suit two adults. Separate rear climate controls and available heated outboard cushions* may enhance passenger satisfaction. Occupants can also appreciate the smartphone charging ports. However, the use of hard plastic on front seatback covers is jarring in the GV70’s otherwise thoughtfully outfitted cabin.

Interior storage is unexpectedly good, given the cabin’s clean and simple appearance. The standard wireless smartphone charger in front is handy, the center console bin is generous, and every door panel includes an armrest tray and sizable lower bin.

2022 Genesis GV70 cargo areaChristian Wardlaw

Cargo space is somewhat tight, likely due to the cabin rearward position on the vehicle’s platform and its rakish roofline. Behind the rear seat, the GV70 supplies 28.9 cu.-ft. of cargo space. With the back seat folded down, the maximum volume measures 56.9 cu.-ft.

The GV70’s Smart Liftgate is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a hands-free power-opening liftgate that allows you to keep both feet firmly on the ground, sensing the proximity of the key fob and beeping for three seconds before opening. When you want this feature to work, it’s great. When you’re just wiping drips off of the tailgate after a wash, it can be a hassle.

2022 Genesis GV70 infotainmentChristian Wardlaw


Every 2022 Genesis GV70 has a 14.5-inch widescreen infotainment system display atop the otherwise smooth and unbroken dashboard. On this flat, barren landscape, it looks a little bit like a distant drive-in theater in the desert.

Genesis gives the display touch-sensing operation, but it can be a reach even for longer-limbed people. Still, I appreciate that I can use my fingers to control it rather than rely on alternative methods. Those alternative methods include controls on the center console, similar to what Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have used for years. A smattering of controls also lives on the steering wheel, including a “star” button that you can program to initiate a favorite function.

Genesis also provides a voice recognition system, but it proved disappointing and not nearly as intuitive and quick to respond as what BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes offer. The automaker’s parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, knows how to perform this technology. The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra is proof. But in our test vehicle, attempting to use voice recognition was a frustrating challenge.

Fortunately, the standard smartphone mirroring technology can help drivers avoid this frustration by using the digital assistants baked into their devices. However, this technology isn’t the wireless solution buyers in this class may increasingly expect.

Christian Wardlaw

Genesis offers digital key technology for the GV70. You can use a smartphone to unlock the vehicle or a key card carried on your person. Once you slide inside, a fingerprint reader unlocks the engine start function and the 2022 GV70 comes to life. This model introduces the idea that soon, remote keyless entry fobs could become a thing of the past.

If it has the available 12.3-inch digital instrumentation panel*, you’ll notice a compelling 3D effect to the display when the SUV starts. If you don’t like it, you can turn it off.

Bring the 2022 Genesis GV70 up to speed, activate the Highway Driving Assist II advanced driving assistance system (ADAS), and you can find the graphics, detail, and clarity of the available head-up display* stunningly good. It shows surrounding vehicles, when another motorist is in the GV70’s blind spots, and a wealth of data in full, high-resolution color.

Highway Driving Assist II combines adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering assistance, lane-change assistance, and an automatic curve slow-down function. Together, they create a hands-on ADAS that proved highly effective during testing. Luckily, due to an exception to typical Southern California weather, I was able to test the system after dark during a severe thunderstorm while driving through a construction zone. It performed much better than I expected.

2022 Genesis GV70 rear quarter leftChristian Wardlaw

When equipped with the top Sport Prestige option package, the GV70 is loaded with tech. A Remote Smart Parking Assist system allows you to park the SUV while standing outside of it. A surround-view camera system gives you front, rear, and top-down views while parking and a remote view of the vehicle via smartphone. You can even capture images of what’s happening near the vehicle if necessary. A blind-spot view monitor offers camera-based blind-spot monitoring in addition to the standard radar-based system.

What’s more, the majority of this technology is straightforward to understand and use, which makes the automaker’s lack of attention to improve voice recognition and wireless smartphone mirroring even more of a mystery.

2022 Genesis GV70 front quarter rightChristian Wardlaw


Choose the Genesis GV70 2.5T, and the SUV includes a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine generating 300 hp and 311 lb.-ft. of torque. A twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine is standard in the GV70 3.5T, delivering 375 hp and 391 lb.-ft.

Both engines use an 8-speed automatic transmission and come with standard AWD. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 3.5T test vehicle should return 21 mpg in combined driving. On the evaluation loop, the SUV averaged 19.6 mpg.

Drivers can choose between several driving modes depending on how they plan to drive the SUV, their personal preferences, and the weather conditions. An adaptive damping suspension exclusive to the GV70 3.5T includes a feature called Road Preview. It automatically adjusts in advance of bumps, potholes, and other problems with the pavement.

2022 Genesis GV70 side viewChristian Wardlaw

Most people will likely find the GV70 2.5T satisfying to drive unless they desire outright acceleration capability. In this case, there is no alternative but to choose the GV70 3.5T, which also gets a set of upgraded brakes because what goes fast must also be able to haul itself down from speed. You can also select the Sport Prestige package for handsome 21-inch wheels wrapped in 255/40 all-season tires.

In daily driving situations, the GV70 3.5T is a delight. There is a slight delay in acceleration response in Comfort mode, but you can resolve that by choosing Sport mode or calibrating the Custom mode to your liking. This SUV feels quick, solid, and athletic, and the adaptive suspension with Road Preview nearly eliminates the usual adverse ride-quality effects of big heavy wheels and low-profile tire sidewalls.

Nonetheless, if you attempt a rousing run down a favorite back road, the GV70 3.5T is less satisfying. The all-season tires do the SUV no favors when taking corners. If you choose the most responsive Sport+ mode, the Genesis inexplicably deactivates its traction and stability control functions — this is the last thing you want if you’re really hustling. The suspension also allows too much body motion in any curve that isn’t smooth and adequately banked.

So while it looks the part of an ideal sport-utility vehicle, the Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport Prestige is more of a cruiser.

2022 Genesis GV70 rear quarterChristian Wardlaw


Genesis crafted a compelling compact luxury SUV in the new 2022 GV70. It looks terrific, with proportions that blend SUV and sports wagon attributes with the brand’s defining characteristics. The interior is gorgeous, and while there are a few stumbles with the technology, it is nevertheless impressive — especially at this price point. The GV70 is nothing short of excellent in daily driving situations, but driving enthusiasts may still want to select a German SUV. Add the value associated with the Genesis brand’s warranty coverage and ownership perks, and the GV70 deserves careful consideration.

*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections

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Christian Wardlaw
My first word was “car.” That’s what I’m told, anyway. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with them. The design. The engineering. The performance. And the purpose. I’m a car enthusiast who loves to drive, but I’m also most interested in the cars, trucks, and SUVs that people actually buy. Anybody can tell you that a sports car is fast. What you need to know is whether or not you should buy that new SUV, and why. My life purpose is to help you make that decision.