Home / Auto News / 2022 Genesis GV70: A luxury SUV that’s dressed to kill

DRIVING the 2022 Genesis GV70, I felt a bit like Jimmy Stewart’s character in “Rear Window" in that I was witnessing a murder.

The GV70 3.5T with all-wheel drive—ours in Sport Prestige trim, $64,045, as tested—quietly liquidates competitors in its price range as well as a few above. Conspicuously cool and self-loving on the outside, with an interior design theme nicked from the Bugatti Chiron, the GV70’s particular set of skills make it a formidable adversary in the premium-luxury compact sport SUV market. It will find you, Audi Q5 Sportback, BMW X4, Jaguar F-Pace, and it will…hello?

The upscale imprint of South Korean super-giant Hyundai, the Genesis brand has in its short life launched five new models, three sedans and two crossover SUVs, whose down-the-road family resemblance is unmistakable, thanks to the dual-slit head- and taillamp arrays and the glitzy mesh grilles, worn provocatively like chain mail merkins.

But the company has also burned capital making each model distinctive on the inside, each with its own design theme, atmospherics and unique quotient of surprise and delight. Most car companies have no qualms about commonizing interiors—instrumentation, HVAC plumbing, center-stack switchgear, upholstery and trim materials, seat and door systems—over several vehicle programs for as long as they can get away with. VW has been using the same window switches so long they say Hinauf and Hinunter.

So I was pleasantly amazed to sit in the GV70 and find yet another sumptuously upholstered, aesthetically ambitious interior scheme. Inspired by the Korean design principle of “white space," the GV70’s cabin layout is open and airy, with the low horizon of the leatherette-upholstered dash console aiding forward sightlines. A thin tracer of brightwork ricochets around the doors and across the dash console, where it hides the HVAC outlets and indirect lighting elements.

With a whimsy that is unusual for vast Korean multinationals, the cabin design is unified with a flamboyant ellipse motif. The door trim on our Sport Prestige comprises stretched ovals of carbon-fiber appliqué. The front doors’ latch and tweeter share an ellipse-shaped bezel, as do the memory-seat selector. Most of the touchable-switchables are embedded in a thin black horizontal spar in the mid-dash shaped like a highly eccentric orbit, with capacitive switches for climate, comfort and cabin functions on the right and, to the left of the steering wheel, controls for lights and auxiliaries.

The company says the inspiration for the ellipse motif was “aerodynamic sections of aircraft wings." Sure, so long as the aircraft is a Douglas DC-3.

A row of clickable, shortcut switches are blended into the lower edge of the pewter-like bezel. However, most inputs will be received via the car’s wonderfully daft rotary controller with a touchpad in the center. One of two large, centrally located rotary controls, the Genesis digital user-interface is easily mistaken for the gear selector immediately to its south. So that takes some getting used to—nothing like throwing a car into Neutral at highway speeds as you attempt to tune in NPR.

Once mastered, the selector—with integrated handwriting recognition, allegedly—allows users to whirl through a well-lubricated carousel of apps and icons in the widescreen display, mounted just below the dash horizon. A fingerprint reader in the console identifies the driver, signaling the car to load his or her multifarious preferences.

I would like to scribble off one note to the design zeitgeist: In the past five years, consumers have seen cockpit-style black screens grow in size and move from the margins of the driving experience to the literal and virtual center. The touchscreen that dominates the frontage of Mercedes-EQ EQS stretches from door to door. So we know what that extreme looks like.

Black-glass cockpits show up well in product photography, floating in pools of indirect lighting. But I’m beginning to feel an unexpected fatigue with them, a bored bedazzlement that makes me yearn for something visually softer to lay my eyes upon. Like the GV70’s richly upholstered forward console.

Despite its posh appearance, the GV70 is, in fact, a slightly raised version of the rascally G70 sport sedan, with independent front suspension, a multi-link rear around adaptive dampers—with the optional shamelessness of the Sport Prestige package’s 21-inch “G-Matrix" dark alloy wheels.

The GV70’s base engine is a turbocharged 2.5-liter, 300-hp inline four, paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission and on-demand AWD. That sounds like plenty to me. Our tester was churning a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6, with a hurricane force of 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. Strong brakes, quick rudder, nice stance—pretty frisky, withal.

When in the past I have marveled at the Genesis brand’s ability to punch up at European luxury products, I’ve always meant to add an asterisk. I don’t mean to suggest there is no palpable difference between our test vehicle and, say, a comparably equipped BMW X4 M40i. That would be naive. To the contrary, the BMW is undoubtedly harder, tauter, lighter, faster—metabolically a much more satisfying machine to pilot, because that is the way they build them. Ditto a product like the Porsche Macan, which I would confidently drive off any dealer’s lot and onto a racetrack for hot laps. That’s the standard to which all Porsches are (hopefully) built. A GV70 would likely poop its skirts in a matter of minutes.

Trouble is, the BMW’s base price, before options, is about where a jewel-encrusted, hunting-eagle equipped GV70 tops out.

I thought I heard a scream.

2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige

Base price: $52,600

Price, as tested: $64,045 (incl. $1,045 destination and delivery)

Powertrain: Twin-turbocharged direct-injection 3.5-liter DOHC V6; eight-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode; permanent on-demand all-wheel drive with multiple drive modes and electronic limited-slip rear differential.

  • Power/torque: 375 hp at 5,800 rpm/391 lb-ft at 1,300 - 4,500 rpm
  • Length/width/height/wheelbase: 185.6/75.2/64.2/113.2 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,541 pounds
  • 0-60 mpg: <5 seconds (est.)
  • EPA fuel economy: 19/25/21 mpg, city/highway/combined
  • Cargo capacity: 28.9 cubic feet


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