The first time I saw the 2022 Genesis GV70 in the flesh, I got a little wobbly in the knees. I have yet to review a car that I couldn’t see myself driving, but after I climbed out of the GV70, it was the first time I’d experienced the kind of pure, unadulterated craving for a new vehicle that I’ve heard enthusiasts talk about for years. It’s a sensation I was expecting to feel behind the wheel of a fastback Mustang, not a luxury SUV — but now I can’t stop thinking about this damn car. I don’t just want it. I yearn for it.
I hate being dramatic. But damn.
Full Disclosure: Genesis provided the GV70 for a Los Angeles auto roundup hosted by A Girls Guide to Cars. I was supposed to be driving the GV80, and I think I ended up spending more time in the GV70. All opinions are my own.
Driving Conditions: Cool, dry, and overcast in Los Angeles, California.
The 2022 Genesis GV70 is a brand-new model for Genesis, and it’s its first shot at a compact SUV in a market that desperately craves them.
The thing that makes Genesis unique is that it offers luxury at a much lower price point than competitors from Volvo or Mercedes-Benz — which doesn’t mean Genesis is skimping. Oh, no. All trims are outfitted with a standard suite of top-end features, and upgrading gives you the goodies, like a panoramic sunroof and heated steering wheel, or the option of a 3.5-liter engine as opposed to a 2.5-liter.
We’ve reviewed the larger GV80 from Genesis here on Jalopnik before, but where the GV80 is the proud and posh parent, the GV70 is the rebellious child. The interior maintains Genesis’ styling cues but adds sharper lines and more stretched-out curves lined with chrome, which lends the appearance of speed—especially when contrasted against the sharp red-and-black interior. That red interior is, thankfully, a little bit toned down when compared to eye-poppers like the 2022 Acura MDX A-Spec.
The interior is genuinely upsetting in the sense that no other car will ever feel cool or new to you ever again. It’s like someone sat down with a massive focus group and painstakingly poured months of effort into the design. Everything is fairly simple, but it’s the finish and location that really sets the GV70 a cut above the rest. Everything feels so nice. I could just sit in the front seat and stroke this bad boy all day long.
One specific shoutout I want to make: The wireless phone charger. Most wireless phone chargers are obnoxious trays that take up a frankly ridiculous amount of space in your console area. The GV70 instead opts for a vertical positioning for its wireless phone charger, along with a lid that closes over it. Genius.
And you’ll get those same styling cues outside. Genesis’ statement grille has started to grow on me (though it’s going to look like an absolute travesty in front-plate states), but it pairs nicely with the thin, slitted headlights and sculpted hood.
The fancy matte paint here is another nice touch, giving a harder edge to Genesis’ luxury sheen. Just don’t take it through the car wash. This is hand-wash only.
I drove the GV70 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige trim, which is the top-of-the-line trim. It featured the Melbourne Gray matte paint for an additional $1,500. And if you want to read my love letter to the GV70's seats, you can find it here.
- Base price: $42,045
- Price as tested: $65,045
- 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque
- 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
- Monobloc front brakes
- Drive mode selection
- Panoramic moonroof
- 16-way power driver seat and 12-way power passenger seat
- Heated and ventilated Ergo-Motion Seats
- Ambient lighting
- 14.5-inch multi-media system screen
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 19/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined
The Sport Prestige trim adds:
- Quilted Nappa leather seating with suede inserts
- Suede headliner
- Heated steering wheel
- Surround-view monitor
- Smart parking assist
- 21-inch sport alloy wheels
- Carbon fiber trim
- 12.3-inch digital cluster with head-up display
Where the GV80 is very obviously a larger SUV, the GV70 makes an effort to bring on the fun. Multiple drive modes give you the chance to customize your ride, and I found myself cruising around Los Angeles highways in Sport Plus mode, which plays to all the V6 turbo’s strengths.
Is it a sports car? No. Genesis does an admirable job stiffening the feel of the drive, but with such a high center of gravity and no significant improvements to the suspension, efforts at making a true sports car are pretty much lost. That’s one of the compromises you’re getting with the Genesis’ low price point; you don’t have a ton of feel behind the wheel, but you’re still going to have more than anything you’ll get from the well-tuned, budget-minded SUV competitors such as Toyota.
It’s a crossover. That’s just the way this goes. But you’re still going to have a lot more fun than you would in most other SUVs.
The cabin is deliciously impervious to road noise, though you can also select your preferred exhaust note via the infotainment system if you want to sound like a badass, which you can definitely hear from the driver’s seat. If you really want to take advantage of a quiet cabin, though, throw on some music and let the Lexicon sound system shine.
From the tech side of things, I’ve been impressed with Genesis’ infotainment system — at least from the first-use standpoint. It’s fairly intuitive, so you can hop in and start scrolling with the gorgeous glass-and-aluminum rotary knob with ease. My biggest complaint is that there’s just so much packed into the screen, including two types of navigation that I frequently got confused. That said, it’s a system you can actually use to make quick changes while driving, which isn’t something you can say about some of the competition’s infotainment systems.
If you have kids or other rear-seat passengers, they’ll fit in the backseat just fine. Unless they’re creeping over six feet tall, in which case the backseat of most any vehicle is not for them. There is an excellent amount of cargo space, though, so don’t be afraid to drop off all your goodies.
Honestly, one of Genesis’ selling features right now is the fact that it packs every single trim with a whole host of impressive standard features and slaps a reasonable price tag on the whole thing — though as you move up the trims, you’re also moving the price.
But compared to its competition, $65,000 for a luxury machine loaded with all the bells and whistles ain’t bad. A similarly-equipped Porsche Macan will run you over $80,000, especially if you want the twin-turbo engine. The Mercedes-AMG GLC-Class starts at $60,000. You could almost get away with cross-shopping the GV7o against a Mazda CX-5 or a Toyota RAV4. Almost.
I don’t know who decided that luxury cars need to cost as much as a starter home, but I do not love them. I’m the kind of person who wants high style on a practical budget. The kind of person who wants to be pampered with a spa day but who sure as hell ain’t spending hundreds of dollars for the pleasure when my very own jet tub and some essential oils will do the trick.
And that’s what makes the Genesis GV70 such a badass in the luxury world. It proves that you don’t need to shell out tens of thousands of extra dollars for an ultra-lush experience just because it has a legacy name brand attached to it. Why pay thousands of dollars to buy a Louis Vuitton purse if what you’re looking for is just a well-made leather bag that’s going to look great and last forever?
Your Mercedes-Benz GLC is the Louis Vuitton purse of the luxury world — great for the people who want luxury and also care about the name attached. The Genesis G70 is your handmade leather boutique that no one’s ever heard of but that gets the job done all on its own.
Is it all a marketing ploy to encourage people to buy from a relatively unheard-of brand? Probably. But is it working? You bet your ass it is. We live in a world that is frankly oversaturated with cars, especially SUVs. If you want to introduce something new, you need to do it in a big way. And what better way to do it than with a matte gray, ultra-luxe, well-equipped Genesis GV70 that can give you 375 horses from a turbocharged V6 for just over $65,000?