Nearly 20 small luxury crossover sport utility vehicles are available in 2022 models — Acura to BMW, Infiniti to Mercedes-Benz. All simultaneously have unique and shared traits. The names change; the vehicles often don’t.
Further, there’s no exact definition of what makes an SUV or any other car achieve luxury status. The luxury tagline is used to define vehicles offering better performance, plush interiors made with high-end material as well as top-line safety and advanced technology features.
The luxury definition was once reserved for luxury-only brands, namely German stalwarts. Several manufacturers, some formerly consider economy-based, have changed the dynamic. Still, how can a new SUV find its place?
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Genesis GV70: Legitimate Contender
Welcome the 2022 Genesis GV70, a debuting SUV. The German trio, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all have loyalists. The GV70, in its first year, joins the GV80 and three sedans in the newbie manufacturer’s lineup. It’s quickly become a legitimate contender, earning luxury SUV-of-the-year honors.
A stand-alone off-shoot luxury lineup of Hyundai since late 2015, Genesis now offers three sedans and two SUVs.
The GV70 launched a few months ago; four additional choices are pending. The new SUV matches other vehicles in the Genesis stable with its base engine: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft. of torque. The reviewed performance offering is a 3.5-liter V6 with 375 horsepower and 383 lb-ft. of torque. It’s propelled by an eight-speed automatic transmission and features all-wheel-drive.
Genesis GV70: Good Acceleration
As a luxury SUV, the Genesis defines peppy for the class. It accelerates from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds. Sport-oriented sedans are commonplace, not-so-much SUVs. Feel the need to pass or otherwise accelerate on-demand, the GV70 gets that done.
With the updated Advance trim, the Genesis earns its luxury status. It’s a $5,000 upgrade but it includes comfort features like leather upholstery, interior ambient lighting, three-temperature heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
Safety features are plentiful, including a remote self-parking option a fingerprint scanner to start the vehicle. A host of other technology items include: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Lane Change Oncoming and Junction Turning and a complex mating of cameras, radar and sonar sensors.
Genesis GV70: Top-Line Interior
A panoramic sunroof, 21-inch wheels and a 16-speaker Lexicon stereo system are also part of the top-line choice. The infotainment layout includes a 12.3-inch 3D digital cluster with touchscreen and console functionality. The head-up display is visually crisp.
The interior design and layout further separate the GV70 from competitors. It has welcoming red leather and double red stitching, both contoured around smooth-sculptured doors and dash.
The GV70 seats five, but the second row isn’t spacious. The cargo area, with the rear seats down, opens into an airy carry area. One small, important feature: the tailgate opens via a push-button on the rear window mechanism. Reaching for a low-placed button or a bulky latch is eliminated.
Genesis GV70: Dealerships Pending
Besides its quick acceleration, the GV70 advances quietly. It maneuvers without issue and has a tight turning radius.
As a new manufacturer, Genesis is still currently available at Hyundai dealerships. But there have been legal setbacks. Before the pandemic, the manufacturer announced plans for more than 100 stand-alone Genesis-only dealerships nationwide by 2025.
Vehicles are also available for purchase online via Genesis Concierge. The service collects information for a buyer’s preferred features. An at-home test drive is then scheduled.
Considering the average price of a new vehicle in the United States recently exceeded $45,000 for the first time, the GV70’s MSRP of $52,600 equates to value. Two option packages and destination fees push the cost to slightly more than $64,000. Most competitors, similarly equipped, are more expensive.
Article Last Updated: July 27, 2023.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.