First Drive: All-New 2022 Genesis GV70 SUV Delivers Comfort, Agility, and Luxe

Take note BMW and Mercedes-Benz. There's a sporty new compact SUV contender.

2022 Genesis GV70 SUV front

Genesis has fully committed to the vital luxury SUV market, first with the impressive GV80 midsized SUV and now with the compact GV70. Each brings elegance, refinement, and performance to their segments.

Sized like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the new GV70 is positioned as a stylish alternative to the established European offerings. It shares four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines with the larger GV80, resulting in strong performance from this smaller model. The GV70 takes some design cues from its elegant big brother, though this new model remains quite distinctive. There are clear Genesis brand touches throughout, but the GV70 is certainly its own vehicle.

The GV70's character is very much in alignment with the better European models, with a pampering blend of sport and luxury. We rented the four-cylinder version from Genesis for an early preview. The GV70 is now on sale, and we are in the process of buying one for testing. 

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What we rented: 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T Advanced
Powertrain: 300-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive.
Base price: $41,00
MSRP: $49,150
Destination fee: $1,045
Total cost: $50,195

CR's Take

The GV70 gives Hyundai’s fledgling luxury brand a vital entry into the compact SUV market. Based on our initial time behind the wheel and our experience with the GV80, we are enthusiastic about the prospect of the GV70 disrupting the established competition, even though it's quite late to the game.

The GV70 is much more than a junior version of the GV80. It's a unique entry, with a more enthusiast-targeted driving experience, and it comes across as a stylish and sporty SUV. It's less upright and boxy than most peers, without giving up much functionality. The interior has an elegance seldom seen in this class; it's certain to make a strong impression in the showroom.

The driving manners are reminiscent of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz—a high compliment. It pulls this off with an impressive balance of body control, ride quality, and agility that strikes at the midway point between sporty handling and pampering luxury. The base engine is invigorating, delivering strong acceleration when needed, and it's equally at home cruising around town.

We look forward to buying our own to test, in part because driving the rented preproduction model has been so enjoyable.

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