The Genesis GV70
The growth in size of today’s crossovers and SUVs is not unlike the growth in size of America’s collective waistline. (You know, we can’t all be ‘perfect physical specimens’.) Compact crossovers are quickly morphing into midsize crossovers, while those body-on-frame 3-rows – like the Suburban and Ford’s Navigator – can’t realistically be garaged; they’re both too long and too high. So, when you see a crossover that actually seems proportionally sized for its intended mission, you want to jump on it. And over it. And around it. Such was the case with the recently introduced Genesis GV70.
Genesis, as I’ve written and you’ve read, is Hyundai’s upmarket entry into the Acura, BMW and Lexus sphere – and it is killing it. While launched with competitive sedans and a botched dealer rollout, the Genesis team has since added both a GV80 SUV and the subject of this test, the smaller GV70. While the GV80 takes the fight to the X5 and the Mercedes GLE, the 2-row GV70 is arguably up against BMW’s X3, Lexus RX 350 and – to perhaps a lesser extent – Audi’s A4-based allroad.
In the walk-up to the GV70 you can discern an almost wagon-like footprint, more allroad Audi than the carmaker’s Q5. Given that the GV70’s platform is shared with the G70 sport sedan, the Genesis crossover sits back on its chassis, giving it a ready-to-launch vibe the Lexus and Acura RDX simply don’t have. And while the grille opening is larger than I’d draw, the front fascia isn’t the distraction carved by the team at Lexus; notably, there’s even less going on here than on the showrooms of Mercedes or BMW.
Inside, the GV70’s Advanced Package gave us leather seating surfaces (perforated leather, in Velvet Burgundy, no less…) and Waveline backlit trim, along with surround view monitor and various nanny aids fully appropriate if you’re not paying attention. Behind the wheel the hip point is higher than the G70 sport sedan, but not as elevated as that in the larger GV80. In point of fact, the seat height seems closer to that of Subaru’s Outback or the aforementioned allroad than it does a midsize SUV. It’s easy to access, and once inside your sight lines are appropriate to today’s congestion. A win/win.
Under the hood, Genesis affords you a choice of either the base 2.5 liter turbocharged four with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque or the more adventurous 3.5 liter turbocharged V6. The V6 will get you 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque, and it’s wondrous. But you don’t need it. The 300 horsepower of the turbo four propels less than 4,500 pounds, and does so with real authority. The only time you notice the more agrarian four is from outside – there’s a slightly audible mechanical aspect to the four you won’t hear from the V6. But that’s it. Save that upgrade money for a vacation.
On the road, the Genesis team provides a very Eurocentric experience, with good road feel from the heated steering wheel, a composed ride and confident cornering. You won’t go racing for pink slips with the GV70’s four-banger, but merging onto even the most aggressive freeways remains safe and, of note here and now, reasonably efficient.
On top of all of this goodness is a base price of just over $41K, an as-tested price with Select and Advanced packages of $51,000, and the confidence of the Genesis warranty: 5-years and 60,000 miles of New Vehicle warranty, and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
At this point the Genesis dealer network is spotty, but if you live in a metro area you have at least one, possibly several. Pay ‘em a visit, and drive the available inventory. Then order what you want – and be patient. The Genesis GV70 is well worth your wait, ‘cause at $51K it’s a deal – and if you opt for the base model at just over $40K, it’s a steal.