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The second SUV from Genesis will join the GV80 for the 2022 model year, giving Hyundai’s luxury brand an entry into a popular—and highly competitive—segment. Sized like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the new GV70 is positioned as a stylish alternative to the established European offerings.
The four- and six-cylinder engines are shared with the larger GV80, promising stronger performance from this smaller model. The GV70 takes some design cues from its elegant big brother, though this new model remains quite distinctive.
Many details are thin at this point, including the on-sale date. This suggests that the GV70 won’t reach the U.S. market until summer 2021.
Here’s what we know so far.
The GV70 gives the fledgling luxury brand a vital entry into the compact SUV market. Based on 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 GV80 stands out for its distinct elegance, interior ambience, and technology. We hope this brand DNA transfers to the GV70. And we hope the designers have improved on the confusing controls from the GV80.
The powertrains are essentially shared between the models. In the GV80, we found the base engine to be satisfying, marking it as one of the better turbocharged four-cylinders we’ve driven. In a lighter model, it should satisfy most shoppers with its power and refinement.
The robust V6 delivers effortless acceleration in the GV80, suggesting it could be quite entertaining in the GV70.
Genesis resisted the urge to make the GV70 look like just a smaller version of the GV80, breaking from the pattern seen with some European rivals that seem to offer the same sedans and SUVs in small, medium, and large.
The GV70 roofline is 2 inches lower than the BMW X3, an SUV that it otherwise matches in nearly every other dimension. This gives the Genesis a low, sleek appearance, augmented by the prominent wheel arches filled with large wheels and tires. The combined effect makes the GV70 look sporty and ready to pounce.
The front wears the latest interpretation of the Genesis grille, flanked by distinctive horizontal LED headlights. These cues connect it directly to the GV80, but the low hood and lack of front fender lights keep it from looking like a scaled-down clone from any angle.
The side appearance has deep body sculpting and a dramatic chrome flourish. This brightwork leads into an arched D-pillar that may be the most questionable design element. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a first-generation Chevrolet Equinox or Mercedes-Benz GLE. The real issue is that it probably hinders visibility.
The horizontal light theme repeats at the rear. Two prominent exhaust outlets are integrated into the rear bumper cover, ensuring that the GV70 announces its sporty pretensions from every angle.
An available sport package dresses up the exterior with blackout trim, large circular exhaust tips, a body-colored lower bumper lip, and exclusive wheels.
The interior design leans heavily on elliptical shapes. It organizes controls into specific clusters and features slim vent outlets, allowing more dash material to be exposed. The optional sport package brings additional colors, a new steering wheel, and carbon-fiber trim to the cabin.
A prominent, wide infotainment screen sits high on the dash, as in the GV80. We found the controls frustrating in that larger SUV, with the touch screen featuring hard-to-interpret labels and the jewel-like infotainment rotary dial being quite distracting. We hope the interface has improved with the GV70.
The GV70 includes a fingerprint authentication system that’s connected to an in-car payment service called Genesis CarPay, which can be used to pay for items such as gas and parking. This feature is also able to identify who is driving the car and automatically adjust the seat, steering wheel, and head-up display to the driver’s preferences. The system also comes in handy in Valet Mode to prevent personal information, such as your home address and phone number, from appearing on the infotainment screen.
What Drives It
The GV70 shares its engines with other Genesis models, including the larger GV80. The base powerplant is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The upgrade choice is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6. Genesis didn’t release the horsepower figures or the transmission details. Safe to assume that the GV70 will share the eight-speed automatic transmission with the GV80. Those engines produce 300 and 375 horsepower, respectively, in the GV80. Even if the final production output isn’t an exact match, those numbers give an estimate of the GV70 specs.
The GV70 features four driver-selectable modes—Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom—for fine-tuning the driving characteristics. The available sport package adds a Sport Plus mode to elevate performance.
The GV70 is based on a rear-drive platform, a configuration often used by European rivals for its inherent benefits to driving dynamics. The SUV will be available in all-wheel drive. The AWD option also features Multi Terrain Control, which adjusts the traction and stability-control systems for snow, sand, and mud.
Safety and Driver Assistance Systems
Genesis has announced an array of available safety and driver assistance features, but it hasn’t said which are standard. We do know that the GV70 will be available with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians and vehicles approaching from the side, and blind spot warning.
There’s also an upgraded version of Hyundai’s Highway Driving Assist feature, which will be able to follow lane markings; control steering, acceleration, and braking; assist the driver in changing lanes; and automatically adjust the distance between the car and the vehicle in front of it. It can also recognize speed limits on highways and adjust the vehicle’s speed accordingly. Driver monitoring uses dash notifications and sounds to ensure the driver is paying attention and looking forward.
Genesis claims that the GV70 will be the first vehicle to use a radar-based rear occupant alert. This technology is much more sophisticated than the ultrasonic sensors that Hyundai has offered in other models. It’s supposed to the detect movement of, say, a baby in a car seat or a dog, and also sense breathing. We appreciate the ongoing advances to reduce the risk of leaving a child or pet behind, and we look forward to trying this new system.