An all-new compact crossover, the Genesis GV70 shares engines its larger GV80 sibling. Offering 5-passenger seating and standard all-wheel drive, the GV70 competes most closely with the Acura RDX, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac CT5, Infiniti QX50, Lexus NX, Lincoln Nautilus, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Volvo XC60.
Models include the 2.5T and 3.5T. 2.5T gets a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. 3.5T models get a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that makes 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. Both engines mate to an 8-speed automatic transmission and come standard with all-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
Within each model there are several trims. Starting at $41,000, the 2.5T comes in Standard, Select, Advanced and Sport Prestige trim. The 3.5T starts at $52,600 and comes in Sport, Sport Advanced and Sport Prestige trim. Standard driver aids include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with brake intervention, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warning, driver-attention warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
The "base" turbo four in the 2.5T provides good acceleration and ample passing power. In fact, the engine punches above its weight with a 0 to 60 MPH time of just about 6.5 seconds -- that is better than the base engine in most rivals. The 4-cylinder is smooth in daily driving, but not silky. In hard acceleration when at \the top of the rev band there's a hint of coarseness and shake that is unbecoming of a luxury vehicle.
Though most would say that 300 horsepower is ample in a compact crossover, Genesis says "hold my beer" and drops in the 375-horsepower twin-turbo V6 from the larger GV80. This powerful engine turns the GV70 into a rocket ship, teleporting passengers from 0 - 60 MPH in about 5 seconds. That's on par with uber-performance models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The engine is smooth as a top and sounds the part as well.
Both engines mate well to the standard 8-speed automatic transmission. Around town, shifts are nearly imperceptible and downshifts are prompt if a bit jarring in sport mode. Though on-road-ready all-wheel drive is standard, the GV70 comes with performance-minded tires that are of little use in the winter. Most buyers in northern climates should opt for a set of quality snow tires.
Given its overall performance envelope and a hefty 4,200-pound curb weight, the GV70 isn't the most fuel-efficient crossover of the bunch. The 2.5T models net EPA ratings of 22 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. 3.5T fare worse with ratings of 19/25 MPG. As expected in the class, premium-grade fuel is required. In routine driving expect to average close to the city numbers -- unless you have a very light throttle foot or spend a lot of time on the highway.
Genesis engineers didn't stop with straight-line performance. The GV70 offers a that rare connection between the controls and the chassis that creates an enthusiast's dream -- a crossover that can actually handle like a sport sedan. Drive the GV70 on twisty roads, and it does a truly convincing impression of of its sedan sibling the G70. Body roll is minimal, the steering is responsive, and the brakes have ample stopping power. (This is provided you select "sport" mode on the center console.) In fact, the adaptive suspension is excellently programmed, and its various modes generally do a great job minimizing vibrations or impact intrusion into the cabin. Things can get a bit harsh with the available 21-inch rubber, so buyer beware.
Interior noise levels are low, but the GV70 is not whisper quiet like a Cadillac or Lexus. There is a fair amount of tire noise and even some wind noise at extra-legal highway speeds.
The G70 sports a modern and clean interior that puts the focus on the driver. Materials are a cut above the class norm, but then again, the base model can feel a little pedestrian compared to a loaded 3.5T. One example is the instrument cluster. Base models get a traditional analog display that is exceptionally readable but plain. Uplevel trims get an all-digital display with crisp colors and a stunning 3D effect. There's also an available head-up display that lends flair to the interior.
Most controls are thoughtfully arranged and clearly marked. The center stack is topped by a large 14.3-inch touch-screen display -- though it is too far of a reach to touch while driving. That necessitates a jog dial at the top of the center console. It's awkward to use and can too easily be confused with the rotary shift knob. Android Auto and Apple Car Play support is standard. But neither utilize the full width of the center information screen.
With a 113-inch wheelbase, the GV70 is one of the larger compact crossovers -- bordering on midsize, in fact. Front seats are firmly bolstered and provide ample back and thigh support. Head and leg room are quite good. Outward visibility is good forward, but blocked to the rear and sides by thick pillars and a smallish back window. The rear seats are inviting and nicely trimmed. Head room is good, but knee room grows tight if the front seats are all the way back.
Rear cargo space is very generous at 28.9 cubic feet. Fold the seats and capacity grows to near 60 cubic feet. The rear seat backs fold quickly, but not quite flat. Interior storage is good with lots of open and covered bins throughout.
Bottom Line - This is getting to sound like a broken record but it deserves to be said, Genesis has another home run right out of the box with the GV70. It nails that sweet spot between luxury, technology and sport that usually takes years of development to achieve. Apart from a few foibles here and there, the cohesive package that Genesis has put together likely has the other brands blushing.