This summer, the Genesis GV70 Sport was revealed – a crossover designed to compete with the likes BMWx3, AudiQ5, and GLC from Mercedes Benz. It’s a huge achievement for a brand in just its third year.
The burden of success is expectation. The better, the more you will have to push the envelope next time.
“Standing motionless is the quickest way to fall back,” to steal a few words from actress Lauren Bacall. So, after early and progressive successes with the G90 and G80 sedans, the fledgling Genesis brand found an unlikely conquest when the G70 Sedan was named Motor Trend’s 2019 Car of the Year.
But in this age of SUVs, the auto company can’t just make cars. Manufacturers need to use full-size family pickups and crossovers to compete in the most popular segments. So, last year the GV80 brand debuted, and now with the Genesis GV70 Sport, there’s a lot to look forward to.
Time and time again, Genesis has proven adept at crossing the line between performance and luxury, and quite ingenious in its scheme to alienate luxury-goods buyers from revered German automakers. We got behind the wheel of our first Genesis crossover and spent a day driving around New York City and the suburbs of Westchester to put the Genesis GV70 Sport in its stride. This is what we found.
Genesis GV70 Sport: Built to Drive
The folks at Genesis baked a ton of seasoning on its first churros effort. The GV70 Sport’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 makes 375 horsepower, enough power to catapult it from a full stop to the 55 mph top speed limit on Sawmill Parkway at speed (Genesis hasn’t released any official 0-60 mph figure per hour, but let’s guess a few seconds.) The eight-speed transmission is a good match—smooth in most settings and intimidating with the Sport Plus’s rpm. You also get paddle shifters for when you want to go handy.
All-wheel drive is standard and rear-biased as is the four-wheel independent suspension, but our choice for performance and driving in snowy and icy Northeast winters is an electric limited-slip differential that can send 100 percent of the rear power to one wheel.
When the road begins to turn and turn, the GV70 Sport is agile and precise. And while it’s built on the same platform as the G70, compared to the sedan, you feel the higher center of gravity and the steering feedback less informative. It’s not a sports car, but it’s a CUV that gets groceries, after all.
If the look kills
Aesthetically, the GV70 is one of the premium cars and one of the best looking cars in its class. In general, the appearance of the GV70 looks assertive, but elegant. It’s the Adonis car park, easy to see from several rows in the distance. While the distinctive grille, as well as the forked headlights and brake lights, on recent Genesis models can be a bit polarizing, we’re unabashedly impressed. These elements give the current Genesis line in general, and the GV70 in particular, an undeniable visual impact.
The Genesis cabin is a quiet place to spend some time. The minimalist, aeronautical-inspired interior has been enhanced with an emphasis on fit and finish.
The front seats are solid yet flexible. It helps you get a little feel for the road, but you won’t run out for an hour or two of driving. The automatic mode optimization feature that kicks in after a while from behind the wheel is a nice touch, and the massage driver’s seat makes long transfers and sitting in traffic noticeably more enjoyable.
In the back, legroom is ample for adults on short to medium length trips, although we wouldn’t enjoy spending more than an hour or two in the back seats. But if your regular passengers are still in boost, they won’t even notice. However, the massive 28.9 cubic feet of cargo space is large enough to carry a large amount of luggage or a big splurge from your local Costco.
The GV70 comes loaded with a range of smart technologies designed to enhance the driving experience. The brand’s adaptive cruise control uses cloud-based machine learning to better simulate the style of a human driver behind the wheel. Adaptive suspension with road preview uses the car’s cameras to detect bumps and potholes to dampen bumps, making it a great everyday commuter.
The very large touchscreen infotainment screen is easy to use and does a good job mirroring Apple CarPlay. The person behind the wheel gets a 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch display that provides speed, blind-spot information and turn-by-turn navigation.
For the first time in the auto industry, Genesis has also equipped the GV70 with a fingerprint reader on the dashboard that can be used to start it up. So, along with the digital key, owners can leave the FOB behind if they choose and still go to the drive.
Honestly, it’s hard to argue with the price point. The base model GV70 with a 300-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder is $42,045, and the V6 Sport starts at $53,645 which is slightly lower than the German competition and its performance models. Our test form poster was fully loaded, and it scored around $63,000, which is real value in the clip. We wouldn’t be shocked to see quite a few of these on the road by the end of the year.
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