- The smallish GV70 competes against the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Acura RDX.
- With the optional twin-turbo V6 engine, the GV70 is quick, but not "performance SUV" quick.
- All-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Genesis is still a relatively nascent luxury brand, having officially launched just six years ago. But it's already proven it's on the fast track when it comes to competing with the biggest brands in the segment. The 2022 Genesis GV70 is a prime example, as it recently clinched our top spot in the ultra-competitive small luxury SUV segment.
Part of its competitiveness comes from the way the GV70 drives. The standard engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes a healthy 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. We, however, got our hands on a model sporting the optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which is good for 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. All this power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
This sounds great on paper, but can the GV70 walk the walk in our rigorous independent testing? We took it to the test track to find out.
Before we begin instrumented testing on any vehicle, we ensure it always has a full tank of fuel and gets weighed. Our GV70 tipped the scales at 4,562 pounds, which is on the heavier side of average by about 100 pounds compared to other six-cylinder-equipped small luxury SUVs.
We were a bit surprised to discover the GV70 had a launch control feature, which helped shave a few tenths of a second off our acceleration runs. To initiate launch control, traction/stability control must be off and Sport Plus mode selected, and then you floor the accelerator after pressing hard on the brake with your left foot to hold the car in place. You'll know you did it right if "launch control" is indicated in the gauge cluster.
On its quickest run, the GV70 went from zero to 60 in 5.3 seconds from a standing start, passing the quarter mile 13.6 seconds at 102.1 mph. While this is pretty swift by most measures, many of the GV70's six-cylinder-propelled competitors are quicker, as seen in the table below. If you had dreams of catching a Porsche Macan or BMW X3 M40i by surprise, think again. Notably, the BMW only makes 7 more horsepower than the Genesis, but it's a couple hundred pounds lighter and wins the dash to 60 by a whopping eight-tenths of a second.
|2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige||10/04/21||4,562 lbs||5.3 sec||13.6 sec @ 102.1 mph||120 ft|
|2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback||8/30/21||4,414 lbs||5.0 sec||13.4 sec @ 102.5 mph||119 ft|
|2020 Porsche Macan S||6/22/20||4,372 lbs||4.8 sec||13.2 sec @ 102 mph||113 ft|
|2020 BMW X3 M40i||10/02/19||4,346 lbs||4.5 sec||12.9 sec @ 104.5 mph||114 ft|
|2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve AWD V6||02/25/19||4,755 lbs||6.1 sec||14.4 sec @ 94.4 mph||119 ft|
In terms of stopping ability, the GV70 is again not as high a performer, at least by the numbers, as its performance-tuned peers. It wasn't equipped with summer tires like many of the others were, so its stopping distance of 120 feet from 60 mph was predictably unremarkable. But numbers are just part of the story. The GV70's brakes receive high marks for their stability, confidence and noise insulation. Throw on a set of summer tires and the stopping distance is guaranteed to improve.
After seeing what kind of stopping grip the tires provided, we weren't expecting much grip around our skidpad or handling track. And we got what we expected. But, again, the GV70 has a good foundation here and just drives with confidence, even when corner speeds are limited by 540 treadwear-rated tires. The steering is a tad too heavy in the sportiest Sport Plus setting, but you are able to dial up the steering assist by customizing your favorite drive settings.
What was a standout for the GV70, however, was how well its eight-speed transmission behaved. On top of delivering quick and smooth shifts, the transmission delivered surprisingly good response and aggression on downshifts. This is probably the sportiest quality of the GV70 if we had to spotlight anything, and it's also one of the reasons why the GV70 is easy and pleasant to drive outside of the test track.
The GV70 is an attractive package with performance that'll be more than adequate for many buyers in the small luxury SUV market. The twin-turbo V6 power is substantial and makes an excellent combo with the eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. We know what kind of performance Genesis is capable of, having experienced cars like the G70 and Hyundai's N performance vehicles, and this version of the GV70 isn't on that level. Perhaps there's an overtly sport-tuned GV70 in our future, but as things stand, the twin-turbo specification strikes a nice balance between capability and comfort.