Newcomers are often labelled either pretenders or the real deal. The six-year-old Genesis brand has moved into the real deal category. The GV70 small crossover is stealing the show and putting rivals like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi on watch.
The cohesive, confident design of the GV70 is what makes it stand out. The vehicle sports a large grille flanked by a distinctive pair of dual headlights. It’s different enough to intrigue but familiar enough to be approachable. The sport-trimmed model has aggressive-looking exhaust exits integrated into the rear bumper. The only fussy area of the exterior design is the C-pillar, which has an aggressive lean to present a more coupe-like profile.
If the exterior catches your attention, the interior will cement your interest in the GV70. High-quality materials set the stage for a luxurious cabin. The leather seats feature a superbly stitched diamond pattern, while carbon fibre accents contrast with the robust metallic controls and switchgear.
The amount of technology helps the vehicle maintain its edge. There’s a sizable 14.5-inch infotainment screen perched on the dashboard. Beneath that large display is another screen for HVAC settings, along with a pair of knobs with displays in them. This not only looks high tech, it feels it too, allowing for several adjustable settings in a relatively small space.
While the gauge cluster looks like the typical digital dash, Genesis gives it unique 3D capabilities. Thanks to eye-tracking infrared cameras, the gauge cluster can aim the displays at each specific eye. As a result, the gauge clusters pop off the screen.
Not everything is gimmicky like those screens, as some of the technology they threw into the GV70 will help prevent needless deaths. For example, the vehicle features supersensitive radar in the cabin. It can measure details as minute as a baby’s chest rising and falling with its breath. This system can also help warn owners if they’ve left anyone behind in the back seat. In such a scenario, the vehicle will sound the horn, flash the four-way lights, and message the owner of the vehicle to warn them.
Under the hood, our test vehicle is motivated by a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine. It’s rated to put out 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. It is more than enough to get through traffic on the highway, though it never feels particularly exciting to uncork. It lacks a memorable soundtrack but is smooth to build power and get the job done. The other option is the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that features less power.
The vehicle uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and packs all-wheel-drive within its rear-drive-based chassis, which helps imbue the crossover with a bit of the sporty mannerisms of the similar G70 sport sedan. It’s not a completely successful transplant, but in the world of small crossovers, the GV70 feels just right, combining a smooth engine that has plenty of power with a chassis that feels responsive yet comfortable.
Genesis sells its vehicles online or through retail shops around the country. These are far from the high-pressure environment typically associated with dealerships. Additionally, the automaker knows its central inventory and won’t try to sell customers whatever they have on a lot, as happens at most dealerships. Instead, Genesis wants shoppers to pick their car, trim, colours, interior accents, and whatever else they want and delivers the whole package just as the buyer intended.