2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T First Drive Review: Four to Love

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick


Engine: 2.5L I4 Turbo
Output: 300 hp, 311 lb-ft
Transmission: 8AT, AWD
US fuel economy (MPG): 22/28/24
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 10.7/8.4/9.7
Starting Price (USD): $42,045 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $50,695 (est, inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $49,000 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $59,000 (inc. dest.)

The Genesis GV70 is already one the best compact SUVs on the market in V6 form, but what about the base engine?

I called the six-cylinder 2022 GV70 3.5T “ super appealing” when I drove it in the summer. That was the top-level Sport Plus trim, however. I stand by that verdict, but even Genesis acknowledges that won’t be the volume seller for what will be its volume model. Will buyers feel short-changed if they opt for the smaller four-cylinder model?

Get a Quote on a New Genesis GV70

A short drive in the 2.5T model confirmed there’s nothing to worry about. While the four-pot might be down on power versus the flagship model, it’s still packing plenty of poke. Not only that, it retains much of what makes the GV70 so appealing, just at a more accessible price point. This is the model that should really worry the competition.

What’s new?

You can get most of the juicy details from that initial GV70 3.5T first drive, so here’s a quick recap. The GV70 is Genesis’ second SUV in as many years, and the smaller of the pair. Competing in the hyper-competitive compact luxury crossover segment, it sits atop a modified version of the G70 sedan chassis, AutoGuide’s 2019 Car of the Year. All-wheel drive is standard in the US and Canada. Instead of borrowing the sedan’s engine lineup (2.0-liter and 3.3-liter turbocharged engines), the GV70 uses the torquier pair from the GV80. This 2.5T tester uses a—you guessed it—2.5-liter engine, producing a round 300 horsepower and a healthy 311 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers put the GV70 right near the front of the four-cylinder class, only slightly behind the Volvo XC60’s twin-charged powerplant.

The GV70 is also one of the largest options in the class. A long 113.2-inch (2,875-millimeter) wheelbase is the longest in the segment, which makes for surprising amounts of rear legroom.

Styling is objective, but if you liked how the six-cylinder GV70 looked, you won’t find much to complain about with the 2.5T. The twin line motif is alive and well on the exterior, with unique front and rear bumpers separating it from the Sport trim. 19-inch wheels round out the look.

2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T interior and comfort

There are changes afoot inside the 2.5T, as well. It’s still festival of ovoid shapes, now including the football-shaped steering wheel center. (Sport models feature a three-spoke design.) A haptic touchscreen in the center of the dashboard covers the detailed climate controls, framed by two rotary dials handling temperature for the standard dual-zone setup. Below that are some physical buttons for infotainment menus, with a few more down on the center console. Here, Genesis inlays metallic trim pieces in place of the carbon fiber weave. It’s an interesting choice, a jagged, seismograph-like design that’s backlit via the ambient lighting. We’d rather that than the default wood found in most of the segment.

Genesis keeps exploring unique color combinations, and the blue-green leather in this GV70 is a great example. Contrast stitching brings the space up a level, too—and it matches the camel seatbelts. Importantly, these more adventurous interior colors don’t cost extra.

With a low-ish seating position—ingress and egress is almost entirely lateral for this 5’10” author—driver’s have an excellent view out ahead of the GV70. The tight spacing between the C- and D-pillars does make for a large blind spot over-the-shoulder, however. The seats themselves are supportive, with a good amount of lower cushion extension for the longer-legged amongst us. While the bolsters aren’t adjustable, they do the now-traditional Genesis trick of gently hugging the driver when Sport mode is active (or at a certain speed). It’s these unique touches that make the GV70 feel special.

Front-row space is generally generous, though headroom feels only okay. The long wheelbase translates to a healthy 37.2 inches (945 mm) legroom for second-row passengers. Thankfully, headroom is also adult-friendly; in profile, the GV70 shape splits the difference between upright, traditional SUVs and their “coupe-over” siblings. The seatbacks look quite flat but prove comfortable, and allow for a small amount of reclining, too. The large panoramic sunroof helps the back row feel spacious as well.

Pop the trunk and the GV70 greets you with a wide, low, and flat load floor. There’s a Costco-friendly 28.9 cubic feet (819 liters) of space with all seats in their upright positions; drop the second row flat and that figure nearly doubles, to 56.9 cubes (1,610 L).

SEE ALSO: 2020 BMW X3 PHEV Review: Plug-In the One to Have

2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T technology and features

Every single GV70 comes with an ultra-wide 14.5-inch infotainment system front and center. The user interface is straight-forward, the tile-based layout easy to navigate without sapping attention. Are the sounds of nature a little gimmicky? Yep, there’s a very “show it to your friends and then forget about it” feel, but that’s true of something like BMW’s gesture controls, too.

Like other luxury brands, Genesis includes a redundant physical controller if you’d rather not fill the touchscreen with fingerprints. The rotary dial in center console has a satisfying tactility to its movements. Unfortunately, it’s also very similar to the rotary shifter, so you’ll spend the first little while always double-checking. I preferred the iPod-like click wheel in the 80-series models.

This Canadian tester skips out on a few other features available on the 3.5T models, namely the 3D digital instrument panel. No matter; the hybrid digital/analog setup does the job. The Advanced Plus trim is, as the name implies, slightly better-stocked than the US-spec Advanced model. The main Canadian advantage is the head-up display—crisp, easy to read, good range of height adjustment—which Americans can’t find on four-cylinder models. The 18-speaker Lexicon sound system and surround-view monitor are included on both sides of the border.

A long list of safety features is also standard on every GV70. LED head- and taillights, advanced forward collision avoidance, bling-spot and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, lane departure and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control—it’s all here. Blind-view monitor shows up higher up the trim walk.

SEE ALSO: Genesis GV70 vs Porsche Macan Comparison

2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T driving impressions

I’m happy to report the 75-hp (and 80-lb-ft) deficit isn’t an issue on the road. Of course not: this is still a 300-horsepower small SUV. The smaller engine doesn’t like to rev as much as its big brother, but it puts in good work right in the part of the powerband drivers use most: the first third. This is a torque-forward drivetrain, shoving the GV70 down the road with notably more authority than the four-cylinder competition. Only those really focused on speed will miss the V6, but in day-to-day driving there’s little between the two.

Another helpful trade-off: the smaller 19-inch wheel and tire package makes the GV70 a better cruiser. The Sport’s 21s are undoubtedly cool to look at, but the smaller sidewalls mean a ride with an edge. The 2.5T smooths that over, like an iPhone portrait mode for ride quality. The suspension is well-damped, keeping the body flat and composed over rough tarmac. Road-level noise is also kept at bay, though there’s a fair amount of wind noise around the side mirrors.

Genesis has tuned the GV70’s steering for lightness, with quick and consistent responses. The pedals both have good weight to them as well, building driver confidence on more challenging roads. Chuck the GV70 into a corner and it never feels flustered, with a neutral balance that hints at fun. It’s not as talkative as a Macan, but it’s more involving than most of the rest of the class.

Another benefit: the GV70 2.5T scores better at the pumps. At 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined, it’s 3 mpg better than the six-cylinder on every count. (Canadian figures are 10.7/8.4/9.7 L/100 km, respectively). Not only that, those figures are bang-on with the rest of the class, so there’s no inherent sacrifice for the extra power.

What’s the competition?

Buyers have a veritable smorgasbord of luxury compact crossover options to feast on. The most direct competition for Genesis’ spunky little GV70 has to be the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan. Like the GV70, the German duo leans more towards driver enjoyment than the rest of the class.

As luck would have it, I drove all three respective four-cylinder models within a few weeks of each other. The Porsche remains the top of the class if smiles-per-gallon is high on your criteria list. The BMW is more comfort-oriented than either—stay tuned for that review later this week.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Porsche Macan First Drive Review: Four of Plenty

Other options in the class range from the Lexus NX ( also new for 2022), Audi Q5, Acura RDX, and Volvo XC60.

The GV70 undercuts all bar the Japanese NX and RDX, kicking off at $42,045 ($49,000 CAD), including destination. This Canadian-spec tester is an Advanced Plus model, ringing in at $59,000 CAD. The closest US equivalent is the $50,695 Advanced model, which sheds a handful of features like the HUD.

Verdict: 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T First Drive Review

It’s official: we can now highly recommend the 2022 Genesis GV70 regardless of engine choice. The 2.5T sacrifices little of what makes the six-cylinder model so good, with boatloads of tech, expressive styling inside and out, and standard all-wheel drive. What’s more, it strikes a more comfortable ride/handling balance, and still provides plenty of get-up-and-go.

Just as the original G70 put the compact sport sedan segment on notice, the GV70 has come out of nowhere to snatch up the crown in the crossover class. As competent as it is appealing, the GV70 2.5T offers up savings without making its owners feel short-changed.


How much is a 2022 Genesis GV70 worth?

The GV70 starts at $42,045 ($49,000 CAD), including destination.

When can you buy the 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T?

Genesis launched the GV70 with the six-cylinder model, though four-cylinders are now available in dealerships.

Will there be a GV70 EV?

Yes, Genesis has confirmed an all-electric GV70 will be arriving within a year or two.

Discuss this story further at our Genesis GV70 Forums

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  • 2.5T is plenty strong
  • Still looks great
  • So much standard kit


  • Tight rear seats
  • Thirsty V6
  • …that's about it
Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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