CHATHAM, Mass. – Genesis has continued its assault on the premium-vehicle market with this year’s launch of the GV70 compact sport utility (SUV), which aggressively takes on the likes of – and meets them head on — Volvo, BMW, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz.

I was fortunate enough spend a week driving a fully equipped, top-of-the-range 2022 GV70 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige variant and I was impressed.

I was immediately comfortable driving the GV70. I felt like I belonged in it. The Nappa leather seats with suede inserts and side bolsters provided a secure, in-control positioning and the interior design, though unique to this SUV, felt familiar thanks to the straightforward design and placement of controls.

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Unlike most compact SUVs (or crossovers), the GV70, like the overall Genesis line, is based on a performance-oriented rear-wheel-drive platform which can also be configured for all-wheel drive (most crossovers start life designed as front-wheel drive vehicles).

Performance of a sport sedan in an SUV package

The twin-turbocharged V6 engine puts 371 horsepower and 391 pounds-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission (with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) system with electronically controlled limited slip differential. Genesis reports the GV70 3.5T AWD can go from 0-100 km/h (62 miles per hour) in 5.1 seconds – very quick for a member of the compact SUV segment.

Harnessing the power is an electronically controlled, independent suspension system, with Road Preview. Utilizing information provided by both the front camera and the (standard) navigation system, the GV70 Sport Prestige suspension “anticipates” the roads it is about to encounter and adjust settings accordingly.

I will not get into engineering details, but the GV70 performed like a true sport machine when I attacked the curvy, changing camber and elevation roads on the Cape Cod Bay side of Wellfleet and Truro, Mass. The Genesis SUV just ate up these twisty, undulating roads without any drama, always steady, sure handed and reassuring.

Bringing the five-passenger, four-door to a stop was never an issue. The brake system, dual diagonal-split circuit, power-assisted with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), features 14.2-inch ventilated rotors and fixed four-piston monobloc brake calipers up front and 13.6-inch ventilated brake rotors and single-piston floating calipers in the rear.

The sport-alloy wheels are 21 inches and wear 255/40R21 all-season performance tires in this configuration.

Safety and advanced driver-assist systems fit for a luxury vehicle

This SUV is filled with cameras and sensors, inside and out, to provide much of the data used by the myriad of safety and advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS). Some of the highlights:

Highway Driving Assist II (HDA II) enables a comfortable driving experience on the highway, controlling the steering wheel when changing lanes and actively responding to close range low speed cut ins.

Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) is a safety feature that controls the vehicle speed based on the local speed limit, and even models without a navigation system installed can use this feature based on traffic sign information recognized by the front vehicle camera.

Navigation–based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) is a convenience feature ensuring safe speed on the highway with its navigation system, reducing speed when in a curve.

Forward Collision–Avoidance Assist (FCA) analyzes a potential collision by helping the driver to automatically stop if there is a potential collision at junctions with oncoming vehicles from the left and right side, or a pedestrian on the edge of the road.

Blind–Spot Collision–Avoidance Assist (BCA) helps prevent drivers from crashing into cars coming laterally from the rear when changing lanes or leaving a parallel parking space.

Driver Attention Warning (DAW) warns drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Forward Attention Warning (FAW) calls the driver’s attention with acoustic warning sounds and pop–up notifications when fatigue or forward–looking neglect is detected by a forward–looking camera.

Other ADAS includes rear cross-traffic alert and avoidance assist; safe-exit assist; parking-distance warning, and collision avoidance and surround-view monitor.

Great performance without sacrificing comfort, luxury or technology

The interior of the GV70 is a wonderful place to take a ride of any distance as a passenger and even more so as a driver. Three-zone automatic climate control, heated/ventilated seats up front, heated in the rear, and a heated steering wheel equates to a comfortable environment regardless of the weather.

The GV70’s dual air filtration system improves in-cabin air quality by preventing fine dust and bacteria from entering the engine room pre-filter and cabin filter.

Those front seats are electrically adjustable, as is the steering wheel and outside rear-view mirrors, so the driver can easily find the perfect position to command the responsive Genesis SUV (and the two-person memory means he or she can then store that position in its memory).

Climb into the GV70 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige’s snug seats and the driver is presented with a customizable 12.3-inch 3D color instrument cluster/display operated by steering-wheel controls. The wheel also has controls for the adaptive cruise control system and virtually all aspects of the comprehensive infotainment system.

A 12.5-inch color touch display, with supplemental console-mounted dial and dash buttons as well as the steering-wheel controls, is the heart of the infotainment system which features AM/FM, satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and standard navigation.

Interior technology also includes wireless mobile-device charging, 12-Volt power outlets front and in the rear cargo area, 110V outlet and USB ports front and rear.

Overhead is a panoramic moonroof.

Sum of the parts

All the performance and luxury of the Genesis GV70 with 3.5-liter V6 provided better than anticipated fuel economy. I managed 23.6 miles per gallon during my week; the federal Environmental Protection Agency rates this vehicle at 21 mpg combined (19 in the city, 25 on the highway).

The other major number associated with the Genesis SUV concerns pricing. The AWD 3.5T starts at $52,600. Add the Sport Advanced Package and Sport Prestige Package brings the total, with the Mauna Red paint and inland freight and handling, to $64,045 – not inexpensive, but very competitive and comparable to others in the premium-compact SUV segment.

Every Genesis new product has reinforced the premium, and generally performance, credentials of the brand; the GV70 continues as a worthy, legitimate competitor to any of the long-standing brands in this segment of the automotive world.

Next week TBR Drives the Hyundai Elantra N-Line.