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Nearly 20 small luxury crossover sport utility vehicles are available in 2022 models—Acura to BMW, Infiniti to Mercedes-Benz. All simultaneously have unique and shared traits. The names change; the vehicles often don’t.

Further, there’s no exact definition of what makes an SUV or any other car achieve “luxury” status. The luxury tagline is used in general to denote vehicles offering better performance and plush interiors made with high-end material, as well as top-line safety and advanced technology features. 

The luxury definition once was reserved for luxury-only brands, namely German stalwarts. Several manufacturers, some formerly considered economy-based, have changed the dynamic. Still, how can a new SUV find its place?

Welcome the 2022 Genesis GV70, a debuting SUV. The GV70, in its first year, joins the GV80 and three sedans in the newbie manufacturer’s lineup. It’s quickly become a legitimate contender, earning luxury SUV-of-the-year honors from top auto watchdogs.

The GV70, which debuted in the summer of 2021, is the latest offering of the stand-alone off-shoot luxury lineup of Hyundai, which launched in 2015.

The reviewed Performance trim offering is a 3.5-liter V6. It’s propelled by an eight-speed automatic transmission, features all-wheel drive and defines peppy for the class. Sport-oriented sedans are commonplace, but not so much SUVs. If you feel the need to pass or otherwise accelerate on demand, the GV70 gets that done. And besides its quick acceleration, the GV70 advances quietly. It maneuvers without issue and has a tight turning radius. 

With the updated Advance trim, the Genesis earns its luxury status. It’s a $5,000 upgrade, but it includes comfort features such as leather upholstery, interior ambient lighting, three-temperature heated seats and a heated steering wheel. 

Safety features are plentiful, including a remote self-parking option and a fingerprint scanner to start the vehicle. Forward collision-avoidance assist with lane change oncoming and junction turning programming and a complex mating of cameras, radar and sonar sensors are also included.

A panoramic sunroof, 21-inch wheels and a 16-speaker Lexicon stereo system added to the top-line choice. The infotainment layout includes a 12.3-inch 3D digital cluster with touchscreen and console functionality. The head-up display is visually crisp.

The interior design and layout further separate the GV70 from its competitors. It has welcoming red leather and double red stitching, both contoured around smooth-sculptured doors and dash.

The GV70 seats five, but the second row isn’t spacious. The cargo area, with the rear seats down, opens into an airy carry area. The tailgate opens via a push-button on the rear window mechanism, so reaching for a low-placed button or managing a bulky latch are eliminated.

Genesis is still available at Hyundai dealerships. Before the pandemic, the manufacturer announced plans for more than 100 stand-alone Genesis-only dealerships nationwide by 2025, but that hasn’t yet occurred. Vehicles also are available for purchase online via Genesis Concierge, which collects information for a buyer’s preferred features and schedules an at-home test drive.

Considering that the average price of a new vehicle in the United States recently exceeded $45,000 for the first time, the GV70 is value priced. Most similarly equipped competitors are more expensive and not of the same overall quality.  

Facts & Figures

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 4.9 seconds

Airbags: 8

Fuel economy: 22 mpg, city; 28 mpg, hwy

Horsepower: 375

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $52,600

Manufacturer’s website: genesis.com

Price As Tested: $64,200

Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles; Maintenance, 3 years/complimentary; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/unlimited miles

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