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For most automakers, no segment is more important than the small SUV. That’s especially true for luxury brands, which see compact crossovers as a way to capture both new buyers moving up from mainstream brands and existing customers looking for something besides the usual sedan offerings. Genesis will break into the market in a big way with the boldly styled 2022 GV70, which the company says will be more overtly sporty than the larger GV80.

We had our first chance to have a look at the GV70 in person, and luckily, it looks as nice in the metal as it did in the company’s official announcement. There are lots of fascinating details on the GV70, starting with the hood’s unique “fangs” that stand out somewhat from the rest of the front sheetmetal. Like other Genesis vehicles, the hood’s shutline generates into a sharp-edged body contour that runs the length of the vehicle and cascades downward at the rear quarter panel. However, the GV70’s bold rear haunches appear above this line, unlike the GV80. It’s unique, attractive, and sporty-looking.

Gallery: 2022 Genesis GV70

More obvious in person than in photos is the SUV’s uncommonly low roofline. Genesis says it’s about an inch lower than its primary competitors – the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Audi Q5 – giving it much more dynamic proportions. Based on the same platform as the nimble G70 sedan, the GV70 SUV comes standard with rear-biased all-wheel drive, taking motivation from a standard turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four, making 300 horsepower (224 kilowatts) and 311 pound-feet (422 newton-meters). The optional twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 cranks out 375 hp (280 Kw) and 391 lb-ft (530 Nm). Both mills come paired to an eight-speed auto.

The 3.5T Sport we saw in person looks absolutely marvelous. Lovely 21-inch wheels and unique front and rear bumpers set the Sport apart from other GV70 variants, and Genesis mercifully avoids the overdone plague of gloss black accents by instead fitting dark chrome body jewelry to the grille, window surrounds, and rocker trim. The Sport trim also gets big rocket-launcher dual exhausts in place of less conventional vertical outlets on other models, but in either case, the GV70 leaves a lasting impression from behind.

Genesis GV80
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Like all modern Genesis products, four linear lighting elements appear up front and at the rear, giving the company a single cohesive face. However, from there, the GV70 marches its own course, thanks to a funky C- and D-pillar treatment that’s unlike anything else on the market today. Your author wasn’t convinced of the kinked window trim in photos, but in person, it’s very attractive.

Inside, the GV70 gets the same 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen and optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as the GV80, but otherwise, the interiors of the two couldn’t be more different. Elliptical design elements throughout the GV70’s interior supposedly recall the cross-section of an airplane wing, and they’re undeniably unique and attractive. Materials quality is top-notch as well, with every surface covered in soft-touch plastic, leather, or carbon fiber. The GV70’s raised infotainment knob is much easier to use than the flat clickwheel of the GV80 – a boon since the widescreen display is difficult to use on the go.

For more on the 2022 Genesis GV70, be sure to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we’ll be driving the new SUV within a few months.

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