We are very impressed with the Genesis GV70. The compact SUV has just beaten the BMW X3 and the Lexus RX in a comparison test, and we welcomed a GV70 for a long-term test to see how it stacks up over 40,000 miles. Both examples, as well as the one we drove for our initial review, are the six-cylinder 3.5T model. But what about the four-cylinder variant? It turns out that the entry-level GV70 gives up little to its more powerful sibling.
The 2.5T uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that also serves in other Genesis models, as well as the Hyundai Sonata N Line, Kia K5 GT and Kia Sorento. Here it delivers 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, the latter over a wide rev range from 1650 to 4000 rpm. That’s quite a bit less than the 3.5T twin-turbo V-6’s 375 horses and 391 pound-feet, but it’s a strong performance for a turbo four. As in the GV70 3.5T, an eight-speed automatic transmission takes care of shifting and four-wheel drive is standard. However, the available rear differential lock of the six-cylinder is not available here.
The turbo four’s 75-pony deficit over the twin-turbo V-6 adds 1.0 second to its 60 mph sprint, with the 2.5T completing the dash in 5.6 seconds. That puts him neck and neck with the Audi Q5 45 (5.5 seconds) yet far ahead of both the Volvo XC60 B6 (6.6 seconds) and the BMW X3 30i (6.1 seconds). It also speeds through the quarter mile in 14.1 seconds at 99 mph, up from 13.3 and 104 mph for the six-cylinder version.
Off the test track, we found the base drivetrain had a lot of urgency. It is usually well polished in its response, with only the faintest rise in light throttle applications over rolling terrain. The eight-speed automatic generally impresses with its invisibility and is a better teammate of this turbo four than the eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox that Hyundai and Kia pair with this engine.
Like the twin-turbo V-6, the turbocharged four-cylinder can deliver its electronically enhanced engine sound in a choice of three volume levels, but that sound isn’t as endearing as the six. Choose the quietest, and the GV70 2.5T is indeed quiet. We measured just 65 decibels at 70 mph cruising — considerably quieter than its G70 sedan sibling — and 73 decibels at wide open throttle. Both results are quieter than the 3.5Ts, and that cross noise level beats even six-figure large rigs like the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Lexus LX600.
Stops from 70 mph take a somewhat long 177 feet. While that’s better than the 180-foot result we got on initial testing of our long-term 3.5T, it’s not quite as good as the X3’s 175 feet or the XC60’s 164 feet. Both GV70 models allow the driver to adjust the brake pedal response, but we struggled to see a big difference between the two settings on each car.
As you’d expect, the EPA fuel economy for the four-cylinder GV70 is better than the 3.5T. EPA estimates of 22 mpg city/28 highway match or are within 1 mpg of the figures for the X3 xDrive, XC60, Q5 and Infiniti QX50. Opting for the 21-inch wheels, however, drags down the city number by a whopping 3 mpg and the highway number by 2 mpg, putting it almost on par with the V-6 version. Our Advanced-trim-level test car was equipped with 19s, and in our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, we matched the EPA’s 28 mpg exactly. That’s a significant 5mpg better than we saw in the same test with the 3.5T.
Like the 3.5T, the 2.5T has Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Custom driving modes. Here they do not affect the suspension (adaptive dampers are exclusive to the V-6) but slightly alter the character of the steering, transmission, engine sound and brakes. The extensive adjustability is of limited value. Sport mode’s heavier controls are really not preferred with the stock setup. And that setting’s shift mapping is good if you’re going to attack a wave of corners, but the reluctance to upshift while cruising will keep most drivers from exiting the car in that mode.
While the 2.5T lacks the adaptive suspension of the 3.5T, we found the stock setup to be generally pleasing. It does an impressive job slurping up broken pavement, which is abundant in the northeast in the spring. It doesn’t have the stiffness of the 3.5T’s Sport mode, but still feels more composed than most entries in this segment. On the skid pad, we measured 0.82 g of stick, which corresponds exactly to the 3.5T. And if you want to loosen the rear, the stability control can be turned off completely.
While the six-cylinder models we’ve driven before were the top-of-the-line Sport Prestige version, our mid-level 2.5T Advanced test car still turned out beautiful. Even in this lesser trim, the GV70’s interior is one of the more interesting cabin designs with its ovoid shapes and elaborate brushed metal detailing. The trim stitching pattern isn’t the snazzy quilting found in the 3.5T, but there are still inflorescences, such as vents integrated into the dash trim and the wave-pattern mood lighting on the door panels (exclusive to the Advanced model).
The seats on the GV70 have plenty of adjustability and are softer padded than the seats in the 3.5T Sport Prestige. Extensions under the thighs and side bolsters that are compressed more tightly in Sport+ mode are optional here. Just like your mother, the GV70 is also concerned about your posture. After asking you to enter your height, inseam and weight (no fidgeting), the Ergo Motion driver’s seat will automatically adjust to your ideal posture – although in our case the suggested position was a wildly reclining Detroit recline, which isn’t seemed correct. When it comes time to haul cargo, the GV70 sacrifices some functionality for the sake of style. While the 29 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats is comparable to competitors like the X3, the quickly sloping roofline and rounded rear profile limit your ability to accommodate bulky items.
The 2.5T models skip the 3D digital instrument panel of the 3.5T Sport Prestige. Instead, they combined a physical speedometer and fuel gauge with a digital reverse-swiping tachometer and info display. The latter can display, among other things, a digital speed reading, trip info, torque current and driver assistance functions. In the top two versions, the blind spot monitor camera feed replaces the virtual tachometer when the turn signal is activated.
All GV70s have a large 14.5-inch central touchscreen. The widescreen infotainment display is asymmetrically divided and it can be difficult to get what you want to show in the smaller part of the display. A minor annoyance is that on startup the system defaults to the rather pointless home screen that shows a clock and nothing else. The surround view monitor – which shows overhead and backup views simultaneously – is one of the sharpest we’ve seen and is included in the top two trims. We like having a large dial on the center console, but we don’t like the fact that the dial is so similar in size and placement. And the thumbwheels for volume and tuning are trickier than knobs would be.
The 2.5T’s top two kits also include automatic parking, plus the nifty party trick of letting you stand outside the car and use the remote to guide the GV70 straight into or out of a tight spot. However, the digital key function is exclusive to the 3.5T.
While there are some nicer items missing from the 2.5T, it’s still well equipped, especially for the price. The four-cylinder GV70 starts at $42,595 and the advanced version costs $50,745 before options. Depending on trim level, the 2.5T is a substantial $8250 to $11,600 cheaper than the 3.5T. While it may be the lesser GV70, it doesn’t feel that inferior.
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