Trucks and SUVs

2023 Best Compact Luxury SUV: Genesis GV70

Genesis arrived at the party decades later than most other luxury brands out there, so it knew it had to make a splash. Not happy with just making a splash, a tsunami might better describe the brand’s introduction. Genesis has been a runaway success, especially with its SUVs.

After considering every model in this segment available for Canadians to buy, our jury of more than 20 automotive experts have once again voted the Genesis GV70 as the Best Compact Luxury SUV in the 2023 AutoTrader Awards. It won this category in last year’s awards, and the 2023 model has been refreshed with even more innovations, meaning that Genesis somehow improved on an already impressive SUV. The Genesis GV70 starts at a very reasonable $57,650 and tops out at $77,500, and for the money, the SUV is hard to beat.

But the GV70 did beat some stiff competition: the BMW X3/X4, Lexus NX, Acura RDX, and – remain seated – Porsche Macan. Genesis has been impressing with its winning combination of unique style, poised driving dynamics, luxurious interiors, and undeniable value, but also its no-haggle pricing structure.

A winning luxury compact SUV needs to blend practicality and style, which are typically mutually exclusive qualities. But despite its relatively small size, the lavish interior of the GV70 provides a roomy feeling due in part to open but stylish layout of controls onscreen and in the centre console. Indeed, all the tech is invitingly presented. Then there’s the consistency of design, as exemplified in the diamond-shaped quilting in the seats and splayed across the grille. It bespeaks confidence, so the attractive GV70 can easily stand out in a crowded segment.

A winning SUV in this segment must also provide some driving joy, and the GV70 understood the assignment. A 2.5-litre gasoline direct-injected four-cylinder that produces 300 ponies and 311 lb-ft of torque is standard, but there’s also a 3.5L twin-turbocharged six-cylinder upgrade that emits 375 hp and 391 lb-ft. Both engines are governed by eight-speed automatic transmissions with multiple driving modes. All-wheel drive is standard. In an interesting twist, a fully electric model will join the lineup in 2023, wrapping everything we already like about the GV70 into a posh zero-emissions package.

Some genuine and genuinely interesting safety features included with the entry-level GV70 include forward collision avoidance assist, surround-view monitoring that makes protecting this pretty award-winning machine easier in tight spaces like underground garages, parking lots and downtown alleys, and remote smart parking assist.

Meanwhile, blind spot collision avoidance is self-explaining. But speaking of Spot and blindness, it also includes rear occupant alert, which tells you that you left your dog or baby in the car after parking and exiting it.

Our jury votes for vehicles that go above and beyond the call of duty to give Canadian drivers the overall excellence they deserve, and the Genesis GV70 has earned its repeat win by doing just that.