Car Comparisons

2022 BMW X3 vs 2022 Genesis GV70 Comparison Test

Comparison Data

2022 BMW X3 M40i
2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport Plus
Engine Displacement
Engine Cylinders
Turbo I6
Turbo V6
Peak Horsepower
382 hp @ 5,000–6,500 rpm
375 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Peak Torque
365 lb-ft @ 1,800–5,000 rpm
391 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm
Fuel Economy
12.9 / 10.0 / 11.6 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space
813 / 1,776 L seats down
819 / 1,610 L seats down
Base Price
A/C Tax
Destination Fee
Price as Tested
Optional Equipment
$17,345 – Premium Package Enhanced, $7,900; Advanced Driver Assistance Package, $2,000; Metallic paint, $895; Red/black leather interior, $3,000; Digital Cockpit Professional, $1,200; 21” wheels, $500; Shadowline headlights, $500; M Sport Brakes in red, $500; Carbon Fibre Trim, $850

Let’s clear this up right off the bat: the 2022 BMW X3 and Genesis GV70 are some of the best, most well-rounded vehicles you can buy today.

To live with them daily for commuting, road trips, or even just to enjoy the simple pleasures of driving highlights their no-compromise excellence in the automotive realm. BMW has updated its venerable X3 for 2022, and it’s the perfect foil for the brand-new 2022 Genesis GV70 – a machine that’s been collecting praise amongst automotive media around the world. Right here at home, it won top honours as the Best Overall SUV in the 2022 Awards.

No matter how impressive the GV70 has already proved to be, the X3 is a formidable foe. It’s sat atop the segment for years with good reason: it’s really good. After logging a few hundred kilometres in both of these small SUVs, we’ve found a few nits to pick, and determined which of these two brilliant machines shines just a little brighter.

Driving Feel

While utility should be a defining element in any assessment such as this, we’re going to start with driving feel because frankly, they’re just that good. At last year’s annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) event, the 2022 Genesis GV70 was the only vehicle I drove directly from the off-road course to the race track. On the former, it showed how well-sorted its all-wheel drive system is as it effortlessly managed a succession of dirt moguls designed to test how fluidly torque can be redirected on the fly to the wheels that have traction. From there, with its drive mode switched into sport+, the taut suspension, quick steering, and strong brakes made it genuinely fun to drive at significant speed around the road course.

Like the GV70, the 2022 BMW X3 also has varying drive modes to help maximize forward momentum in low-traction settings, and muddy or snowy roads are no sweat for its own all-wheel-drive system. Neither of these machines has the sort of ground clearance, tires, or suspension articulation to challenge a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco off-road, but they’ll have no trouble getting safely to the ski lodge through deep snow, or down a rutted cottage road.

A few years ago, I drove the then-new X3 M40i around a road course in California, and within a few laps I managed to reel in a group of drivers in the M2 sports coupe, which speaks to just how well-sorted the suspension setup is in the X3, and how accessible its power is.

To be able to manage even modest off-road capability with a vehicle that can also generate so many grins on a track is a feat that few other machines can manage. The Genesis feels light and frisky, while the BMW, in typical German fashion, feels heavier and more solid (it’s actually 70 kg lighter). The same is true on the road, where that solidity gives the impression of a more substantial machine; an element of luxury that buyers have enjoyed in German cars for decades. What’s more, the personality change between comfort and sport+ settings in the BMW is greater than Jekyll to Hyde, with the dignified Bimmer becoming a wild beast at the push of a button.

BMW X3: 9/10; Genesis GV70: 8/10


With this mid-cycle refresh, BMW hasn’t messed with the X3 M40i’s suspension, and it didn’t need to. The X3 also didn’t need more power, but that didn’t stop engineers from squeezing out an extra 27 ponies, now topping out at 382 hp to go with 365 lb-ft of torque. BMW has also added a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to the inline six-cylinder, giving a bit of an overboost function for even more flexible power delivery. The result is an incredibly smooth engine that offers effortless power everywhere throughout the rev range. For buyers with questionable judgement, BMW also offers an X3 M Competition that dispenses more than 500 hp, but trust me, you do not need it. [Who are we to stand in the way of outrageousness, Jeff? – Ed.]

BMW claims a zero-to-100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds, which is plenty quick enough to haul your family around. Several American publications have posted the GV70 3.5T’s times a half-second or more behind the X3’s, which jives with our seat-of-the-pants assessment. Its 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 provides a wonderful ripping snarl when goaded, and it’s plenty quick; but just doesn’t offer the same mind-blowing thrust – nor the smoothness – of BMW’s straight-six. Still, with 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, the Genesis has no trouble getting ahead of most other traffic when pulling away from a stop, and there’s ample passing power at speed, too.

Both machines have eight-speed automatic transmissions that provide smooth shifts during normal driving, but can ratchet off wickedly-quick ones when requested, too. In the Sport Plus trim tested here, the GV70 also adds an electronic limited-slip rear differential, while a similar active differential is available optionally from BMW ($1,300).

BMW X3: 9/10; Genesis GV70: 8/10

Fuel Economy

The X3’s consumption ratings haven’t been confirmed yet, but with the implementation of the mild hybrid system, the M40i should enjoy a slight improvement in efficiency over last year’s model. The GV70’s V6 is notably thirstier than last year’s X3 M40i, consuming over 1.5 L/100 km more combined. During our test which contained a mix of city, highway and spirited country roads, the Genesis was showing an average consumption rate of 11.3 L/100 km – exactly one more than the BMW.

BMW X3: 7/10; Genesis GV70: 6/10


With seating for five and moderate ground clearance, plus their excellent all-wheel drive systems, both of these machines are suitable for all-weather family trips. Space behind the back seat is nearly a draw, with the Genesis offering 819 L versus the BMW’s 813 L; but with the rear seats folded, the Bimmer’s 1,776 L of space trumps the GV70’s 1,610 L.

For towing, the BMW is rated at a max capacity of 2,000 kg (4,409 lb) versus the GV70’s still-respectable 1,588 kg (3,500 lb).

BMW X3: 8/10; Genesis GV70: 7.5/10


As premium brands, these two meet the high expectations of comfort that come with their premium price tags. The rides are firm in these sporty trims, with each of these machines utilizing adaptive suspensions, but there’s no harshness when their respective comfort modes are selected.

The X3’s seats are firmer than the quilted leather thrones found in the GV70, with the latter also offering a basic massage feature for the driver and front-seat ventilation not found in the BMW. The level of adjustability up front in both is formidable, with plenty of bolstering to keep occupants in place during cornering, and with extendable under-thigh supports available.

The rear seat in the GV70 offers greater legroom, but the X3 is roomy enough for adults, too. The BMW has slightly more rear headroom on paper, but in reality, the larger side glass makes it feel far less claustrophobic than the Genesis with its sloping roof line. Both machines do an excellent job of suppressing road and wind noise, and engine noise is only really heard when the driver has a heavy foot on the accelerator.

BMW X3: 8/10; Genesis GV70: 8.5/10


In addition to heated seats front and rear finished in premium leather, as well as heated steering wheels, both SUVs have panoramic sunroofs and keyless entry. Their hatches can each be opened hands-free, and both manufacturers offer phone-based apps to enable all sorts of remote communication, including checking on service needs, or remote starting.

Genesis offers a fun party trick where the driver can use the key fob to move the GV70 forward or back for tight parking spots in this top trim. Otherwise, each comes fitted with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, plus advanced lane-keeping control.

The Genesis’s sound system presents bright, clear sound, but lacks the depth and power of the BMW’s stereo. Our X3 had wireless connectivity, but no wireless charger, while the GV70 had wireless charging, but not wireless connectivity.

BMW X3: 9/10; Genesis GV70: 9.5/10

User Friendliness

The driving positions and outward visibility are quite good in both machines, plus active parking sensors and 360-degree camera views help make parking a snap. Both SUVs also featured head-up displays that are useless whenever a driver wears polarized sunglasses, but both have bright digital gauge displays that can be configured to show whatever information a driver prioritizes.

The BMW’s cockpit is straightforward and should be familiar to anyone who’s driven any other BMW in the past decade, and it works simply and effectively. The GV70, however, suffers from a few ergonomic gaffes. First, having most of the HVAC controls, plus the seat and steering wheel heater switches, operated through a haptic screen is tedious at best, requiring several pokes with a gloved finger to achieve any result. More annoying is the size, shape, and placement of the rotary dials for each the infotainment system and the gear selector beside the driver on the centre console. It’s far too easy to mistake one for the other, repeatedly selecting drive from the gear selector, for example, when you simply want to move the cursor on the screen. And while the infotainment screens in both SUVs offer touchscreen control, the GV70’s is mounted so deep on the dash that it requires a significant stretch to reach.

There are a few other small nits to pick with the Genesis. First, as in every Kia, Hyundai, or Genesis, the switch to select music tracks requires a downward press to select the next track, and up for previous – opposite every other vehicle on the planet. The thumb wheel for volume control is no substitute for a proper volume knob, either. And on such a premium vehicle, Genesis still doesn’t do keyless entry touch controls on the rear door handles, meaning that access to the backseat first requires fiddling with the remote, or touching the front door handle. Most competitors have the touch sensors on all four doors.

BMW X3: 9/10; Genesis GV70: 7/10


BMW received a five-star rating from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while the GV70 has yet to be crash-tested by that government organization. Conversely, the not-for-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the GV70 a Top Safety Pick+ rating, but not so for the BMW for two reasons. First, it found the child seat anchor points in the X3 to be too deep in the seat to easily access; and two, BMW makes many of its advanced safety features optional, while they’re standard on the Genesis. Both fared very well for occupant protection during the IIHS crash tests.

BMW X3: 7/10; Genesis GV70: 9/10


The X3 has never been a high-fashion choice in the compact premium SUV segment, and even with its refresh, the same remains true. For 2022, the X3 gets redesigned headlights that are slimmer than before, a larger grille opening reminiscent of the larger X5 and X7 models, and restyled taillights. It maintains a family resemblance with its other BMW SUVs, but remains a tall, boxy Bimmer.

The Genesis is lower, with more flamboyantly styled flares and arcs in its sheet metal, looking sportier than the BMW – especially when riding on 21-inch five-spoke wheels (versus the BMW’s still-handsome 20-inch alloys). Genesis applied the cross-hatch treatment from the gaping front grille to bits of plastic trim, and even to the wheels with modest success. One curious design trait is how the leading hood edge protrudes out and over the grille, making it look as if the hood is never properly latched.

The vibrant red paint on the Genesis caught a lot more eyes than the cement-grey hue of the X3, but the BMW more than made up for it with its red leather interior, contrasted boldly against black trim and plenty of carbon fibre. The GV70’s navy blue interior was equally fetching, if not quite as racy, and Genesis’s designers have succeeded in making the GV70’s interior look cleaner and more elegant than BMW’s.

BMW X3: 7.5/10; Genesis GV70: 9/10


Genesis has done a great job of filling its vehicles with plenty of features and impressive performance at a price point that often undercuts German competitors by a fair margin. The GV70 starts at only $49,500 in its basic (but still well-equipped) four-cylinder trim. Our top-of-the-line 3.5T Sport Plus rings in at $76,000, with no additional options available, or extra fees. Maintenance is included for five years, too.

A four-cylinder X3 can be had for just over $52,000, with the M40i starting at $66,990. Our tester topped out at $86,815 after the destination charge and extensive options were factored in. Still, ditching the fancy red seats, Brooklyn Grey metallic paint and a few other fashion accessories from the tester could get the cost to within a thousand or two of the Genesis. BMW still includes free maintenance for three years, too.

BMW X3: 7/10; Genesis GV70: 7/10

The Verdict

Optioned similarly, the price disparity between these two isn’t as great as one might expect. While some buyers may put greater emphasis on the 2022 Genesis GV70’s slightly better ride or its greater feature count, we found living with the 2022 BMW X3 M40i day to day to be more exciting and an altogether more enjoyable experience, making it our choice here.