The Genesis brand, a luxury spinoff of Hyundai, is a newcomer, having come into its own in late 2016. But it’s been steadily building out its portfolio of vehicles since, and one of the latest is the GV70, its first compact luxury SUV. The GV70 faces off against many more established rivals, one of which followed a similar path to creation: the Acura RDX.
Honda, by way of Acura, was one of the pioneers of the luxury spinoff concept. The RDX SUV debuted for the 2007 model year, and the latest model benefits from a cosmetic and features refresh for 2022.
These two SUVs are highly rated and could be a good match for you if you’re looking for a five-passenger luxury SUV. Which one should you buy? Edmunds compared them to find out.
There’s no doubt Acura understands its demographic, and the RDX is suitably luxurious inside. For 2022, the RDX receives some minor styling updates and added sound-deadening material to reduce road noise inside the cabin. The front and rear seats are comfortable in either SUV, but the RDX has the benefit of a bit more rear legroom and cargo space than the GV70.
We do prefer the GV70’s oval-themed dashboard design, which we find is easier on the eye than the RDX’s more angular look. Both SUVs have standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, but only the Acura gives you the choice of integrating your smartphone wirelessly if you want.
You do get a bigger center touch screen in the GV70, though: a 14.5-inch display compared to the RDX’s 10.2-inch screen.
This is a close one and depends on what you favor. The GV70 looks classier, but the RDX has more interior space. We think having more room is of greater value in an SUV, so we’re giving the win to the Acura.
Every 2022 RDX is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The GV70 also has a standard turbocharged four-cylinder, but it one-ups the RDX with its 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, too.
Genesis also gives you the option of getting a more powerful engine if you want one: a turbocharged V6 making a stout 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft.
In all-wheel-drive form, the RDX is a bit sprightlier around corners than the GV70. However, the GV70 showed a quicker uptake in Edmunds’ acceleration testing: 0-60 mph takes six seconds flat for the four-cylinder compared to the RDX’s seven seconds. Then there’s the GV70’s available V6, which scoots to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.
With the four-cylinder engine, the GV70 gets up to an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined. The RDX comes up the same at 24 combined with front-wheel drive or 23 mpg with all-wheel drive. Go for the V6-equipped GV70 and you’re looking at a still respectable 21 mpg combined.
In Edmunds’ real-world testing of the GV70, the V6 model returned an average of 20 mpg in heavy traffic. Owner-reported mpg for the 2.5-liter engine didn’t fare much better, with an average of about 21 mpg.
This means that it might be challenging to hit the EPA estimates unless your driving style is continuously focused on accelerating smoothly and lightly. Interestingly, the RDX returned a similar result, 20 mpg, in Edmunds’ testing of its four-cylinder. It too will be greatly affected by your driving style.
Genesis is focused on earning its place in the small luxury SUV segment and it shows in the sheer number of standard amenities it fits to the GV70. High-end technology like fingerprint authentication (which opens the doors and starts the engine without a key fob) is included, as is a generous driver assist suite, navigation and a wireless phone charging pad.
Starting at $42,595, which includes the destination fee, the GV70 costs slightly more than the RDX at $41,795. It is a minor bump in price, but we think it’s worth it the premium materials and extra standard features.
Genesis also goes above and beyond with its generous five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties on the GV70. The RDX has a more typical four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Acura’s RDX is a pleasing luxury SUV that easily satisfies. But at nearly every turn, the GV70 subtly outdoes the RDX. Genesis seems to have cracked the code for affordable luxury, packing the GV70 with excellent amenities, design and performance.
Kristin Shaw is a contributor at Edmunds and is on Twitter.