With this GV70, luxury brand Genesis offers an alternative to the usual Teutonic mid-sized premium SUV formula. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Let's assume that you're thinking of choosing a mid-sized premium badged SUV. But you want something different from the BMW X3s, Audi Q5s and Mercedes GLCs that your friends and business acquaintances drive. There are other options in this class from Volvo, Alfa Romeo and Lexus of course, but none of them are quite as left-field as the car we're going to look at here, the Genesis GV70.
You probably won't have heard of it - or of the Genesis brand either, which is the posh division of the Hyundai Motor Group that's rapidly making a name for itself in the UK. The GV70 is the SUV version of the brand's G70, a BMW 3 Series-sized model offered in saloon or 'Shooting Brake' estate forms. There's a larger GV80 SUV in the Genesis range if the GV70 isn't quite big enough, but we're guessing this car might suit a lot of people in this segment very well. And, as with all Genesis models, it comes with a level of customer service back-up that rivals can't approach.
Interestingly, Genesis isn't bothering with any form of hybrid engine for this car, even though it has access to mild hybrid, full-Hybrid and PHEV Hybrid powerplants from Hyundai. Instead, most customers choose between two conventional four cylinder combustion units. As on the G70 saloon and 'Shooting Brake' estate models, there's a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel. The petrol puts out 300bhp, makes 62mph in 6.1s and tops out at 149mph. For the diesel, it's 206bhp and the figures are 7.9s and 133mph.
Like other models in this class, this one's all-wheel driven and auto-only - a smooth 8-speed 'box. You can specify an e-LSD limited slip differential for extra cornering traction. There's no air suspension option (which would have suited the feel of Genesis brand), but all models get road scanning adaptive damping that prepares the shocks for bumps before you reach them. Don't expect too much in terms of handling enjoyment, but outside of a Porsche Macan, no car in this class really offers that. What you do get is superb refinement.
If you really prioritise frugality in your GV70, you'll want to look at the pricier electrified version. With that, twin motors, one on each axle, deliver 4WD and a potent 483bhp output, while the 77.4kWh battery manages a WLTP-rated range reading of 249 miles between charges.
Design and Build
The 'V' in the title stands for versatile and most owners should find this mid-sized Genesis SUV to be just that. Stylist Luc Donckerwolke and his team haven't been tempted into offering the kind of falling coupe-style roof line that characterises some rivals, so the 4.7-metre-long shape is practical, plus it's well finished, though not particularly arresting.
You might be more sold on the rather plush cabin. Up front, there's a big 15.4-inch central touchscreen which can be operated by a touchpad controller dial you'll constantly mistake for the similarly-shaped gear selector until you get used to the car. The air vents sit in a sweeping satin metal-brushed line of trim that flows across the dashboard. Everything's beautifully finished and the driving position is optimum, though not particularly high set. You also get the option of a set of 3D-effect digital instruments. Three adults could sit in the rear with decent head and knee room. And out back, a powered tailgate raises to reveal a 542-litre boot.
Market and Model
At the time of this test in Spring 2022, prices started at just under £40,000 for this 206bhp 2.2-litre diesel model. The starting point for the 300bhp 2.5-litre petrol turbo model we're trying here is £41,000. In either case, that gets you base 'Premium Line' trim; it's £2,350 more for 'Sport Line' trim; or £3,370 more for top 'Luxury Line' spec. There's also a full-EV version too, with 483bhp; expect a price in the region of around £60,000 for one of those.
Genesis doesn't have a network of UK dealerships. Instead, everything is done via so-called Genesis 'Studios' - which will be shopfronts in upmarket shopping centres. One has already been opened in London and others will follow. But you don't have to go to one of those. You simply connect with Genesis online, then you'll be allocated your own Genesis Personal Assistant who'll take you through the sales process, from test drive to delivery - and they'll deal with after-care as well. This Assistant isn't won't be salaried on commission as an ordinary car salesperson would be, so you won't get any hard sell.
Cost of Ownership
In 2.2-litre diesel form, this GV70 is reasonably economic - quoted at 38.0-40.0mpg on the combined cycle, with a CO2 best of 185g/km. With the 2.0-litre petrol engine, those readings fall to 27.9-29.7mpg with a CO2 best of 216g/km. Insurance is rated at either 40D or 41D for the diesel; and 44D or for the petrol.
The alternative is the full-Electric version. In this form, the car gets twin electric motors powered by a 77.4kWh battery which, when fully charged, delivers a rather unremarkable 249 mile WLTP-rated driving range. As with all EVs from the Hyundai Motor Group, the powertrain's underpinned by an 800-volt electric architecture, which means that unlike most of its rivals, the car can use ultra-fast 350kW chargers - such as those provided by IONITY. In the unlikely event you can find one of those, a 10-80% battery top-up will take just 18 minutes.
Every Genesis is covered by a 5 year Care Plan which includes scheduled servicing for 5 years or 50,000 miles. With each service visit, Genesis will collect and return the car to your door. This also applies to any necessary work required, including warranty work. You simply contact your Genesis Personal Assistant to make it happen. Who can also arrange a courtesy car. The 5 year Care Plan also includes updates to in-car navigational maps. And there's complimentary subscription to Genesis Connected Services, which will allow you to access information services from your 'phone to digitally enhance your ownership experience.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that it's time to do something different. That should certainly apply to the factors that influence our purchase decisions. Take the choice of a car of this kind. The German establishment in this class focuses on technology and drive dynamics. This Genesis can offer that too, but the emphasis here is more on comfort and the ownership experience. Those things ought to matter more for customers in this sector. That's what Genesis is hoping anyway.
If those promises are enough to get you into the driving seat of a GV70, we think you'll find plenty to like. Quality that's a match for anything in the class, comfort, refinement and more equipment for less money than rivals will charge you. OK, so people will wonder what you've bought, but isn't that a good thing? This Genesis needs a wider range of engines and some electrification options, but there's not much else wrong with it. You heard that here first.