Hyundai Motor’s Genesis division is on a roll, launching a spate of new products over the past year and getting some cut-through with hard-to-please luxury buyers.
Korea’s answer to Audi and Lexus now offers two sedans and two SUVs, and has a new-from-the-ground-up electric crossover set to arrive in early 2022.
Its most significant product from a sales-volume perspective is the one driven here, the GV70 mid-sized SUV, which by design puts the ‘Sport’ into Sport Utility Vehicle.
Brasher than most thanks in large part to its silhouette, bold lighting design and diamond-pattern grille insert, with a bold and beautifully crafted interior, it comes from the clouds and into contention as one of the best premium SUVs at its price point.
Our test vehicle has the base engine with optional all-wheel drive and the optional Sport Package, but goes without the super-premium Luxury Package.
Genesis uses a direct-to-consumer model rather than franchise dealers, and has set prices with no haggling. That’s quite a different approach to most luxury brands, particularly the Germans, which discount when supply is there.
The Genesis GV70 line-up for now comprises three engine choices with a largely shared spec grade, which you can enhance with a Luxury Package and a Sport Line Package.
The car tested here uses the entry 2.5-litre turbo petrol engine with optional all-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive on the base car), taking the list price to $68,786 before on-road costs.
The Sport Line package adds $4500, meaning the price of our test vehicle before on-roads was $73,286 (about $82,000 drive-away).
For the sake of context, the GV70 here lines up against the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport ($69,950), Audi Q5 45 TFSI quattro ($70,600), BMW X3 xDrive30i ($82,971), Lexus NX350h Luxury ($70,400), Mercedes-Benz GLC200 ($78,114), and Volvo XC60 Momentum AWD ($67,990).
2022 Genesis GV70 pricing:
- GV70 2.5 petrol RWD: $66,400
- GV70 2.5 petrol AWD: $68,786
- GV70 2.2 diesel AWD: $71,676
- GV70 3.5 petrol AWD: $83,276
All prices exclude on-road costs
- Sport Line Package: $4500
- Luxury Package: $11,000 ($6600 for 3.5T)
- Sport Line + Luxury Packages: $13,000 (excl. 3.5T)
- Matte paint: $2000
Standard equipment includes:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- 235/55 Michelin tyres
- Space-saver spare wheel
- Panoramic sunroof
- Power tailgate
- LED headlights and tail lights
- Acoustic laminated windscreen, front windows
Inside you get:
- Climate control with rear-seat temperature controls
- Real leather trim
- 12-way powered front sets with heating and ventilation
- Powered steering column
- Proximity key fob
- 8.0-inch digitised instruments
- Remote start function
- 14.5-inch landscape touchscreen
- Satellite-navigation and live traffic updates
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Rotary controller with handwriting recognition
- Wireless charger
- Digital radio
- Nine-speaker audio system
Standard paint choices are all mica or metallic, and include: Uyuni White, Savile Silver, Himalayan Grey, Vik Black, Barossa Burgundy, Mauna Red, Cardiff Green, and Adriatic Blue.
The matte Matterhorn White, Melbourne Grey and Brunswick Green cost $2000 extra.
Sport Line package adds:
- Sport brake package
- Sport dual exhaust outlets
- Sport+ drive mode
- Exterior package with gloss black grille, front skid plate and roof grilles plus dark chrome trim
- Nappa leather and suede upholstery
- Suede headliner and pillars
- ‘Sports’ steering wheel
- Aluminium pedals
- Aluminium dash trims
- Gauges for oil temperature, torque and turbo boost
- 19-inch Sport Line alloy wheels
Absolutely, with crash-tester ANCAP awarding the GV70 its maximum five-star score under the latest protocols (2021 date stamp).
The GV70 scored 89 per cent for both adult and child occupant protection, 64 per cent for vulnerable road-user protection, and 87 per cent for the effectiveness of its driver assist features.
Standard safety features include:
- Eight airbags, front-centre included
- Active bonnet
- Blind-spot collision avoidance
- Blind Spot View Monitor (cameras)
- Driver attention alert
- Leading vehicle departure alert
- Forward AEB plus junction assist
- Reverse AEB
- Evasive steering assist
- Active high beam
- Active lane-keep assist (line and road edge)
- Lane Following Assist (lane centring)
- Multi-collision braking
- Safe Exit Assist
- 360-degree camera system
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
You can see how the active safety performed in controlled testing here. I loved the blind-spot cameras, and found the car quite good at steering you back between road lines. Note, too, the sharp camera resolution.
Pretty gorgeous, really, in terms of the fit-and-finish, its real stitched leather and metallic trims, and its tasteful yet adventurous layout, down to the wraparound dash-top that blends into the doors.
It’s distinctly Genesis too, a mixture of Lexus quality with Audi levels of tech, and you need to make a conscious effort to see Hyundai components.
There are numerous trim, colour, and material combinations to choose from including evocative hues like Havana Brown, Velvet Burgundy, and Pine Grove Green. But our vehicle came with black leather and suede seats with Sevilla Red padded dash surfaces, and ‘Geometric Aluminium’ trimmings.
The seats have acceptable levels of support and the wheel plenty of adjustments, while the long bonnet and high centre tunnel give the driver an elevated, yet still sporty-feeling, driving position.
Behind the wheel (a more conventional three-spoke design than the GV80’s odd two-spoke wheel) is a simple partially-digital instrument cluster with a single blind-spot camera view and an analogue gauge to the left. It’s covered by a quality leather-topped cowl. Note also the silver, knurled stalk caps.
The slim high-definition touchscreen is landscape oriented and measures a whopping 14.5 inches. It can also be controlled via a rotary dial (with handwriting sensor) and bank of buttons situated along the transmission tunnel – helpful given it’s located quite far away.
It offers terrific resolution and augmented reality mapping, allows split displays, and processes data quickly. The 360-degree camera’s resolution is sharp and offers programs such as Sounds of Nature ambient noise and full-width maps. We love the uncluttered home screen too, as shown above.
Below the large screen is an asymmetric haptic climate control display with hard dials and buttons, and (thankfully minimalist) application of piano black. There’s a deep nook with a soft-closing lid to the left, housing two USB-A points and a wireless charge pad.
That big centre console has space for a 1.5-litre bottle, and there are decent door bins and a glovebox. It’s not the final word in practicality, but it’s acceptable.
It’s worth noting that if you want all the tech, you unfortunately must option the Luxury Package, which adds (among a long list of other things) a 12.3-inch fully digital cluster with 3D function, a head-up display (HUD), remote smart parking, and a better 16-speaker 1050W Harman audio system.
The back seats are as nicely furnished as the front, and you have a pull-down armrest, USB access and vents. However the slim windows, sporty silhouette and sunroof do limit both space and outward visibility.
It’s still roomier than an average hatchback, but there are more capacious SUVs in this class. Note, too, the fairly prominent transmission tunnel hump.
With the back seats in use the boot is a decent 542L in capacity, with room to hide the rigid parcel cover below the loading floor. The lever in the cargo area tumbles the back seats down, taking cargo space out to 1678L.
The Euro 5 engine used in this entry grade is a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder making 224kW of power and 422Nm of torque, allowing a snappy 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds.
It’s available with rear- and all-wheel drive (AWD as tested), and a standard eight-speed automatic.
For those who want better fuel economy and more torque there’s a 2.2-litre diesel option, while the flagship 3.5T engine is a twin-turbo V6 with 279kW and 530Nm, slashing the 0-100km/h to 5.1 seconds.
A fully electric GV70 will arrive before the middle of 2022 – called the Genesis Electrified GV70.
The listed combined-cycle fuel efficiency is 10.3L/100km for the 2.5T as tested here, which is thirstier than we’d expect. The diesel cuts this to 7.8L/100km.
Towing capacity is rated, like the rest of the range, at 2200kg braked.
|2.5L 4-cyl petrol
|224kW @ 5800rpm
|422Nm @ 1650-4000rpm
|10.3L/100km 95 RON
The GV70 sits on a version of the same C2 platform as the G70 Sedan and Shooting Brake, with lots of ultra high-tensile steel and weight-saving aluminium used throughout, and extra stiffening added to the body to make up for the sunroof.
On the road, the GV70 feels really solid and substantial. There’s a good reason for it: it tips the scales at nearly two tonnes.
Some of that excess mass is due to copious sound deadening: the engine compartment is sealed and partitioned, and the doors are triple sealed. The upshot is it smothers noise, vibrations and general harshness impressively in a properly luxurious fashion.
It’s just a shame the powertrain is a little unresolved. There’s decent shove in the chest when you floor it, but it’s less impressive under lighter throttle where there’s some minute gruffness and hesitancy in Comfort mode, or a propensity to hold low gears too long in Sport.
To be plainer, while the interior and the dynamics are standout, the engine is more deserving of the tag ‘acceptable’, even though its on-paper outputs look quite impressive for the outlay. You could probably get away with only having rear-wheel drive in most user cases and save a few bucks. You’ll also save 65kg of mass.
I’ll also make mention of an ergonomic flaw here: the fitment of the shift-by-wire (in-house transmission) shifter just behind an almost matching knurled infotainment dial caused me once or twice to change menus when seeking reverse gear.
The ride quality is certainly on the firmer side, offering taut body control. But it’s never jarring across speed humps or sharp-edged road imperfections, with just enough compliance in the damping to lend ride comfort.
There’s also a hint of sportiness in the steering feel, which is middleweight in assistance but not to the point of being overly taxing during low-speed manoeuvres and while parking. In essence, it drives like a slightly elevated G70 sedan, which is no bad thing.
This is very much a luxury SUV that you’ll enjoy throwing through a few cornering sequences, with little body roll and an engaging manner. The go matches the show.
Various drive modes tweak the all-wheel drive system, throttle, gearing, and steering settings, but if you want all the fruit such as a limited-slip differential, Sport+ drive mode, and adaptive dampers with a road preview mode that uses the car’s sensors to tweak the ride, you need to step up into the V6.
These dampers seem especially important considering it has 21-inch wheels with lower-profile tyres, offering less bump absorption.
All told, the GV70 is refined, smooth, stable and actually quite agile with good roadholding and well-setup steering, all signs of a company that knows what it’s doing.
Cost of ownership is one area where Genesis really aspires to stand out.
You get five years of free servicing and provided you live within 70km of a Genesis studio, the company will pick up and return your car. Free courtesy loan cars are also available.
The warranty is a solid five years with no distance cap, and there are 24/7 customer care and roadside assist services.
Gee I liked this GV70. It brings a genuinely unique feel to the packed luxury crossover class, in particular when it comes to design and interior technology.
Throw in some agile dynamics, what looks like a good customer-care program, and the sheer rareness factor (compared to better-known nameplates) and you have a compelling option.
It’d be hard to stop before getting to the twin-turbo V6 though.
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MORE: Everything Genesis GV70