It’s been a busy year for Genesis.
It’s on track to top 1000 sales in Australia for the first time, and in the second half of the year has launched three new electric models in Australia.
Outside, the Electrified GV70 looks almost identical to the petrol-powered SUV with which its badge is shared.
It’s built on an adaptation of the petrol car’s platform, rather than the EV-only E-GMP platform from the GV60, and is aimed at people who want their first taste of electric mobility to look and feel more like their current car.
Supply will be tight at launch. Wait times are hovering around the 10-month mark for new orders, and the dealer stock Genesis ordered for launch has been snapped up already.
Is it worth getting in line for the GV70, or are you better served looking elsewhere?
The Electrified GV70 is available in one high-specification trim priced from $127,800 plus on-road costs. There are no options, save for matte paint ($2000).
It’s $16,700 more expensive than the smaller (but arguably higher-tech) Genesis GV60 SUV, and is priced roughly in line with the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4Matic Sport ($124,300).
The BMW iX3 isn’t all-wheel drive, but undercuts the GV70 by around $13,000.
Like the petrol- and diesel-powered GV70, the Electrified version possesses an interior that blends some lovely materials with an interesting design.
Anyone looking for a futuristic cabin in a similar vein to the GV60 or Hyundai Ioniq 5 might feel short changed, but people cross-shopping the GV70 with the more conventional BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQC will be impressed.
The driver and passenger sit in heated, ventilated, massaging seats trimmed in supple Nappa leather, with a huge range of adjustment to help tall drivers get comfortable. The driving position is commanding, and the seats offer plenty of support on long stints behind the wheel.
The steering wheel feels nice in your hands, and most of what you touch around the front of the cabin is expensive. Unfortunately, the transmission tunnel – a holdover from the petrol car, given there’s no transmission here – is a bit flimsy when you press your knee against it.
There are a few places where it feels like Genesis has prioritised style over substance. The transmission dial looks flashier than an old-school shifter but is quite close to the rotary controller for the infotainment system, and it’s easy to get them mixed up when you first hop into the car.
Genesis has already adjusted the infotainment controller it debuted in the G80 sedan, replacing what was quite an awkward touchpad and scroll wheel with a more conventional rotary dial that’ll instantly make BMW drivers feel at home.
The graphics are slick and the responses snappy, and the customisable home screen means you can cut down on the amount of scrolling required to hop between your most used functions.
Apple CarPlay looks great on the screen, but it’s a shame Genesis still doesn’t offer wireless smartphone mirroring, nor USB-C connectors in place of the older USB-A plugs that feature. A wireless charger sits ahead of the cupholders, and does a good job hiding your phone to remove any temptation to fiddle with it.
Genesis has some work to do on its digital instruments if it’s to match its German rivals. They’re functional and clear in 2D mode, but the 3D effect can leave you feeling cross-eyed if you’re not careful, and the binnacle lacks the range of options on offer elsewhere in the luxury car world.
Rear seat space is roughly on par with what you’d expect from a mid-sized SUV. Legroom is not quite BMW X3-good, nor is headroom, but you’ll get adults back there without too much hassle.
The Electrified GV70 has a lower central tunnel than the petrol car to free up foot room for second-row passengers, but the middle perch is still best suited to kids over short trips. Air vents, temperature and fan controls, heated outboard seats, USB-A ports, and a fold-down central armrest round out a comprehensive suite of rear amenities.
Boot space is a claimed 503 litres with the rear seats in place, expanding to 1678 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Although you do get storage under the bonnet, it’s just 20 litres worth – enough for your charge cables, but not much else.
The Genesis Electrified GV70 features a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain, with each motor producing 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
All up, there’s 360kW of power and 700Nm of torque in Boost Mode. Prod the BOOST button on the steering wheel and those outputs hang around for 10 seconds; in normal driving the GV70 makes 320kW and 605Nm.
Genesis claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds in Boost, or 4.8 seconds otherwise.
The battery is an 800V, 77.4kWh lithium-ion unit good for a claimed 445km of range on the WLTP test cycle.
Hooked up to a 350kW DC fast charger, the GV70 is capable of going from 10 to 80 per cent charged in 18 minutes. A 50kW DC charger takes 73 mins.
We saw consumption of 15.3kWh/100km on a highway run from Bowral to Sydney, and 20.8kWh/100km on a run through New South Wales country highways.
Like the GV60 on its e-GMP platform, the GV70 is capable of outputting 3.6kW to a three-pin plug using power from its lithium-ion battery. You’re able to plug into the charge port with an adaptor, or use an outlet in the boot.
The Electrified GV70 hides its mass well in normal driving. It weighs more than 2.3 tonnes, but bury your right foot and it lunges towards the horizon with the sort of ferocity usually reserved for all-wheel drive hot hatch tearaways.
In normal driving you need to take a decent dip into the throttle’s travel to really wake it up, but press the BOOST button and it feels like the GV70 is straining at the leash. The throttle gets touchy, and the extra grunt on tap makes overtaking at highway speeds a simple task.
Genesis says it’s a rear-biased all-wheel drive system (in Eco the front motor shuts off), but with the right-hand pedal flattened you get hints of torque steer tugging at the steering wheel in Boost.
Does your mid-sized family hauler need to be this quick? Definitely not, but the amount of performance on offer does help set the GV70 apart from the single-motor BMW iX3 and slightly slower Mercedes-Benz EQC.
When you aren’t dragging Golf R owners from the lights, the GV70 is a comfortable, quiet cruiser. As you’d expect, the motors are buttery smooth and there’s torque on tap everywhere.
With the regeneration in its most aggressive iPedal mode, you can do most of your driving without ever touching the brake – although the handover between regen and friction brakes can be a bit clunky when you need to stop in more of a hurry.
It’s simple to flick through the regen modes using the paddles behind the wheel, although the fact you need to manually activate one-pedal driving each time you start the car is annoying.
Electrified GV70s in all Australia feature active road preview suspension, which uses a front-mounted camera to scan the road ahead and can adapt the damping accordingly.
In previous Genesis models, it’s not proven to be the magic bullet maybe you’d expect. In the GV70, it makes for a mostly comfortable mid-sized SUV, albeit one that feels heavy at times.
Most of our time was spent on the highway, where it keeps out most of the nastiness – although it still has a slightly sporty bent, so you do still get some feedback about what’s happening beneath the wheels.
Body control is decent, but over big highway crests or dips it does feel heavy at times. Rather than settling down immediately, it can bob around a bit as the dampers battle to bring 2300kg worth of electric crossover back into line.
It’s an issue common among internal-combustion cars converted to PHEV or EV power, and made much heavier in the process. The car’s weight means, despite the prodigious power on offer and what’s linear, well-weighted steering, the GV70 is a cruiser first and foremost.
Tip it into a corner at speed and it doesn’t fall over, but mid-corner bumps can upset it, and you need to get on the brakes early given how fast it accelerates.
Flicking the car into Sport tightens things up somewhat, but there’s no fighting the physics involved in making such a heavy bus go quickly when the road isn’t straight. Will the average owner care? Probably not.
At highway speeds, the GV70 possesses a full suite of driver assists to make life easier. The adaptive cruise control is smart, and the lane-keeping assist nudges you smoothly back between the white lines if you stray.
Hyundai’s active lane centring is a bit too hands on for my liking, but it does help lessen the load on the open road by working to keep you in the middle of the lane, rather than only intervening if you drift.
The only real knock on its highway manners is the tyre noise in the cabin, which is more noticeable in the Electrified than its internal combustion counterparts given the lack of engine noise.
Standard equipment includes:
- 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Augmented reality (AR) satellite navigation
- Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 14-speaker 1050W Lexicon sound system
- Head-up display
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- Nappa leather upholstery
- 18-way power front seats incl. driver memory
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Massaging front seats
- Heated rear seats (outer back and base, centre base)
- Heated steering wheel
- Power tilt and telescoping steering wheel adjustment
- Manual rear door sun shades
- 60:40 split/fold rear seat with recline function
- Active noise control
- Wireless phone charger
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- Preview Electronic Control Suspension
- Intelligent Front Lighting System (Matrix LED headlights)
- Automatic high-beam
- Smart Parking Assist
- Remote Smart Parking Assist
- Panoramic sunroof
- Hands-free power tailgate
- Remote start
- Tyre pressure monitoring
While the Genesis GV70 has a five-star rating from ANCAP, this applies only to four-cylinder variants. The Electrified GV70, like the petrol 3.5T AWD, is currently unrated.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Junction turning, crossing support
- Evasive steering assist
- Lane-change oncoming, side support
- Blind-spot assist
- Lane-keep assist
- Lane Following Assist (lane centring)
- Rear cross-traffic assist
- Parking Collision Avoidance Assist – Reverse
- Safe Exit Assist
- Driver attention warning
- Leading vehicle departure alert
- Intelligent speed limit assist
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Surround-view camera with 3D view
The Genesis Electrified GV70 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, with an eight-year warranty for the high-voltage battery.
Genesis offers five years of complimentary servicing, and five years of Genesis To You and valet service. Owners get the choice between five years of free charging on the ChargeFox network, or a free home charging wall box.
That means if you live within a 70km drive from the CBDs of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, a Genesis employee will pick up your vehicle for servicing and leave you with a Genesis courtesy car.
The brand also includes 10 years of 24/7 roadside assistance.
The Electrified GV70 manages to avoid most of the pitfalls associated with building an electric car on an internal-combustion platform.
It doesn’t feel half-baked, with levels of performance, charge speeds, and features such as V2L that are often reserved for cars with dedicated EV underpinnings.
Rather than feeling like a poor relation to the more modern GV60, it feels like its bigger, more conventional brother.
That isn’t by accident; Genesis has set out to blend electric power with a familiar body style and interior in this car, rather than making it look out there to win over early adopters.
With its lavish interior, impressive performance, and well-sorted balance between ride and handling, the GV70 is a compelling alternative to German electric rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC and BMW iX3.
Will it be a huge seller in Australia? At current supply levels it’s unlikely, but it adds yet another option to the growing pool of electric cars available to local buyers.
Click the images for the full gallery
MORE: Everything Genesis GV70