It’s big on performance, luxury, features and pricing, but is the midsize SUV in the new Genesis EV push really the ideal response to premium buyer wants?
The new Genesis Electrified GV70 mightn’t be all things to all premium SUV buyer tastes, but on paper it appears to give such a proposition a good shake.
Its single high-end specification dangles a thick bunch of carrots in efforts to lure buyers, and it starts with performance. Dual motors, 360kW and 700Nm divided between its axles and a rapid 4.2-second acceleration claim using its button-activated Boost mode for novelty factor? All accounted for.
Design? We’ve praised existing internal combustion GV70s – a choice of four versions remain on offer – for its seductive styling and opulent cabin appeal, and the Electrified version is a continuum of the model’s fine form, complete with the lush Luxury Package as standard. A premium vibe? You bet.
The fulsome features list is, frankly, too vast to deep dive here. But from the adaptive ‘road preview’ suspension to the faded-quilt-patterned nappa leather front seats – 18-way, massaging, heated, cooled, etcetera – the GV70 Electric cup brims with upmarket excess almost everywhere you look. Luxurious? It drips.
Safety? The EV newcomer packs a lot of features in, such as blind-spot collision avoidance, reversing AEB, rear-cross traffic collision avoidance, a front-middle airbag, blind-spot view monitoring…you get the picture, in the latter case moving pictures displayed in a pin-sharp 12.3-inch driver’s screen with 3D optical trickery.
In a way, the ‘GV70 Electric’ is textbook Genesis: everything and the kitchen sink, with a pricepoint that is serious if one still undercuts logical German rivals – such as Mercedes-Benz EQC – as a value-for-money proposition. It’s also sweetened with the promise of a bespoke ownership experience and benefits such as complimentary servicing and Chargefox charging subscription (five years a piece).
We drove the prototype a few months back and the GV70 Electric was mooted to lob in the region of $105k-$115k. And yet the production version has hit the Genesis Studio showroom floor at $127,800 before on-roads. Hmm… But given its burgeoning spec, the Korean’s sole spec does appear enticing against the three-verison-strong EQC 400 range that enters at $123k and scales up to around $147k.
Other midsize EV SUVs? Yes, the GV70 Electric is much pricier than BMW’s iX3 M Sport (around $115k), which is single motor and lacks the Korean’s power and performance. Meanwhile, Audi’s pricier E-tron wagon, entering at around $133k in 55 quattro guise, is a segment larger in size…and quite a bit slower (5.7sec in Boost mode).
Tesla Model Y Performance? It’s quicker (3.7sec claimed) and cheaper (circa $97k), though it’s a long bow drawn to level peg it against the GV70 Electric’s levels of luxury and premiumness – and you can’t get your hands on one just yet in Australia.
Unlike the GV60 that’s spun off the dedicated Genesis/Hyundai E-GMP EV platform, the Electrified – hence the prefix – GV70 shares its core platform with the internal combustion versions.
Yes, its 77.4kWh battery is integrated beneath the cabin floor and between the axles – ideal for weight distribution and a low centre of gravity – and Genesis claims it was meant for EV application from the drawing board. But, still, it’s viewed as a compromise, technologically and in terms of vehicle packaging, from some critical viewpoints.
The flipside often overlooked, though, is the provision for EV power in a chassis potentially well sorted – GV70’s proven a quality ICE drive – and one that ought to lend itself to a somewhat conventional on-road experience. Hefty EV weight be damned.
So, does the GV70 Electric feel like a conventional ICE SUV with an electric transplant under the bonnet? Mostly, yes.
Kerb weight is formidable 2310kg tare, or nigh on 2400kg kerb, and the sheer mass does underpin the on road experience. Little feels lithe about its manner. Still, it seems that Genesis has gone to some effort, by way of myriad user adjustability, to offer considerable breadth of character. Tailor-fitment is accessible…if the user wants to invest time and effort into learning its whims.
There are eco, comfort, sport, and ‘my’ custom drive modes, a boost mode at the push of a button on the wheel, as well as various – snow, mud, sand – terrain calibrations and even tunable two-mode braking feel: normal and more sporting. Adjustable brake regeneration and the ever-handy one-pedal mode – not offered on Audi E-tron or Porsche Taycan – are included, while certain drive mode selections and driving style can decouple the front axle and motor when the vehicle sees fit.
The powertrain defaults to 320kW and 605Nm – for 4.8-seocnd 0-100km/h potential – in milder drive modes. Thus set, both response and sheer thrust is ample and fulsome, if polite, pliable and easy to drive around town. Acceleration is strong and ruler-like linear, though it neither smacks in the head off the mark nor fires towards the horizon in a frenzy on a roll. If anything, eco mode is quite dull.
The lift in enthusiasm between drive modes is quite pronounced. After long stints in comfort mode, sport mode seems very punchy and urgent, sharper on the initial throttle and more strient and relentless thrust on the march. It’s proper high performance, too, the sort that demands you’re circumspect with the right foot and ready on the strong four-piston monobloc front brakes, as pace does build quickly. The electric torque also seems consistent and unfazed by steep inclines, too.
Then there’s boost mode, the sort that’ll slap passenger heads into headrest hard if you don’t prewarn your company. Once you press the button, it ‘primes’ boost mode until you jump on the throttle, either from a standstill or on a roll, and you get ten seconds of unbridled full power, scrabbling the front wheels at lower-speed take-offs.
Given it’s just 4.2sec claimed to 100km/h from stationary, Boost mode offers more than enough duration to tap well into antisocial road speed. Genesis calls this its “Performance AWD” powertrain, perhaps cracking the door open for a potential, lower-power ‘normal’ powertrain configuration sometime in the future…
There are different synthetic soundtracks, but as a default there’s just a nice spaceship-like whirl that’s present yet doesn’t impinge on its somewhat serene ambience. Active noise cancelling helps yield a serenely quiet cabin where need be, though occasionally the tyres will drum up a fair rumble.
Realistically, Comfort mode is where most owners will keep GV70 Electric most of the time, if mostly because Sport is just too punchy in delivery, while it smothers the otherwise clear variable-ratio steering with under-assistance, returning unnecessary weight that robs from general fluidity. Of course, you can customise settings in ‘my’ mode to dial the heavy steering out.
Maintaining taut body control and tuning in crisp handling while maintaining decent ride control is no small order for a 2.4-tonne machine. And the GV70 Electric does a decent job of delivering a well-struck if not entirely perfect balance here.
Smarts wise, the adaptively damped suspension brings camera-based ‘road preview’ real-time ride comfort and bump control, while there’s also dynamic stability damping functionality to bring dynamic focus in the corners.
The ride-governing tech works well enough, in that it’s subtle and transparent by the seat of the pants and filters out most nasties much of the time. As we’ve found with GV80 in the past, it’s only when the camera is obscured by dirt or mud, defeating the system’s functionality, where you really notice how much benefit it brings to active bump control. And that’s a real boon given the SUV sits on broad 265mm 20-inch rubber (Michelin Pilot Sport EVs in ‘GOE’ spec that’s bespoke for Genesis).
The adaptive dynamic tuning, too, is quite good. It sits flat and drums up strong grip in Sport, if offering varying body roll stiffness through milder drive modes. Front-end point is more assertive than pin sharp, but it turns and rotates through backroad apexes with aplomb and is perhaps keener and more agile than some of its midsized EV SUV rivals.
Sporty? You bet. It hooks through corners on rails, the dynamic torque vectoring smarts using inside-wheel braking to help rotate the chassis, though its effect is subtle and essentially imperceivable. That said, as is the nature of a hefty EV, the formidable lateral inertia is ever present, if countered by the flat stance and, seemingly, its low mass centre.
Frugality? The nature of the road course, with lots of corner carving and hill climbing, didn’t afford the ideal opportunity to assess the GV70 Electric’s 455-kilometre (WLTP) range claims from its 77.4kWh battery (with 74kWh usable). Consumption?
That’s a claimed 16.6kWh/100kms, which is fairly handy for the performance available on tap. We’ll get a clearer picture of real-world range and consumption once we get the SUV through the Chasing Cars garage.
Recharging? Genesis claims the GV70 Electric can charge from 10 to 80 percent in as little as 18 minutes on a 350kW DC fast charger and it’s compatible with an array of 400-volt and 800v infrastructures without the need for an additional converter.
Energy regeneration on the move is a real highlight. It can be adapted via the wheel paddle shifters, from virtually free-coasting to aggressive and ever-handy one-pedal response that’s ideal for around town and stop-start driving, plus degrees of regen response in between. If there’s a missed trick it’s that, much like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, you can’t use the progressively stronger regen modes as effective ‘downshifts’ when slowing into a corner.
In short, there’s a huge breadth of comfort and pulse racing performance on tap from the EV side of the package, without feeling artificial or synthetic. And it’s underpinned by the chassis that really does have an organic, ICE-like manner to the driving experience.
Genesis really kicked the regular GV70’s presentation out of the footy field and the Electric version continues that fine form, mostly faithfully if with a few subtle tweaks and drowned in the lavished luxury package accourtiment as standard fitment.
The cabin is elegant in broad appeal if rich and ornate in detailing, a bold departure from the usual premium European suspects with a style and vibe that’s both unique and extremely fetching. Three lairy colour schemes are available and they’re all out to impress with slickness and high impact.
The use of clean space minted in rich ad tactile materials – punctuated by tasty mood lighting – is inspired, achingly upmarket and, importantly, welcoming. Indeed, from the wide view or under close inspection, there’s a sense of quality and craft everywhere, without a hint of Hyundai part-binning.
Unique Electrified touches include specific content in the 12.3-inch digital instrumentation, that’s both fancy yet still quick-glance legible in content and the strange three-dimensional effect is convincing and effective.
It’s matched by a huge 14.5-inch touchscreen is crisp, fast and chock full of features that are easy to negotiate and leave very little to be desired. The navigation and multi-angle camera systems are utterly fantastic, while the augmented reality viewing system – that essentially overlays instructions and graphics over a forward camera view of the road ahead – is quite a neat party trick.
The old rotary ‘dish’ multimedia controller of the GV80 and G80 has been substituted by a rotary dial for interface and it works a treat. Above the centre console, the HVAC panel, with its ‘floating’ control dials, are wonderfully neat, too.
The GV70 Electric gets a ‘faded quilt’ pattern for the seats and it looks the biz. And there’s enough adjustment (18-way) with the front seats to suit any whim, though the auto rib-hugging bolsters when you activate Sport drive mode is a bit twee and annoying. The electric variant also fits the nicer three-spoke ‘sport’ wheel rather than the two-spoke design found in other Genesis offerings.
Rear accommodation is also lavishly appointed – third zone-climate control, USB-A ports, manual blinds, etcetera – but space is far from class leading and while the rear seatback offers tilt adjustment there’s no sliding for the seat base.
The boot offers a decent 503 litres of boot space – a V6 version offers 542 litres – that expands to 1678 litres with the second row stowed. It’s not impractical at all and you lose little to the internal combustion wagons, and the Electrified version adds 22 litres more in the ‘frunk’. But there’s no space wheel as the temporary charger pack and tyre inflator kit are stowed under the floor.
Genesis offers a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with eight years and 160,000kms of warranty for the high-voltage battery. You also get ten years of road-side assistance and complimentary map updates.
As mentioned, sweeteners include five years of complimentary servicing, which includes a conditional ‘Genesis to You’ valet service, as well as a choice of a five-year Chargefox subscription or a home A/C wallbox including installation.
By fully electrifying its GV70, Genesis looks to have carved out an all-encompassing EV SUV proposition that makes for a valid alternative to a very wide range of competition, where few rivals actually match it toe to toe. At least in the duality of big luxury and large performance bundled into one package.
It fares nicely indeed when considered against the likes of BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQC in the breadth of goodness it offers for its circa $128k ask. And there’s certainly a whole lot to steer buyers away from the high-spec Tesla Model Ys if sheer manic performance isn’t utterly essential.
But what’s really interesting is when you size the GV70 Electric up against the likes of internal combustion, go-fast German SUVs in the shape of Audi SQ5, BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43. Suddenly it appears a very close fight on performance, (broadly) luxury and price. It’s just that the Korean offering happens to be electric.
In fact, the biggest deterrent in the GV70 Electric’s pitch is very close to home. Here at Chasing Cars, we’re big fans of the turbo V6 version of the Genesis midsize SUV…and you’ll save in the neighborhood of $40k in opting for good-old petrol power in what’s otherwise a very similar proposition.
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y
Need more space than a Model 3 provides? Tesla’s first midsize SUV, the Model Y, has landed in Australia in entry-level RWD and faster Performance AWD formats
Key specs (as tested)
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