SUVs are the name of the game at the moment. Every automaker has to have one to stay relevant. Genesis released the GV80 two years ago, while the GV70 is much younger, having been released last summer. The premium Korean automaker has been making strides with its chic-looking vehicles. Our test vehicle was assembled at the Ulsan Plant in South Korea with an MSRP of CAD $76,115.
Genesis took seriously the task of designing a competitive SUV in the midsize luxury class. The result is a sleek and distinctive design, one of the best looking in its class. This design has smooth edges all around, but not to remove all character; it is an excellent ensemble that comes together to make a gorgeous vehicle. The GV70 stays true to the brand with the distinctive front grille design, and parallel LED running lights; the Sport Plus package replaces the usual chrome with darker metallic accents. The 21-inch wheels finished in graphite colour, look great, and they bode well with the vehicle's appearance; it creates a nice contrast with the Mauna Red colour. In the back, two design elements are apparent. The tailpipes are placed on the bumper on both sides to emphasize that this is the sporty version. The headlights are parallel lines with the Genesis letters separating both sets of lights. All in all, the rear design is as good as the front. They did an excellent styling to attract buyers to this still-new brand even though Hyundai's parent company isn't new.
When you step inside, you are greeted by a sea of Napa red leather all over the interior. The seats are beautifully stitched, and they look good. Even the back seats have stitchings on them. It is a nice touch that brings this category to a new class level. When you sit in the driver's seat, you have a 12.3-inch 3D cluster. There aren't many 3D clusters at any price point, thus giving the GV70 a technology advantage. Some team members liked it, others didn't, but we agree that this is a step up from the traditional 2D cluster everyone uses. On the downside, we found the screen limited in its adaptability to suit everyone's needs. For example, you cannot show a full-size map on it. The 3D is cool, but it's mostly a gimmick at the moment. Like most Genesis models, we appreciated that the blind spot cameras show up on the cluster whenever you turn on the flashers. We cannot say enough how this makes the lane changes easier, especially on the highway. Overall, it's a good screen with room to improve.
Right in the middle, you will find another staple of the Genesis brand, the 14,5-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The screen is large and is fast to respond to any command. You can navigate either via touch, although it's a bit far from the driver or the white knob on the center console. It's very close to the transmission knob, and you can confuse them easily when you're looking ahead. They should've made it in a different size to prevent any confusion. Under the infotainment screen, you will find the climate control screen. With tri-zone climate controls, everyone can be as comfy as possible. One cool party trick of the screen is the haptic feedback you get when selecting the heated steering wheel. In short, it's practical when you don't want to lose focus on the road and want to make sure it works! On the left side of this screen, near the steering wheel, you will find a black button unlabeled; it's a fingerprint reader; yes, you read that right. You can personalize the vehicle as you wish for the destinations, favourite radio stations and your seat position in seconds. It is a top luxury feature; we expect it to be more present in a few years. It is pretty luxurious inside, but the infotainment knob needs to be rethought.
The Genesis GV70 is roomy; four adults can sit easily. There is sufficient knee room and headroom for rear occupants. And there are buttons on the back of the front passenger seat which allow the person sitting behind to move it for more legroom, preferably when there's no passenger in front. The rear climate controls include heated seat controls. The ISOFIX ports are clear and pretty easy to use, and the rear anchor is also within reach for any parent to secure the car seat. The trunk space is decent, and you can fold the back seat in a 40/20/40 configuration with a button. The sloping roof robs some space in the trunk but isn't tiny. This is an excellent vehicle to take the family on a long road trip; everyone will feel at ease.
Performance-wise, you can get the GV70 with two engines: the base engine is a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder or, like our test model, the 3.5L twin-turbo 6-cylinder, and they are both equipped with 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard on GV70s. The numbers on our test vehicle are impressive: 375hp and 391lb-ft of torque, 0-100kph time of around 4,5 seconds and a towing capacity of 3,500lbs. These numbers are up with the very best in this category, the fierce competition, and the Genesis GV70 holds up nicely. In acceleration, the car pounces from the start, and we especially liked the exhaust, which has a pleasant rumbling when you floor the pedal. Braking is also impressive; the vehicle's electronics remarkably manage the plunging sensation. The limits of this SUV are apparent when driving through successive curves. Even in Sport mode, you feel the weight going left to right. The suspension is tuned for comfort rather than sportiness, and that's okay. The Sport Plus trim is for someone who wants the extra power without compromising too much on comfort. On the highway, the ride is quiet and smooth. It seems to be the natural habitat for the Genesis models. The seats are comfy, and the vehicle is plush. Even with the performance on paper, the true enjoyment of this model is to drive it for hours and not feel sore when you step out.
Once again, Genesis released a new model, and every automaker must take note. They did their homework; a classy exterior, gorgeous interior and excellent performance; it truly is the swiss knife of midsize luxury SUVs. Once again, the Koreans have the best bang for the buck experience. You don't need tens of thousands extra on top of the original MSRP to get the best the automaker offers, and if you're looking for an electrified version of this vehicle, you're in luck! The electric GV70 was announced in 2021 and should arrive somewhere in 2023.
Genesis has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Genesis Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion of the car referred above.