We road test the new electric version of one of the stars of the Genesis range – the GV70 medium-sized SUV…
Before we start, if you’re unfamiliar with the Genesis brand, then here’s a quick recap.
Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, which also includes Kia. So, think Lexus/Toyota or Infiniti/Nissan.
Genesis was launched in the UK in the summer of 2021 and the GV70 was one of the first models, though at the time it was only available with petrol and diesel engines.
Fast forward to 2022 and an all-electric variant of the GV70 has been added to the range, though it’s marketed as the ‘Electrified GV70’, which is a term more often associated with hybrids.
Starting at £64,405, it is on the pricey side and its main competitors include the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Tesla Model Y.
Currently only available with all-wheel drive, the Electrified GV70 combines a 77.4kWh battery with two electric motors, delivering 700Nm of torque and a range of up to 283 miles.
Most of the time it pushes out 436hp and can accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 4.8 seconds.
However, if you hit the ‘Boost’ button on the steering wheel you get access to the full power (483bhp), for about 10 seconds, which is enough to reduce the 0-62mph time to just 4.2 seconds.
Apart from the instant torque and the refined, whisper quiet driving experience, the EV version of the GV70 is much the same as its ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) siblings – which is no bad thing.
The GV70’s classy interior has comfortable leather seats and it oozes quality. There’s a huge 14.5-inch central infotainment screen which can be operated by touch or via the rotary dial down by the gear selector.
Thankfully, it’s not too minimalist either. Instead, there are some accessible buttons and switches – and most importantly of all – physical climate controls.
There’s plenty of space for rear passengers, while the luggage capacity is a little smaller than the non-electric versions, but it’s still a decent 503 litres with the seats in place. Flip them down and there’s a useful 1,678-litre load space with good access.
For substantial 2.3-tonne SUV that wasn’t designed as a pure electric vehicle from the ground up, the GV70 handles surprisingly well.
The suspension is on the firm side, but the overall driving experience is a relaxing one. Unlike some competitors, it can be hustled on more challenging roads and it’s good fun – especially in Sport mode.
Naturally there’s a bit of body roll in faster corners, but it’s not excessive and the Electrified GV70 remains composed.
Add precise steering, good visibility and plenty of traction to the well soundproofed cabin (there are double-glazed windows and an acoustic laminated windscreen to help minimise tyre and wind noise), and it just keeps ticking the right boxes.
There are Eco, Comfort and Sport driving modes, plus a one-pedal driving option which can bring the car to a halt without having to touch the brake pedal.
It also features an e-Terrain mode, but we didn’t get to test it in anger. Let’s just say that it’s probably more than enough to get you out of a muddy field at a festival site.
Living with the Electrified GV70 is easier than some rivals too, because it comes with an ultra-fast charging capability, which can take the battery from 10-80% in 18 minutes when hooked up to a super rapid 350kW charger.
There is also a vehicle-to-load feature (V2L) for plugging in external devices, such as camping equipment, laptops or tools, for example.
It’s also worth noting that Genesis has a deal with the IONITY charging network which means five years’ of discount rates.
If safety is a priority then it won’t disappoint either. The Genesis GV70 range enjoys a five-star score from Euro NCAP, with high ratings in the occupant and safety tech categories.
The long list of standard safety and driver assistance kit includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, automatic high beams, rear-cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and a reversing camera.
Finally, don’t forget that Genesis offers a completely different VIP ownership experience.
There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.
It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout the ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).
What’s more, Genesis’s 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.
Verdict: Handsome, generously equipped, safe, spacious, comfortable, packed with tech and a joy to drive, the Electrified GV70 is one of the best big zero emissions SUVs on the market. If that hasn’t convinced you, then add the VIP ownership experience and five-year warranty/care plan to the list.