First Drive: The Genesis GV70 is a new take on the traditional SUV

Genesis is forging a path here in the UK and the GV70 is one of the key ways it plans to keep progressing. Jack Evans finds out what it’s like.

Genesis GV70
Genesis GV70

What is it?

Genesis GV70
The rear lights stand out particularly well

Genesis is really kicking into gear here in the UK. It may have only made its European debut back in May, but it is already forming quite the fleet of offerings for UK buyers. Latest to this line-up is this – the GV70. Sitting underneath the larger GV80 in the firm’s range of SUVs, it enters into a furiously competitive segment which means that, from the off, this is a car fighting an uphill battle.

But Genesis hasn’t sent it into combat unequipped. This is a car packed with safety features, the latest technology and a pair of refined engines. The question is – can it tempt buyers away from more established brands? We’ve been finding out.

What’s new?

Genesis GV70
The stylised rotary controller and gear selector look good

As we’ve already highlighted, this is one hectic market for the GV70 to enter into. You only need to mention a few names – Audi’s Q5 or the BMW X3, for example – in order to see how formidable the competition is, but given the level of features included in the GV70’s arsenal we’d say it’s come well equipped to fend these off.

It’s got a huge 14.5-inch central infotainment screen, smart cruise control and a whole variety of safety assistance systems all included in its starting price which, at £50 under £39,500, significantly undercuts what you’d pay for an equivalent BMW. And you get more kit in the Genesis, that’s for sure.

What’s under the bonnet?

Genesis GV70
The GV70 is one of the latest models to hit the Genesis line-up

There’s the option of a diesel and a petrol engine with the GV70 – there’s no hybrid or plug-in hybrid option here – and it’s the former we’re looking at today. It’s a turbocharged 2.2-litre bringing 207bhp to the table alongside a perfectly palatable 440Nm of torque. Regardless of which engine you opt for you’re getting all-wheel-drive in the GV70, with power sent through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Performance is largely what you’d expect from this type of unit, with 0-60mph dispatched in 7.7 seconds and 133mph flat-out.

What’s it like to drive?

Genesis has, from the off, put an emphasis on comfort in its cars. That’s pretty apparent in the GV70, too, given its ability to shrug off larger potholes and road imperfections. At lower speeds, it can feel the tiniest bit unsettled, but gather momentum and it settles down impressively well. It’s good on the motorway, too. The addition of all-wheel-drive means there’s an added safety net of traction, though on our dry, tarmac route this wasn’t really put to the test.

The diesel engine feels like a good fit for this car as well. It’s punchy and quiet, providing more than enough acceleration when required. The suite of safety features isn’t too intrusive either – save for the lane departure – while the blind-spot detection housed within the screen ahead of you is genuinely useful and provides an extra layer of security when moving.

How does it look?

Genesis GV70
The diesel engine pulls strongly and keenly

There are a couple of design traits integrated into all Genesis models to tie them together. Think of it like BMW’s kidney grilles, or the roundel-style rear lights on a Jaguar. Up front, these include the split-design headlights which aim to recreate the ‘wings’ of the Genesis badge, while the ‘G-Matrix’ grille is another continuous feature throughout the line-up.

Combined on the GV70, we’d say they’re pretty successful in creating a car that looks interesting. Of course, looks are down to the individual, but we’d say that the GV70 stands out against the current crop of SUVs well, bringing a new take on what is now a rather well-trodden layout.

What’s it like inside?

Genesis GV70
The cabin feels well finished and comfortable

You’ll find all manner of high-end materials inside the cabin of the GV70, from soft, waxy leather to pin-sharp displays. Sure, there are a few buttons taken from parent company Hyundai – but this is a method prevalent across the entire industry, so you can’t really blame the GV70’s creators for this. They’re integrated well into the overall design, too.

Rear-seat space is a touch tight – particularly if you’re sitting behind a taller driver – but boot space is decent if a little behind rival offerings, coming in at 542 litres with the rear seats in place, or 1,678 litres with them down. For context, you’ll get 550 and 1,600 litres respectively from a BMW X3.

What’s the spec like?

Genesis GV70
The lack of load lip means the boot is easy to access

Standard equipment is where the GV70 really gets into its stride. Our ‘Luxury Line’ car’s 14.5-inch central touchscreen is large and easy to use, though its width does mean you’ll need to stretch across to reach icons further away – or use the rotary controller.

All GV70 models boast 19-inch alloy wheels from the off, electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats, a rear-view camera and an electronically operated boot, to name but a few highlights. Each car comes with a five-year warranty and five years of servicing and roadside assistance, too.

Additional ‘packs’ can be added to bring extra equipment, with the blind-spot view monitor – which relays a live image of your blind spot to the display behind the wheel – a great aspect of the £4,190 Innovation Pack. Our particular car tipped the scales at £52,080, which, though a good deal more than the ‘base’ price, did have pretty much every optional extra box ticked.


If Genesis wanted an easy win, it was never going to find it in the SUV segment. However, the GV70 is well-rounded enough to keep its head above what is very choppy water, bringing a fresh new take on an established layout. Go easy with the optional packs and there’s no reason why it can’t bring good value for money, too.

The relatively simple engine choices keep things easy, while the servicing and warranty safety nets add extra peace of mind. Considering a BMW or Audi? It might just be worth taking a look at the GV70 instead.

  • Model: Genesis GV70
  • Base price: £42,820
  • Model as tested: GV70 Luxury Line
  • Price: £52,080
  • Engine: 2.2-litre diesel
  • Power: 207bhp
  • Torque: 440Nm
  • Max speed: 133mph
  • 0-60mph: 7.7 seconds
  • MPG: 42.3
  • Emissions: 189g/km CO2

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News