First Drive: The Genesis Electrified GV70 is a fresh new entry to the electric SUV segment

Genesis is expanding its line-up with an electric version of its GV70 SUV. Ted Welford gets behind the wheel…

First Drive: The Genesis Electrified GV70 is a fresh new entry to the electric SUV segment

What is it?

The Electrified GV70 rivals the BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC. (Genesis)

Genesis has had a remarkably busy 12 months. It only started delivering cars to customers in the UK (and Europe) in September 2021, and since then it has launched seven new models – giving it a range of cars comparable to well-established premium brands like Lexus and Volvo.

It initially launched with purely petrol and diesel models, but has been heavily turning its attention to EVs. In fact, by 2025 every new model it reveals will be electric-only. First came the GV60, a bespoke battery-electric model, and then came the Electrified G80 – an EV version of its largest saloon car. The next piece of the puzzle is now ready to launch; the Electrified GV70.

What’s new?

The Electrified GV70 gets a slightly different look to other Genesis models. (Genesis)

The GV70 is South Korean firm Genesis’ (owned by the Hyundai Motor Group) mid-size premium SUV, rivalling the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. So far the petrol and diesel offerings have made it the brand’s most popular model in the UK.

Genesis is hoping to improve that with this Electrified GV70. Ushering the tip-top powertrain from the bespoke GV60, this SUV is seen as the more ‘traditional’ option next to the somewhat whacky GV60. It gets a smattering of subtle styling tweaks too, but this is already a very smart-looking car, even before the EV transition.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Electrified GV70’s twin motors produce a huge 483bhp. (Genesis)

But there’s nothing subtle about the Electrified GV70’s powertrain, which pairs two punchy electric motors together to develop a huge 483bhp and 700Nm of torque. Those are figures some sports cars could only dream of, never mind a relatively sensible electric SUV.

Accelerating from 0-60mph takes just four seconds (when the Boost button on the steering wheel is pressed), with the GV70 capable of a top speed of 146mph. The same 77.4kWh battery as the GV60 is present here too, allowing for a claimed range of 283 miles.

It’s pretty much the same range as a BMW iX3, but slightly more than an Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC. The GV70 can also charge at up to 240kW, meaning a 10 to 80 per cent charge can take as little as 18 minutes.

What’s it like to drive?

Noise cancelling technology gives the Electrified GV70 a very refined driving experience. (Genesis)

There are two things that shine behind the wheel of the Electrified GV70. The first is refinement. With no engine to contend with, all EVs tend to be quiet on the move, but this SUV is superb. Thanks to active noise cancelling technology, the GV70 is remarkably hushed on the move, even on the motorway.

The second factor that shines though is performance, and the GV70 most certainly isn’t lacking in this department. With ‘Boost’ mode pressed, the rate it can get up to speed is outstanding. If we’re to get all serious, we reckon it’s far too much power – at least considering the demographic Genesis is targeting (‘socially-conscious new grandparents’). If it was 150bhp down, it would feel no worse. We’d also advise against putting it in ‘Sport’ mode as the ride becomes needlessly firm and jiggly. Leaving it in ‘Comfort’ is the way to go.

How does it look?

Views are subjective, but we reckon Genesis is making some stunning-looking cars at the moment, and the Genesis Electrified GV70 is an extension of that.

There are some lovely styling elements on the GV70, such as its large crest grille (if slightly ruined by the fitment of a front plate) and smart, extended LED rear lights, which offer a similar signature at the front. There are some subtle changes to petrol and diesel versions of this SUV, such as a G-Matrix pattern for the grille and new front and rear bumpers. The whole result is one that stands out for all the right reasons in this class.

What’s it like inside?

The Electrified GV70 offers a very upmarket interior finish. (Genesis)

A real highlight of the GV70 is its interior, which feels every bit as upmarket as German rivals. Leather (or leatherette) is used throughout, with soft Nappa leather upholstery available as an extra. The general finish is excellent, and there are some lovely touches, such as the seemingly hidden air vents that run horizontally across the dashboard and backlit lighting on the wooden finish on the door cards.

The large 14.5inch horizontal touchscreen is superb to use as well, while you also get a rotary controller, which makes it much easier to use on the move, as otherwise, it can be quite a stretch to reach from the driver’s seat There’s plenty of rear seat space too, though the boot is quite shallow beneath the parcel shelf.

What’s the spec like?

The 14.5-inch touchscreen in the GV70 is fantastic. (Genesis)

There’s not too much complexity when it comes to the Electrified GV70’s spec – there’s just one powertrain and one spec (Sport).

The level of standard kit is generous too, including 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, a heat pump to speed up charging and a reversing camera, to name just a few features. There are plenty of options available though, such as Nappa leather with quilting (£2,350) and an Innovation Pack (£3,560), which bundles together a head-up display, larger digital dial display and Highway Driving Assist, among other additions.

Prices for the Electrified Genesis GV70 start from £64,405, putting it between the BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC. At more than £20,000 more than a 300bhp petrol GV70, it does seem rather a lot of money to justify, though – not helped by our test car with options coming in at £78,000.

It is worth noting that it comes with a five-year Care Plan (as all Genesis models do), that includes servicing, warranty and roadside assistance for that time.

Verdict

The Electrified GV70 is an impressive option, but would be improved with less power. (Genesis)

The premium SUV market is proving to be one of the most popular segments for EVs, and the Electrified GV70 is most certainly a welcome addition.

Its stylish looks, superb build quality and almost ‘unknown’ brand image make it really stand out in this class, and will be enough to tempt those wanting something different from the usual German trio. Though the performance is astonishing, it’s at odds with the model’s otherwise focus on comfort and refinement. We reckon a more sensible version that had less power, a longer range and a more affordable price would make a great deal more sense.

  • Model: Genesis Electrified GV70
  • Base price: £64,405
  • Model as tested: Genesis Electrified GV70 Sport
  • Price as tested: £78,090 (with options)
  • Powertrain: Twin electric motors with 77.4kWh battery
  • Power: 483bhp
  • Torque: 700Nm
  • Max speed: 146mph
  • 0-62mph: 4.0 seconds
  • Range: 273 miles (WLTP)
  • CO2 emissions: 0g/km
  • Max charging speed: 240kW
  • Charging speed: 18 minutes (10 to 80 per cent)

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