In a year which has seen Britain’s new car market bump along and end up way below expectations, Genesis has provided a head-turning performance building on exclusivity and service which most manufacturers cannot match.
Genesis is the premium brand of Hyundai, which includes KIA, and has been on USA sale for a decade so they are not newcomers to the market but comparatively recent additions to the UK. The Genesis range comprises compact hatchbacks, medium-sized semi-estates, saloons and SUVs and the majority of sales so far have been SUVs among the 1,000 models sold by the brand in Britain in 2022 and that was a staggering 687% growth over the previous 12 months in a year when the industry saw a general downturn of 2%.
Introduced in late 2021, the Genesis GV70 is available with a choice of 210ps 2.2 turbo-diesel or, as we tested, with 304ps 2.5 turbo-petrol engine, and both come with eight-speed automatic transmission and intelligent all-wheel-drive.
There are Premium, Luxury and Sport Line trim levels. There is also a new electrified GV70 in exclusive Sport trim said to give up to 283 miles on a full charge of its 77.4 kWh battery and pushing out approximately 490ps.
Pricing for GV70 starts at £39,450 for the 2.2 8AT AWD diesel and at £43,350 for the 2.5 8AT AWD Petrol. For the Electrified GV70, prices start at £63,600 for the 180 KW + 180 KW dual motor all-electric model.
Within these prices, also included is the Genesis Five-Year Care Plan – five years of hassle-free motoring, with no hidden extras including warranty, servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software. They even collect and return your car for servicing and provide a courtesy model in the interim.
Back to our £54,540, including £11,190 worth of options, test car and it is sufficiently rare on the road to turn heads and attract attention in car parks, but it’s the larger GV80 stablemate is even more imposing if you ever see one.
The GV70 has a presence but its sleek styling manages to cleverly wrap up its size with five generous seats and a big luggage area.
The four-cylinder 2.5 litre petrol turbo engine has been very cleverly engineered too, packing a good punch when needed, was near silent and vibration-free, which is a challenge for a four-pot unit, and is mated to an extremely smooth changing automatic transmission. However, a look over the gearbox ratios reveals none are truly overdrive and while this gives good pulling power across the engine range it also explains why it is working so hard on motorways and we struggled to see 28.7mpg.
Make no mistake, the powertrain is a sophisticated match and delivers a highly refined experience, but at some fuel cost and in today’s world that can be chilling.
For a medium to large sized SUV, the Genesis GV70 2.5T really handled well. Steering was nicely balanced, it was easy to manoeuvre, and gave good feedback while the brakes soon hauled down speed in an undramatic fashion and the parking brake held it on the steepest slope.
Secondary controls are very comprehensive with stalks for wipers/washers and another for the lights, both partly hidden behind the thick spokes of the wheel which carried the buttons for the on-board driver’s computer display and infotainment and phone connectivity.
Two 14 and 12-inch screens displayed infotainment and dials for the driver and passengers and could be configured to highlight different elements. They were both very clear, quick-changing and large displays.
The heating and ventilation air conditioning was extremely comprehensive, with a wide range and distribution possible and the test car’s front seats were both heated and cooled for any conditions, backed up by powered windows front and back, but there was no sunroof.
For a family car the oddments room was very practical with lots of recesses, trays, door bins and seat pockets as well as a good sized glovebox, drinks holders and console box and behind the offset split back seats a large, flat, long and wide loadbed, unfortunately the seatbacks did not drop down completely flat but you could access the space from the back doors if necessary.
Access to the cabin was easy with wide opening doors and the seats were very supporting and infront the adjustment was excellent for the driver, more limited for the passenger. All were comfortable and the head and legroom was very generous.
Ride quality was excellent over any surface with minimum body roll on bends or chassis dipping under braking or acceleration. This is a model which more than most lived up to the Sports Utility Vehicle category.
Handling was fairly neutral and there were no nasty surprises if you suddenly lifted off mid-corner.
Slight road rumbles could be heard inside the cabin, but mechanical and wind noises were almost non existent, which added to the refinement.
Visibility was generally very good with excellent camera assistance and active sensors alerting you to any hazard when parking, big windows, good washers/ wipers and very bright headlights, although I found the automatic dipping function a bit slow responding to the annoyance of oncoming drivers.
The GV70’s performance was very good, almost sports car like in some respects, but a very comfy and roomy sports car at that.
Genesis has said it will continue to sell their ICE petrol/diesel models alongside their electric versions as long as customers want them and the law allows and with an SUV this good I can see that being for a good few years yet, but please can we improve the fuel consumption soon?
The Genesis GV70 is a very fine model which can stand waistline to waistline with the premium European brands and beat them on service and price but looses nothing in quality.
Genesis GV70 2.5T AWD
Price: £54,540 (inc. £11,190 extras)
Mechanical: 304ps 2.5L 4cyl turbo-petrol, 8sp auto AWD
Max Speed: 149mph
Combined MPG: 28
Insurance Group: 44
C02 emissions: 220g/km
Tax costs: BiK 37%, VED £1,420FY, £520 annually for 5-years SR
Warranty: 5yrs/ unlimited miles
Size: L4.72m, W1.91m, H1.63m
Bootspace: 542 to 1678 litres
Kerbweight: 2500 kg
For: Very roomy, refined, comfortable, highly equipped, excellent build quality, strong performance, good handling, very quiet, long warranty, no driving range anxiety.
Against: Fuel consumption overall, big to park in town, fiddly infotainment comms system and expensive to tax. By Robin Robert Miles Better News Agency