Kim Henson lives with a petrol-powered Genesis GV70 SUV for a week – here’s how it went…
(All words and photographs by, and copyright, Kim Henson).
As I reported in December 2021 on Wheels-Alive, my first impressions after briefly sampling examples from across the Genesis line-up of vehicles, were that they were all cleverly thought-out, well-engineered, carefully put together, pleasing to drive and comfortable.
Of course it’s one thing to drive a car for just a few miles, quite another to use it for a week in everyday motoring, which is what I have been doing with the Genesis GV70, in petrol-powered form.
Just in case you are wondering about Genesis and what the marque represents, here are some salient points in brief:
The Korean firm was established in 2015, with the company’s vehicles selling in, and gaining respect among, global markets. All models are aimed at the ‘quality’ end of the spectrum, and compete with the likes of Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.
The company has strong links with Hyundai and Kia, and notably with engine and drivetrain similarities across the ranges, BUT the Genesis models are independently designed, developed and engineered, with significant unique aspects (including their innovative luxurious interiors).
British buyers have been able to order Genesis models from late in 2021. Deliberately, as the range was introduced, launch models have all been petrol or diesel powered, but electric power will be featured in new variants that are on course to come on stream during 2022.
The pricing structure is non-negotiable, in other words the price tag means what it says, and the cars are available via a single ‘Genesis Studio’ in Westfield shopping centre in London, and online sales. It is expected that further ‘studios’ should soon appear elsewhere in the UK.
Buyers are helped by a Personal Assistant, who arranges test drives and helps with the customer throughout the buying experience.
Genesis models are covered by a five year/unlimited mileage warranty (restricted to 130,000 miles for vehicles in tax use etc.), and a five year/50,000 miles care plan (covering roadside assistance, scheduled servicing, digital updates and a courtesy car) is included within the package.
For those who may prefer to drive a Genesis but not to own it, a very recent innovation is the introduction by the firm of the ‘Flexibility’ subscription service – as detailed on this website by my colleague Robin Roberts, in conjunction with his road test feature on the petrol-powered G70 Shooting Brake. Please click on this link to view, and look under the ‘Late Genesis News’ section: Geneses G70 Shooting Brake and News.
A vast array of safety features and equipment is built into every Genesis vehicle, and they have all attained Euro NCAP ‘Five Star’ status.
ON TEST – GV70 PETROL SUV
First, to put the GV70 in context within the Genesis range sold in Britain, this comprises G70 and G80 saloons, plus a G70 Shooting Brake, also GV70 and GV80 SUVs.
Under the bonnet of the petrol-powered GV70 SUV test car is a 2.5 litre turbocharged motor, delivering 304 PS at 5,800 rpm, and 421.7 Nm (311 lb.ft) of torque. Traction is delivered to the road via an eight speed automatic transmission and all four wheels.
Notable technical aspects include a dual injection fuel delivery system (the dual system enables ultra-precise metering of fuel according to varying driving conditions), and innovative engine cooling arrangements. The ‘variable separation’ cooling system is said to enhance knocking performance and reduce friction by controlling the flow and temperature of the coolant.
WLTP ‘Combined’ fuel consumption figures for this model are between 27.9 and 29.7 miles per gallon, with CO2 emissions recorded as being 230 to 216 g/km. (By contrast, the 2.2 litres diesel-powered GV70 shows 38.0 to 40.0 for the Combined mpg figures, and CO2 emissions of 195 to 185 g/km).
The interior of the GV70 is attractive and welcoming, with sumptous furnishings plus close attention to detail, and strenuous efforts having been made with regard to high build quality. In fact these are evident throughout the vehicle, inside and out.
From the driver’s point of view the driving experience is enhanced by a large (14.5 inch) central infotainment display screen set-up, incorporating a centre-console-mounted rotary control linked to the screen and providing a wide variety of easily activated functions. Beneath the screen are very sensibly located and easily assimilated separate controls for the air con/heating system.
There are twin large rotary controls mounted atop the centre console. The one closest to the driver controls the transmission in terms of ‘Drive’ and ‘Reverse’, and incorporates a central ‘Park’ push button (all intuitive and very easy to operate), whereas the rotary dial controller closer to the facia enables the multitude of functions displayed on the large, centrally-located infotainment screen to be selected. These include, for example, radio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity and sat nav.
Electric adjustment is provided for the front seats. Very useful is the ‘Easy Access’ system that moves the front seats rearwards to enable easier entry to, and exit from, the car, for the driver and front seat passenger. Having entered the car, front seat occupants find their seats automatically moving to their previously-set positions, ready for driving.
Among the many built-in safety systems are Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Highway Drive Assist and Smart Cruise Control, Rear Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Evasive Steering Assist (that detects and helps prevent collisions with people, cyclists and vehicles around the car) and Lane Following Assist.
Convenience features abound too, and include (among very many) electrically-activated tailgate opening and closing, ‘puddle’ lamps that illuminate automatically as you approach the car at night time, and automatic activation of the headlamps and wipers, according to conditions.
Active Sound Design is also part of the car’s equipment, and a feature that enables the system to be tailored to personal preferences, including ‘Active Engine Sound’ on or off, ‘Minimised’ ‘Normal’ or ‘Enhanced’. A ‘welcome’ jingle is also installed, and this too can be turned on or off.
Deliberately, I am not going to attempt to list all the available equipment and features on the car, since this would take up the whole road test. Suffice to say that the GV70 is very comprehensively equipped.
The on-the-road price of ‘our’ GV70 is a competitive £43,350 (although G70 prices start at £39,450), boosted on our test vehicle by an ‘Innovation Pack’ costing £4,190, a Comfort Seat Pack, at £1,470, a premium ‘Lexicon’ audio system priced at £790, ‘Nappa Leather Seats For Sport’, at £2,750, E-LSD (Electronic Limited Slip Differential), costing £450, and Mauna Red paintwork, adding another £750. This brought the total price of our test car to £53,750.
The E-LSD is set up to distribute torque between the left and right-hand side wheels to enhance ride and handling performance when turning, also to improve traction when driving in conditions of snow, sand or mud.
The Innovation Pack includes the excellent blind spot mirror view monitor safety system, which employs cameras linked to the dashboard and providing the driver with a view to the rear of the car along each side. When the left or right indicators are activated, the system projects the relevant left or right camera image to the dashboard, so that any potential hazards approaching from the rear of the vehicle can be seen by the driver before turning or changing lane.
Further features within the Innovation Pack are adaptive LED headlights, larger than usual instrument panel, head-up display, a wireless phone charger, remote ‘smart’ parking system, and a 3D surround view for parking.
When activated, the remote ‘smart’ parking system automatically operates the steering wheel, vehicle speed and gear shift, to help the driver during parking manouvres.
Having already driven, and being impressed by, a GV70 a few weeks ago, I was not surprised at how beautifully put together the test car looks and feels. Indeed my initial impressions in this respect were reinforced by my second and longer acquaintance with the vehicle. The attention to detail in terms of fit and finish, throughout the vehicle, is astonishing. Incidentally this view was echoed by all who saw the car during my time with it.
Taking the wheel of the test vehicle, my first journeys were mainly in town use, and the GV70, despite is considerable size, proved to be easy to drive and docile in nature when required. Its nicely-weighted power steering made light of low speed manouvres, and its tight turning circle (for a large car) was also welcome.
The eight speed auto gearbox worked seamlessly when changing up and down through the ratios, and in conjunction with the torquey engine, progress was smooth, easy and refined at all speeds. There was never a feeling that the car ought to be in another ratio, with eight available the vehicle’s own control systems always chose well between them all.
Manual engagement of, and changing, gear ratios can be carried out by the driver using the twin ‘paddles’, mounted just ahead of the steering wheel – easy to reach, rapid and smooth in operation.
I found visibility to the front of the GV70 was good, but the high body sides would have made reversing the car difficult, were it not for the excellent standard-fit reversing camera (which of course, to be effective, needs to be kept clean during ‘muddy’ road conditions), also the 3D Surround View system, which as already mentioned comes as part of the extra cost Innovation Pack.
I am also an enthusiastic fan of the Hyundai/Kia/Genesis blind spot mirror view monitor safety system, which, as already mentioned, projects onto the instrument panel camera images along the sides of the car, to the rear, when indicating left or right. I feel that this is such a clever and useful safety feature.
Once the open road is reached the GV70 is eager to perform. It makes progress quietly and smoothly, and with great enthusiasm when required. The standing start acceleration time of nought to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds is impressive enough, but more importantly for many drivers, on-the-move acceleration is particularly sprightly, with the time taken to reach 62 mph from 31 mph being just 4.4 seconds.
At an indicated 70 mph, I judged the tachometer needle to be showing just 1,900 or so rpm, and fast cruising at that speed – or indeed any legal speed – was relaxing,
What did surprise me in a pleasant way, considering that this is a relatively tall SUV, was the positive manner in which the car handled on twisting cross-country routes, with plenty of grip and a reassuringly sure-footed feel through sweeping bends, and with little body roll evident. The car also felt safe and stable on slippery surfaces.
With the vehicle in its normal ‘Drive’ mode, pushing the ‘Drive/Terrain’ button (located at the forward end of the centre console) brings into play a range of settings (to suit driver preferences).
These can be changed by moving the toggle switch button (at the forward end of the centre console) through its positions, from ‘Eco’ through ‘Comfort’ and ‘Sport’ to ‘Sport+’ mode. For most of my time with the car, I engaged ‘Eco’ or ‘Comfort’ modes, but did try both the Sport setting (which stiffens up the vehicle’s dynamic responses, and holds on to the lower gear ratios for longer), and the ‘Sport+’, which makes the car feel even more responsive/firmer in its reactions to driver input. The instrument panel illumination changes colour as the ‘Sport’ modes are engaged.
Although all my time with the test vehicle was spent on tarmac-surfaced roads, the GV70’s all wheel drive system is equipped with a control mechanism that is designed to ensure good traction in difficult ground conditions. Activating the button marked ‘Drive’ and ‘Terrain’ enables the drive system to be changed from the normal ‘Drive’ setting to ‘Multi Terrain’ mode. Within four seconds the button can be pushed again to select ‘Mud’, ‘Snow’ or ‘Sand’ as required. When the button is pushed once more, the vehicle reverts to its normal ‘Drive’ mode. Simple, intuitive, brilliant.
I found that braking was spot-on at all speeds, and the electrically-activated parking brake was far more effective and easy to operate than most I have experienced.
The seats, front and rear, proved to be comfortable and supportive, and the multi-adjustable heated/cooled front seats and the heated steering wheel were welcome features on cold mornings during my time with the car.
The ride comfort was excellent too, the large diameter wheels and tyres, plus the accommodating suspension, soaking up most surface undulations and isolating them from the cabin. Passengers in both the front and rear seats commented on this aspect.
Notable is the ‘Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview’, which uses the car’s forward-facing camera to automatically detect road surface changes (including damage and speed humps etc.) to optimise suspension operation as it encounters these.
At night the headlamps provided good illumination on both high and low beam settings, and I liked the way that the car welcomed me by lighting up the ground (complete with the ‘Genesis’ logo!) beneath the doors, as I approached the vehicle with key in hand. Another nice touch appreciated by all who travelled in the car was the subtle, clever illumination of the door trim panels (in this case primarily in red, to match the interior trim and paint colour).
Similarly positive were my thoughts on the clarity of the instrument panel (with its excellent ‘three dimensional’ display, which uses sensors to track the driver’s eyes, and is part of the ‘Innovation’ package) also the large (14.5 inch) central touch screen. I liked the way that the centre-console-mounted rotary controller switched easily and quickly between the various functions. I was also delighted to find that the air con/heating controls, mounted separately from, and below, the touch screen could easily and safely be set to the required positions without having to work through a screen menu.
Worthy of mention is the ‘augmented reality’ feature forming part of the 14.5 inch display screen set-up… It employs real-time, real-life footage from a forward-facing camera to show the navigated route as realistically as possible.
The weather during my week with the GV70 was pretty awful, and, Storm Eunice apart (when the car and I stayed at home!), included high winds and heavy rain. Throughout, the car felt composed and stable, including feeling reassuringly firmly ‘planted’ in side wind conditions. The screenwipers/washers front and rear did their job very effectively too.
Fuel consumption figures worked out at about what I had expected for this very powerful petrol-powered SUV. The official Combined figure is between 28 and 30 miles per gallon, approximately. In my use during town driving I was seeing around 23 mpg (in town) but with some longer distance motoring this improved to almost exactly 27 mpg overall for my week’s driving.
The large doors, front and rear, enabled easy entry to, and exit from, all seats, and once aboard there was plenty of leg and head room for all occupants.
The fold-down centre armrest in the rear seat incorporates twin cup holders, and storage bins in all the doors (larger in the front ones), plus the provision of a lidded glove box, and a large compartment (also lidded) at the rear or the centre console assembly, plus a smaller one towards the front of it, means that there are plenty of spaces for the everyday items carried in most cars.
The tailgate is opened and closed electrically at the touch of a button, revealing a boot that is large, even with a full complement of five passengers. When required, the unequally split/folding rear seat backs can quickly be folded (or raised back again) by use of two easy-to-reach levers, to give a long, wide and useful load platform at rear bumper/sill height. Excellent.
By my measurements the minimum width available (between the wheel arches) is approximately 40 in (102 cm), widening to 51 in (130 cm).
The available length of the load platform, with the rear seats folded, is a minimum of 62 in (158 cm) and 66 in (168 cm). With the rear seats all in use, the length of the compartment is a still useful 36.5 in (93 cm) from front to back, at its longest point (in the centre).
Further good news includes the provision of a small pocket with an elasticated ‘stretchy’ net wall, in the right-hand rear corner of the boot, and next to it is a 12 volt socket (in addition to those within the passenger compartment). Better still is the fact that the car comes with an actual spare wheel and tyre (albeit a ‘temporary use’ one) – far better than a puncture sealing kit as found today in so many cars.
A sophisticated, high quality, spacious, comfortable, effective and practical SUV, providing sporty performance and offered at a very competitive price compared with rivals in its market sector.
Minus points? Truly, I could find nothing significant to quibble about, but will just mention that the petrol consumption figures could mean expensive running costs for high mileage users, with fuel at today’s prices – already high, and rising…
Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec in Brief:
Genesis GV70 (petrol):
Engine: Four cylinder 16 valve turbocharged petrol, 2497cc, 304 PS @ 5,800 rpm; max. torque 421.7 Nm (311 lb.ft).
Transmission: All wheel drive via eight speed automatic transmission.
0 – 62 mph: 6.1 seconds
31 – 62 mph: 4.4 seconds
Top speed: 149 mph
Fuel consumption: Official Combined figure, 28 to 30 mpg (approx.). Actual figure achieved on test, 27.0 mpg. Fuel tank capacity: 66 litres (14.52 gallons). Approximate range on a full tank, at our achieved mpg figure: 392 miles.
CO2 emissions: 218 g/km.
Length: 4,715 mm (15.47 ft)
Wheelbase: 2,875 mm (9.43 ft)
Width: 1,910 mm (6.27 ft)
Height: 1,630 mm (5.35 ft)
Max. laden mass: 2,500 kg (5,512 lb)
Luggage capacity (VDA): 542 to 1,678 litres (19.14 to 59.26 cu.ft)