Genesis GV70 long-term test: report 1

Genesis hasn't been around for long, but it already has a What Car? Award winner in its line-up. So, can the new Genesis GV70 follow up on that success and convert buyers from mainstream rivals?...

Darren with VR headset and Genesis GV70

The car Genesis GV70 2.5T + 8AT AWD Luxury | Run by Darren Moss, deputy digital editor

Why it’s here To show that Genesis can mix with premium rivals at the top end of the large SUV market

Needs to be Luxurious, comfortable, and able to function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 4032 List price £46,470 Target Price £46,470 Price as tested £57,995 Test economy 23.5mpg Official economy 29.7mpg Options Innovation Pack (£4190), Nappa Leather Seats Pack (£2350), Comfort Seat Pack (£1690), Sunroof (£1460), Detachable towbar (£1399) Lexicon Premium Audio (£790), 2nd row Comfort Seat Pack (£600), E-LSD (£450), Fingerprint reader authentication (£80)

21 November 2023 – Movin’ on up

I like to think of myself as an early adopter. For example, while the world of virtual reality is only now starting to catch on, I’ve been using the technology for years.

When it came to choosing my next company car, then, I decided to eschew mainstream choices and instead turn to a brand which has already won a What Car? award, despite having been only selling cars in the UK since 2021.

Genesis GV60 2023 driving

That brand is Genesis – the luxury arm of Hyundai – and last year we named its smallest SUV, the Genesis GV60 (above), as the Electric SUV of the Year. Now, however, the brand offers a larger SUV as well: the aptly-named Genesis GV70. So, will it prove as good, or will I find myself wishing I’d played things safe and gone for one of its mainstream rivals instead?

Well, the first thing to note is that the GV70 is available for significantly less an equivalent Audi Q5 or BMW X3. Indeed, while you’ll pay £47,940 for an entry-level petrol-engined Q5, the GV70 starts from a cool £42,870, saving you more than £5000.

That keen pricing means I haven’t felt guilty about going for range-topping Luxury trim, which brings a heated steering wheel to go with the standard heated front seats, plus three-zone climate control and an air filtration system to keep the worst of London’s pollutants outside.

Genesis GV70 side

I’ve also splurged a bit on the options list, adding the Innovation Pack (yours for £4190) in order to get a 12.3in digital instrument cluster with 3D effects, a head-up display which projects the most important information onto the windscreen, and adaptive cruise control to help take the stress out of long journeys.

The Comfort Seat Pack (£1690), meanwhile, brings a massage function for my seat, along with an extended thigh cushion, while the Nappa Leather Pack (£2350) has coated much of my car’s interior in rich bits of bovine.

In addition, I’ve added an electronic limited-slip differential (£450), which is claimed to make my car more agile through corners by sending more of the engine’s torque to the left or right wheels depending on the circumstances.

Genesis GV70 LT with person behind the wheel

My car is fully kitted out, then, and could never be described as cheap. But, then, it doesn’t feel it. From the driver’s seat, you get even more of a commanding driving position than you do in the Q5, and I think the GV70’s build quality matches its Audi rival.

True, the GV70 can’t hold as much in its boot – our testing showed that there’s room for six carry-on suitcases, compared with the nine that the Q5 can swallow – but it should be fine for my needs.

While there’s a fully electric version of the GV70, I can’t charge at home, so I instead went for the 2.5-litre petrol engine. This produces 300bhp, which is enough for a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.1sec. But, more importantly, it allows the car to make very short work of getting up to motorway speeds or making the most of the gaps in urban traffic.

Genesis GV70 front

While it’s not short on grunt, however, my car is short on fuel economy. Official figures suggest I should be seeing only 29.7mpg, and I’m actually having to put up with even less than that: a wallet-withering 23.5mpg.

Perhaps, however, that’s the price of driving something new and conversation-starting. Two of my neighbours have already stopped by to ask me about my new car, and walked away having bookmarked the Genesis configurator website. By contrast, I’m still waiting for anyone to ask me for details on my VR headset.

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