The Genesis GV60 has most clearly shown the dedicated electric future of the new Korean premium brand, but Hyundai’s upmarket sibling has also been unveiling electrified versions of two of its initial models. The chosen duo are the G80 saloon and the GV70 SUV, which was widely regarded as the most impressive of the first batch of Genesis-badged cars that launched the brand in 2021.
The Genesis Electrified GV70, on sale since October last year, swaps the 2.5-petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engine options of the launch models with a pair of electric motors, each of 180kw, giving total power of 490hp. Genesis claims a combined range of up to 283 miles from its 77kWh battery pack, and the ability to fast-charge the car in less than 20 minutes.
As of March 2023, media reviews of the Electrified GV70 have earned the car an overall Expert Rating of 73% on The Car Expert’s award-winning Expert Rating Index, which is 8% higher than the petrol version of the GV70. As more reviews come on stream this rating could well move up or down a few points.
What is the Genesis Electrified GV70, exactly?
Genesis pitches the GV70 as a ‘luxury do-it-all SUV’, highlighting a combination of design and performance. It’s not the biggest SUV in the line-up – that title is held by the GV80 – but a mid-sized model with its prime rivals including the Ford Mustang Mach-E and particularly the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQC.
And it’s certainly the big and (primarily) German premium brands that Genesis is targeting. It offers itself up as an alternative to their long-established – and somewhat mainstream – appeal with purposeful looks and quality interiors, alongside the potent performance offered by the electric drivetrain.
One thing Genesis cannot be accused of is producing boxy SUVs – the entire range makes an immediate positive impression with sleek exteriors sculpted to the brand’s so-called ‘Athletic Elegance’ design language.
That positive first impression continues the moment you set off in the Electrified GV70, particularly if you have previously tried the petrol or diesel models – the car’s smooth, silent drivetrain offers refinement levels that in the slightly coarser combustion-engined versions take the edge off the upmarket image.
Mind you your very first impression might be a negative, the plus £60,000 price of the Genesis. Currently the Electrified GV70 is only available as a dual-motor all-wheel-drive model, which on the surface makes it an expensive proposition. But read on…
We like: Combination of sleek looks and refinement
We don’t like: It appears less value for money than it is
What do you get for your money?
Genesis likes to be simple – there’s just one Electrified GV70 model, with a single trim level dubbed Sport. Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, electric front seat adjustment and LED headlamps. There is, however, an extensive options list that can soon mushroom the cost above the £63,600 base price – our test car had an eye-watering close to £15,000 worth of options on it including a £3,560 ‘Innovation Pack’, more on which shortly.
Yet while the base price is high, you do need to factor in the extras that come included as standard – in particular, the five-year care plan. This encompasses a warranty, roadside assistance and servicing up until the car has done 50,000 miles. And when your car goes in for service, a Genesis ‘personal assistant’ will collect it from you and leave a courtesy car for your use while your wheels are away.
A crucial extra for Electrified GV70 owners is a joint programme between Genesis and the Shell Recharge network. You get access to all Shell charge points and five years of discounted access to the Ionity charging network, with a payment rate around a third of what normal users will be charged. In these challenging times for energy costs, that’s a big plus in the GV70’s favour.
The Genesis Electrified GV70 include an extensive array of safety equipment, although it’s important to note that this electric version has not been tested by Euro NCAP.
Electric models do not automatically assume the same safety rating as their petrol/diesel equivalents, so we can’t assume that the Electrified GV70 will perform to the same standard as the five-star score attained by the petrol and diesel GV70 versions. This is because swapping out the engine/gearbox/fuel tank/exhaust system for an electric motor and battery can fundamentally change how a car performs in an emergency situation.
A particularly highlight of all GV70 models is the front centre airbag, which deploys in a side impact to stop the two front-seat passengers colliding with each other. The automated emergency braking system includes pedestrian detection, while other aids fitted as standard include lane-keeping and a rear cross-traffic alert, as well as smart cruise control.
You have, however, to buy the Innovation Pack to get some desirable further aids including a system that reacts to vehicles suddenly pulling out in front of you from a side road.
We like: Extensive aftersales package for no extra cost
We don’t like: Too many safety aids as options, not yet rated by Euro NCAP
What’s the Genesis Electrified GV70 like inside?
Genesis is emphasising the quality of its cars and this certainly shows in the interiors, which feel plush and very well put together. The Electrified GV70 maintains the impression with quality surfaces even where you wouldn’t expect to find them and a generally upmarket cabin environment.
A combination of a high seating position and thin windscreen pillars provide the driver with a very good view out front, and the controls fall naturally to hand and are easy to use. While the standard 15-inch infotainment screen stretches across the top of the centre console, it does not rely solely on touchscreen inputs with a big rotary control on the centre console adding some solidity. Mind you, this is mounted just in front of the similar-feeling gear selection knob.
The driver’s essential functions again depend on whether you buy that Innovation Pack. Select it and you get another 12 inches of digital screen with such niceties as dials that change into side-view cameras when indicating in that direction, and a curious 3D display. You also get a windscreen head-up display which is very effective and useful, and better matrix headlights that alter their beam shape depending on the oncoming traffic.
Front and rear occupants will find the seats very comfortable with loads of adjustment, and if you dip into the options list and specify the driver’s Comfort Seat pack, after an hour or so travelling it will start massaging your lower back to ensure you don’t stagger out of the car on reaching your destination.
Adding the big battery pack under the floor does take a chunk out of the rear boot space – close to 40 litres, in fact – which leaves you with a somewhat shallow 503-litre space, expanding to 1,678 litres with the rear seats lowered. Genesis does repurpose the room up front created by not having to put an engine in the car, and the 25-litre compartment is just right to put those irritating charge cables in, especially as you plug the car in through a neatly hidden port in the mesh of the front grille. But if lots of space is a priority, the BMW iX3 or Tesla Model Y will likely suit you better.
We like: Proper controls for infotainment functions
We don’t like: Restrictive boot space
What’s under the bonnet?
It’s not under the bonnet that counts but between the wheels, each axle housing a 180kW electric motor for combined power of 490hp. Each also delivers 350Nm of torque so the GV70 boasts all the get-out-of-trouble ability one expects of a proper 4×4. Especially as, for the first time in a Genesis EV, the electronic tech adds an e-Terrain function with mud, sand and snow options.
All this makes this one potent SUV – under normal conditions, accelerate hard and you will hit 62mph from rest in 4.8 seconds. But that’s not quite as simple as it looks because you will only be using less than 440 of the horses – the rest join in when you hit the ‘Boost’ button proactively placed in the lower right of the steering wheel. Do this and the car serves up up to ten seconds of extra punch that cuts more than half a second off that sprint time – along with adding some excitement as you feel the kick of the extra power.
With Boost engaged, the GV70 will leave most of its rivals trailing behind. More importantly, the function helps greatly with swift and decisive overtaking of slower traffic.
The official combined range of the Electrified GV70 is 283 miles, directly comparable to its prime rival the BMW iX3. In the real world, this will likely mean a typical drive of at least 230 miles before you’ll need to plug it in.
If you’re charging at home from a typical 11kW wallbox, a full charge will take 7 hours 20 mins (which balloons out to 34 hours if you’re using a domestic three-pin plug…). At a 50kW DC charger, which is about the performance of a typical fast charger in car parks and motorway services, you can go from 10% to 80% charge in 1 hour 10 minutes. And if you can find a 350kW rapid charger (which are rare in the UK at present), you can go from 10% to 80% in less than 20 minutes.
What’s the Genesis Electrified GV70 like to drive?
Like the GV60, which we reviewed last year, the process of driving the Electrified GV70 is very straightforward – press the button, select drive and it glides effortlessly and almost silently away. In fact any ‘noise’ is made by an artificially generated engine sound, which you can turn off on the instrument panel.
The car works at its best when cruising – smooth application of throttle and steering makes for very comfortable progress, even at motorway speeds. Adaptive suspension comes as standard on the Electrified GV70, and it includes technology that scans the road ahead and sets the car’s chassis to best cope with the surface. This works very well, even on the biggest 20-inch wheel option which is usually a route to some ride discomfort.
Be more ‘enthusiastic’ in your driving and not only do you get what are basically crazy levels of acceleration for this type of vehicle, but also a car that copes well in corners, gripping the road with confidence and offering precise steering on a par with the best rivals.
You won’t get a lot of feedback through the steering wheel but this is perhaps not a surprise as all the sophisticated electronics work hard to haul what is a very heavy vehicle through the twisty bits. But it’s all pretty competent with lots of grip aided by the all-wheel-drive, if a little more body lean than we’d like.
If one’s car is fitted with the optional Lexicon sound system, then the silence in the cabin persists even at the highest speeds. The pack includes Active Noise Cancelling, clever tech developed with sound specialist Silentium that uses the car’s audio system to broadcast sounds that cancel out such extraneous irritations as road and tyre noise. As a result progress in the GV70 is to a level of refinement that totally belies the potency of its powertrain.
Adding further to the tech is the brake regeneration, which can be set to a range of levels right up to effectively driving the car on one pedal, or can be left to work things out for itself by analysing traffic conditions and where the sat nav tells it you are heading.
We like: Overall progress is very refined indeed
We don’t like: More steering feedback when cornering would be nice
With the Electrified GV70, Genesis has succeeded in adding a whole new level of attractiveness to a launch model that already ticked more boxes than any other car in the brand’s range. The car takes the attractive visuals, comfortable interior and extensive tech of the combustion-engined car and replaces the one iffy bit of refinement, the powertrains, with something a whole lot better.
The price will understandably put some potential buyers off, but the car is priced to reflect what’s on offer here. There’s no doubt that if you have the money to buy an Electrified GV70 you will get plenty for what you pay out. Mind you, Genesis has not denied that a single-motor Electrified GV70 might be in the brand’s future plans – we suggest that would be a very good idea…
If you’re looking at the Genesis Electrified GV70, you might also be interested in these alternatives.
Audi Q4 e-tron | BMW iX3 | Ford Mustang Mach-E | Genesis GV60 | Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Jaguar I-Pace | Kia EV6 | Mercedes-Benz EQC | Polestar 2 | Polestar 3 | Skoda Enyaq | Subaru Solterra | Tesla Model Y | Toyota bZ4X | Volkswagen ID.4
Models tested: Genesis Electrified GV70 Sport 180 kW Dual Motor
Price as tested: £78,090
Engine: 2 x 180kW electric motor
Power: 490 hp
Torque: 350+350 Nm front/rear
Top speed: 146 mph
0-62 mph: 4.8 seconds (4.2 with boost)
Electric range: 283 miles
CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
Euro NCAP safety rating: Not yet tested (as of March 2023)
TCE Expert Rating: 73% (as of March 2023)
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