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First Drive

First Drive: Genesis GV70

GENESIS GV70 2.2 DIESEL 206HP Luxury Line
The story: Genesis, the new premium brand sibling to Hyundai, has expanded its model line-up to four with the arrival of the G70 saloon and, driven here, the GV70 SUV.
Key rival:BMW X3
On sale:Now

This new GV70 is likely to be the most popular of the four initial models from newly launched premium brand Genesis, at least until the electric version of the G80 executive saloon and the EV-only GV60 land in the first half of next year.

As the premium-brand sibling to Hyundai, Genesis is trying to do things differently from mainstream manufacturers by pushing buyers down the online-only sales route rather than having a network of physical dealers. Personal assistants handle collection and delivery and servicing work, which is all covered for the first five years as part of a purchase price that is fixed and haggle-resistant, according to the firm.

First Drive - October 2021 - Genesis GV 70 - Image 1The GV70 is the smaller of two Genesis SUVs, and comes with a choice of 206hp 2.2 diesel and 300hp 2.5 petrol engines, the former obviously being the more efficient and fleet-friendly for the sort of SME director customer Genesis is looking to attract initially.

All cars are four-wheel drive, and the line-up takes in three trim levels of Premium Line, Sport Line and Luxury Line.

There’s a distinctive yet mainstream premium look to the GV70. It gets the Genesis look of slim twin headlamps on each side of a big crested grille, and has a sporty SUV stance that is reflected in the driving experience. The drive is refined and suppresses road and wind noise well, and has a solid ride quality that provides composure in terms of body roll and cornering, but it does give the GV70 a sporting-SUV experience, rather than a comfort-orientated set-up.

The diesel engine predictably doesn’t have the punch of the 300hp petrol, but is refined enough to carry off a premium positioning, and offers enough power to be feel rapid in a taller vehicle.

The interior is plush, although anyone familiar with Hyundai switchgear will spot some similarities, and the 14.5-inch central touchscreen is long but not that tall, and placed far enough from the driver that it’s much easier to use the scrolling knob in the centre of the car, rather than leaning towards the screen.

First Drive - October 2021 - Genesis GV 70 - Image 4A clever new feature deployed on the GV70 is the optional 3D dash that the brand says uses sensors to track the driver’s eyes and ensure there’s a clear display no matter what angle the user is viewing from.

Genesis also claims best-in-class safety and convenience features for its SUV, which includes the dashboard dials turning into blind spot cameras when the driver indicates.

There’s decent head and leg room for adult rear passengers, and the boot isn’t particularly deep, but its 542 litres is decent for a SUV of this size and on a level with premium diesel rivals’.

paul barker



The verdict

Interesting new arrival won’t make a big dent in the share of the major prestige brands, but it’s a classy and premium SUV with an extremely attractive ownership proposition for those that are willing to head down the haggle-free online-purchase route.