One of the things I love about an underdog is how much harder they need to fight to be on the same level pegging as their competitors. Lexus went through this a while back and now when you sit inside a Lexus you know it’s going to be built well and that it’ll be luxurious.
Genesis is going through something similar at the moment. The luxury Hyundai offshoot has launched a raft of new cars and has a stack more coming with luxury a common theme among them.
So I was pretty excited to get behind the wheel of the 2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport to see if it’s worth adding to your shopping list if you’re in the market for a luxury SUV with a bit of punch.
The Genesis GV70 is the brand’s first rival to the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Prices start at $66,400 before on-road costs, undercutting the most affordable GLC by $8700, the base X3 by $5500, and the entry-level Q5 by $2500.
Genesis offers the GV70 with three powertrains: a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol. The smaller petrol is available with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, while the other two engines are available exclusively with all-wheel drive.
The model we tested here sits at the top of the tree – the GV70 3.5T AWD Sport, priced from $83,400 plus on-roads. Our test car also features the $6600 Luxury package, which we’ll detail in the next section.
2022 Genesis GV70 pricing:
- Genesis GV70 2.5T: $66,400
- Genesis GV70 2.5T AWD: $68,800
- Genesis GV70 2.2D AWD: $71,800
- Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport: $83,400
- 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired)
- Satellite navigation with augmented reality
- DAB+ digital radio
- Nine-speaker sound system
- Qi wireless phone charging
- Three-zone climate control
- Automatic high-beam
- LED headlights
- Panoramic sunroof
- Colour-adjustable ambient lighting
- Leather upholstery
- Leather-appointed dashboard, centre console and door trims
- 12-way power front seats with memory
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Power-adjustable steering column
- Reclining rear seats
- Remote start
- Hands-free power tailgate
- Manual rear door sunshades
- Acoustic laminated windshield and front door glass
- Fingerprint authentication system
- Puddle lights with Genesis logo
- 19-inch alloy wheels
The Sport Line Package ($4500 for 2.5T and 2.2D) adds:
- Sport brake package
- Larger dual exhaust outlets
- Sport+ drive mode
- Sport Line exterior package
- Nappa leather and suede upholstery
- Suede headliner and pillars
- Sport steering wheel
- Aluminium pedals
- Aluminium trim
- Sport gauges for oil temperature, torque and turbo boost
- 19-inch Sport Line alloy wheels
GV70 3.5T AWD Sport adds:
- Sport Line Package
- 21-inch alloy wheels
- Limited-slip differential
- Road-Preview adaptive suspension
The Luxury Package ($11,000 for 2.5T and 2.2D, $6600 for 3.5T) adds:
- Forward attention warning
- Reversing AEB
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Rear privacy glass
- 21-inch alloy wheels
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with 3D function
- Head-up display
- 16-speaker Lexicon by Harman sound system
- Remote Smart Parking Assist
- 18-way power driver’s seat with massaging
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated rear seats
- Three-zone climate control
Buyers of GV70 2.5T and 2.2D models can order the Sport Line & Luxury Packages as a combo for $13,000.
The Genesis GV70 wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating with 2021 datestamp, based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP.
All variants are covered by this score, except the 3.5T AWD tested here, as six-cylinder petrol models aren’t sold in Europe.
Category scores for four-cylinder variants included 89 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 64 per cent for vulnerable road users and 87 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Car/Pedestrian/Cyclist detection
- Junction Turning/Junction Crossing function
- Lane-Change Oncoming/Side function
- Evasive Steering Assist function
- Lane-keep assist
- Lane Following Assist (centring)
- Blind-spot assist
- Blind Spot View Monitor (cameras)
- Rear cross-traffic assist
- Intelligent speed limit assist
- Safe Exit Assist
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Driver attention monitoring
- incl. Leading Vehicle Departure Alert
- 360-degree cameras with 3D view
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Eight airbags (front, front-side, curtain and front-centre)
- Active bonnet
In a couple of words – bloody nice.
When you sit inside the cabin the price tag feels like it’s undercooked by $50,000. It feels very, very luxe – especially with the optional Luxury Package that adds the fancy quilted Nappa leather seats with massage function and the 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster.
Compared to a BMW X3, an Audi Q5 or a Mercedes-Benz GLC, this feels far more premium, by a long shot.
And look, it needs to. It’s a new player in the market and it’s that underdog mentality that drives Genesis to put more effort into making the GV70 feel special inside the cabin.
The 14.5-inch colour screen in the centre of the dashboard looks elegantly installed and doesn’t stand out like an iPad stuck on the dash.
It can be operated as a touch screen or alternatively via a BMW iDrive-esque controller on the centre stack – although it is easy to sometimes mistake the gear shifter for the infotainment controller. I’m sure it’s something that would become second nature if you owned the vehicle, though.
One thing that’s still pretty disappointing with Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles in general is the lack of wireless smartphone mirroring in premium models. While entry-level models are capable of wireless smartphone mirroring, premium models like the GV70 require a physical cable to be connected.
As a charging zealot I’m pretty religious about a phone charging schedule and it triggers my anxiety each time I need to plug in for an hour to use CarPlay (okay, it’s not that bad, but you get what I mean). These brands need to get with the times and move to wireless smartphone mirroring for all of their vehicles and not just the entry level trims without built-in navigation.
The GV70 is the only car in the segment that uses a fingerprint scanner to help recall driver settings – it’s an innovative system and a different take on recalling settings.
It feels just as luxurious in the second row too – they haven’t skimped on materials or features
Leg and headroom in the second row is excellent for both kids and adults with plenty of room to stretch out. There’s a third zone of climate controls, along with seat heating for the two outboard seats.
The second row also features ISOFIX points on the two outboard seats, plus three top tether points.
In the boot you’ll find 542L of cargo capacity with the second-row seats in use, expanding to 1678L with them folded. Beneath the cargo floor is a space-saver spare tyre, along with storage for the cargo blind.
Powering the Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD is a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that produces 279kW (5800rpm) of power and 520Nm (1300-4500rpm) of torque.
It’s mated to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and sends torque to all four wheels using a variable all-wheel drive system that’s predominantly rear biased.
Genesis claims a combined fuel economy of 11.3 litres of fuel per 100km. On test, we ended up achieving around 11.5L/100km with a mix of city and highway driving. It’s fairly thirsty when compared to other vehicles in the segment, but it doesn’t hold back when it comes to performance.
Petrol versions of the GV70 demand 95 RON premium unleaded as a minimum, with fuel capacity quoted at 66 litres.
One of the things I love about the related V6 Kia Stinger is how silky smooth that powertrain is.
It’s only marginally let down by the fact it’s solely available with rear-wheel drive in Australia. No issue in the dry, but in the wet it can be a handful if you’re trying to have some fun.
The GV70 with the updated 3.5-litre version of this powertrain addresses that by using an all-wheel drive system to better manage the torque. The benefit is you still get that silky smooth turbocharged V6 engine and the ability to send that torque through the driveline and to the road with more ease.
Add to that, it’s a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, which means you get the fun of a rear-biased setup with the agility and traction of an all-wheel drive system.
At low speeds the drive experience is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic shifts with ease and seamlessly rows through the gears as it makes its way up to to speed.
In and around town it’s near-silent inside the cabin with little noise permeating through the tyres. There’s more than enough cabin insulation to ensure you don’t hear what’s going on while you’re cruising around.
It’s a similar story at highway speeds. As speed picks up, it remains dead silent inside the cabin. Genesis bills itself as the luxury arm of Hyundai and it well and truly feels that way while you’re driving.
On the handling front, the GV70 uses a raft of sensors and aids to keep it feeling sporty behind the wheel. I mentioned the rear-biased all-wheel drive system earlier, but in addition to that there’s a limited-slip differential on the rear axle along with a front-facing camera to keep track of the road ahead of the driver.
It then guides the adaptive dampers to tailor the ride for the terrain you’re about to hit. That results in a fluid feel through corners and ultimately a very comfortable ride in and around the city – despite this riding on fairly big 21-inch alloy wheels.
The 0-100km/h sprint takes a claimed 5.1 seconds and it feels very responsive behind the wheel when in-gear. There’s minimal turbo lag and it gives you a healthy punch in the back when it’s on song.
The gearbox can be a little slow to shift through the gears at times, however.
But to be honest, I’d prefer a lack of pace and the smoothness associated with a torque converter over the clunky and staggered feel of some dual-clutch transmissions.
Visibility out the front and sides is good and is aided by blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assists, along with blind-spot cameras that project a live feed into the instrument cluster.
It’s excellent technology and helps with blind spots that can otherwise be missed at times.
The Genesis GV70 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Genesis also throws in free scheduled servicing for the first five years or 75,000km.
Genesis also offers the GV70 with five years of free 24/7 roadside assistance and the Genesis to You valet service, where Genesis will pick up your GV70 when it’s due for scheduled servicing and leave you with a Genesis courtesy vehicle provided you’re within 70km of the Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane CBD.
It’s certainly the most comprehensive aftersales program of any premium manufacturer and should give buyers peace of mind for a number of years after purchase. Further, Genesis Australia recently launched a guaranteed future value program if you’re concerned about resale values.
You know what, I found it really hard to fault the GV70.
It packs a wicked performance punch and it doesn’t hold back on luxury either. It really is a complete package if you want a roomy SUV with a sporty engine that also looks totally different to anything else on the road.
Genesis has now also introduced a guaranteed future value program, which means you can have some level of reassurance on resale value when it comes time to selling – this is one of the big things that previously held me back from recommending the GV70, so it’s good the company has addressed it and is backing its products.
So where does that leave us? Technically, from an expert’s point of view, it’s a great car and a stack of fun to drive. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending one over any of the GV70’s competitors – yes, it’s that good.
Unfortunately like most other brands at the moment, there are wait times for new stock, but in my mind it’s the type of vehicle well and truly worth waiting for – especially with that punchy V6 turbo engine.
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