Before we crack on, let’s start with a quick refresh about the Genesis brand – the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, which also includes Kia. So, think Lexus/Toyota, Infiniti/Nissan and DS/Citroen.
Genesis was launched in the UK in the summer of 2021 and the GV70 was one of the first models, though at the time it was only available with petrol and diesel engines.
The ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) version’s long list of premium SUV rivals includes the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60.
Fast forward to 2022 and an all-electric variant of the GV70 has been added to the range. Puzzlingly marketed as ‘electrified’ (a term more often used to describe a hybrid), Genesis has kept it simple with the ‘Electrified GV70’.
Priced from £64,405 and only available with all-wheel drive, it combines a 77.4kWh battery with two electric motors, producing 483bhp and delivering a range of up to 283 miles.
Most of the time it pushes out 436hp and is capable of acceleration from standstill to 62mph in 4.8 seconds.
However, if you hit the ‘Boost’ button on the steering wheel you get access to the full power, for about 10 seconds, which is enough to reduce the 0-62mph time to just 4.2 seconds.
Apart from the instant torque and the refined, whisper quiet driving experience, the EV version of the GV70 is much the same as its combustion powered siblings – which is no bad thing.
Its stylish interior oozes quality with large, comfy leather seats, plus a massive 14.5-inch central infotainment screen which can be operated by touch or via the rotary dial down by the gear selector. Special mention for the clear, unobtrusive head-up display (HUD) too.
Unlike some competitors, Genesis hasn’t chosen the minimalist route. Instead, there are accessible buttons and switches and the ultimate joy – physical climate controls.
There’s ample space for passengers in the rear – large and small – while the luggage capacity is a tad smaller than the non-electric versions, but it’s still a decent 503 litres with the seats in place. Flip them down (they don’t go fully flat) and there’s a useful 1,678-litre load space with good access.
For a large, relatively heavy SUV that wasn’t designed as a pure electric vehicle from the ground up, the big surprise is that the GV70 handles really well.
Sure, the suspension is on the firm side, but the overall driving experience is a relaxing one. However, hustle it on more challenging roads and it’s good fun – especially in Sport mode.
Naturally there’s a bit of body roll in faster corners, but it’s well controlled and the Electrified GV70 remains composed.
Add precise steering, good visibility and plenty of traction, and the GV70 continues to surprise.
The cabin is well soundproofed with double-glazed windows and an acoustic laminated windscreen helping to minimise tyre and wind noise.
There are Eco, Comfort and Sport driving modes, plus a one-pedal driving option which can bring the car to a halt without having to touch the brake pedal. It also features an e-Terrain mode, which does as it says on the tin, though we didn’t get to test it in anger.
The Electrified GV70 has an ultra-fast charging capability, which can take the battery from 10-80% in 18 minutes when hooked up to a 350kW charger.
There is also a vehicle-to-load (V2L) for plugging in external devices, such as camping equipment, laptops or tools.
If safety is a priority then it won’t disappoint. The Genesis GV70 range enjoys a five-star safety score from Euro NCAP, with high ratings in the occupant and safety tech categories.
Frankly, it’s not necessary to list all the safety and driver assistance features, because it has the full suite.
As for its main competitors, then the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Tesla Model Y spring to mind. So, no pressure there then.
Finally, don’t forget that Genesis is no ordinary brand – it offers a completely different VIP ownership experience.
There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.
It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout the ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).
What’s more, Genesis’s 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates. Plus, a deal with the IONITY charging network means five years’ of discount rates.