Many people might not even know what a Genesis GV70 is. Genesis is not one of those established brands that has been around for 100 years. Genesis is the luxury division of Hyundai, and many people may look at it like they looked at Acura and Lexus decades ago. A word of warning if you are an executive with one of those established luxury brands: start worrying. The GV70 is good, really good. Genesis already has a great product and now the only thing holding it back is for people to realize it.
Genesis waited too long to bring in their SUVs, instead choosing to bring in sedans first. Sedans seem to be losing popularity, and everyone has SUV fever these days, so if you want to sell cars in large numbers, you better have SUVs in your lineup. The GV70 stands at 185.6 inches long, which is almost exactly the same as a BMW X3. They call it a compact SUV, but it is roomy for five people and still has plenty of room for cargo.
The GV70 is aimed at those who want some sporty attributes in their vehicle, and the GV70 is quite fun to drive. It is not a fire-breathing monster, and it is not a member of the 600-horsepower club, but it is fast enough to get you in trouble if you are not careful. Under the hood, you have a choice of two engines, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, or our test vehicle’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that cranks out 375 horsepower. The engine is mated to a quick shifting eight-speed automatic. The GV70 with the V6 engine can do zero to 60 in 4.9 seconds, which is pretty quick. It should top out at about 150 mph.
The GV70 has struts up front and a multilink suspension in the back. It has been tuned for a comfortable ride, but it also likes to play. Switch to Sport Plus mode and the 255 Michelin tires will get engaged and ask you to start pushing. The chassis is rock solid, with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. You will look for those curvy roads going home.
While you can get fun and performance in many similar vehicles, nobody gives you the luxury appointments that the GV70 offers at this price level. The exterior of the GV70 looks like a million bucks, with its attractive grille and aggressive headlights. The rear design reminds us of a Bentley rather than a Hyundai, and the coupe-like structure has a Porsche-like feel. Open the door and you are greeted with a beautifully designed interior that makes jaws drop. Everything is covered in leather and suede and the attention to detail is amazing. Every switch feels great and looks expensive. Genesis could have just installed a headlight switch from a cheap car in there and it would have worked, but the company worked hard to have nice metal looking switches that are all matching and look like something out of a car costing five times as much.
Once you get used to the luxury feel of the interior, it is time to get used to the gadgets — and there are lots of them. Most of them are commonplace today in this level, but the Genesis has a lot of new touches as well. You have things like autonomous driving assistance that does a great job of driving the vehicle on the highway for you, and the system can even change lanes. The GPS navigation can read the road and knows that a curve is coming up and can slow the car down for the curve.
A heads-up display is available in many cars now, but the GV70 also shows the blind spot monitor in the display that makes it easier to tell if there is someone in your blind spot. As found in many Hyundais and Kias, video cameras that turn on when you activate your turn signal to change lanes so you can see the lane next to you.
The GV70 also has a digital key system where you can use your phone as a key and has a fingerprint authentication system to start the car. There are of course lots of cameras everywhere that can give you a great view of the car when trying to park.
What is even better is that the Genesis system is easy to use and everything is controlled by the huge 14.5-inch center display. The menus are easy to understand and navigate. On a long trip, we realized that Genesis offers something they call posture control. On a long trip, the car realized that the driver had been sitting for a long time and started to massage the seat back and bottom. Refreshing! It can, of course, be turned off easily if you wish.
Those magic seats also can be active seats with the bolsters in comfortable mode, but get on the gas and they will tighten to hold you in.
Most of these features are not revolutionary. Other cars have active seats and massage seats and large screens for everything. The thing to realize is price. Most of the vehicles that offer this level of luxury cost more than $100,000. Yet here is a car with a base price of $52,600 — even less if you go with the four-cylinder — that has features you can’t get on a $150,000 car. That is remarkable. Genesis must be losing money on every car. And that’s why eventually they will be forced to raise prices. But for now, if you want an exceptional deal, the GV70 is a serious bargain.
|Engine:||3.5-liter 24-valve turbocharged V6|
|Horsepower:||375 @ 5,800 rpm|
|Torque:||391 @ 1,300 rpm|
|Front Suspension:||McPherson Strut|
|Curb Weight:||4,584 lbs.|