Genesis GV70 Electric review

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With this GV70 Electric, luxury brand Genesis takes on full-sized Teutonic EV crossover rivals. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The Genesis GV70 Electric offers a very different take on what a full-sized premium badged Executive segment crossover EV should be. Thinking of an I-PACE, an e-tron or an EQC? Factor in one of these as well.

Background

Premium brand makers are divided over whether full-sized crossover EVs should be merely electric versions of existing models or completely new designs. If you like different, you'll appreciate cars in this class like the Jaguar I-PACE, the Mercedes EQC and the Audi e-tron. BMW, in contrast, serves up an iX3 model visually much the same as the combustion X3. And it's that latter approach that Korean premium maker Genesis is followed with this GV70 Electric.

This is the only car in this class with an 800-volt electrical architecture that allows use of the ultra-fastest public chargers. And it's the only one with a clever 'Vehicle-to-Load' feature that allows you to power electrical ancillary devices from the vehicle - or even charge another EV. Plus, as with all Genesis models, this one comes with a level of customer service back-up that rivals can't approach. It all sounds intriguing.

Driving Experience

Both the fossil-fuelled GV70 powerplants are impressively quiet. But of course nothing like as silent as the third powertrain option that Genesis is offering, that for the fully electrified version of this model. The electric GV70 drives all four of its wheels, as the petrol and diesel versions do, but as with any such EV, does so rather differently, with separate motors driving each axle collectively generating a rather impressive combined output of 483bhp and 700Nm of torque. That's good enough to power the car to 62mph in 4.5s, which to give you some class perspective is over half a second quicker than a rival Mercedes EQC. Of more interest though to a likely owner is the projected driving range between charges, WLTP-rated at a fairly unremarkable 249 miles between charges of the 77.4kWh battery.

Special noise-cancelling technology on the EV variant improves refinement, reducing tyre roar by using microphones and sensors to project inverted sound waves through the audio speakers. You'll also appreciate the electrified GV70's 'Smart Regenerative Braking System, which analyses your driving habits and road conditions to alter the level of energy recuperation; or you can maximise that manually and select a 'one-pedal'-style driving mode that'll see you hardly ever having to use the brake, so abrupt is off-throttle deceleration. This EV model also gets an e-Terrain driving mode to handle slippery surfaces.

Design and Build

The main visual difference with this GV70 Electric over its combustion stablemates is the fact that this model's usual signature 'Crest Grille' has evolved into an aerodynamic appendage that features an inverted G-Matrix pattern and incorporates a hidden electric charging port. Chief Stylist Luc Donckerwolke and his team call this 'a minimalist yet sophisticated look'.

Inside, the EV theme is emboldened by a bright 'Glacier White' interior that looks striking but is unlikely to prove very practical. A variety of eco-friendly materials have been used to furnish it and each features a high quality finish, completing a design that embodies Genesis' vision for a sustainable luxury from the inside out. Up front, as in an ordinary GV70, there's a big 15.4-inch central touchscreen which can be operated by a touchpad controller dial you'll constantly mistake for the similarly-shaped gear selector until you get used to the car.

It's a little different at the back with this EV model. The central tunnel has been lowered to make up for the bulkiness of the powertrain, creating a level of second row space equivalent to that of a combustion GV70. The boot is of a comparable size too.

Market and Model

Genesis won't launch any further combustion cars after 2025 and will only sell EVs from 2030. With that in mind, you'd be surprised if demand for this full-electric GV70 variant didn't grow considerably over its lifetime. Even at pricing which we can expect to be pitched at around the £60,000 point. Still, it comes much better equipped than rivals for that.

Genesis doesn't have a network of UK dealerships. Instead, everything is done via so-called Genesis 'Studios' - which will be shopfronts in upmarket shopping centres. One has already been opened in London and others will follow. But you don't have to go to one of those. You simply connect with Genesis online, then you'll be allocated your own Genesis Personal Assistant who'll take you through the sales process, from test drive to delivery - and they'll deal with after-care as well. This Assistant isn't won't be salaried on commission as an ordinary car salesperson would be, so you won't get any hard sell.

Cost of Ownership

As we said in our 'Driving' section, the car gets twin electric motors powered by a 77.4kWh battery which, when fully charged, delivers a rather unremarkable 249 mile WLTP-rated driving range. As with all EVs from the Hyundai Motor Group, the powertrain here is underpinned by an 800 volt electric architecture, which means that unlike most of its rivals, the car can use ultra-fast 350kW chargers - such as those provided by IONITY. In the unlikely event you can find one of those, a 10-80% battery top-up will take just 18 minutes. A V2L feature is available to supply up to 3.6 kW of power from the battery pack to charge ancillary devices - say a drone or an electric scooter for instance; or even another EV.

Like every Genesis, this one will come covered by a generous 5 year Care Plan, which includes scheduled servicing for 5 years or 50,000 miles. With each service visit, Genesis will collect and return the car to your door. This also applies to any necessary work required, including warranty work. You simply contact your Genesis Personal Assistant to make it happen. Who can also arrange a courtesy car. Try asking for any of that to be included in the price from a rival premium brand model. The 5 year Care Plan also includes updates to in-car navigational maps. And there's complimentary subscription to Genesis Connected Services, which will allow you to access information services from your 'phone to digitally enhance your ownership experience.

Summary

The challenge for Genesis is going to be getting segment customers to register that this GV70 Electric model even exists. If it can do so and get them behind the wheel, there's scope for conquest business here for the brand.

This car can, after all, offer you right now the 800-volt ultra-rapid charging tech and 'Vehicle-to-Load' EV technology that won't appear in rivals until their next generation. It can also undercut them on price and give you more equipment. The smaller GV60 gave this brand's EV dreams some credence. And that gets underlined here.

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