2023 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Review

The thing with arriving late to a party is that you will need to pull off all sorts of tricks to get noticed. When the party is the mid-size luxury SUV segment, bring two times the tricks.

Facing off against a slew of established players, newcomer Genesis GV70 has no shortage of party tricks. It knows the competition set is tough and the segment is hot, with names like the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMX X3, Audi Q5 and Lexus NX fighting to get into the heads of buyers in this space. Is there anymore room for another entrant?

For something that looks as sexy and suave as the GV70, we think so. Here’s an entrant from South Korea going up against traditional German and Japanese rivals, with a blank sheet to start off and no heritage guidelines to restrict. Creativity is allowed to run wild and the result is quite spectacular.

One look at the GV70 and is clear the designers had a main focus in mind – to create an identity and a strong presence that is unique to the model. They achieved this by giving the GV70 the ‘Genesis look’ – two lines of the quad lamps circumventing all sides of the vehicle, with the indicator light bar neatly integrated within, mixed in with that bold signature ‘Crest Grille’ and the sweeping roof line.

The base design is cool, but when further dressed up with big 21-inch wheels and a matte grey exterior paintwork like how it’s spec’ed up on our test vehicle, the effect is simply stunning. It’s bold. It’s sophisticated. It’s expensive.

As a first attempt at the medium luxury crossover, that’s a pretty remarkable effort from Hyundai’s luxury spin-off. If we were being picky, it would be that the standalone rear quarter window at first looked a little odd, but we did gradually warmed up to it.

The interior is an absolute knock out. Such luxurious and high quality is the cabin that it feels way more expensive than the GV70’s asking price of between $70k and $127k – which is not cheap to begin with. The ambiance mixes lux with contemporary and the designers have done such a great job. It exudes class, sophistication and quality that none of its rivals can match. The materials used throughout the cabin are top shelve stuff and every knob and button gives such lovely tactical feedback.

While it’s not as much of a tech feast as some European rivals, the tech on display is still pretty up-to-date. The standard instrumentation cluster combines a conventional analogue gauge with a LCD display, with the optional Luxury Package offering a super cool 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster that gives a sense of depth to the virtual gauges.

Elsewhere, the 12.0-inch coloured Head-Up Display (HUD) is massive but we wish there was an option to hide the lane trace assist indication to minimise clutter. It also fades out too much behind polarised lenses, making readability difficult.

Central to the dashboard is a 14.5-inch widescreen infotainment display that can either be operated by touch or a remote control in the centre console. While the screen itself is superbly sharp and very responsive to the touch, the controls can do with a lot more improvement. Because the control combines a rotary dial, arrow buttons and a round touchpad all into one, it is confusing to use. It needs to be simplified.

Other tech standard in all GV70 variants include wireless (Qi standard) smartphone charging, 12-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, a panorama sunroof, DAB+ digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a 9-speaker audio system.

Our tester is the top-spec GV70 3.5T AWD Sport with the Luxury Package option. With that it comes loaded with a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, massage function for the driver’s seat, heated second-row seats and heated steering wheel.

Also part of the Lux Pack are the Nappa leather appointed seats with quilted stitching, complimented with dark suede headlining. The seats not only look good, but they are also very comfortable and supportive. The rear bench can accomodate two adults plus a child comfortably. Sitting three adults will be a bit of a squeeze. While head and leg room is fine, there is quite a large transmission hump which the centre passenger will have to put up with.

Cargo capacity with the rear seats up is 542 litres which is about average for this class of vehicle. Fold the rear seats and the space expands to 1687 litres.

The range of powertrains on offer includes a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol rated at 224kW and 422Nm, a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel producing 154kW and 440Nm, and a high performance 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol developing 279kW and 530Nm as found in our 3.5T AWD Sport tester. All engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The line-up has just recently seen the addition of a full electric variant that features a twin motor all-wheel-drive set up packing 360kW and 700Nm.

The twin-turbo 3.5L V6 is silky smooth with strong and linear power delivery right across the rev range. And it loves to revs. The sprint from 0 to 100km/h is rated at 5.1 seconds but it feels faster than that, mainly because of the enthusiastic soundtrack that accompanies a wide open throttle.

Despite weighing around two tonnes, this thing pulls like no body’s business. There seems to be an endless of wave of torque that will take you deep into three digit speeds and well pass the legal highway speed limit in a very short time. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

If you do have a heavy right foot, be wary of the fuel gauge, too. The turbo V6 is a heavy drinker and frequent belting will see fuel consumption hovers around 16L/100km. Even driven sedately don’t expect the figure to drop below 10L/100km. Never happens and not even with lots of freeway driving.

Unlike its big brother the GV80 which is tuned more toward grand touring than sports, the GV70 – especially in the 3.5T AWD Sport trim – feels rather well balanced. The ride is not to say the plushes but it’s certainly compliant enough for our average roads, and the dynamics are pretty good as well. It feels tidy and composed around the bends. Yes, that heft is a constant company but the direct steering masks a lot of it out. The rigid chassis also gives a good feel of the road.

The cabin is very well insulated from road and wind noise, and the opulent cabin is a great place to be in for eating up the miles. The engine is muted on cruise, too.

It’s important to mention after sales service in a Genesis review because it’s one of the best in the business. All Genesis models come with free scheduled servicing for the first 5 years or 50,000km (70,000km for diesel), and one the segment’s longest warranty period at 5 years and unlimited kilometres.

On top of that, the Genesis Concierge Service will arrange for the pickup and delivery of your GV70 when it is due for scheduled maintenance or warranty services. While your car is serviced, a Genesis courtesy vehicle is left at your disposal.

For extra peace of mind, owners are also enrolled in a complimentary 5-Year 24/7 Roadside Assistance program.

Verdict

Design & Comfort

8.5/10

Performance & Handling

8.5/10

Quality

8.5/10

Economy

7.0/10

Equipment & Features

8.0/10

OUR SCORE

4.1/5

Our Score: 4.1/5

+ Plus

  • Bold looks
  • Great ride and handling balance
  • Strong turbo V6 performance
  • Attractive value and ownership proposition

Minus

  • Small dealership network
  • Fiddly infotainment remote control
  • Thirsty

Overall

At $84,600 plus on-road costs, the Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport can almost be considered a bargain. For that money, you get a stonking twin-turbo V6 and a splendid interior. Be prepared to pay well over $100k for any of its European competitors of similar specs.

Brand heritage, or the lack of, and a small dealership network may be the two biggest concerns for any potential Genesis buyer, but look past that and there’s certainly many factors to justify taking the plunge.

2023 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport pricing and specification

Price (Excl. on-road costs):From: $84,600

As tested: $93,200

Tested option:

Luxury Package – $6,600

Matte Paint – $2,000

Warranty:5 years/unlimited kilometers
Warranty Customer Service:5 years roadside assist
Country of Origin:South Korea
Service Intervals:12 months/10,000km
Engine:3,5-litre twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 petrol:

279kW @ 5800rpm, 530Nm @ 1300-4500rpm

Transmission:8-speed automatic
Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
Power to Weight Ratio (W/kg):136.9
0-100km/h (seconds):Claimed: 5.1
Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):Claimed: 11.3 / Tested: 12.7
RON Rating:95
Fuel Capacity (L):66
Body:5-door SUV, 5 seats
Safety:
  • 5-star ANCAP
  • 8 airbags
  • ABS, BA, EBD, ESC
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane-Keep Assist System
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Emergency Brake Assist
  • Emergency Stop Signal
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Driver Attention Alert
  • Traffic Sign Display
  • 360 degree rear view camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ISOFIX
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:4,715/1,910/1,630/2,875
Turning Circle Between Kerbs:11.5
Ground Clearance:185
Tare Mass (kg):2,038
Boot Space (L):542
Towing Capacity (kg):Braked: 2,200/Unbraked: 750
Entertainment:
  • 14.5-inch colour touchscreen
  • 1050W Lexicon by Harman 16-speaker audio system
  • Satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic
  • AM/FM/DAB+
  • Bluetooth
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • USB
  • AUX
  • iPod

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