The Genesis GV70 is a high-spec and spacious family SUV from the luxury car company Genesis (the upmarket off-shoot of Hyundai). The Genesis brand has been around for years, but the latest generation cars have truly seen the marque come into its own, both in terms of its identity, and the sheer quality of product. As such it’s almost a given that a new GV70 is perfect for a family that likes a bit of opulence.
But what about the same family that’s decided it wants to go electric? Genesis has introduced the GV70 Electrified, which is a pure electric version. From the outside though, you wouldn’t be able to tell. There isn’t even a badge on this car that indicates this is the electric version.
The charging point is hidden by a virtually undetectable door in the grille and frankly the only giveaway is if you squat down at the back and notice that there are no exhaust outlets. Whereas most electric cars like to make a big song and dance, whether it’s flapping their doors, copying the styling of a space pod, or starting to chat at you as soon as you get in, the GV70 takes the opposite tact.
In fact, it would not come as a surprise at all, if say a driver was lent this car, and proceeded to drive it for some time, before pulling up at a petrol station and realising there was nowhere to stick the nozzle! The regular car would be refined and quiet enough to be unobtrusive, so the serenity of movement in this EV, would not be shocker for the driver, and most jumping on board would most likely fire up the excellent sound system anyway.
Let’s back up a little though, as we have got a little ahead of ourselves. The SUV remains handsome and striking at the same time, and the only curiosity it will engender is as to who made the car, as there still remains some unfamiliarity with the Genesis brand particularly in the UK market. However it’s a positive curiosity, thanks to substantial presence and roadside appeal. If there is a compromise in practicality due to the EV conversion, it’s not apparent. The rear cargo space is plentiful with 503 litres of cargo capacity rising to nearly 1700 litres with the seats down.
Put the rear seats back up and get in, and you’ll find a very welcoming cabin with great knee and legroom, not a particularly excessive high floor, and good head and elbowroom. From the impressive upholstery to the sculpted design of the door cards, there will be little if any complaints from passengers.
Upfront, you’re greeted with beautifully finished switchgear with finely knurled tactile surfaces around some of the door buttons and in particular the gear selector knob. It’s all wonderfully presented and largely intuitive, plus a massive centre screen provides easy access to the multitude of on-board features. One of the most visually appealing instrument panels sits directly in front of the driver, with a sense of digital depth that gives a 3D feel to the information readout.
Driving modes include several for off-roading as well as three for on-road which are of course ECO, Comfort and Sport. Be weary of the discreet ‘Boost’ button at the bottom of the steering wheel, and deploy carefully, as it unleashes extra power for furious acceleration available for a period of 10 seconds.
As standard there is 490bhp. The torque is deployed through all four wheels giving it a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 146mph. There is a 77.4kWh battery, and claimed range is 283 miles, although I saw an indicated 150 miles with around 75% charge.
Having said that, it barely diminished during about half an hour of driving, including hard acceleration runs, with charge being recouped thanks to a one-pedal drive mode and smart regenerative braking – the level of which can be altered through the paddleshifts on the steering column.
Noise cancelation further enhances the perceived silence, although there does appear to be an artificial sound to accompany acceleration. In sports mode the seat bolsters tighten and the car generally feels more urgent. The reality is you’ll rarely drive it like this, as this is a big comfy family car.
You sit high, with a commanding view ahead and visibility all-round isn’t bad thanks to rear C-pillar windows, and of course the 360 degrees and birds-eye-view camera, that actually stays on even at higher speeds. The ride manages to avoid, to quite some extent, the rigid feel of cars typically converted to electric, and soaks up the surface well.
Neither you, nor your passengers, should have any complaint with the electric version of the GV70, and if you’re wondering whether to choose between this and the petrol version, frankly if you’re able to charge at home, this is the one to go for. How much though? Prices start from about £64,000.