It’s still not a household name, certainly in motoring circles, but Genesis is the luxury
sub-brand of Hyundai in the same way as Lexus is to Toyota.

Like Lexus before it, Genesis marketers see the brand as a competitor against the
upmarket German marques. Despite the major impact Korean cars have had in
recent years, that’s unlikely to happen to Genesis any time in the immediate future.
Then again, Hyundai has surprised us before – so who knows?

The current Genesis range comprises two sedans (G70 and G80) and three SUVs
(GV60, GV70 and GV80) and includes petrol, diesel and electric powertrains as well
as two- and all-wheel drive in the SUVs.

GV70, the subject of this test, covers all bases with the choice of 2.5- and 3.5-litre
turbocharged petrol engines, 2.2-litre turbo-diesel and pure electric. The entry-level
2.5T comes with either rear or all-wheel drive. All other variants are AWD only.

We’re checking out what is likely to be the volume seller – the 2.5GT AWD, together
with the optional Luxury Sport Line package and eye-catching Brunswick Green
matte paint.

GV70 is one of the most attractive vehicles that we’ve ever driven, one that drew
positive comments wherever we went. The lines are SUV but without the boxiness or
semi-coupe look that many competitors have adopted.

The large mesh-filled grille follows the Genesis family pattern, with the number plate
attached inside the grille. The Genesis badge, which does have an uncanny
resemblance to that of Aston Martin, sits at the front of the bonnet.

The split horizontal front and tail lights are another Genesis feature and broaden the
vehicle’s front appearance.

A panoramic sunroof with tilt and slide panel and powered blind is standard across
the range.

The Sport Line Package adds 21-inch five-spoke G-matrix alloy wheels, sporty front
and rear bumpers, gloss black sport radiator grille, front skid plate, roof rails and dark
chrome for the grille surround and window frame trims.

Others will no doubt love the G-matrix wheels but we found them a bit gaudy for the
otherwise elegant looks of the car.

Genesis GV70 offers 10 exterior colours, including three matte lines that add $2000,
seven interior colours and four trim inserts – to let buyers express individual

There’s a real premium look to the interior of the GV70 Luxury Sport Line tested with
Nappa leather and suede appointed quilted sport seats, suede headlining and pillars,
a sports steering wheel, alloy pedals and aluminium trim.

There are sport gauges for oil temperature, torque and turbo boost to let the driver
extract the best from the engine.

Rear seat space is pretty good, with buttons that allow occupants to adjust the front
seats as well as air conditioning controls.

Rear storage space is 542 litres with the rear seatbacks in place, expanding to 1678
litres when they are folded. A space saver spare wheel is under the boot floor and
there’s also a clever roadside safety kit with a range of items to help in an
emergency – such as gloves, hi-vis vest, towel etc.

Genesis GV70 comes with a choice of four drivetrain, starting with the 2.5T with a
2.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder with 224kW of power and 422Nm of torque paired
with an eight-speed torque converter automatic that drives either the rear wheels or
an electronically controlled AWD system.

Flagship GV70 3.5T has a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 with 279kW and 530Nm
mated with the same transmission and AWD,

GV70 2.2D has a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel that produces 154kW of power
and 440Nm of torque. It uses an electronically controlled AWD system.

The most recent addition is the GV70 EV, the first-ever fully electric vehicle from
Genesis. Our Queensland team is currently testing it and we’ll bring you their review
in the near future.

Every GV70 model comes with a comprehensive list of safety equipment, starting
with eight airbags, including one between the front seats to prevent serious injury
due to potential driver and passenger contact.

Among other features are blind spot monitoring and collision avoidance, forward
collision avoidance with cars, pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert
and collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, smart cruise control, 360-degree
surround view monitor, front and rear parking sensors and safe exit assist.

The standout feature at the front of the GV70’s cabin is the 14.5-inch touchscreen. It
certainly looks spectacular although the combination of extra width and low height
mean that functions on the left of the screen require too much of a stretch even for a
tall driver.

Also, the shape of the screen compresses the satellite navigation view more than is

There’s a 12.3-inch colour screen in front of the driver with a digital instrument
cluster. A camera is activated either side of the screen each time the turn indicator is

Bluetooth provides two connections, one phone/audio, the other just for audio, with
USB ports on the front and rear centre consoles. There’s wireless (Qi standard)
smartphone charging, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – both wired.

If you need relaxing there’s a Sounds of Nature feature with a choice of six pre-set
sounds. Our favourites were twittering birds and ocean waves. Not sure about the
soothing effect of the roaring fire though.

Audio comes from a nine-speaker Genesis sound system with an external digital
amplifier. The 3.5T gets a premium 16-speaker Lexicon by Harmon unit.

GV70 is quite a large and heavy vehicle, but doesn’t feel like it when cruising on the
motorway where it’s smooth, comfortable and quiet thanks to extra insulation. When
pushed along the feeling and sound from the turbo engine is akin to that of a decent-
sized six-cylinder unit.

Out on the open road GV70 is well-balanced and corners better than expected for an
SUV. It’s not a sports machine but comes closer than many others in the class that
we have tested.

There are five drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Custom), and three
Terrain modes (Snow, Mud and Sand). So, plenty to play with here.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is reasonably quick to respond with shift
paddles on hand if needed.

Fuel consumption on short trips was well above the listed figure of 10.3 litres per 100
kilometres but dropped noticeably, to around 8.5 L/100 km in motorway cruising.

This is the first time that we’ve driven a Genesis SUV and we could not have been
more surprised and impressed by the GV70. It’s beautifully crafted, both inside and
out, well-equipped, enjoyable to drive and, with prices starting from just under $70k,
excellent value compared with its more-established competitors.

Dedicated owners of vehicles from the three big-name German brands will no doubt
scoff at the arrival of Genesis nee Hyundai, much as they did when Lexus emerged
from the shadow of Toyota nearly 30 years ago.

However, for anyone willing to think outside the square, we’d suggest the Genesis
GV70 is well worth checking out.

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 9/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10


GV70 2.5T petrol 2WD: $68,500
GV70 2.5T petrol AWD: $70,900
GV70 3.5T Sport petrol AWD: $84,600
GV70 2.2D diesel AWD: $73,200
GV70 EV Performance AWD: $127,800
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Genesis dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Genesis GV70 2.5-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)

Capacity: 2.497 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 224 kW @ 5800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 422 Nm @ 1650 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 10.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 235 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic

Length: 4715 mm
Wheelbase: 2875 mm
Width: 1910 mm
Height: 1630 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 1973 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 66 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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