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Genesis GV70 review

With its new GV70, Genesis wants a piece of the SUV pie currently being feasted on by the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and Jaguar F-Pace, to name a few from this bustling class. Demand for these mid-sized SUVs continues to skyrocket the world over, including in the UK, where Genesis is still a new brand. As a premium sibling to Hyundai, Genesis is already popular in America. It’s hoping models like the GV70 will help it crack Europe with excellent value and high-grade kit. With prices starting from under £40k, it certainly looks strong…

Design

When it comes to the GV70’s design, we think this SUV could very well be a class champion. Sure, it’s not as overtly butch as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, nor is it quite as elegant as Jaguar’s F-Pace or as sporting as Porsche’s Macan. But the exterior design seems to portray its poshness (more on that shortly) without too much chintz. It’s mature, yet also modern, with super slim lighting helping to ensure the latter.

There’s an understated muscularity to the GV70

What’s it like to drive?

With either a 2.2-litre diesel engine or a 2.5-litre petrol under the bonnet, the GV70 has plenty of turbocharged power in both current forms. But it’s also quite thirsty, with the diesel capable of a respectable but not exactly mind-bending 40 miles per gallon (mpg) on a run, while the petrol offers 30mpg on a cruise. Enter the city and the 2.5 model can quickly halve that figure. An all-electric version of the GV70 is due, however, so those wanting a more eco-conscious SUV will be offered one.

That being said, when it comes to muscle and performance, it’s hard to argue with the grunt offered by the 207hp diesel or 304hp petrol. The GV70 is a big car but it charges along no matter the setting, doing a good job of ironing out the road imperfections below thanks to clever suspension technology. Using cameras mounted on the nose, the GV70 can ‘see’ cracks and potholes ahead, slackening its electronically controlled suspension when necessary to help smooth them out. It’s not sporty, but it is brilliantly comfortable.

Using cameras mounted on the nose, the GV70 can ‘see’ cracks and potholes ahead

Interior

This comfort-first ethos carries into the GV70’s interior, which is fantastically lavish despite this car costing from just under £40,000 when new. Tick a few options boxes – and build up a spec equivalent to the car in our GV70 review video – and you’ll quickly click over £50k, but in doing so you’ll have an SUV with soft leather seats, massage functions and a general poshness not normally seen in cars that cost less than seventy grand. Best of all, the interior design – including its digital tech, complete with Apple Carplay/Android Auto– are all beautifully finished.

Practicality

The interior space is generous, if not class leading. Front passengers are given loads of adjustment options for the seats, while rear passengers on the three-seat back bench can set their seats upright or more laid back. They even get rear climate control and lots of leg and head room. And that’s not at the compromise of boot space, because the GV70 can easily swallow a trio of suitcases for the family getaway, and more – especially if you fold down one or more of the back seats.

The GV70 can easily swallow a trio of suitcases for the family getaway

Reliability and running costs

It’s too early in the GV70’s life to comment on its reliability, although being part of Hyundai won’t do it any harm, because that brand has made a name for itself when it comes to build quality. Also, the relative simplicity of the petrol and diesel powertrains – which don’t get hybrid tech like some rivals – means there’s less to go wrong.

It also means fuel costs will be higher than the class average, which may prove significant if you’re the sort of SUV driver that does lots of miles each month. But key to the GV70’s appeal is its lower-than-average list price, with rivals not managing to offer so much plushness for your pounds. Even with some options added to push the GV70 over £50k, it feels like tremendous value for money, so you might be able to ‘subtract’ that from the overall running costs in justifying your choice.

What cinch loves

The GV70 pampers you on a long journey with its comfortable ride and effortless performance, and – especially if your car has optional massage seats – its fantastic seats. All passengers will be happy aboard the GV70, and they’re unlikely to get bored of its lovely cabin design. Catch its reflection in a shop window and the aesthetic treats continue.

The GV70 pampers you on a long journey with its comfortable ride

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Perfect for

Families

Active lifestyle

Luxury drivers

Verdict

Good

The Genesis GV70 isn’t quite perfect, but it’s excellent value for money and arguably more comparable with posh models worth £20k more when it comes to poshness. If you’re looking for a leftfield choice with a focus on luxury in a class dominated by BMW’s X3 and Audi’s Q5, then look no further.

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