2022-Genesis-GV70

2022 Genesis GV70

The Good:
– Excellent styling in and out
– Powerful and responsive
– Ride and handling
The Bad:
– Average rear legroom
– Few ergonomics issues
– Some over-styled plastic trim

Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury arm that was minted less than a decade ago, had been struggling to establish an identity like Mercedes-Benz, BMW et al, especially since the Germans had a century head start. It’s only with their recent crop of redesigned cars that the Korean brand seems to have finally found their groove, and the GV70 is a culmination of all their efforts, and quite possibly their most desirable model.

The GV70 technically competes with compact premium crossovers such as the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK, but it looks far sleeker in terms of design. The new-found corporate is further refined, with the double-stripe headlights and tail lights as well as uniquely intricate wheels, a swept-back profile and tasteful chrome garnishes, especially in the mesh grille that evoke comparisons to Bentley — a good thing in this case. The only misstep may be the faux grille patterns on the plastic rear-bumper valance. And the front number-plate location does the design no favours.

Inside, the material finish is excellent, better than most other second-tier premium brands from Japan, Great Britain and the United States. The stitched-leatherette surfaces have a premium texture and amply used, while the design details are intricate and appropriately flashy without being gaudy.

While front passengers will be very content, there is enough space in the back seats for 6-foot tall passengers, although that may reduce if the front passengers are overly tall as well. There is no shortage of storage cubbies and cup-holders. Cargo volume is more than enough for a compact SUV, although about average in this class. The rear seats can 60/40 split-fold down to carry large items.

The cabin features haptic-touch HVAC controls and a responsive 14.5-inch touchscreen, the latter also controlled via a rotary knob in the centre console, just above the crystal-finish rotary gear-selector. We have to question the use of two rotary selectors in a row, which may be confusing for valet guys and new drivers if they are not paying attention. Other details include elegant roller-style stereo controls near the drive-mode selector.

Besides the large touchscreen, the 2022 Genesis GV70 incorporates several tech features, such as the available 12.3-inch 3D digital cluster that uses infrared cameras to track eye movement and display information via amazing 3D images. A 12.0-inch heads-up display shows speed, blind-spot info and navigation directions. The tri-zone auto a/c is competent at summer temperatures, the optional Lexicon 15-speaker audio is banging, and the wireless charging pad is convenient. It also has a full set of safety features, such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, 360-degree cameras, unique blind-spot cameras with in-gauge displays, and all the airbags you may need.

Powered by a 3.5-litre turbo V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive, the GV70 is a quick car, as we cut short the 0-100 kph run in just 5.8 seconds on an August afternoon in Dubai. With 378 hp on tap at 5800 rpm rpm and 530 Nm of torque from just 1800 rpm, there is never any shortage of power for overtaking at highway speeds or for general fun on compelling roads.

Coming back to our “Royal Sport” test car, the strong V6 motor has almost no turbo lag, and combined with great throttle response and an able gearbox, the GV70 offers a more connected driving feel than the equivalent Mercedes-Benz or Range Rover, although BMW and Porsche will give our upstart a run for their money.

Our as-tested fuel economy is on the high side, at 16.1 litres/100 km (6.2 litres/km). There is also a 300 hp 2.5-litre turbo four that should be more than enough for most buyers. An electrified version may come later.

The most impressive part is when you dive into the corners. The GV70 displays controlled manners, with the chassis feeling planted despite its crossover proportions. The rear-biased all-wheel drive combined with the top model’s electronic limited-slip differential gives the GV70 pretty much sports-sedan handling, capable of feeding up to 100 percent of torque to the rear axle, or even to a single wheel if needed.

Sport models offer a Sport+ drive mode along with a launch control function, all of which feel appropriate given the GV70’s capabilities. Of course, there are mud and sand modes as well, but the GV70 is no off-roader. You can take it on hard-ground trails and roadside picnics, but beyond that is risky unless you know what you’re doing.

The ride is very quiet and smooth, given the super low-profile tyres. Credit goes to the adaptive suspension that top trims get, with a road preview function that uses front cameras to read the surface ahead and modify the damping. It won’t work wonders on very rough roads, but it does great on most Dubai streets.

The Genesis GV70 is a world-class entry in the crowded entry-level premium space, but it could easily be the top dog if the vehicles got the exposure they deserve with the affluent car-buying set. When playing in the big leagues, brand values matter, and without a dedicated “experience” to go with the car, Genesis has a long way to go before it moves out of Hyundai’s shadow. But it’s still going on our Recommended List.

Price Range:
Dh 220,000-225,000

Current Model Introduced in:
2021

Body Styles:
5-door wagon

Engines:
3.5L 378 hp V6 turbo / 530 Nm

Transmissions:
8-speed automatic

Setup:
All-wheel-drive

Suspension:
Front: independent
Rear: independent

Brakes:
Front: discs
Rear: discs

Curb Weight:
1930 kg

Length:
4715 mm

Wheelbase:
2875 mm

Top Speed:
250 kph (limited)

Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
5.8 sec.

Observed Test Fuel Economy:
16.1 litres/100km

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