It contends in one of Australia’s most popular car segments with the Mercedes-Benz EQC, BMW iX3 and Audi Q8 e-Tron, plus the larger BMW iX and upcoming Porsche Macan EV all vying in the premium electric SUV space. So, can the electric GV70 entice buyers from those established badges?
The Electrified GV70 is sold in a single flagship Performance AWD with Luxury Package variant in Australia, priced from $127,800 before on-road costs which includes the luxury car tax.
Our tester came with two no-cost options – the Adriatic Blue exterior colour mated to an Ocean Blue and Pine Green interior.View the full price and specs
EDITOR’S NOTE: The test vehicle was provided by Genesis Australia for a seven-day independent evaluation.
Electrified GV70 Design
The Genesis Electrified GV70 employs a unique bold exterior design fitting for the luxury SUV.
The brand’s sharp signature double-line LED head- and tail-lights (the latter especially wide), full-width rear spoiler brake light, chrome window surrounds that distinctly kinks (somewhat awkwardly) at the D-pillar, flying Genesis emblem wing creases at the bonnet, and slightly higher 174mm ground clearance all give a premium SUV impression often attributed to a Bentley.
This EV model exclusively comes with silver 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, a prominent closed-off G-matrix crest grille with a cleverly hidden charging port flap, and tweaked bumpers. It hides its zero-emissions credentials well with no shouty EV badges or flat plasticky alloys.
Additionally, the electric medium SUV has an impressive upmarket and SUV-like interior design fitting for its six-figure price tag, while not being bland by using some unique design touches.
The rugged-luxury SUV design theme continues, featuring Volvo XC40-esque matte white backlit door and centre console side panels that gives an intriguing three-dimensional effect of mountain or rocky layers.
The electric GV70’s interior adopts oblong shapes across the white panels, climate control, door handles and three-spoke perforated steering wheel, while a satin silver line consistently runs across the cabin from the rear to the front dashboard hiding the air vents and are complemented by double-line contrast stitching.
Our tester’s Ocean Blue and Pine Green interior looks more like a deep green in reality – but reinforces the rugged SUV nature. There’s Nappa leather seats, a soft suede headliner, and a high centre console divider which is further elevated on the driver’s side for the drive selector, infotainment dial and buttons.
Meanwhile, the 64-colour ambient lighting is deployed within the white mountain-type white door panels, outlines the perimeter of the centre console and climate control. The hues are subtle, but more noticeable than its Genesis GV60 and Electrified G80 counterparts.
However, the high quality metal-looking surfaces are still plastic, the overhead sunglasses holder looks nastier compared to the rest of the cabin, and the oblong climate control surrounds are in gloss black with several physical buttons housed under a single panel (instead of individual buttons as a sign of some cost-cutting).
Electrified GV70 Practicality
The electric GV70 has a 503-litre boot volume or 1678-litres when the rear seats are folded down, with a 22-litre frunk.
This means the EV version has a 39-litre smaller boot capacity than its combustion-engined twin, but there’s still plenty of space on offer with a carpeted floor, netted side pocket and handy fold-down release toggles for the rear row.
It’s also home to the interior vehicle-to-load (V2L) and 12-volt power plugs, and there’s some underfloor storage to house the included trickle charging cable. There’s even a dedicated slot to store the cargo blind and the boot floor locks into place with a satisfying click.
Unfortunately, the luxury electric family SUV doesn’t offer any bag hooks so items need to be secured under the luggage net and the first aid kit is weirdly velcroed on the side which looks like an afterthought.
Uniquely, the electric GV70’s 22-litre frunk is divided into four sections with the tyre inflation kit stored in the deepest area at the front. We haven’t seen this setup in any other Hyundai Motor Group EV and is a welcome addition given it uses a combustion engine platform.
The rear row provides adequate space for passengers. With a 2875mm wheelbase, it’s almost the same as the 20mm shorter Kia EV6 on paper which rides on a dedicated EV platform.
However, it doesn’t feel as spacious in reality with just enough legroom and good headroom. Legs can be perched up due to the higher floor storing the batteries, but passengers can stretch their feet underneath the front seats, and there’s a minimal centre floor hump.
All four doors cover the side sills to prevent dust getting onto your pants during ingress and egress, while there are two ISOFIX child seat anchor points on the outboard seats, three top tethers, and a fold-down armrest with cup holders.
Sadly, the electric GV70 SUV only uses the older style USB-A charging ports with only two at the back located down low at the centre console and the interior V2L plug is strangely out of reach in the boot, unlike the Kia Niro EV small SUV or Genesis GV60 crossover that has it below the rear row seats.
The panoramic sunroof provides natural light into the cabin and can be opened, unlike many Hyundai group electric cars; the centre crossbar doesn’t intrude on the view as much and the suede sunshade is thick to block UV rays. The rear windows are tinted and incorporate manually retractable sunshade blinds.
I also like the Genesis perks of rear row three-zone climate control operated via the physical buttons and dials at the back of the centre console (or remotely from the front), lock/unlock door switches, and an extra coat hook on the B-pillar.
Meanwhile, the front row has a felt-lined centre console storage and glovebox, grippy centre console cup holders and well-sized door pockets. However, the phone storage area that’s home to the Qi wireless charging pad and two USB-A ports is too small, especially with a cable connected for smartphone mirroring; you can’t even close the lid when it’s plugged-in. It is also a further reach for the driver as it’s on the lower passenger-side of the centre console.
While the high centre console suits the luxury SUV and encourages drivers to set a higher seating position, it won’t be comfortable for everyone’s stature.
The glovebox and V2L cover can be locked/unlocked by the physical key, yet there’s no easy button to pull it out from the key fob like most other cars. Genesis recommends using a flathead screwdriver and soft cloth to pry the proximity fob open in order to access the backup physical key. It’s the same story with the Electrified G80 sedan we tested and is a nuisance, especially if the key battery goes flat, though it’s still better than the GV60 EV crossover.
Electrified GV70 Technology
The electric Genesis SUV features a 14.5-inch widescreen infotainment, 12.3-inch driver’s instrument display, 12-inch head-up display, and a 6-inch climate control touchscreen.
The central screen is clear with a matte coating, is set back in the dashboard to be in the driver’s line of sight and can be operated by touch or via a rotary dial controller. Both input methods can navigate wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, but these touch-based user interfaces are less intuitive using the dial.
Instead, it’s more suited to the built-in software with a decent mapping system that includes augmented reality navigation, a nifty terrain mode app that shows animations of the GV70’s live wheel and body articulation angles, and a classy home screen that changes its wallpaper every time you turn on the vehicle.
Thanks to the ultrawide 32:9 screen ratio, you can always show side widgets like the remaining battery percentage or built-in navigation directions, even when using the 360-degree camera view or smartphone projection. It also has a fingerprint scanner, but is limited to just unlocking individual driver profile settings every time you get in the car and wasn’t as reliable at recognising my finger so I just disabled it.
Down below is a dedicated climate control display unit surrounded by the gloss black oblong motif. Thankfully, it boasts haptic vibration feedback and is complemented by physical dials and buttons, but the touch targets are somewhat small to operate while driving.
Furthermore, the digital driver display adopts a dark, minimalistic theme with analogue dials fitting for the luxury brand. It has a three-dimensional function which places some elements more prominently for the driver, but is gratuitous. Meanwhile, the head-up display projects legible speed and safety assist info onto the windscreen.
While its mainstream Hyundai and Kia brands are starting to roll out internet connectivity and remote mobile apps, it remains unavailable for all Genesis cars in Australia.
The 14-speaker Lexicon by Harman sound system is a 1050-watt unit and performs well, on par to the 20-speaker setup in the Electrified G80 sedan (at least for my non-audiophile ears).
Electrified GV70 Safety Assist
The electric GV70 family SUV includes the full suite of active safety assistance systems as standard, including auto emergency braking (AEB) with car/pedestrian/cyclist/junction turning detection; rear AEB; blind-spot assist; rear cross-traffic avoidance assist; lane centring assist; adaptive cruise control; forward attention warning using facial recognition; safe exit assist; rear occupant warning; and more detailed here.
The adaptive cruise control system works well in combination with lane centring assist at keeping to the set speed and a safe distance to the vehicle in front, but can detect cars too late (or not at all) if they’re on a crest or slight turn.
Moreover, the 360-degree and blind spot camera views are essential to manoeuvre this bold and high luxury SUV. The quality is slightly grainier than newer Hyundai group electric cars like the Genesis GV60 or Hyundai Ioniq 5, but still legible.
The electric GV70 also has adaptive matrix LED headlights with auto high beam to avoid glaring other drivers. The LEDs are bright and have good reach and spread at night.
Electrified GV70 Range and Charging
The Genesis Electrified GV70 houses a 74kWh usable battery pack with the ability to charge at up to 10.5kW AC and 350kW DC speeds using a more advanced 800-volt class architecture.
In zecar’s real-world charging test, it recharged from 12 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes on a 350kW DC ultra rapid station – in line with Genesis’ claim.
With the active battery preconditioning enabled by setting the public charger as the destination in the built-in navigation, the session peaked at 233kW but gradually throttled down after the 50 per cent mark.
The electric GV70 SUV uses the standard Type 2/CCS2 connector type and the charging flap is secretly hidden at the front-left side of the diamond crest grille, with only a ‘G’ letter suggesting where to pop it open. That’s unlike cheaper small electric SUVs like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and MG ZS EV which have clearly visible front charging port lids.
Genesis claims its South Korean luxury family SUV has a driving range of 445km and energy consumption of 199Wh/km on the WLTP testing cycle.
We achieved a real-world range of 381km based on the electric GV70 showing an energy consumption of 194Wh/km from a mix of urban and highway driving after seven days.
It’s a slightly higher figure than we expect from the South Korean automaker’s EVs – and we even saw it hover above 200Wh/km earlier in the week – but it’s likely due to the luxury SUV’s ludicrous performance figures and some acceleration punches.
The Electrified GV70 also includes a heat pump as standard to improve energy efficiency, but is more useful in extreme low temperatures (a rarity in Australia).
The Genesis electric car features vehicle-to-load (V2L) via the interior three-pin plug at the boot or the exterior Type 2 charging port using an included adapter. Though, the former requires the physical key to unlock the cover which isn’t easy to access.
As per all Genesis EVs, the electric GV70 comes with a choice of a free five-year unlimited subscription to the state motoring club-owned Chargefox AC and DC network or a free 7.2kW AC single phase home wall box charger with standard installation fees. These charging inclusions help recoup the extra price premium quicker for going zero tailpipe emissions.
Electrified GV70 Driving
The Genesis electric SUV packs dual electric motors making a whopping 360kW of power and 700Nm of torque combined when boost mode is activated (320kW/605Nm without). The 2.3-tonne EV accelerates from 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.2 seconds in boost.
The Electrified GV70 lives up to the luxury badge with a comfortable suspension tune which primes itself before hitting a road bump or pothole and suppressed outside noises thanks in part to the active noise cancellation array, but doesn’t completely block out sounds like you’d expect from wireless earbuds.
It does feel heavy to drive, especially around corners due to the large battery pack, even though it’s only 272kg heavier than the equivalent petrol-engined GV70 with its flagship 3.5-litre six-cylinder turbo engine.
Despite this, it’s offset by its strong performance that you wouldn’t expect from an ostensibly posh luxury SUV. Boost mode is toggled via a steering wheel button and ‘only’ lasts for 10 seconds – but you won’t need it for that long to keep it under legal speed limits on public roads.
Is it necessary? No, not for most school runs – and you’ll seriously need to be a careful driver with a firm grip on the wheel – but it’s certainly exhilarating. The electric GV70 has incredible – and uncomfortable – torque pull that gives sporty-looking EVs like the Kia EV6 GT-Line and Porsche Taycan 4S a run for their money. However, despite the all-wheel drive powertrain, it tends to slip the wheels when accelerating from a standstill in boost mode.
In addition to usual eco, comfort and sport driving modes, it also features SUV-themed terrain modes for driving on snow, sand and mud surfaces. Although you likely wouldn’t want to subject the electric GV70 to heavy off-roading, it is nice-to-know that these modes and hill descent control are available.
Like the Genesis GV60 EV, it boasts three artificial driving sounds – futuristic, S-engine and e-motor. Owners can toggle its response rate and volume with it intensifying when sport or boost mode is activated. Thankfully, you can turn it off as it doesn’t sound realistic nor offer the same driving sensations as a pure combustion engine.
The electric GV70 has good all-round visibility with the awkward D-pillar at the back enabling a small window to see blind spots. Its 11.5-metre turning circle is decent and the 360-degree camera system is essential to navigate the bold medium SUV in narrow car parks.
However, I often mistook the infotainment dial for the drive selector as they’re both similarly shaped and placed too closely next to each other on the centre console.
As per all newer Hyundai group EVs, it has three regenerative braking levels with an auto setting and i-Pedal for one-pedal driving. But, the brake lights need to turn on earlier while recuperating and it also doesn't keep the brake lights on while at a stop.
Genesis includes a five-year, unlimited kilometre vehicle warranty and an eight-year battery warranty, with five-years of free servicing included for new owners.
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 Verdict
8.4 out of 10
💰Value for money: 8.5
📱Tech and safety: 8.5
📏Size and practicality: 8.0
⏱️Driving and performance: 8.5
🔌Range and charging: 8.0
🛠️Warranty and running costs: 9.0
It’s difficult to fault the Genesis Electrified GV70.
The electric luxury medium SUV has a unique design, premium exterior and interior, good practicality and strong performance that isn’t expected from its looks.
No, it doesn’t offer the same interior space as a dedicated EV platform, the high centre console and closely placed dials aren’t as ergonomic, and the punchy electric motors compromise on energy efficiency.
It also isn’t as price competitive compared to its electric competition including the Mercedes-Benz EQC, BMW iX3 and Audi Q8 e-Tron, not to mention a whopping $43,200 more expensive than the petrol-powered Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport twin.
But, the electric GV70 stands out with a unique badge, free servicing and free charging inclusions that betters its conventional German rivals. Of the Genesis EV trio, this is most compelling.
Figures by Danny Thai
Photographs by Henry Man
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