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[Behind the Wheel] Genesis G70 lives up to expectations

The Genesis’ second SUV offers fine driving performance and good designs

Genesis GV70 (Hyundai Motor Group)
Genesis GV70 (Hyundai Motor Group)

Expectations were high for Genesis’ second compact luxury sports utility GV70.

When the car was unveiled online in early December, the website temporarily went down as consumers flocked to check out the mid-sized successor to the brand’s first SUV, GV80, launched here in January to rave reviews and strong sales.

It turned out Hyundai Motor, the Korean carmaker behind the Genesis brand, has done quite well in meeting those expectations. The GV70 offers a fine driving experience and looks good.

The Korea Herald took the GV70 3.5 Turbo gasoline engine, for a round-trip test-drive of about 100 kilometers from Hanam to Gapyeong in Gyeonggi Province, on Dec. 15.

The GV70 carries the distinctive sportiness of the luxury marque, or “athletic elegance,” as the automaker puts it. 

The crest grille that is projected before the twin-lined quad lamps makes a bold first impression, and the coupe-like roofline and the arching parabolic line crossing both sides of the car gives it a sporty edge.

The GV70 is slightly smaller than the GV80, with the overall length at 4,715 millimeters, width at 1,910 mm, the height at 1,630 mm, and the wheel base at 2,875 mm. In terms of size, it is similar to its competitors, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

The interior space in the front row seat and the cargo capacity of GV70 appeared to be generous, but the legroom in the second row may be slightly cramped for some.

Starting the car, the 14.5-inch touch screen turned on and the voice assistant gave a greeting and information about of the day’s weather.

While the infotainment system is the same as the one already seen in the GV80, the voice recognition service based on technology from Kakao, a South Korean information technology company, has been improved, and offers related graphic-information on the screen as an addition.

For drivers who are looking for a new car in the compact luxury SUV segment, the Genesis GV70 could be a competitive choice against its aged foreign rivals in the segment, not only for its fresh design, but also for the fair performance. 

Genesis GV70 (Hyundai Motor Group)
Genesis GV70 (Hyundai Motor Group)

On the highway, the GV70 equipped with 3.5 Turbo gasoline engine glides past other vehicles on road, with great throttle response and responsive brakes. According to the automaker, GV70’s acceleration for 0-100 kilometers per hour is 5.1 seconds.

The 3.5 turbo model exerts up to 380 horsepower and a maximum torque of 54 kilogram-meters, while the 2.5 turbo gasoline model offers up to 304 horsepower and a maximum torque of 43 kg-m.

The advanced driving assistance system worked nicely, and the Highway Driving Assist Level 2 proved to save energy for the driver, automatically keeping the car in lane and maintaining a good speed.

Driving on the winding roads of the mountainous region, parts of which were covered in snow, the GV70 offered a smooth and balanced riding and handling experience.

The GV70 offers four driving modes, Eco, Comfort, Custom and Sport, but the difference between them was less than dramatic. For drivers wanting a more dynamic driving experience with bigger engine sounds and suspension, there is a 3.93 million-won Sport Package.

The high-end Lexicon stereo system is offered as an option, for an additional 1.28 million won.

The prices for GV70 powertrains start from 47.9 million won for 2.5 Gasoline Turbo model, 57.2 million won for 3.5 Gasoline Turbo model, and 50.3 million won for 2.2 Diesel model.

The car officially launched in the Korean market on Tuesday, with deliveries expected to begin as early as January. Launch dates for overseas markets are not fixed. 

By Jo He-rim (