Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: June 5, 2023
Electrified. What a simple yet effective way to communicate that it’s an electric vehicle. Genesis GV70 Electrified sounds premium and gets straight to the point. There is no guesswork or deciphering a mambo jumbo mix of letters and numbers to tell it apart from its combustion engine counterparts. Other than the closed-off front grill and green plates, the GV70 models are otherwise indistinguishable. Even the electric charging port is cleverly hidden inside the front grill. Full disclosure, the port cover is so well hidden in the plastic front grill that it took us over ten minutes of searching before resorting to the shameful act of reading the car manual.
The GV70 Electrified is Genesis’ latest fully electric SUV and comes equipped with a 77.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, an electric motor on each axle, and a claimed 383 km of range. It delivers an output of 429 hp and 516 lb-ft, with a Boost Mode function that turns it up to 483 hp for ten seconds. That means a 0-100 km/h time of around 4 seconds. Impressive.
The Boost Mode button is conveniently located on the bottom of the steering wheel spoke too, so with the push of a button comes incredibly strong acceleration that doesn’t let up steam very easily, and it continues to chug along even at triple-digit speeds. Some might find the dizzying acceleration a bit of a one-trick pony, but anyone coming from a non-electric vehicle will find the punchy propulsion addictive and repeatable.
The power delivery is easy to modulate as well, something not particularly common with electric or hybrid vehicles. The GV70 Electrified doesn’t exhibit any of that choppiness during transitions on and off the pedal and doesn’t require a feathery or dexterous right foot to drive smoothly. There are multiple modes of brake regeneration as well adjustable via the paddle shifters, and the strongest mode allows for one-pedal driving.
But Holy Batman body roll. It’s been a while since we’ve driven an SUV with this much lateral movement. The GV70 Electrified carries its inertia in its core, and you don’t even have to be going very quickly to feel the Genesis excessively lean from side to side. It feels like an old 80s SUV. Even the car knows it - it will automatically tighten the seat’s side bolsters when going at speeds over 130 km/h to keep you from sliding around.
Why does it roll so much? Well, it’s a heavy car with all the batteries and motors stuffed inside the floor bed, and one of the best ways to hide that mass is by stiffening up the suspension. Genesis decided to focus more on comfort and instead softened the spring rates to aid in road compliance. And while it’s true that the GV70 E is significantly more comfortable and supple than its rivals like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Audi e-tron, the sacrifice with elevated levels of body roll does not inspire much driving confidence or stability in corners.
Genesis claims a driving range of 383 km with a full battery charge. We achieved a yield of 345 km, just a hair over the 341 km that the computer systems estimated. That’s not great but not terrible either considering the competition: Genesis GV60 (399 km), Polestar 2 (400 km), Ford Mustang Mach-E (402 km), Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 (356 km). Certainly, the Teslas have it beat and are more effective for long-distance cruising and relieving range anxiety, but it should be enough for most city commuters with access to a home or public charging station. Charge time with a Level 2 charger takes about 7 hours and 20 minutes, with a 50 kWh Level 3 charger with do 10-80% in 1 hour and 13 minutes.
There’s an airiness and openness to the interior, made possible by an expansive center console and a wide dashboard. The choice of materials is upscale, and the fit and finish are about on par with the best of BMW and Mercedes. The GV70 is also loaded with every feature in the book, from massaging seats, a head-up display, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, and a 14.5-inch center touchscreen. There’s no denying that Genesis hasn’t left any stone unturned, and put all their marbles on the proverbial table.
We certainly appreciate all the hard buttons and dials, with only some HVAC features like the heated seats and heated steering wheel delegated to the small touchscreen. However, the lack of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a glaring omission, and the fussiness of the user interface isn’t as well utilized nor does it sport as low of a learning curve as in a BMW or Audi system.
The gear shifter is a moderately-sized rotary dial (not an orb like in the GV60), but it irks us that a similarly sized rotary dial is situated right above it, which handles the infotainment system instead. With my eyes on the road, it was common for me to mistake one for the other, and selecting neutral gear isn’t exactly what I intended when I wanted to change the radio station.
We could never find a comfortable seating position either no matter how we contorted our upper bodies. The seats are situated too high up, like you’re sitting on top of the car rather than inside it. The acutely angled headrests don’t help either, pushing our necks so far forward that we feel hunched and cramped. We had the same issue with the GV60 and GV80, so it seems to be a seat positioning issue across the lineup. It’s not just us either - we can report similar comments from other GV70 owners of different heights and sizes. It’s a shame because the seats are otherwise well-padded and supportive for long journeys. The rear seat accommodations are spacious as well.
Against the flurry of burgeoning new EVs, the GV70 Electrified stands strong with a respectable range, potent straight-line acceleration, and superior ride comfort. The cabin quality is excellent and on par with premium offerings, but the seat positioning is sub-par, as is its on-road handling and excessive body roll. Still, it’s a worthy competitor in the electric SUV space, and we are certain that it’s only going to get better from here.
Model: 2023 Genesis GV70 Electrified Prestige AWD
Paint Type: Mauna Red
Base Price: $84,150
Price as Tested: $84,150
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,715 / 1,910 / 1,630
Powertrain: 77.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, two electric motors
Horsepower: 429 hp (483 hp with Boost Mode)
Torque: 516 lb-ft
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
Claimed Range: 383 km
Observed Range: 345 km