Koreans have a saying: ‘son-nim’ means ‘honoured guest’. And it’s a mantra that Genesis has followed with its third all-electric offering to date: the Electrified GV70. And anyone sitting on its Nappa-leather seats will feel honoured, indeed.
The German brands have been offering a few different all-electric luxury crossovers for more than a year now. Genesis has had the GV60, a smaller electric crossover, but until now that’s been it, so it’s a little late to the lucrative mid-sized luxury table. But it’s brought a feast for those looking for high-end luxury and modern technology and features in a mid-size crossover package.
With plans of going fully electric by 2030, Genesis has released the Electrified GV70, which is available from today. And apart from a different grille and rear fascia (it doesn’t need exhaust pipes!), the Electrified is a carbon copy of its gas-powered brethren. And that’s not a bad thing at all. It looks like a premium, luxury crossover, without the need to boast about its electrified drivetrain. And it does luxury as well as anyone.
There will be just one package available in Canada, the Prestige AWD. But that’s certainly not a bad thing, as it comes standard with myriad of luxury and performance tech at this price. The Electrified GV70 comes in at $84,000 with Genesis Canada’s no-haggle pricing, which is around $6,500 more than the top-tier, gas-powered GV70 3.5T Sport Plus AWD. But you get top-tier features here, the most offered on a GV70.
The exterior has a distinctly ‘Bentley’ appearance, though making its mark with the signature two-line headlights and tail lights. Twenty-inch wheels are standard on the Electrified GV70, apparently for appearance sake. It’s a handsome crossover, and one that wouldn’t be out of touch with the high-end neighbourhoods across Canada.
But it’s inside where owners will be spending their time, and Genesis has crafted an opulent cabin for passengers, with Nappa quilted leather seats, leather touch spaces, brushed aluminum and ambient lighting throughout the space. This is truly up to Bentley specifications; it’s not over the top, but definitely luxurious. The options are an Obsidian black interior, or a Glacier White Two-Tone exclusive to the Electrified.
Behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 12.3-inch screen displays the instruments in a 3D setting; the infotainment is taken care of with another 12.3-inch display, which also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And while it’s not the largest display available, it’s actually a perfectly reasonable size. And hard buttons for features such as a home, nav or audio keys, heated seats and others make these much more easy to use. Scuttlebutt from Genesis says the company considered making these features operate from the screen, but common sense prevailed. Thankfully.
Other luxury features include a huge suite of driver aids, such as Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Highway Driving Assist II, Hyundai’s attempt at autonomous driving. But you need to keep your hands on the steering wheel, so what’s the point?
That über luxury is also felt in the ride and performance. The cabin is quiet and serene under any driving conditions, so conversation is easy; there’s just a little whine from the electronic, manufactured ‘noise’ to compensate for a lack of engine roar, for safety’s sake, but tire and wind noise have been corralled substantially. The ride is controlled and coddled, and smoother than even the gas-powered GV70 because of the linear power output of the electric drivetrain. It’s one of the quietest and most comfortable luxury SUVs on the market, a real credit to the engineers at Genesis.
But performance is beyond what the gas-powered GV70 can deliver: 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, but Boost mode pushes that up to 483hp for 10-second spurts. It’s shocking how quick this 2,285 kg vehicle is. You do feel the weight in the twisties, but chances are most owners won’t be pushing for time around corners.
It has three drive modes: Eco is where fun goes to die, but acceleration is actually comparable to other fossil-fuelled crossovers. Comfort is where you begin to see the electric motor potential, and acceleration is getting to crazy level. Sport mode stiffens the springs and steering, brings in the side bolstering on the seats, and elevates the acceleration to something you’d expect from a red car from Italy. And all the while, the ride is solid, level and serene.
Genesis also offers a true one-pedal driving experience with the Electrified GV70, called I-Pedal. As with any one-pedal driving, it takes some getting used to, but it works wonderfully and is especially helpful around town or on a slowed-down highway.
The powertrain consists of two electric motors, one at the front and at the rear, for full-time all-wheel drive. The 77.4 kWh lithium ion polymer battery – the same as in the GV60, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 – has a 697V architecture, and can be charged from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in about 18 minutes. It also features V2L charging, meaning in a power outage, the Electrified GV70 can power your home like a generator.
But here is the Electrified GV70’s Achilles heel; the battery only offers a range up to 383 km. This is in a segment where more than 400 km is the norm for the Germans, and even 500+ km is attainable. Genesis officials say they didn’t want to have a larger battery to affect driving dynamics, but the lower range could be a deciding factor for people looking for an electric mid-sized luxury crossover.
US customers will get Electrified GV70s from the company’s new factory in Montgomery, Alabama, but Canadians will get them from South Korea. That’s a good thing, according to Genesis Canada’s director, Eric Marshall; the US factory will take the pressure off of the South Korean facility, so Canadians can get their SUVs on a quicker scale.
Driving range aside, the Electrified GV70 offers a highly luxurious package with a dynamic electric drivetrain. And with an all-in price of $84,000 (plus taxes), and considering the amount of technology and the horsepower on tap, this Genesis will honour any guest that sits in its sumptuous leather seats.