Bang for your buck luxury
After being praised for its entry into the utility market with the GV80, Genesis’ sophomore effort the compact GV70 is poised to create just as much buzz, as the vehicle is equally outstanding and provides value far beyond the price tag.
Possessing a distinctive appearance revolving around the design language titled “Athletic Elegance,” this refers to the cross section of where sport meets luxury. Just check out the sloping roofline, sculpted fenders and painted roof spoiler, as well as the polished window surround, 13 available exterior matte or metallic colours and signature ultra-thin Two-Line LED head and tail lamps. Though there’s a lot to take in visually, nothing seems too busy or out of place.
Those who prefer maximum performance aesthetics may choose the available Sport Package that bundles dark chrome accents, painted diffusers, up-to 21-inch special alloy wheels, circular instead of vertical dual exhaust tips, exclusive steering wheel and optional carbon fibre overlays.
As appealing as the outside is, many people — myself included — are floored by the high quality interior. Informed by the Korean architectural “Beauty of White Space” concept, Genesis says the space also draws inspiration from the aerodynamic sections of aircraft wings, and really, the entire cabin resembles a business class section of a plane from a different era.
Melt into the buttery smooth brown leather upholstered seating while taking in all the intricate surrounding details: for example, the knurled transmission and HMI dial on the brushed-aluminum-covered centre console; the two-spoke yoke-like steering wheel; and the slim barely-there air vents. The ratio of physical to virtual buttons is just right minimalizing clutter without taking away functionality.
An ultra-wide 14.5-inch touchscreen display is nestled atop the covered dashboard controllable via voice, multiple knobs or the tap or swipe of finger. As found on other Hyundai and Genesis products, a novel feature is the different Zen modes you can activate to create a relaxing motoring experience, like Calm Sea Waves and Warm Fireplace.
On Advanced Plus and higher trims the 18-speaker Lexicon Premium Audio stereo produces rich sound no matter what genre of music is played. A parent-approved Quite Mode disables the rear speakers so the party up front doesn’t have to stop when passengers in the back are sleeping.
In Canada, two different turbocharged all-wheel drive powertrains and multiple grades are offered to suit various needs and budgets. Sitting at the top is the 3.5T Sport Plus (MSRP $76,000) boasting a 3.5-litre boosted V6 making 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque.
The version Darpan tested, however, was the 300-horse 2.5-litre four-cylinder that to be honest did not leave me wanting for more. I couldn’t detect any perceptible turbo lag —a jab of the throttle results in instant response, and a bit of unexpected but welcome growl too thanks to the Active Sound Design virtual exhaust note enhancement through the speakers.
The vehicle shows off a degree of agility usually not found given the segment, largely due to high-level tech. On-board electronic limited-slip differentials balances torque between both sides of the wheels according to the current conditions, so grip remains present over slippery terrain and/or during quick steering inputs, such as having to dodge unpredictable Lower Mainland drivers in the rain.
At the same time, the Preview Electronic Control Suspension system is a partnership between the remote adjustable dampers, front camera and GPS data, all working in concert to pre-recognize rough road surfaces and automatically compensate creating a smooth and comfortable ride every time. Even on my own street that has been dug up for maintenance, the crossover just floats along the violated pavement.
And if you have hesitations of being an early adopter, worry not: all models include a very competitive five-year/100,000 kilometre basic warranty.
MSRP: $59,500 (as tested)
Motor: 2.5-litre turbocharged four cylinder
Horsepower: 300 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 311 @ 1,650 rpm
Gearbox: eight-speed automatic
Layout: front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 15.4 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)
Photos courtesy of Genesis Pressroom.