Genesis GV70 2.5T

Genesis GV70, 2021, front
Genesis GV70, 2021, side
Genesis GV70, 2021, rear
Genesis GV70, 2021, nose
Genesis GV70,  2021, interior
Genesis GV70,  2021, boot

A DEEP lustre from the metallic paintwork, racy split headlights, a grille the size of a trampoline and a badge not massively dissimilar to a Bentley's.

It all adds up to a stylish, prestige SUV. And that equates with a seriously large price tag.

But this is a Genesis - the posh sub-brand of Hyundai. And the giant South Korean company is endeavouring to pierce the hugely profitable prestigious sector dominated by Audi, BMW and Mercedes, in the same way Toyota succeeded in achieving with Lexus three decades ago.

So - at least for now - Genesis models are great value with prices scarcely more than the hum-drum masses.

Take the GV70, we've been driving. Nothing boring or mundane about this polished, five-seater high-rider which sets its stall at the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.

Despite having the appropriate dimensions for a family SUV, it looks smartly elegant and, if anything, slightly classier than most rivals.

There's a choice of power units - diesel, petrol and electric, but no hybrid. Ours was the 2.5-litre petrol turbo, an engine that is so smooth you'd think it was a six-cylinder rather than the fourpot that it actually is.

With nearly 300bhp up front, it picks up its heels nicely, polishing of the dash to 62mph in a tad over six seconds and is capable of going on to 149mph. All this achieved with appropriate serenity, although there's a tad more mechanical noise as the revs approach the red line.

The cabin design and ambience is easily a match for the best the German brands can offer, and right up there with Lexus. Better, perhaps, as there's less reliance on purely onscreen tech, a feature that will probably appeal to older buyers.

With soft, good-to-touch quality plastics on the fascia, leather seating and unusual knurled column stalks, the impression of opulence is ever present. Electric seat adjustment, heated steering wheel and electric tailgate all feature in the spec of the Sport version.

There's ample space for passengers front and rear, though luggage must be lifted on to the high platform, which inevitably somewhat limits the volume and restricts some taller items. Nevertheless, with all seats in place, 503 litres of cargo can be carried, and with the rear seats folded this expands to 1,678 litres.

With a weight of around two tonnes, you don't expect the all-wheel drive GV70 to have the athleticism of a hot hatch, but we were impressed how crisply it responded to directional changes and managed to retain composure during fast cross-country runs.

There's a degree of roll when cornering quickly but it's largely kept in check and potholes and corrugated road surfaces are easily soaked up without disturbing the passengers.

The combination of generous power and a hefty body don't auger well for fuel consumption, but our average of 31mpg was far from disappointing considering the car's pace and luxury.

Peace of mind for owners is offered by the Genesis five-year unlimited mileage warranty, which is transferable to the next owner.

4.6

FAST FACTS

Genesis GV70 2.5T

Price: £45,635

Mechanical: 2.5-litre, 4 cyl, 299bhp, petrol engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 149mph

0-62mph: 6.1sec

Combined MPG: 30.5

Insurance Group: 44

C02 emissions: 218g/km

Bik rating: 37%

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