The Genesis Electrified GV70 is a truly luxurious electric SUV

A Genesis Electrified GV70 at night, in front of mid-century townhouses
Enlarge / If luxury means having stuff that makes your life easier or more pleasant but which isn’t absolutely necessary, then the Genesis Electrified GV70 is very much a luxury car.

Jonathan Gitlin

Among the definitions of “luxury” are descriptions such as “great comfort,” and something that adds pleasure of comfort that isn’t absolutely necessary. Those seem like perfect descriptions of the Genesis Electrified GV70, a handsome electric vehicle that maintains the Korean brand’s seemingly perfect hitting streak.

That may come as a surprise, because some electric vehicle purists have a tendency to look down on EVs like the Electrified GV70. That’s because it uses a platform that was designed to be powertrain-agnostic rather than riding on a bespoke EV architecture. Genesis has access to one of those—one of the best in the industry in fact, called E-GMP. It underpins the quirky-looking GV60 crossover, as well as some very good EVs from Hyundai (which owns the Genesis brand), but not the GV70.

That hardline take might feel intellectually rigorous, but it’s misguided. Both BMW and the Korean OEMs have developed rather fine platforms that can be used to build pure EVs or cars with combustion engines, and I’ll go as far as to say the Kia Niro EV, BMW i4, BMW i7, and Genesis G80 are each better than their hybrid or gas-burning variants, albeit more expensive.

That is definitely the case here. You can get into a 2.5 L turbo GV70 for less than $45,000; the Electrified GV70 starts at a much heftier $66,450, although at 429 hp (320 kW), it’s a lot more powerful than even the $57,500 V6 GV70. Tick the box to add the Prestige pack, and that price goes up another $6,800, as was the case with our test car.

It's more conventional looking than the GV60, with baby Bentley rather than cyberpunk Citroen vibes.
Enlarge / It’s more conventional looking than the GV60, with baby Bentley rather than cyberpunk Citroen vibes.

Jonathan Gitlin

Instead of a thirsty V6, the Electrified GV70 is propelled by a pair of 214 hp (160 kW), 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) permanent magnet electric motors, fed by a 74 kWh battery pack (77.4 kWh gross capacity). Combined power is more often limited by the battery than the motors, but in this case peak power is 429 hp (320 kW), or 483 hp (360 kW) for bursts of up to 20 seconds.

If those specs sound a little familiar, it’s because they’re basically identical to the GV60 we tested last year—just because the GV70’s platform can accommodate an old-fashioned cylinder engine doesn’t mean it can’t have ultramodern EV batteries and motors instead. It charges as fast as a GV60, too—from 10 to 80 percent state of charge in 18 minutes when plugged into a 350 kW charger. (Slow charging takes about seven hours with a 48 A level 2 charger.)

The electrified GV70 is a delight to drive. It’s on the smaller end of the midsized SUV scale at 185.6 inches (4,714 mm) long and 75.2 inches (1,910 mm) wide, and from the driver’s seat, there’s a good view ahead and to the sides with minimal blind spots. It’s easy to place on the road and a doddle to park, aided by a rather good camera and sensor setup.

As ever, how a car looks is a subjective thing, and some might not enjoy the “baby Bentley station wagon” vibes that the GV70 gives off. I do, and hiring former Bentley designer Luc Donckerwolke was one of those smart decisions that’s up there with also hiring BMW’s Albert Biermann to transform Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D efforts.

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