One of the great benefits of being an auto writer isn’t just that I get to drive a lot of cars, but that I get to spend some meaningful time with each vehicle too. A 30 minute test drive is useful for potential buyers, but an entire week where the weather changes, you have errands to run, and you have occasional passengers? It’s an excellent way to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a vehicle, whether it’s a sleek sedan, a rugged pickup truck, or an SUV. I’ve had opportunities in the past to drive Genesis vehicles, but never a week’s loaner. Genesis, in case that’s an unfamiliar name to you, is the luxury brand of Hyundai, and it’s premium luxury, unlike Acura and Infiniti.
When the team offered me a week to drive the 2023 Electrified GV70 AWD Prestige SUV, I definitely jumped at the chance. Finally, an opportunity to really spend some quality time with this luxury brand and find out if it would hold up beyond first impressions and 30-minute loops at car events. The good news: It’s gorgeous. In fact, the GV70 is not just one of the best electric vehicles I’ve ever driven, it’s just one of the nicest and most comfortable vehicles I’ve ever driven!
It is a full EV, not a plug-in hybrid, requiring EV charging. Since I don’t own an EV, I’m therefore at the mercy of EV charging facilities in the area (that 110V plug in the garage? It’s almost pointlessly slow for charging). That was an opportunity to learn how to use the fast charging stations, notably Electrify America. I wrote a separate article just about the charging experience: My First Visit to a Fast Charge EV Station. Definitely worth a read.
The GV70 they loaned me was Makalu Grey and included the optional $6,800 Prestige package:
Yes, it just looks like yet another SUV, but it’s the interior that really wowed me:
The white leather interior just oozes luxury and the entire design felt like I was in one of the swanky first-class cabins in a long haul jumbo jet, uber comfortable and supremely well-appointed. Also notice the expansive infotainment screen: That’s a whopping 14.5″ HD display screen and it’s gorgeous, particularly in map mode. Missing, however, was wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. You can plug in (USB-A only) to gain access, but not having it be wireless was one of my few complaints about the GV70.
You can see the attention to detail and fit-and-finish by considering the climate controls:
A lively and visually interesting display and clearly labeled buttons that supplement the on-screen controls. It took me a while to adjust the vents to where I preferred, but the climate control itself was remarkably intuitive thanks to this modern control center.
Dropping down to the center console, you can again see the focus on usability:
Having driven a Mazda with center console infotainment controls for many years, I greatly appreciate when other manufacturers offer the same simplicity of control. So much safer and easier than trying to control mapping, music, or similar by touching a screen in the center of the dash while driving! Also worth noting are the various shapes and textures of the controls, making it very easy to navigate completely eyes-off too. Good design.
This extended to the rather surprisingly symmetric steering wheel controls too:
Hopefully, you noticed the “Boost” button on the bottom. It’s what turns this mild-mannered SUV into an EV beast; for ten seconds at a push, you can directly tap into all the torque of the 160kW front and 160kW back engines. There’s enough power in ’em to get you up to 60mph in a few seconds, but be prepared, your stomach might be left in the dust too. Fun but not something I’d use every day. Otherwise, the drive experience is surprisingly typical for a reasonably powered SUV. Plenty of power for acceleration and highway driving, but it’s most definitely not a beast overall, but rather tuned to be a more pleasant and comfortable drive.
Also worthy of note is that it’s really quiet. In fact, the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 is one of the quietest vehicles I’ve driven, one that made it pretty obvious how noisy my other cars were by comparison. At 70mph on the highway, you could easily have a quiet and relaxed conversation with a passenger.
There are plenty of smarts to go around with the GV70 too. You can see one of ’em staring at me in the below image:
The two red lights are a driver’s face monitoring system and the car will warn you if you aren’t keeping your eyes on the road. Even if you do something crazy like yawn. It was actually overly sensitive and started to annoy me after a while, but my expectation is that there’s a sensitivity setting accessible from the infotainment settings area. The maximum range for a fully charged GV70 is about 240 miles, which I found to be pretty accurate. You can see in the above display the subtle “150mi” range estimate on the lower left.
Go to change lanes and a Hyundai feature comes to the fore on the dashboard:
Yes, the appropriate side of the main gauge display will change to a live video feed of that side of your vehicle. Makes it harder to be surprised by someone on your blind side (there’s also a blind side monitor) but it can be rather distracting too. I would guess that many Hyundai and Genesis drivers have learned to ignore this interesting feature.
There are other interesting and possibly ignored features too. Consider how many ways you can adjust the driver’s seat, for example:
That’s a lotta control, though I’m not entirely sure what every single knob and button actually does. Still, better to have controls you don’t use than to wish you could adjust something and find you cannot.
Rear legroom was not as expansive as I would have expected:
For a family with average height adults, I imagine it would be fine, but if you have a tall driver, the rear passenger might be wishing they’d opted for an Uber Black instead of being stuck in the back seat. Finally, the rear seat is a 60/40 split and there’s plenty of cargo space too:
I have a few quibbles, but am going to wrap this up where I started: I really liked the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 and could easily imagine being very happy with this purchase. It’s an EV, but that’s for you to know, not something you need to advertise to everyone else on the road. Charging is a bit spendy while on the road, but install a Level 2 charger at home and it’ll also have the lowest running cost of any vehicle you’ll ever own. Definitely one to check out if you’re in the market for a luxury SUV, no question.
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 AWD Prestige. BASE PRICE: $65,850.00. Options Included: Premium Paint, Prestige Package (including nappa leather seats, 12.3″ digital instrument cluster, heads-up display, premium audio). AS DRIVEN: $74,350.00
Disclosure: Genesis loaned me the GV70 for a week in return for this candid review. Which I greatly appreciate!