Ian Lamming explores a new brand to hit the UK streets – Genesis…
Any car with a party trick as good as this has my vote. Picture the scene; you have left your car in one of the country’s ever-shrinking car park spaces and when you return people have come alongside.
All the vehicles are within the lines, but cars have grown as quickly as spaces have shrunk so it is nobody’s fault, other than the people who decide how big the bays should be.
Add in that extra girth we all put on during lockdown that is proving increasingly difficult to shift and it’s going to be almost impossible to climb into the driver’s seat without pulling a muscle or damaging the paintwork of the car next door.
In the Genesis GV70 this isn’t a problem. Just press the button on the remote, the one that says ‘hold’, for about five seconds. Spookily the engine fires up. You’ll also notice on the key two other buttons on which car icons are printed, accompanied by arrows, one for forwards, the other for backwards. Press the one which will send you in the direction of choice and you’ll hear the driveline engage. Then the car creeps forwards, or backwards, for as long as you hold down the button. Eerie but brilliant.
There’s no chance of it running away with you as it only moves for as long as you are pressing and also uses the surround radar to monitor for obstacles. As soon as it detects a body or a barrier it stops. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I demonstrated this genius feature. Probably around the same number as I paid the Genesis compliments to a very curious public.
But before moving on to reveal why, what is a Genesis? Well, if Lexus is a posh Toyota then Genesis is an upmarket Hyundai, though it is a separate company.
GV70 is one of four SUVs in the range and it is handsome and striking, mainly because it looks like the progeny of an illicit liaison between a Bentley and a Porsche while a Volvo egged them on.
Looks-wise, I absolutely love it. It is perfectly proportioned to give it an ‘I mean business’ stance, with wide track, low roofline, highish waist and big alloys. It is curvaceous and sensual, it has presence and beauty. You know it is going to be good to drive even before you do.
Now here’s a bold statement. The GV70 is the best car I have driven all year. Yes, it really is that good. Great cars have a certain magic that is hard to describe and it is very much associated with ‘feel’. It’s the way this car sits on the road that is utterly inspiring. It breeds confidence instantly and is exhilarating to drive.
It’s powered by a 2.2 diesel which is lusty, willing and able. Performance is cracking whether you have a sprint in mind, a cross country blast or a serene cruise down the motorway. Have fun and the MPG still sits healthily in the 30s. Opt to pootle and I saw 47mpg on the trip computer.
Helm responses are a dream, ride, handling and dynamics impeccable; it really is an absolute joy to drive, gobbling up the miles for the fun of it and inviting the occupants to go even further.
The experience is enhanced even further by the interior which is a design masterpiece. The instruments, touchscreen dash and switches are perfect, exuding quality and proving to be nothing but intuitive. Its equipment list is off the scale and the real surprise, given the quality, is the fact that the price seems so reasonable – they start at under £40K.
Detailing abounds and I love the way the leather matches perfectly the colour of the exterior, in this case a dark purple. It is a car to be proud of and a vehicle in which you feel proud to ride.
It’s not often that I’m sorry to see a test car go after time in its company, but with the GV70 I most definitely am. I just can’t wait to try the rest of the Genesis range and just hope they share the same party trick.
Genesis GV70 2.2D AWD
Engine: 2.2 diesel
Power: 210PS, 400Nm
0-62mph: 7.9 secs
Top speed: 133mph
Combined MPG: 39.8
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
CO2 g/km: 189