With medium SUVs now an entrenched part of Australia’s staple automotive diet – and premium-badged, premium-priced models making up 16 percent of that considerable wedge – the GV70 was always going to be a crucial model for the burgeoning Genesis brand.
Favouring a fastback, coupe-like shape over a more traditional box-style wagon, the GV70 is as much about visual dynamism as it is about actual dynamic excellence, which is exactly the direction it needed to take to make an impact.
It’s also slightly bigger than the German competition benchmarked by Genesis during its development – the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. Compared to an X3, the GV70 is longer (by 7mm) and wider (by 19mm), with a longer wheelbase (by 11mm), yet it stands considerably lower (by 46mm), has less ground clearance (185mm versus 204) and has much broader tracks for a more athletic stance than the BMW.
If you compare apples with apples – the flagship GV70 3.5T AWD Sport tested here against its twin-turbo six-cylinder BMW equivalent – then the Genesis appears even more muscular, with its 1641/1657mm (front/rear) measurements comfortably out-sizing the X3 M40i’s 1615/1594mm track widths.
Yet when you compare pricing, our fully optioned GV70 3.5T AWD Sport with matte paint ($2000) and Luxury pack ($6600) leaves the X3 M40i for dead.
At an as-tested price of $91,876 (before on-road costs), the twin-turbo V6 GV70 is substantially less than a dead-stock X3 M40i at $113,471 (before on-road costs, or any options).
Indeed, the top-dog GV70’s logical price competitor is an X3 xDrive 30i M Sport (starting at $82,971) with its 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, yet if you again compare like for like, a GV70 2.5T AWD with Sport Line package is $73,276.
So in terms of presence, specification and price, the GV70 is right in the thick of it, with the expected promise of an all-electric version to come – giving the about-to-launch BMW iX3 a direct rival.
But the GV70 needs to be more than just stylish sheetmetal and an attractive price. To achieve genuine cut-through in a cut-throat market, this new Genesis medium SUV needs dynamic smarts, cabin flair, cutting-edge tech, and some actual glamour to underpin its ease-of-ownership promise.