At launch, the GV70 is available with a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol or a 2.2-litre diesel, both having four cylinders. We’re testing the latter, which will officially return up to 40mpg while emitting 189g/km of CO2. It’s quiet at idle and then steps off smoothly and easily.
Indeed, the diesel GV70 mooches pretty well. The engine is very quiet and makes its way along without much disturbance, with the eight- speed automatic gearbox shifting smoothly. There’s an old-school ‘auto hold’ button and wheel-mounted shift paddles, but if you do take over, it simply reverts to Drive after a few seconds of you not intervening.
Under more power, the ’box drops down a couple of gears and still hums away easily. This is a 2010kg car that produces 207bhp and 325lb ft for a sub-8.0sec 0-62mph time, although that kind of acceleration isn’t what diesels are about; the GV70 tends to put itself in the right gear at the right time for easy and quiet performance.
Likewise the ride – mostly. It’s controlled, with an underlying firmness and a decent hold on the body over crests. You do notice surface ripples: there’s nothing as harsh as patter present but, like when walking over those patterned slabs at the edge of a road, you know there’s something underneath you.
That said, the wheel control is also good. On bad surfaces, with different inputs left and right, it resists head toss; and in cornering, acceleration or braking, roll is moderate and pitch fore and aft is really well resisted. The steering is more heavily weighted than the class average, so it feels more Mercedes than Audi. There’s a long bonnet, with visible edges that help you place the car.
You can also feel that this is a rear-dominated platform. The steering gains little weight or feel as you drive out of corners, but what extra weight it does take on is smooth, linear and uncorrupted, plus you get no sense of it being troubled by torque.
Overall, the GV70 feels solid and weighty. Despite the fairly low feel and rear drive bias, nothing shouts agility. But hey, it weighs two tonnes.
It’s a curious car. It drives most like a Mercedes SUV, but honestly it feels welcomingly unlike anything else in its class. And it’s very quiet. Wind and road noise vie to be the loudest thing you hear at motorway speeds, yet both are hushed, and actually you probably notice wind hum only because road roar is so well isolated.