It brings both whimsey and a sharp edge to the market.
Genesis is an ambitious premium brand, and the GV60 is its first dedicated electric vehicle - meaning it was designed from the ground up for a battery and motors rather than adapted from an existing model. It has a unique style, an athletic demeanor, a luxurious-looking cabin with added bling, and a punchy drivetrain that starts with 314 horsepower on the Advanced model and peaks at 483 hp using Boost mode on the Performance trim. The Genesis GV60 has an attractive starting price of $59,290 and a maximum claimed range of 248 miles on the less potent trim.
We spent a week with the Genesis GV60 with plenty of freeway driving, back road driving, and sitting at charging stations wishing we had just taken a hybrid on a longer journey.
Whenever we sit through a presentation for a car or read through press releases or marketing info, the word "bold" is always quick to appear on our 'Buzzword Bingo' card. In this case, though, Genesis has truly hit the bold button, both inside and out. While the GV60 uses Genesis's current design language, the new low-slung grille with the double-stack front lights and pointed upper valence makes a sporty statement that backs up its electric performance. It also just about has the long hood of something sporty and the sliding hatchback to match.
It's hard to imagine anyone disagreeing with the whole shape of the GV60, but we understand the criticisms suggesting that parts of it feel overdone, like the zig-zagging chrome over the rear quarter panel. Our test model, the GV60 Performance, comes standard with the complicated-looking 21-inch wheels, panoramic glass roof, and Genesis FingerprintAuthentication/Face Connect keyless entry system.
Inside the Genesis GV60 there is evidence that the brand snagged itself a Rolls-Royce designer, with the two-spoke steering wheel and plush materials, particularly in the cream color of our tester. In this shade, though, we found the steering wheel a step too far in terms of nailing the opulence factor: It feels too try-hard for us, but in another color leather, it feels lets pretentious. The Performance trim comes with Nappa leather seats and dash covering and a lovely microfiber suede headliner that carries on into the door cards.
The shifter is a crystal sphere that is illuminated via ambient lighting and rotates, and some may call it a little gimmicky, but we grew to love it over the week. What we didn't love is the cheap-feeling plastic most noticeable on the big side mirror control dial and the matching not-actually-a-speaker on the passenger door.
Seating is spacious enough for four adults in total, while the front passenger and driving position is more upright than you expect in something sporty. But with the expansive windscreen, the driving position is excellent and quite SUV-like.
The dashboard is dominated by a landscape-style 12.3-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled by a dial in front of the shifter on the center console. The fact that both the shifter and this control are dials will lead to people using the wrong one until they're used to it - we noted that before driving on one occasion, we did turn a dial and wonder why we weren't in Drive. Genesis infotainment software is graphically slick and mostly logical to navigate through, although there are a lot of sections, and it's not so obvious to have media and radio separated on such a wide screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - also a separate menu tile - are wired only, which seems like a missed opportunity.
The GV60 Performance comes with the Bang & Olufsen sound system box already ticked, and it sounds fantastic. It comes with a wonderfully neutral sound as stock, but there's a nifty graphic altering the sound to suit taste. We had it sounding bright and full in moments, but mostly kept it neutral to suit a wider variety of music styles.
Both trims use a 77.4-kWh and two motors to power all-four wheels, but a longer-range rear-wheel-drive model is on its way as Genesis expands the trim levels. The Advanced trim makes a reasonably potent 314 hp, but the Performance trim has 429 hp available until the driver engages the Boost mode button on the steering wheel. Boost mode pushes the system to deliver a maximum of 483 hp for up to ten seconds, which is perfect if you want to, say, beat down your friend's Mustang at a drag strip.
The bottom line is that the GV60 is either smilingly quick or grin-worthy fast, but the power comes in a whoosh, not with a bang. Although it is instant, and there's little doubt it could kick off to 60 mph faster than the advertised four seconds on warm rubber. With Boost mode engaged, things get a little more manic from a standstill, but with just 235 miles of driving range advertised on the performance trim (a more realistic 180-200 at 80 percent charge), it is not something you'll want to do a lot.
When charging the battery, we saw 190 kW being delivered at a peak on a DC charger once and around 150 kW on two others. Charging at 350 kW is possible, though, with the automaker claiming you need less then 20 minutes to get from 10% to 80%. In real life, after an 80 percent charge (around 20 minutes from 30-ish percent), the rate drops dramatically, and by 90 percent, it tails off. In reality, GV60 owners are going to go to 80 percent and only give it a full charge when genuinely needed.
As for range accuracy, it's always going to boil down to conditions. In California's cold, wet winter weather, we still needed to add a charge on a 210-mile run on 90 percent charge. At 70 mph on the freeway, the battery was clearly draining faster than when bringing it down to 65. Playing around, we found 50-55 mph was the sweet spot for getting maximum miles out of a full charge in general driving. It's worth noting that this was in cold weather, and only over a week.
Between a roomy, stylish, comfortable cabin and driving position, a smooth drive train, and nicely tuned suspension with a trace of old-school spring, the Genesis GV60 is a genuinely pleasant vehicle to drive. It takes the sting out of sitting in traffic jams, and Hyundai's stop-start adaptive cruise control is a large part of that. It's particularly quiet if you turn off the fake electric motor noise with not a lot of tire noise making it into the cabin. It's a swift, calm, pleasant car to drive, and Genesis should be congratulated on that.
As a sporty number, it doesn't raise the bar, though. Yes, the GV60 is phenomenally fast for the money in a straight line, but it isn't confidence inspiring or particularly nimble on a back road, even with Sport mode engaged and the adaptive suspension doing its job and adapting.
However, Genesis has done another excellent job when it comes to tuning its different drive modes. Eco mode deadens throttle response heavily, while still leaving enough power on tap for getting up to freeway speeds. It'll give even the most lead-footed driver the chance to have some power left over after a longer commute. Normal mode is the sweet spot for drivers that care about driving, and when mixed with the three regenerative braking levels, can be driven on just the accelerator until a full stop is needed - or someone does something stupid in front of the car.
The GV60 is an excellent car. It's the first car of 2023 we regretted having to hand the keys back for. However, unless it fits your lifestyle, there will be frustrations. The range is limited for something so sporty, and that encourages a driver to have a heavy right foot, and the charging infrastructure is just not ready for cars like this outside of being a daily commuter. Longer, as in 100-mile-ish commutes, will bring anxiety that even the relaxing cabin can't mute, and road trips are not going to be fun when you have to worry about making frequent charging stops.
However, with a second car in the garage with a gas engine, it's a brilliant little commuter and fun car to drive, and its $59,290 and $68,290 price tags aren't outlandish if you can forgive a few bits of cheap-feeling plastic trim. The rest of the GV60 is on point.
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