2023 Genesis GV60 First Drive Review: An EV of Style Over All Else
The Hyundai Ioniq 5’s more powerful and luxurious cousin favors a smooth, quiet experience over all-out performance and EV range.
Young car brands with lofty goals of success and the determination to execute them tend to build some pretty sweet machines. Look no further than Lexus, Infiniti or Acura in the 1990s and early 2000s, as each brand delivered specific cars that equaled or bettered its rivals like the Lexus LS400, Infiniti G35 and Acura NSX—just to name a few. Those brands are now the old guard. Today, it's Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury arm, that’s shaking up the luxury paradigm—and taking a big bite out of the competition. Genesis has some mojo to be sure, but until now, an EV has been missing from the lineup. No longer. Welcome to the 2023 Genesis GV60, the automaker’s very first electric vehicle.
The new GV shares its basic mechanical makeup with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 as well as the Kia EV6 and that’s certainly no bad thing. The fresh design helps the GV60 stand out amongst its siblings. But besides the look and the luxe, does the Genesis offer enough to be worth the extra dough? And more importantly, is this luxury electric crossover a worthy competitor to the popular Tesla Model Y? After spending a day with the GV60, hitting the streets of LA and hammering the little SUV through Malibu’s curviest canyons, I can confidently say yes, and yes.
Let’s dig in.
2023 Genesis GV60 Specs
- Base price (Performance as tested): $59,980 ($68,980)
Advanced AWD trim
- 160-kW rear electric motor, 74-kW front motor | 1-speed transmission | 77.4-kWh battery
- Horsepower: 314
- Torque: 446 lb-ft
Performance AWD trim
- Dual 160-kW motors | 1-speed transmission | 77.4-kWh battery
- Horsepower: 429 (483 in Boost mode)
- Torque: 446 lb-ft (516 lb-ft in Boost mode)
- Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
- Dimensions (length | width | height): 177.8 inches | 74.4 inches | 62.6 inches
- Seating capacity: 5
- Cargo capacity: 24 cubic feet
- Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds
- Curb weight: 4,890 pounds
- Advanced: 248 miles
- Performance: 235 miles
- Advanced: 103 mpge city | 86 highway | 95 combined
- Performance: 97 mpge city | 82 highway | 90 combined
- Quick take: A quiet, smoother and comfortable EV alternative.
- Score: 8/10
Stout Hatchback Style
If you could peel the badge off the nose of the GV60, you probably wouldn’t peg this crossover as a Genesis. It’s a more youthful, playful design than the company’s other offerings. And that’s a good thing because Genesis is expecting this EV will sell in far greater numbers to younger buyers than its current products. Personally, I like the squatty bulldog stance and those short front and rear overhangs. It’s kind of cute. However, it’s not quite as interesting or athletic-looking as the Kia EV6, nor is it as hip as the 8-bit Hyundai Ioniq 5. Still, the GV60 is fairly slippery with a drag coefficient of .29—about the same as the Kia and Hyundai.
The two bar headlamp and taillamps are similar to other Genesis products, as is the shape of the grille, which of course isn’t really necessary on an EV. However, the engineering team says the opening does provide some cooling for the battery pack. The sleek roofline is not unlike many “coupe-like” crossovers and it’s done well here, although the rear end does look a bit chunky from certain angles. The only hint that this might be related to the Hyundai or Kia are the electric door handles. But under the skin, there’s plenty in common.
Beneath the Metal
If you could peel back the GV60’s sheet metal, you’d find some very familiar components.
As mentioned earlier, the GV60 is built upon the same dedicated EV platform (E-GMP) that’s used for the Ioniq 5 and EV6. Genesis uses the same 77.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the floor, too. Unlike its platform mates, every GV60 is all-wheel-drive, with a traction motor at each end of the chassis. Advance-trim models have a 74-kW motor up front and a 160-kW motor at the rear for a total of 314 horsepower. Performance-trim models have a 160-kW motor at each end and deliver 429 hp, and for up to 10 seconds at a time, 438 hp in boost mode. Performance models also gain an electronic limited-slip rear differential. The company says the GV60 should hit 60 mph in just over four seconds. That’s not quite Tesla hustle but it’s certainly quick enough for most drivers.
Genesis wanted to deliver a sportier offering than either of its siblings, so the wheelbase of the GV60 has been trimmed by four inches compared to the Ioniq or EV6. And the GV60 is nearly five inches shorter overall, too. The suspension tune is unique as well: The GV60 has its own springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Genesis Senior Manager of Product Planning, Andre Ravinowich, said that although the GV60 is sold in other countries, the cars we drove on the media preview event were tuned specifically for the United States market. He hinted that although the company wanted the GV to feel sporty, it didn’t want to go as far in that direction as Tesla. Comfort remained a priority.
The electronically controlled adaptive dampers, which are standard on the GV60 Performance models we drove, are not shared with Hyundai or Kia. Ravinowich said that they can vary the pressure in the damper cylinder, not only based upon what the chassis is doing, but also depending on the drive mode. And Genesis offers three of those (Eco, Comfort and Sport) that can be activated by the same smart little knob mounted on the steering wheel you’ll find in Hyundai.
The GV60 Advance delivers a range of 248 miles and Performance models can travel 235 miles. That’s a bit less range than the Hyundai Ioniq (256 miles for AWD) and way less than the Tesla Model Y (330 miles). And yet, it’s a near-even match for the Audi Q4 E-tron, which returns 241 miles on a charge. But one of the GV60’s greatest strengths is its charging ability.
All GV60s have a 10.9-kW onboard charger. And on a Level 2 (240V) setup, the Genesis can bring the battery from 10 percent to 100 percent in about seven hours. But on a 400V DC rapid charger, the GV60 can take the pack from 10 percent to 80 percent in just under a half-hour. That number drops to just 18 minutes when using an 800V charger. And, get this, after just five minutes at one of these chargers, you’ll gain a full 64 miles of range. Plugged into the more common 50-kW units, the GV60 can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in 73 minutes. The GV60 provides quite a lot of versatility with that battery, too, as it can charge other vehicles or power other things—just in case you want to plug your washing machine into your car and do a load of laundry.
Not all EVs are as quiet as they should be. Road noise has a way of creeping into the cabin, especially when performance tires are part of the equation. Genesis has made a valiant attempt to block it all out and create a sanctuary of silence inside the cabin.
First, every piece of glass (except the rear hatch) is laminated. And Ravinowich said there’s more sound deadening used in the construction of the GV60 compared to its siblings. A noise-canceling system was developed in conjunction with Harman Kardon that not only uses the car’s sound system to cover the acute noise—comparable to systems from Infiniti, Buick and Lexus—but it’s also able to anticipate noise before it hits the cabin. A similar setup was employed for the company’s GV80 SUV. Here, the system is aptly named “Active Noise Cancelation-Road” and uses small sensors mounted on the wheels to predict what noises will hit the cabin—and cancel them out before they do. That’s certainly smart stuff.
But wait, there’s more. The only tire offered on the GV60 is the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S (20-inch for the Advanced models and 21-inch for the Performance). These tires, according to Genesis, draw from Michelin’s learnings in Formula E competition and are designed not only for low rolling resistance but are filled with a foam liner to deliver less noise.
Two Cool Things
Traditional automotive keys have been history for a while now. But Genesis has gone a step beyond the competition. It’s designed the GV60 with technology that requires nothing more than your face and your finger to unlock and start the car. A small camera on the B-pillar takes an initial photo of your face and stores it. Then, every time you approach the car and give the door handle a slight touch, Face Connect will recognize you and unlock the car. It works well.
Inside, a small button on the console between the front seats has a fingerprint reader. And once it has your print—a process that requires moving your finger around the pad for a minute or so—you can simply touch the pad and press the start button to begin driving. I really like this tech because it means I don’t have to carry anything on my person to unlock and drive the car. It’s much like what the Genesis GV70 already offers, too. If you’d like to share your “key” with another driver, you can simply text them and share access via Genesis Digital Key 2. And just in case you’re wondering, Genesis said your personal information is stored locally on board the car—not in the cloud.
Glance around the GV60’s interior and the atmosphere is warm, inviting and it all feels well built. Aside from the dual 12.3-inch screens and the HVAC switch location, there’s not a lot shared with either the Ioniq or EV6. One upgrade over those models? There are plenty of redundant buttons to make simple tasks like adjusting the volume or scrolling through satellite radio stations easy. The whole vibe of the interior is far more youthful than any other Genesis, especially the Torrent Navy colorway with cool day-glow green accents on the Performance model I drove. I found the Nappa leather seats to be very supportive and comfortable for a long day behind the wheel. Plus, the car’s headliner and pillars were covered in a nice microfiber suede material which added a dash of sportiness. And there were some fun touches here like the floating center console with storage space beneath, as well as the sliding-door glovebox. There was even a scent diffuser on the passenger door to freshen the GV60’s interior should some foul odors invade the cabin.
Perhaps the most unusual interior feature was the crystal sphere. When the GV60 is powered down, the sphere is a clear blue orb that looks like a decoration. But when you start the car, it flips over and becomes the shifter. Sure, it’s a little gimmicky, but the more I used it, the more I really liked it.
The rear seats offered plenty of legroom. I sat behind myself and had several inches of knee room left. It’s not as limo-like as an Ioniq or as spacious as the Model Y. But it’s slightly roomier overall than the last Volvo XC40 Recharge I remember spending time in. I’m not particularly tall (five-foot-11) but the back of my head did slightly graze the headliner while sitting in the rear seat. And based on some recent experience in a Model Y, there’s much more headroom in the Tesla.
Tesla made front trunks (frunks) a thing. And the GV60 does have a tiny storage space under the clamshell hood. It’s enough room to fit maybe a pair of dirty trail-running shoes and a windbreaker. Pretty weak compared to the Model Y’s 4.1 cu-ft cubby. And speaking of cargo space, the GV60 can haul 24 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seat up and 54.7 with it folded. Not bad but the fastback roof design does cut into the usable storage space. There’s quite a bit less room for gear than the Tesla by 10.3 cubic feet and 21.3 cubic feet, respectively, yet more space than the Volvo XC40 Recharge and the Audi Q4 e-tron.
On the Road
The first thing I noticed as I slid behind the wheel of the GV60 was that it had the same great outward visibility as the Ioniq. And the GV60 has the same sense of spaciousness inside as the Hyundai, too. But the personality of the Genesis is all its own. And a large part of that comes from the hushed cabin. This is one EV that does a great job isolating the driver and passengers from the outside world and creating a sense of calm.
Unlike the Tesla Model Y, the suspension tune was supple without transmitting all the road grit up through the chassis. That was the case whether the GV60 was in Eco, Comfort or Sport. The suspension calibration for real-world city and highway driving was excellent—it was comfortable. And there was plenty of hustle, too. Merging onto a freeway on-ramp, I pressed the little green boost button and felt that extra jolt of power kick in. It’s a pretty fun way to start your morning commute. Genesis made it easy to tailor the GV’s regen from near coasting to one-pedal aggressiveness using the steering wheel paddle shifters. One pedal-style max regen is quite a lot of fun on twisty two-lane roads, but for most of my drive, I had it on one of the lower, less aggressive settings to allow for more freewheeling.
I spent a couple of hours hitting my favorite roads in the Malibu canyons—ones that were off the planned official route Genesis laid out for us (sorry), but on point for testing the GV60’s handling potential.
In Sport mode, the right pedal’s responsiveness became sharper and the GV60 felt the most alert. It was very quick and there was enough thrust to really have some fun. The steering was a little more direct and precise than the last Ioniq or EV6 I drove. My hunch? It’s because Genesis uses a variable gear ratio steering box.
Cruising the GV60 through some fast sweepers and it felt planted and secure, up to a point. Pushing the car harder, feeding in more right pedal, and it began to lose grip. And that happens pretty easily on tighter corners. Remember those quiet, low rolling-resistance Michelins? They certainly don’t stick like a summer tire. So, it was easy to overdrive the chassis with all that torque and hear some squealing from the understeering front tires. It didn’t have the athleticism of a Model Y, which would probably show its taillights to the GV60 on a canyon road.
But my guess is the majority of the people shopping for a GV60 won’t be connecting apexes in their EV. And most of the time, I’d prefer an EV with the refinement, silence and comfort over one that trades some of that for backroad prowess.
Price and Competition
The standard Advance model comes in at $59,980 and offers a ton of standard equipment, including a full suite of safety tech for that price. And each one comes with all-wheel drive, 20-inch wheels, leather seats with heating and ventilation, Bang & Olufsen premium audio and a vision (clear) roof with power shade.
Step up to the Performance model ($68,980) and you’ll have a more powerful front motor, active dampers, Nappa leather seating with an upgraded driver’s seat, electronically limited-slip rear differential, heated rear seats, 21-inch wheels and more.
Although I really enjoyed the Performance model, I’d go for the less expensive Advance. It has more electric range and comes in at a more reasonable price point. In fact, it’s nearly equal to a well-loaded Kia EV6 GT ($58,105) I borrowed recently. A Volvo XC40 Recharge, which starts at $55,300 and can reach as high as $58,150 in the Ultimate trim, is less expensive than the Genesis. But the class-leading Tesla Model Y, which starts at $64,990 for the Long Range and $67,990 for the Performance model, is basically priced on top of the GV60 Performance.
The Bottom Line
Like many brands, Genesis has promised to go fully electric. The company has said every one of its offerings will be electric by 2030. And that makes sense. Parent company Hyundai has said it will spend $7.4 billion here in the U.S. by 2025 on a new electric car plant. And Genesis will soon add electrified versions of the G80 and GV70 to the lineup. As the company’s very first EV, though, the GV60 is a bit of a mixed bag. It comes up a bit short on EV driving range, roominess and handling compared to Tesla. And the most desirable GV60 model is priced higher than the competition.
Still the GV60 offers a satisfying blend of comfort, quietness and refinement. Plus, the GV60’s character is unique enough amongst the other EVs in the market and its peers to make for a compelling choice.
Ben Stewart resides in Southern California and has been an automotive journalist for nearly 30 years. He specializes in reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs.
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