I’m not sold on electric cars and trucks. But after testing the Genesis GV60 all electric Performance model, it could influence a change of mind.
The Genesis GV60 is all new for 2023 and it’s the first all-electric luxury compact SUV from Genesis, which is Hyundai’s top-tier luxury brand as Lexus is to Toyota and Acura is to Honda, to reference a few. And to its manufacturing, the GV60 is made in Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
GV60 is offered in Advanced and Performance versions and both come standard with AWD. Just judging by the names, it’s obvious Performance offers more power.
Perhaps the most inspiring occurrence I had with the GV60 was when I parked at a shopping center in front of a Tesla sedan. I stayed in the SUV while my wife went into a grocery store for a couple items. As I sat there a gentleman and his wife approached their Tesla. When he saw the Genesis, he strolled over to give it a look and since I had the front windows open he asked me about it and said it looked really sharp. I then said it’s a Tesla fighter and he smiled and nodded his head in seeming approval.
And snazzy it is. From its front squint-like dual headlights to a sharply sloping roofline that ends at a rear spoiler to dual taillights, the GV60 is one slippery looking aerodynamic SUV. Add to that, the Performance model’s 21-inch alloy wheels take on a ninja knife blade array that are eye-grabbing by themselves.
This sexy exterior design follows through to the interior that sports dual 12.3-inch digital displays that appear to be one 28-inch long glass instrument panel. The left display serves the driver information screen, the right one the infotainment system that includes Bang & Olufsen audio, voice commands, navigation, HVAC selections, rearview camera with multiple views including left and right side views when activating the turn signals, plus image capture, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration, Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant, remote parking function, weather reports, battery charge/range remaining, maintenance schedule, local dealers, local charge stations and a myriad of other niceties. The GV60 is very sophisticated and requires serious study time with the owner’s manual as there’s lots to know and learn about the SUVs operational technologies.
Then there’s the Crystal Sphere gearshift ball on the seemingly floating console. Turn on the EV ignition and the crystal ball rotates to expose a gearshift of sorts. It’s an extremely unique design by talented and innovative Genesis engineers.
Heated/cooled perforated Nappa leather front seats offer extended under thigh support with sueded inserts. Plus, they recline that could come in handy while waiting for the GV60 to charge at a charging station. Faux suede also adorns door panels, ceiling and pillars. And get this. The front seats have a massage function that automatically activates after an hour of driving. How considerate is that?
A mode switch on the steering wheel offers Eco, Comfort, Sport and Hold-My- Position modes. The Sport mode is extra head-snapping quick over normal exhilarating full-power acceleration. There’s a sub-mode within Sport of Drift that’s activate by holding down both paddle shifters for three seconds. And Boost mode controls the motor for maximum performance and rapid acceleration. It’s activates for 10 seconds and generates loads of “G force” on the body. More than that is certainly not needed.
Unique too is the glove box that uses a pull-out drawer instead of a traditional flip down door. And the wireless phone charger allows the phone to be charged in a vertical position instead of horizontal like many chargers.
Back seats are nicely padded and can actually seat three adults as there is no center transaxle hump to interfere with leg room.
The GV60 has a cargo area and a frunk. Yup you read right. Open the hood and there’s a two-tier bin where an engine would be. The top bin is three inches deep while the bottom is four inches deep. Enough for two medium duffle bags or wet hip boots if you’re a fisherman. The cargo area itself has a low 28.5-inch lift-over, and it offers 29 cubic feet with the rear seats upright that measures 35.5 inches deep, 41 wide and 27 high. Flip the rear seatbacks and capacity increases to 57 cubic feet for 66 inches of loading depth. Under the rear seats is a power outlet that with GV60s Vehicle to Load feature, allows charging a laptop or another EV.
As for the powertrain, the GV60 Performance comes with two motors. A 99-hp motor drives the front wheels while a 215-hp motor drives the back ones for 446 lb/ft of torque. Punch the Boost button and it develops 483-hp and 516 lb/ft of torque for 10 seconds. GV60 has a range of 248 miles on a full charge but using Boost too often cuts those miles as it eats up more battery juice. GV60 can also tow up to 2,000 pounds.
Charging wise, I visited an Electrify America charger a couple miles from my residence. Genesis offers three years of complimentary, 30-minute fast charging sessions at an Electrify charger but it requires an owner’s app which I didn’t have. But when I pulled up there, three EVs were already plugged in including a Rivian pickup and three guys sitting on a curb. When I asked them why one charger was available they told me it was broke and the other three were awaiting a charge. So I returned early the next day and again three of the four chargers were occupied so I was left with the slower 150kw not the 350kw charger. Since I wanted to top off the battery, I spent 27 minutes waiting for a 92 percent charge that cost me $8.77. The cost of charging was considerably less than I’d pay for a fill-up across the street at a Sunoco gasoline station. But I could have been filled-up and out of the Sunoco in five minutes. Instead, I was sitting and waiting for a charge when I could be home painting my window shutters, cutting my lawn or writing this review. As such, the GV60 carries MPGe mileage ratings of 97 city, 82-highway.
Hyundai is working on and will be introducing a faster charge cycle by pre-heating the battery. I presume it will apply to the GV60 as well.
Performance wise, it’s almost indescribable. Yes, you can go from one city stop sign to another in 4 seconds. Punch Boost and it’ll take 3 seconds.
Handling is superb. Steering is quick and precise and the GV60 parks easily or if you’re lazy, you can use the remote park function. And the GV60 rides heavenly.
Now for some of the high-tech features.
Genesis GV60 offers Facial Recognition that allows locking/unlocking the car by merely touching the handle and face the camera on the “B” pillar. The feature can accommodate two faces and can also set the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, side mirrors and infotainment settings. And it can do so in the dark. This is the first production car to offer this.
There’s also a Fingerprint Authentication System that allows the driver to start and drive the car without a key.
But that’s not all.
Active Sound Design provides three sounds of Futuristic, sporty E-Motor and soft G-Engine, all based on the sound of a gasoline engine and electric motor. In reverse gear a subtle beep, beep sounds similar to a tow motor and other construction vehicles. And in concert with all this, the audio system offers “Sounds of Nature” that replicate several outdoor scenes like waves rushing to shore, birds, singing, rain and others.
With a long list of every conceivable safety feature offered today, the GV60 carried a base price of $67,890 and after adding the only option, Matterhorn White paint ($1,500), the bottom line reflected $70,485 with delivery. Hyundai/Genesis has also applied for a $7,500 tax credit for the GV60.
To its credit, the GV60 was awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top Safety Pick Plus designation for its latest safety and driver assistance technologies.
As a relative newcomer to the car business, Genesis has made its mark both for its gasoline powered vehicles, and now its electrified ones. And it certainly is a Tesla fighter, plus it has more dealers for service when needed, which shouldn’t be very often.