The new GV60 takes an imaginative exterior and interior design and couples it to nearly 500-horsepower.
2023 Genesis GV60 review with The Road Beat
Words and photos by Mitchell Weitzman
What is it?
The first all-electric vehicle from Genesis, the luxury subdivision of Hyundai/Kia. Slotting in below the GV70 and GV80 SUVs in terms of size, the GV60 isn't any cheaper, but it is wildly more powerful in this spec due to its all-electric powertrain that makes 429 horsepower (and 483 temporarily for extra boost). Does this compact luxury crossover make any sense, though?
When the GV60 was first revealed online, I was unsure what to think of it. The common word I saw and heard was 'funky,' which doesn't quite tell if that's good or not; A Honda Crosstour is funky, but also ugly, for example. In the flesh, I really enjoyed the distinct personality of the GV60's aesthetics, and so did basically all who saw it. The proportions aren't unlike that of the Tesla Model Y, but the Genesis doesn't resemble a Dr. Seuss-designed creation (though apparently hundreds of thousands of people don't mind driving around in a car fresh off the lot from Whoville). Anyways, call it funky, off-beat, fresh etc., this is a unique and cool-looking car in person.
Continuing the stylish exterior is a distinct and exuberant interior. Video/streaming advertisers will love it, as this is OTT (over-the-top) to a next and new level of interior design. Is that a Tolkien Palantir in the center there? No, it's the drive-selector concealed. A gimmick, sure, but hey, at least it's not boring - people dug it, too. Materials in the cabin are good, but not great, with some plastic and flimsy bits disguised as machined metal and so forth, but this interior nails the brief for pure theater. More importantly, it's just exciting and great to see the creativity coming forth with new models from a new brand. Also, it's quite comfortable, too, and while the back seat isn't humongous, it's also not as cramped as you might initially think.
If you want power, then the GV60 in Performance trim will surely satisfy your appetite. The standard power output might be 429, but pressing the boost button on the steering wheel unlocks an additional 54 horsepower for 483 total. That's as much as a Ferrari F430 in case you were wondering. Actual performance greatly depends on the drive mode selected, too, but when the correct mode is selected and with that boost button pressed, you better hold on. 0-60 MPH takes only 3.8 seconds, and the rush from any low speed is relentless to any legal velocity. There are faster vehicles still, but why? The ability to seemingly teleport down stretches of suburban roads are reaching more and more reasonably attainable vehicles, and if you weren't prepared for it, it might not even be safe! Further establishing this point, because it's electric, there is no build-up in horsepower, coming on instead instantaneously. When passing a slow vehicle up a hill, the GV60 responded so quickly to peak acceleration I nearly rammed the back of the minivan in front as I was changing lanes!
The GV60 also continues the Genesis trend of building superlative-driving machines. The ride resists being choppy and unnecessarily firm nor floaty, with handling that impressed on winding country roads. The steering, like on most modern cars, is dead, but it does steer nicely still and with confidence. I dislike how light the steering is in the standard mode, but it firms up nicely when driven with extra vigor. What I found most noteworthy is that, despite all that power available, the chassis takes it just fine, with enough grip to out drive most Sunday-supercar-owners, and a balance firmly derived from a sorted sports-sedan. The all-wheel drive in particular does a great job in corner exits and can really propel you forward once the wheel gets straightened out. I recently had also tried Volvo's C40, which also has 400-horsepower, and in tight roads, it was definitely more power than the brakes and chassis could handle, The GV60 can really slug it out in contrast, treating beckoning roads like easy batting practice.
For those wanting charging and efficiency info, I averaged 2.8 miles per kWh of battery capacity. With a 77 kWh battery pack, that equates to about 215 miles of range, somewhat less than what a Tesla Model Y Performance can achieve from a similarly-sized battery pack. Why isn't this a negative? It does at least match the efficiency of a VW ID.4 and Toyota bZ4X, both of which are far slower EVs. So, it's way faster, but it isn't any less efficient than other cheaper offerings. Call that a win-win? Maybe not entirely, but at least the Genesis has lightning recharge times, with the ability to juice at up to 350 KWs, or about double the charging speed as some other options.
Some issues are hard to overcome, though. Like, why the interior at first glance is this creative, almost science-fiction interior with flashy components, but then why do random bits feel cheap? The metallic-appearing surfaces on the door panels are a good example, flexing upon grabbing and squeezing the interior door handles; It's more luxury by opulent appearance rather than raw materials in other words. Oh, and how does the GV60 not have wireless Apple CarPlay? To enable this function, your phone must be plugged in. Strange.
Not exactly a large car by any means, some might be disappointed with the rear seat and cargo space inside, both of which are compromised by the sloping roofline. The Hyundai Ioniq 5, with a traditional, square hatchback silhouette, succeeds better in this regard to maximize volume.
One must also ask themselves if 215 miles of range is enough, too. There are a lot of new electric vehicles coming out in this size class, and all seem stuck around 3 miles per kWh of energy and 200-250 miles of range. Someone needs to move the game forward here at a non-outrageous price. Lucid has, but it'll cost you. Everyday Teslas can eek out a little bit more real world range and still holds an advantage here.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to this GV60 Performance is the price, because at $69,560, it's anything but cheap for what is a compact vehicle at 178" long. This is all the more worrying when you realize you can have an Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD or Kia EV6 AWD with every option ticked for about $15,000 less on the Monroney. That's a huge chunk of change to move up to the GV60, and while those aren't as fast, they're still plenty quick on their own and offer more universally liked designs, too. If the GV60 moved the game on from the EV6 and Ioniq 5 twins with both increased performance and range, then it could be more justifiable, but it actually represents a decrease in range. If you want the nicer car, sure, go for it, but I don't think the difference is enough from both those excellent and cheaper offerings.
Don't get me wrong, for I did enjoy my time with the GV60 Performance. I liked the interesting design and wild cabin, while occasionally relishing in the fun peak acceleration the GV60 can offer. However, I don't think it does enough to differentiate itself from the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, which sticker for far less dough, and it's not like either of those have barren, apocalyptic rental car interiors, too. I like the GV60, but the toughest competition comes from within the same corporation.
2023 Genesis GV60 Performance
As-tested price: $69,560 (starts at about $60,000)
Pros: Neat design inside and out; Impressive speed
Cons: Some cheap interior parts; The Ioniq 5 and EV6 exist
A great and unique new EV, but faces strong internal competition.