Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: July 26, 2022
Genesis is on an ambitious project to disrupt the luxury segment of automobiles, and they’re on a roll. Their latest is this, the GV60, an all-electric SUV with up to 399 km of range, oodles of zero-emission horsepower, an all-inclusive price tag of $71,150, and a luxurious interior to match.
The GV60 has tapped into a simple formula: if you want to beat the best, take from the best. Their designers and engineers have managed to borrow (or become inspired by, whatever you want to call it) concepts from the pioneers in the field, and have cleverly amalgamated every successful feature into a compact SUV. It’s no coincidence then, that many of the GV60’s stand-out gadgets and gizmos feel like familiar territory.
The pop-out door handles work in the same way as an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The circle-themed steering wheel is clearly inspired by MINI. The yellow dial labeled ‘Boost’ on the steering wheel is just like Porsche’s Sport Response switch. The customizable shortcut button? Audi. That haptic touchpad on the steering wheel spoke? Straight from Mercedes, and the same goes for the dual infotainment screens. Rotary dial from BMW. Bang and Olufsen speaker grills from Audi. We can go on and on but the fact of the matter is, Genesis has expertly blended them together for an ergonomically sound and functional user experience.
Speaking of sharing and borrowing, the GV60 is the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, and it’s unsurprisingly built on the same platform as the familial Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6, so the packaging and dimensions will seem familiar. Under that packaging is a 77.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that offers two output variants. The GV60 Advanced houses 314 hp, 446 lb-ft of torque, and a range of 399 km. The more powerful GV60 Performance ups the ante to 429 hp, along with an overboost function temporarily raising that to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft for a brief ten seconds. However, the Performance’s range diminishes down to 378 km.
Out on the open road, the GV60 Performance AWD that we tested was a peach. The suspension is nicely damped and more comfortable than competing EVs like the Volvo C40 Recharge, but not as agile or as engaging when taking corners at speed. Acceleration is strong and bordering on dizzying with that typical EV thrust, and should be more than enough for any kind of driver, heavy-footed or not, especially in Boost Mode, working much like an electric NOS button. Once the ten-second timer runs out though, the transition back can get a little choppy, like a sudden decelerative jerk forward. Nothing that a software tweak can’t fix.
Naturally, the GV60 sits under the GV70 and GV80 in size, with ambitious styling that has worked out well. The side silhouette is appealing, and the perky rear end reminds us of the equally attractive Range Rover Evoque. But it’s the interior that has us preferring the GV60 over the relatively stark and less dramatic Volvo C40 Recharge.
Leather is the dominant material here with upscale switchgear, excellent fit and finish, two large 12.3-inch displays dominating the dashboard, and a fixed panoramic roof that doesn’t open but allows a significant amount of light to flood inside. The infotainment system works well with lag-free menus and an intuitive user interface. BMW perfected the rotary dial function, and Genesis has boldly adopted it for themselves. And the Mercedes-like haptic pads on the steering wheel work well in theory, but we have the same issue here as in the Mercedes, in that it’s too easy to accidentally swipe on them and have it register an input when turning the wheel due to its close proximity to the grips. That means during some random turns, the radio station would abruptly and annoyingly change, and subsequently distract us from the road.
That retracting glowing orb shifter is a standout piece and is more attractive than the Orrefors crystal shifters in top-trim Volvos. We presume it’s a feature that will transition its way to the rest of the Genesis fleet. Most modern creature comforts and amenities are standard fare in the GV60, including the rear window sunshades and remote-control parking feature, but it all comes with the all-inclusive, yet still hard-to-swallow $71,150 price tag.
What we can’t get over are the seat headrests. They cannot be adjusted fore or aft and by default, they are positioned so far forward that your neck is always resting ahead of your shoulders. No matter what we tried, we always sat hunched and could never find a comfortable seating arrangement, disturbing an otherwise quiet and isolated ride. The only remedy was to completely remove the headrest altogether but out of safety concerns, we didn’t bother. A dealbreaker? Absolutely, so we advise test driving or at least sitting in a GV60 to see if the seating position works for you before making a firm decision.
What’s also a dealbreaker is not knowing where our car is at all times. Car thefts have been on the rise all across Ontario, and it no longer seems safe to just leave your car unattended. That’s why we always recommend having a miTrail vehicle tracker, especially in a premium vehicle like the GV60. It’s a simple device that plugs into the car’s OBD11 port, and you can track its real-time location via a computer or smartphone. In the same light as dash cams or steering wheel locks, it’s an additional layer of automotive security, and we wouldn’t set foot out of our garage without one. You can check out miTrail’s devices here.
For a first-time effort, the GV60 is a stunning success. As a standalone EV product, it’s even more impressive. The driving range is more than enough for the average daily commute and with EV infrastructure slowly getting up to speed in Toronto, it’s now easier than ever to pop into a local station for a quick top-up. We still suggest installing a dedicated home charger to relieve any thoughts of range anxiety, but not everyone has that luxury, including condo dwellers. We still have some reservations about the odd seating position but as a product, the GV60 is a properly luxurious five-seater experience that takes the best out there and marries it into one cohesive package.
Model: 2023 Genesis GV60 Performance AWD
Base Price: $71,150
Price as Tested: $71,150
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,515 / 1,890 / 1,585
Powertrain: 77.4 kWh lithium ion battery, two electric motors
Horsepower: 429 hp (483 hp in overboost)
Torque: 446 lb-ft (516 lb-ft in overboost)
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Drive Configuration: Front and rear electric motor, AWD
Range: 378 km