If I have one huge complaint about electric cars and their increasing popularity, it’s that the American charging infrastructure could be a lot better and more reliable. If I have two complaints, it’s that plus the fact that most EVs are too normal. I want more weirdness in my life, but I don’t want that weirdness to affect functionality. Genesis must be reading my dream journal because the GV60 is all-electric and delightfully strange.
If you’re unfamiliar with the GV60, it’s the first from-the-ground-up EV from Genesis, and it shares its guts with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. Like those cars, the GV60 is a smallish crossover with around 250 miles of available range. Unlike those cars, the GV60 feels luxurious and has a crystal ball for a shifter.
The 2023 Genesis GV60 is available in two flavors, both with standard all-wheel drive. The base Advanced AWD trim offers 314 hp with 248 miles of range; the Performance AWD produces a very robust 429 hp with a range of 235 miles. My test vehicle is the latter, which also means that it comes loaded, which, coupled with the extra power, results in that slightly lower range. Both trim levels come with a 77.4-kWh battery capable of using 350-kW DC fast chargers.
That 429-hp figure doesn’t sound like much in a world where EVs like the Lucid Air or the Tesla Plaid have over 1,000, but in a vehicle the size of the GV60, it feels like more than enough. The driving dynamics of the little Genesis EV are excellent, right down to the steering-wheel-mounted boost button that feels both totally extra and absolutely hilarious to use when you get a clear stretch of pavement ahead. It’s like driving in a video game.
The GV60’s suspension offers a composed but comfortable ride, even over LA’s horrible roads, and while it’s no sports car, it is surprisingly capable on a canyon road. This fun-to-drive character is enhanced by variable regenerative braking, which allows you to bleed speed without overtaxing the car’s conventional brakes. The maximum-regen mode allows for single-pedal driving, which I love, especially in traffic.
Genesis’ first built-to-purpose EV may share its E-GMP platform with Hyundai and Kia, but it gets its styling from higher up in the Genesis lineup. This means narrow double-slit front lights and a large shield-shaped grille. It also receives the double-slit rear light treatment, which works well here. Of course, with the GV60’s relatively short proportions, it’s less dramatic looking than the G80 or GV80, but I love it anyway.
Inside the GV60 is one of my favorite interiors in any car on sale today. It takes the relatively open layout of the Hyundai and Kia EVs and adds enough Genesis weirdness to make it interesting. The shifter, for example, is a rotating crystal ball with LED backlighting. The materials used are largely sustainable, with recycled plastics and plant-based leathers featured throughout, but the seating surfaces of the Performance version are real Nappa leather, which should wear better in the long term. It feels luxurious enough without going over the top, which Genesis typically does well.
Interior comfort is high overall, with tons of room even for larger passengers. I’m six-foot-four, and I have tons of head- and legroom as the driver and even had plenty of room in the back seat with minimal need for adjustment up front. Cargo space is reasonable, with 24 cubic feet available behind the rear seats. It’s not massive, but the GV60 isn’t huge.
Being a modern Korean car, the safety and infotainment systems are all well-considered and beautifully executed. The 12.3-inch LCD dash panel looks right at home and offers all the info you need as a driver without feeling cluttered or tacked on. Ditto the wide-screen, high-resolution infotainment screen, which comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is paired (again as standard) with a perfectly lovely Bang & Olufsen stereo system. From a safety standpoint, you get all the greatest hits, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, rear collision avoidance with cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beams, surround-view camera and Genesis’ Highway Driving Assist.
There are other party tricks up the GV60’s sleeve, too, most notably in the form of its biometric access systems. You can, for example, set the car up to lock and unlock via facial recognition. This is accomplished with infrared cameras, the same way your iPhone reads your face for FaceID. Once in the car, you can use your fingerprint to start the vehicle, thus obviating the need for a key. What’s more, both systems work really well.
Genesis is one of very few car companies that doesn’t make a bad car right now. Sure, the styling might not be your cup of tea, but the combination of features, performance, build quality and pricing has historically made the brand easy to recommend to someone shopping for a luxury car – be it their first premium vehicle or simply an alternative to one of the European brands.
The GV60 continues this tradition, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury EV with a usable everyday range. With a starting price of $60,385, including a $1,095 destination fee but not including any federal, state or local incentives, it’s not super cheap, but it’s also not anywhere near being the most expensive vehicle in its class.
The biggest downside to the GV60 is that it’s only being offered by select Genesis dealers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. This means that if you live outside those areas, you’re out of luck, at least for 2023. I hope Genesis opens up the GV60 to the rest of the country, because it’s a genuinely rad EV, and we need more of those.