Genesis is reshaping itself as an electric brand, and the GV60 is spearheading the change.
Unlike the other two electric cars in the current Genesis range, the GV60 is built on the dedicated E-GMP architecture shared with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
With no legacy petrol or diesel buyers to appease it looks unlike anything else on the road, and the interior is a futuristic statement of intent.
Keen to make a statement? Our matte white tester, complete with a blue and lime green interior, was a serious head-turner.
It also promises to be fast. The Performance AWD model on test here has outputs you’d usually associate with BMW M or Mercedes-AMG super sedans, and a 100km/h sprint time to match.
On paper and in practice, the GV60 proves the electric future is rosy over at Genesis.
The car on test is the range-topper, with a price tag of $110,700 before on-road costs.
That puts it in line with a ragtag bunch of similarly-sized electric SUVs. The Tesla Model Y Performance is the most natural rival, priced from $96,700 before on-road costs, while the boxier Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4Matic lists for $106,700 before on-roads.
The slower but larger BMW iX3 is kicks off at $114,900 before on-roads.
2023 Genesis GV60 pricing:
- Genesis GV60 AWD: $103,700
- Genesis GV60 Performance AWD: $110,700
Prices exclude on-road costs
Blue leather with green stitching sounds like a rude combination, but it looks fantastic in person. With a dual-screen dashboard, jewel-like gear selector, and screens for the camera mirrors sprouting from the doors, this is an attention-grabbing cabin.
The seats are supremely comfortable, with a huge range of adjustment for taller drivers to get comfortable. The way they pivot as one piece rather than tilting the base and backrest separately is unique, and means you can adjust into positions that would otherwise not be possible.
It also means you’re able to completely recline while the car charges at public stations, like a business class airline bed.
The only real knock on the driving position is the two-spoke steering wheel, which doesn’t telescope out far enough to meet the driver with the seat slid right back. It looks strange in pictures, but the wheel is a quality item that feels good in your hands – and the bright green BOOST button is very cool.
Storage spaces abound, thanks in part to the flat floor afforded by the e-GMP platform, and the feeling of space you get without oversized transmission tunnel never gets old.
Genesis has already adjusted the infotainment controller it debuted in the G80 sedan, replacing what was quite an awkward touchpad and scroll wheel with a more conventional rotary dial that’ll instantly make BMW drivers feel at home.
The graphics are slick and the responses snappy, and the customisable home screen means you can cut down on the amount of scrolling required to hop between your most used functions. Genesis puts the rotary infotainment dial alongside its rotary transmission controller though, which remains hard to understand.
Apple CarPlay looks great on the screen, but it’s a shame Genesis still doesn’t offer wireless smartphone mirroring. At least the GV60 has USB-C ports instead of the USB-A plugs that feature elsewhere in the Hyundai Group world.
Facing the driver is a digital cluster capable of displaying a live camera feed from the front of the car, a stylised map, or a trip computer. It’s more sophisticated than the setup in the EV6 and Ioniq 5, and represents a step forward from the more basic setup in other Genesis products.
It’s a shame Genesis doesn’t offer proper connected services or a smartphone application like most of its rivals, and its parent company. Being able to monitor the charge level, turn on the air-conditioning, or flash the headlights
Rear seat space in the GV60 is good given the size of the exterior. There’s enough legroom to get adults back there with space to spare, and headroom is better than you’d expect given the sloping profile and panoramic glass roof.
Kids and taller teenagers will fit back there, but taller adults might feel a bit hemmed in. The outboard rear seats are heated, and passengers get a cupholder built into the door like a Gold Class movie seat. All the materials back there feel every bit as premium as those up front, which isn’t a given.
There are two USB-C ports back there, along with air vents built into the pillars. The three-pin plug built into the rear seat base will charge a laptop, or can even power household appliances from the car’s lithium-ion battery pack.
Genesis quotes 432 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place, expanding to 1460 litres. It’ll happily swallow a set of golf clubs, although carrying bigger, boxier items will be more of a challenge thanks to that sloping roof.
There’s a small compartment under the bonnet which measures around 25 litres. Single-motor versions of e-GMP vehicles get a larger ‘frunk’ as there’s no space-eating front motor, though none come close to Tesla’s front cargo area.
No GV60 gets a spare tyre of any kind, instead a tyre repair kit is standard across the range.
The GV60 Performance AWD has 180kW motors on both axles for a total output of 360kW, and a combined peak torque of 700Nm.
In its Boost Mode, which primes the motors to provide peak output for 10 seconds, the fastest GV60 hits 100km/h in 4.0 seconds from standstill. It features a 77.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and claimed range is 466km on the WLTP test cycle.
The 800V architecture allows the GV60 to charge at up to 350kW when hooked up to a DC public fast charger, although in practice we’ve seen up to 230kW in other e-GMP products.
The GV60 features V2L technology, which allows owners to plug appliances into the car and run them on a 3.6kW power supply. The same technology features on the EV6 and Ioniq 5.
Unlike its Hyundai and Kia siblings, however, Genesis says the GV60 is able to pre-condition its battery for more efficient fast charging at DC stations.
The GV60 builds on the platform laid down by less expensive members of the Hyundai E-GMP family, but doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
How’s it different? For starters, in Performance AWD guise it’s faster than any electric Kia or Hyundai we’ve seen in Australia so far. Even without prodding the glowing green BOOST button it squeezes you back in the seat like a hot hatch; in BOOST the throttle gets sharper and the acceleration gets even more determined.
With a clever dual-motor all-wheel drive system, you can use all the performance in essentially any conditions with impunity… provided you keep an eye on the speedo in camera-happy Australia.
Around town, the prodigious thrust on offer and smooth, silent performance make the GV60 a lovely place to spend time. The steering is fluid and relatively light, and the ride is better than you’d expect given the car rides on 21-inch wheels.
Genesis fits the range-topping GV60 Performance AWD with its Preview-ACS suspension, which uses a forward-facing camera to scan the road ahead and actively tweaks the dampers based on what’s coming up. It can still feel a bit busy on particularly pimply roads, but the balance between ride and handling is well struck for the most part.
Like Hyundai, Genesis allows you to toggle through four brake regeneration levels with paddles behind the steering wheel. In its most aggressive iPedal mode you’re able to get around without ever touching the brake pedal – although you need to activate it every time you start the car, which is an unnecessary step.
In town, the camera mirrors standard on the GV60 take some getting used to. They’re better than those on the Audi e-tron, with a broader field of view and brighter picture, and once you’re dialled into the perspective become second nature.
With a significant blind spot from the sloping c-pillar and the unique perspective from the cameras, the only time the GV60 feels hard to place is when you’re trying to merge across a median with moving traffic using a slip lane.
At highway speeds, the GV60 feels rock solid. It hums along quietly at 100km/h, with less wind and road noise than you get in some rival electric cars, and the ride is well sorted on the open road.
Genesis’ adaptive cruise control does a good job maintaining a gap to the car in front, and the lane-keeping assist moves smartly to nudge you back between the white lines if you stray. The more active lane-centring system is a bit too hands on for my liking, although other members of our team have no issue with it.
Despite the Performance billing and powerful motors, the GV60 doesn’t feel like a sports car in the corners. There’s no getting away from its two-tonne heft, but driven with respect for its size you can make progress at a decent rate of knots.
Once its mass has settled in a corner you’re able to squeeze the throttle and slingshot onto the next straight harder and faster than a car of this size has any right to. Just don’t forget to get on the brakes early; the way the GV60 accumulates speed sneaks up on you.
GV60 AWD highlights:
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- Automatic LED headlights
- Roof rails
- Puddle lighting with Genesis logo
- Fixed glass roof
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Nappa leather seat trim
- Copper interior accents
- Suede headliner and pillars
- Leather-trimmed dashboard, door trims, console with stitching
- Adjustable ambient lighting
- Dual-zone climate control
- V2L capability
- Digital side mirrors (cameras in place of exterior rear mirrors)
- 18-way power adjustable driver’s seat with massage
- 12-way power adjustable passenger seat
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated rear seats
- Fingerprint-based unlocking, keyless entry/start
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite navigation
- Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system
- Head-up display
- Wireless phone charger, 3 x USB ports
- Powered tilt/reach steering wheel
- Power tailgate with kick opening
GV60 Performance AWD adds:
- 21-inch alloy wheels
- Electronic limited-slip differential system on rear axle
- Camera-based adaptive suspension
- Boost mode
- Alloy interior pedals
- Metallic interior accents
The GV60 was recently awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, off the back of Euro NCAP tests.
Category scores included an adult occupant protection rating of 89 per cent, a child occupant protection rating of 89 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection rating of 63 per cent, and a safety assist rating of 88 per cent.
ANCAP praised the GV60’s performance in crash testing, awarding it full marks for protection of the front-seat passenger in the frontal offset test, the driver in the side impact test, and for child occupants in frontal and side-impact crashes.
It dinged the GV60, however, for its protection of pedestrians in a collision, though noted it was still within the threshold for five stars.
Standard safety features include:
- Eight airbags incl. front-centre airbag
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Junction assist
- Blind-spot assist
- Blind Spot View Monitor (cameras)
- Rear cross traffic alert and assist
- Driver-attention monitoring
- Lane departure warning
- Lane Following Assist (centring)
- Lane keep assist
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Surround-view cameras incl. 3D view
- Safe Exit Assist
The GV60 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. It also comes with a range of owner benefits designed to win potential buyers over to the Genesis way of life.
Five years of maintenance is free, and Genesis will collect your car when it’s time for a service.
There’s also 10 years of free roadside assist, and buyers get a choice between five years of free charging with Chargefox or a free home charger and installation.
With each new product it feels like Genesis edges closer to having a proper identity, as it tries to develop into a long-term rival for Lexus, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.
The GV60 feels like the strongest indication yet of what it wants to become, and shows the future is bright.
That’s not to say it’s perfect. Given the price it’s quite compact in the boot and back seats, and the performance is impressive but not standout alongside the Tesla Model Y.
Those two factors aren’t enough to take the shine off. The GV60 Performance AWD is an interesting addition to Australia’s rapidly-growing electric car market, and represents a compelling alternative to more conventional (or should the be less daring) battery-powered SUVs.
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