In the beginning, there was the Hyundai Genesis, the Korean carmaker’s first attempt to create a high-line sedan. Today, Genesis is an independent luxury brand with a fast-growing lineup of sedans and SUVs.
The latest addition: the GV60, an all-electric SUV that could get Tesla buyers to think twice about buying a Model Y. To get a good feel for the 2023 Genesis GV60, GearJunkie headed to Hollywood for a first drive.
This is turning into a big year for EV buyers, with the number of battery-electric vehicles in US showrooms expected to triple. Suddenly, those who saw Tesla as their only option have reason to reconsider. And a few of the new models we’ve tested pose a better alternative than the 2023 Genesis GV60.
While neither the fastest nor longest-range model in the compact SUV segment, it has plenty to offer, including good performance, ride, and handling, as well as distinctive exterior design and a truly luxurious and high-touch interior.
It’s worth a closer look by those who might have been thinking Model Y — or one of the other new luxury crossovers, such as the Polestar 2, Volvo C40 Recharge, or Cadillac Lyriq.
The GV60 also introduces a variety of high-tech features, starting with the facial and fingerprint recognition systems that let you drive without bringing a key along. The biggest challenge for the South Korean carmaker, and the GV60, is a lack of awareness of a brand that deserves more attention.
The Genesis of Genesis
Long-time luxury car fans might recall that the Genesis badge first appeared on a midsize Hyundai model in 2009. It was a shocking shift for a brand long focused on small economy cars — and it won a number of awardsamong other things, North American Car of the Year (NACTOY).
The Korean automaker spun Genesis off as a luxury brand, its original GV90 debuting in 2017. Since then, the marque has rolled out a series of well-received new models, including the GV70 sedan that scored another NACTOY win in 2019.
Like mainstream Hyundai, Genesis has laid out an aggressive electrification program. That started with the electrified G80 sedan and electrified GV70 SUV. Both are modified versions of existing gas models.
The GV60, on the other hand, is a ground-up EV. It rides on the same E-GMP architecture, a skateboard-like platform that will be used for future Genesis battery-electric vehicles (and which is shared with products like the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6).
The platform mounts its electric drivetrain under the load floor and, with the GV60, buyers have several powertrain choices. Overseas, there’s a rear-drive model with a single motor mounted on the back axle, producing a moderate 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
For the US, however, all models will start with the two-motor all-wheel-drive system in the advanced package, making 314 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque.
The version I spent my day in, the Genesis GV60 Performance package, is the real contender, at least from a fun-to-drive perspective. Its twin motors hammer out 429 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque.
But if you need a little extra, you can hit the Boost button and get an additional surge of power, bumping the numbers up to 483 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque for 10 seconds at a time.
No, you won’t blow off a Tesla Model Y when the light turns green, but at a flat 4 seconds 0-60 mph, you certainly won’t embarrass yourself either. Power comes on instantaneously, as you’d expect from a modern battery-electric vehicle.
And, the GV60’s motors keep pulling all the way up to freeway speeds. Even then, you’ll find yourself sinking deep into your seat when you slam the throttle to make a high-speed pass.
The GV60 also offers one of my favorite EV features: 1-Pedal mode.
Battery vehicles, whether conventional hybrids, PHEVs, or BEVs, use regenerative braking to recapture energy normally lost during braking and coasting. Turn up the regen and it feels much like downshifting a manual transmission in a gas model several gears.
In many instances, you simply have to modulate the throttle to flow with traffic or slow for a curve, and 1-Pedal often lets you come to a complete stop without ever having to touch the brake pedal.
That feature proved especially welcome as I headed north on the busy US 101 outside of Los Angeles, turning off for the coast on a series of torturously twisted canyon roads.
Behind the Wheel of the Genesis GV60
The GV60’s impressive steering and suspension also proved welcome on my drive. I stayed with Comfort Mode on the freeway, the active suspension all but completely soaking up the bumps along the way.
The crossover features a MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension but adds a Preview Electronic Control System. Both a front camera and the onboard navigation automatically adjust the car’s variable damping to prepare for things like speed bumps and potholes, with impressive results.
Switching to Sport Mode tightened up both steering and suspension — yet avoided the harshness of many SUVs suffers from when switched to Sport. The crossover nonetheless hunkered down, noticeably reducing body roll in corners and letting me take those turns a wee bit faster.
The GV60’s steering, meanwhile, proved precise and predictable, with a good level of road feel stripped of jarring impacts.
The Boost Mode added to the enjoyment, allowing me to briefly rev performance up a notch whenever I came to a straightaway.
Standout, but Polarizing, Design
The fun factor alone would make the GV60 worth considering, but there’s a lot more to like. The design is a real standout — though it’s also a bit polarizing. The crossover picks up on some of the familiar Genesis cues, including the quad head and taillights, as well as the signature “Crest” grille.
Here, however, it is primarily for appearance, as there’s no need to send cooling air under the hood. Small inlets by the bumper do send air to the battery pack and motors for cooling, however.
One disappointment: the lack of a frunk, or front trunk. The Genesis product development team claims they opted for a short nose under which they’ve mounted GV60’s electronic controls and crash energy absorption system. Still, I’d have really liked to have even a small frunk for additional, locked storage.
There’s a positive side to that tradeoff. The GV60’s compact footprint disguises a midsize interior. The rear seats offer plenty of leg, shoulder, and headroom.
A ‘Warm Digital’ Interior
The cabin boasts class-above refinement, as well, with plenty of upscale detailing, including recycled and “vegan” leather surfaces. Designers went for a “warm digital” theme, and there are plenty of high-tech, as well as high-touch, features. That includes a dual wide-screen display that stretches two-thirds of the way across the instrument panel.
The voice-control system is among the better ones I’ve experienced, making it easy to operate controls and program destinations. There’s also a small, third digital display just above the center console for climate functions. And GV60 gets a real volume knob.
The funkiest feature is the “crystal sphere,” a sci-fi-like orb that dominates the center console. The laser-etched sphere lights up when you enter the GV60 and then rolls over to reveal the crossover’s shifter. It also changes hues when in gear. Another unusual detail is the drawer-style glovebox, which actually proves easier to use than a conventional design.
The technology used in the GV60 is extensive, with a broad array of advanced driver assistance systems meant to prevent crashes and ease the burden of driving, both in heavy traffic and on long road trips.
The crossover also features what is known as Vehicle-to-Load, or V2L, capabilities. In lay terms, you can easily tap into its battery to power tools or, if you wish, run things like a TV or a cooler while tailgating.
In some instances, it’s hard to say what’s a gimmick or a truly useful feature. The GV60 can be programmed to recognize the faces of authorized drivers using a camera built into the left B-pillar.
It’ll open up the driver’s door, and then you can use a fingerprint detector near the crystal sphere to start up the car. This lets you drive sans key — though you can accomplish the same goal using the Genesis GV60’s smartphone app.
GV60 Electric Range
As for range, the 2023 Genesis GV60 falls roughly mid-pack among the EVs coming to market this year, but behind the Tesla Model Y. It peaks out at 248 miles for the base all-wheel-drive model, the Performance pack dipping slightly to 235 miles per charge.
An 800-volt electrical system is used in the E-GMP platform (compared with 400 volts for most competitors). That helps speed up charging, the GV60 going from a 10% to 80% state-of-charge in as little as 18 minutes using a 350-kilowatt public charger. Using a typical 240-volt home charger will require 7 hours to reach 100%.
2023 GV60 Pricing
Pricing is $58,890 for the Advanced Package, and $67,890 for the Performance Package — before adding $1,090 for delivery fees. The two models are fully equipped. There are no options.
The GV60 also gives buyers 3 years of complimentary 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America charge stations.
2023 Genesis GV60 Review
After spending a day in the 2023 Genesis GV60, I came away quite impressed. While it may not have quite the performance or range of a Tesla Model Y, it’s still quick and offers more than an acceptable range.
More importantly, it’s a true luxury vehicle with a distinctive look that, I found, had plenty of Tesla drivers checking the GV60 out. It’s far more luxurious inside and while it doesn’t have a match for Tesla’s Autopilot, it offers lots of other useful technology.
At this point, when some folks are starting to talk about “Tesla fatigue,” there appear to be openings for solid alternatives. And the 2023 Genesis GV60 clearly qualifies.
To find out more about the GV60 and the latest about Genesis vehicles, check out Genesis.com.