Genesis GV60 review

12 May 2022
Genesis GV60

Move Electric rating: 4.5 stars out of five

Sell it to me in a sentence...

The Genesis GV60 is a premium crossover and the first bespoke electric car from the new Korean brand. 

Sorry. Genesis?

We'll forgive you. Genesis is still a new name in Europe, but is built on the most impressive of foundations because it is Hyundai Motor Corporation's premium brand. As such, it's here to take on the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes and more.

… and GV60?

In turn, the GV60 (which we've previously driven in prototype form) is the premium brethren of our Best Electric Car of 2022, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and its own five-star relation, the Kia EV6. Think of it as a premium family SUV, here to tackle everything from the Audi Q4 e-tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Jaguar I-Pace and Volkswagen ID 5, all from the starting point of two highly-regarded cars, and with the added bonus of more development time, and you won't go far wrong.

Now I'm interested. Tell me more about this intriguing Genesis GV60? 

Let's start with the bit that worries everyone about electric cars - the battery.

There's more good news here, as all Genesis GV60 models use the same large 77.4kWh battery as the Kia EV6. That means an impressive official range of up to 321 miles - although, as always, that figure needs tailoring to your driving style and conditions.

Note too that it will vary according to which model you buy. Speed, trim level and range trade off from each other, and so it is top-end Sport Plus covers 289 miles officially, Sport 292 miles and Premium that headline 321 miles. All are good in comparison to rivals, but buyers have to be mindful of their priorities.

The GV60's charging capability is similarly theoretically impressive. If you can find a 350kW charger and use its power consistently for the duration, you can top it from 10-80% in 18 minutes - outstripping even Tesla's best offering.

Whether you'll need to search for that kind of charging capacity in reality is moot, however. Many buyers, especially at this premium end of the market, will likely have a driveway and simply use a slower, cheaper charger to brim the battery overnight, filling it while they sleep.

So the electric side of it is impressive and proven. How does it drive?

As you might imagine, Genesis models are made to their own brief versus the Hyundai and Kia equivalents, with an emphasis on sporty luxury that pitches it nicely against more upmarket rivals.

Go for Sport Plus and there’s an overt indication of this sportiness in the form of a boost button that sits on the steering wheel and which can give bursts of additional power. With an electric motor on each axle for four-wheel drive, it raises the power output to an eye-watering 360kW.

In truth, it's a bit of a gimmick - albeit an arrestingly rapid one - in a family SUV unless your ego demands you really must leave everyone in your dust away from traffic lights, but it does imbue the GV60 with the sort of statistics that have long been the preserve of premium car braggers:  0-62mph in just 4.0sec isn't just fast, it's Porsche Taycan fast. If your passengers are of a nervous disposition, just don’t forget to tell them before you try it…

You can likewise bracket the ‘Drift’ mode in the same way; no doubt it’s a laugh, and a nice marketing highlight that screams at the GV60’s sporting intent, but we’re really not sure how many GV60s will be making their way to the track to be able to use it.

Thankfully, these extreme examples are backed up by the basic package: the GV60 offers a rounded - if resolutely on the firm side of comfortable - overall dynamic experience. On the four-wheel drive Sport model you get a car with a hard edge that delivers pleasing poise and blistering pace, but an occasionally slightly ruffled ride, its shortcomings potentially exacerbated by its giant 21-inch wheels.

Meanwhile, the slower - but far from slow, with 160kW available - rear-drive only Premium model delivers a broader, if not quite as potent, experience. The set-up is still firm, but it is well controlled, its breadth enhanced by selecting between eco, normal and sport modes. Here, 19-inch wheels probably help it dampen the thuds through the car that potholes can provoke on the sportier model. 

We’re yet to try the mid-ranking Sport model, which retains all wheel drive  but with a 160kW motor at the front and a lesser 74kW one at the rear – but, for now, unless you really want your passengers hanging on by the door handles, we’d recommend the balance of the lower spec model – enjoying the smugness of the extra range it delivers, too.

Our only criticism is just how eager the lane departure systems are to tug you into lane at the merest hint of straying. We just hope our driving wasn’t quite as wayward as this keen-to-intervene system suggested…

You say Genesis is a premium brand. Just how premium is it?

Put it this way: specced right, it is more interesting inside than any Audi or BMW than we’ve ever been in, and you’d be splitting hairs to separate it from the very best you’ll find in a big Mercedes. If you like fine materials, a futuristic look and a bit of theatre, the GV60 is made for you.

The fun comes from the console that revolves to reveal the drive selector as you hit the starter button, but the serious stuff – in terms of the quality of materials, their fit and finish and the sheer technical capability and clarity of the various screens is also top notch. In capability it’s up there with the best, but in its look and feel it really is a bit special. 

You get to enjoy that from a seating position that is perhaps a bit lower than you might expect given the car's exterior shape. It's a halfway house between a traditional high-riding SUV and hatchback, enough to give you a good view of the road ahead but not quite as commanding as some.

You’ll certainly be comfortable, though. The driver’s seat comes with electronic adjustment, including lumbar support, and the steering wheel moves up, down, in and out, as standard. In common with most electric cars, it’s also whisper quiet inside, bar the intrusion of some wind noise at higher speeds.

I’m wowed. What about the nitty-gritty of the practical stuff?

Large windows and small pillars mean that front and side visibility is top-notch - giving confidence and bathing the interior in light. It's harder to look out of the back, though, as the roof tapers away to a small rear window with an opaque bar splitting its middle. Standard parking sensors help, but the rear-view camera found on Sport and Sport Plus models feels like a sensible option if you want to destress life.

Premium cars have door mirrors and a camera image inserted in the driver’s dash, while Sport models just get the cameras. This errs into feeling like a decision made for style over substance; we much preferred the Premium model’s set-up, with the traditional units delivering a better depth of field when trying to establish just how close other cars were.

The only other warning is for rear-seat passengers; that tapering roofline does restrict headroom, although really only for tall adults. Leg room, however, is decent, and the completely flat floor a bonus. So too there’s also enough boot space for even the heaviest packers, with 432 litres of space in the back, plus another 20-53 in the front, depending on model.

I’m getting giddy with all this praise. What does it cost?

Prices start from just over £47,000 and rise north of £65,000 - a stiff premium over the closely related Hyundai Ioniq and Kia EV6, albeit for a car that, as you’ve read, builds nicely on their brilliance and which really deserves to be thought of in comparison to more premium rivals.

Helping justify that price, there’s a lot of kit that comes as standard, ranging from full LED headlights, wireless phone-charging, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, an electric tailgate through to the 12.3in infotainment touchscreen. Likewise, there’s a long list of safety equipment,  including eight airbags, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist and an all important automatic emergency braking (AEB) system. 

A five-year warranty gives an added layer of reassurance, and the price also includes five years of servicing, roadside assistance, access to a courtesy car and mapping and over-the-air updates. You also get access to a so-called Genesis Personal Assistant, who is at the end of the phone to help you with any questions.

That’s a lot of car – and service – for your money. While we accept the price might cause many to pause for thought when they consider just how good the Hyundai and Kia equivalents are, it’s also true that the VW Group has long turned out Skoda-VW-Audi cars on a rising scale of pricing without anyone questioning the value of each.

Verdict

Look at it through the lens of more established competition, even from the pinnacle of premium car makers, and the Genesis offers a hugely compelling alternative.

The GV60 is an incredibly accomplished first fully electric car, with no major drawbacks beyond that price comparison to its stablemates.

If you test it and you too fall in love with it, we say go for it; this is a car that allows you to dare to be different and throws in a few treats along the way – without any real risks of coming unstuck.

Genesis GV60 specifications

Price from: £47,005

Motors: Electric permanent magnet synchronous

Gearbox: Automatic

Driven wheels: 2-4

Maximum power: 168-360kW

Maximum torque: 258-516lb ft

Electric range (official): 289-321 miles

CO2 emissions: 0g/km

Weight: 1985–2160 kg

Height: 1580mm

Length: 1890mm

Wheelbase: 2900mm

Width: 1890mm

Maximum boot capacity: 432 litres rear, 53 front

RIVALS

Audi Q4 e-tron

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Volkswagen ID 4