Genesis GV60 electric car review

Genesis is hoping the first of three new electric cars due within weeks will provide incentive to pop the fledgling brand on the shortlist for luxury buyers.

The GV60 is the smallest of the trio of new EVs, although it’s the only one created from the ground up as an electric car (the GV70 and Electrified G80 both use petrol architectures adapted to take electric components).

It rides on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 but adds fresh styling and more luxury gear – and arrives with an associated price premium.

Smaller than those two, the GV60 is officially a compact SUV, although sliding into the back seat reaffirms it’s one of the more spacious compact SUVs on the market. A flat floor means generous foot room that partly compensates for modest knee and head room.

There’s even a huge netted storage pod below the centre console, with rear air vents relegated to the centre roof pillars.

The boot has a split-folding floor to provide easier access to its storage below. There’s also a binnacle under the bonnet.

Traditional luxury stretches predominantly to leather seats, with flecked silver trim and other bright touches teaming with various interior colours for a bolder, modern look.

The “Crystal Sphere” that rolls back like an eyeball to reveal the drive selector is a techy touch that gives an indication of the GV60’s contemporary theme.

Door mirrors have been replaced with cameras, the screens mounted on each door providing a wide field of view that accounts for varying light and never needs adjustment.

Two 12.3-inch screens look after the instrument cluster and infotainment functions while a head-up display projects key data in the driver’s line of sight.

It’s part of a comprehensive equipment package that includes heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, sunroof, fingerprint recognition, smart key entry and wireless phone charging (you need to plug in to use the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) connectivity. There’s an array of active safety gear, including blind spot warning, auto braking, rear cross traffic alert and exit warning.

There’s also five years of servicing included in the circa-$115,000 starting price and owners are offered the choice of a charger installed at home or five years of charging at Chargefox outlets.

There’s no remote connectivity via a smartphone app, but it’s a rare omission.

There are two GV60s to choose from, each with two electric motors.

The regular AWD model makes 234kW and 605Nm, which is plenty for spirited driving with point-and-shoot responsiveness, the 20-inch tyres providing ample grip and sure-footed cornering.

Step up to the $121,000 AWD Performance and there are 21-inch wheels, various trim changes as well as a larger front motor and Boost button that ups the peak outputs to 360kW and 700Nm for 10-second bursts, also sharpening the occasionally dull throttle.

Why that additional 40kW/95Nm is not available through the accelerator pedal is a mystery that probably boils down to the marketing department; it’s a more complex way of tapping into power than it needs to be.

Either way, it’s seriously fast.

The Performance also uses its forward-facing camera to prepare the adjustable dampers for larger bumps. But the lower profile rubber mean you’ll feel sharper edges, with the GV60 more focused on sharp dynamics over plushness.

There’s loads of driver adjustment beyond the usual steering feel and suspension firmness; you can also adjust the sensitivity of the brakes and dial up synthetic motor sounds, including one that mimics a petrol engine.

Each model also has an Eco mode that disconnects the front motor, in turn limiting the peaks to 160kW/350Nm and lowering energy consumption, which is claimed at 18.8kWh/100km for the AWD and 19.1kWh for the Performance. The WLTP range is 470km and 466km respectively.

Genesis claims the GV60 will charge at up to 350kW – except it doesn’t. It tops out at about 240kW, which still makes it one of the fastest charging EVs currently available. At the fastest DC chargers it’ll add about 300km of range in less than 18 minutes.

AC charging can be done at up to 10.5kW, meaning a full charge in about eight hours (or 35 hours using a regular powerpoint).

The GV60 is a convincing first EV effort for Genesis, albeit with a price premium and limited supply (about 150 cars for this year) that means it’ll be a niche vehicle.

There are obvious comparisons with its mainstream brethren, but up against luxury brands it brings benefits of being designed from the outset as an EV, albeit with the occasional quirk to its functionality.

VERDICT

Packed with gear and with a price tag to match, the GV60 is a quick, slick-driving EV that benefits from being built on a dedicated electric car architecture.

Four stars

GENESIS GV60 AWD

PRICE From about $115,000 drive-away

WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 yrs/unlimited km, free for 5 yrs/75,000km

POWER/TORQUE 234kW/605Nm

SAFETY 8 airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and junction assist, lane keep assist, 360-degree camera, driver monitor, exit assist, rear cross traffic alert, rear occupant warning

BATTERY/RANGE 77.4kWh/470km

SPARE Repair kit

BOOT 432L plus 20L under-bonnet

Originally published as Genesis GV60 electric car arrives with outstanding style

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