After a year of driving thousands of miles, and flying tens of thousands more, it’s safe to say that we drove nearly all the cars. Of those cars we drove, 16 were eligible to compete for our inaugural EV Pulse EV of the Year award. But only one can win, and for the 2024 year, that’s the Genesis Electrified GV70.
The Genesis is an easy choice, thanks in part to what Genesis has been excelling at in the gas-powered luxury space. Combine that with the excellent EV hardware that underpins nearly every new Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia EV and you have a recipe for a winner.
“The vehicle is a delight to drive, it coddles passengers in a sumptuous and beautifully designed interior, and the generous standard technology works well and is easy to use,” said senior editor Craig Cole. “As we’ve come to expect from this upstart luxury brand,” he continues, “Genesis sweated the details yet didn’t miss the bigger picture. Overall, the Electrified GV70 is a perfect example of a vehicle that feels like far more than the sum of its parts.”
The sentiment was echoed by this author, as well. “The gas-powered GV70 is already an excellent vehicle,” said Chad Kirchner, VP of Content, “but giving it electric power makes it even quieter, even more refined, and an even better luxury experience.”
When it comes to electrification, the Genesis is a winner. While the car isn’t technically sitting atop the E-GMP platform, it does use the same battery and charging hardware. That means a charge time of just 18 minutes to go from 10% to 80% state of charge. The only real negative here is the overall range, hindered by the larger standard wheels, of just 236 miles following the EPA testing methodology.
Standard all-wheel drive and 429 horsepower make it a stout all-weather performer. The removal of the gasoline engine makes the cabin — already quiet — even quieter and more luxurious.
The fan vote
We include a fan vote in our overall scoring for EV of the Year as bonus points. Not surprisingly, the Electrified GV70 won there as well, winning 46% of the overall votes.
The remaining finalists
While the Genesis came out on top, there were two other contenders vying for the top spot.
Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan
The second place winner in this year’s contest is the fantastic EQE sedan from Mercedes-Benz. With its 170 kW fast charging speed, which is better than average, and an EPA rated range of 305 miles, the EQE is a competent electric.
But it’s also a competent Mercedes, delivering a premium driving experience and advanced technology. The Mercedes-EQ software deserves special mention here, informing the driver of the maximum DCFC speed depending on state of charge and other conditions, so the driver knows exactly what to expect. Additionally, the software does a respectable job at automatically routing to DCFC locations on a road trip.
The EQE’s proportions are also better than the larger EQS, and if we were in the market for a Mercedes, this is the one we’d get.
Audi Q8 e-tron
There was a total of 8,100 points available (minus the bonus points) for each vehicle to score. The difference between the Audi and the Mercedes was just 67. That’s how close this was.
The updated e-tron has more range, better fast charging performance, and worthwhile upgrades to make the SUV once again a very competitive electric vehicle.
The SUV body style only has 5 miles less of overall range compared to the Mercedes sedan, and both charge at 170 kW. The starting price is also within $50, too.
The Audi’s interior might be a bit more familiar than the Mercedes, but you can’t go wrong with either. Plus, you can get the e-tron in a sleek Sportback style that gives it a unique look.
Combining all the tested vehicles together, the average range for this year’s class is 283.8 miles. The average DCFC rate was 165 kW. The average starting MSRP was $55,356.
All three finalists were above that average MSRP, but it should be noted that a large majority of EVs these days are luxury-minded. They carry higher profit margins and make them easier sells to car companies looking to make money.
However, there was additional points granted in scoring for any vehicle that started under $47,000. That was the average transaction price of any new car as of March 1 of last year, per our friends at J.D. Power.
Seven of the sixteen cars received those additional points.
Each main category of scoring was broken down into sub-parts, covering everything from acceleration to the quality of the paint. The Audi scored the highest in the performance category, earning it 834 points.
The F-150 Lightning actually won the comfort category with 784 points. What helped it secure a victory in this category? Space. The Lightning’s frunk is huge and useful.
The EQE sedan won 767 points for winning the features category. The before mentioned route planning an infotainment system pushed this sedan over the top.
The Audi also won the quality category, netting it 907 points.
What we learned
We learned that doing well in one or two categories isn’t enough to win our top prize. We also learned that the Genesis Electrified GV70 is greater than the sum of its parts. It delivers value with respectable build quality and features. Die-hard technophiles might be happier with the Mercedes or the Audi, but the Genesis does a lot of that for less money.
Changes for next year
Since this was the first year of our award, any manufacturer who wanted to participate could (assuming that they met the qualification requirements). This helped us establish a baseline for future awards.
For the next award, only new or updated models will be eligible to compete. That might reduce the number of competitors some — but maybe not — but will help us ensure we’re evaluating the industry’s best and brightest.
For winning our 2024 award, Genesis is invited to return for next year’s competition with the Electrified GV70 to defend its title, if the company chooses to. We believe if a vehicle is strong enough to win our award, it should be invited back to compete against the newest hotness.
We hope you’ll come along for the journey.