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2023 Genesis GV60 review: Exceptional, engaging and a little eccentric

The 2023 Genesis GV60 is exceptional — but it’s not just an amazing EV even though it excels at doing electric car things — this an all-around outstanding vehicle, regardless of what’s under the hood. Part hatchback and part SUV, this segment-blurring crossover from an upstart luxury automaker that’s only been a stand-alone brand since 2015. Despite its youth, Genesis already knows how to win, big. Every new product it introduces is a blockbuster, and the all-electric GV60 could be this South Korean company’s brightest star yet.

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The GV60 is an exceptional EV. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

So, what is it that makes this Genesis so special? Well, it’s not one thing, it’s pretty much everything. From the exterior design to its interior materials and passenger comfort, from the high-tech features and excellent performance to the superb DC fast charging capability, this crossover is stellar; it’s also the Genesis brand’s first dedicated electric model. As such, the GV60 is a beacon that should guide this company to a zero-emissions future by 2030, at least that’s the plan right now.

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If you don’t care for the GV60 after seeing it in photos or video, you’re not alone. I wasn’t impressed until I saw the vehicle in person, then everything clicked. Up close and personal, this is a seriously good-looking crossover and I encourage you to check one out before passing judgment. Oddly enough, this will be an enormous challenge for a lot of folks, but more on that at the end of this review.

The GV60’s proportions are similar to the closely related Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 — all three models are built on the same E-GMP architecture — though the details are what set them apart. Despite their identical DNA, these vehicles look completely different. The Ioniq 5 is a 1980s-inspired blast from the past, with its pixilated lamps and boxy bodywork. Slippery and sleek, the EV6 is as smooth as a well-used bar of soap, and the GV60 is, well, it’s something else entirely.

Fitting in with the rest of the Genesis sedan and SUV lineup, the GV60 wears a smaller version of the brand’s signature shield-shaped grille. A distinctive, two-line motif defines the headlights and is echoed in the taillamps, just like on other Genesis models. This vehicle’s rear is pleasantly uncluttered, with a small spoiler running across the back glass. In between both ends, the flanks are almost surgically clean thanks to an absence of trim and retractable exterior door handles. About the only unbecoming design element is that curious “V” in the brightwork that runs along the roof. No matter how many times I see it, this element always seems a little out of place.

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That trim that runs along the roofline is not my favorite. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

The GV60’s interior is absolutely stunning, and you access it in the typical ways, using the touch-sensitive button on the handle or manually unlocking with the key fob. But there’s another option called Face Connect. A near infrared camera mounted in the B-post that allows you to unlock the vehicle with your face, something you’re unlikely to forget or lose while out and about. Just tap the touch button on the door handle and stare at the pillar. This clever system works almost instantly and in nearly any conditions, including the dark. For added flexibility, up to two faces can be saved to the vehicle. Once inside, you can turn the GV60 on using a fingerprint reader on the center console, so there’s no need to carry the key fob.

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In addition to Face Connect, Performance models also support Genesis Digital Key 2, an amenity that allows you to use a supported smartphone to access the vehicle. Ultra-wideband sensors detect when you get close and automatically unlock the doors. Presets get saved in the cloud and you can share a digital key with up to three people.

If you weren’t aware Genesis is doing a phenomenal job with its interiors, you’ll figure out about five seconds after entering this vehicle. The GV60’s cabin is gorgeous and, in some ways, noticeably nicer than what you get from other luxury brands like Acura, BMW or Lexus. Giving this crossover an edge, the designers weren’t afraid of color. Instead of beige, gray or black, this example’s interior is decked out in navy blue, which is accentuated by vibrant lime green stitching and piping. This color combination seems wild but looks oh so good.

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Genesis build some of the nicest interiors in the business. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Ovals and circles are a major theme in the GV60’s interior, kind of like a Ford Taurus from the 1990s but, you know, way better. The GV60’s air vents, drawer-like glovebox, climate control panel and myriad other elements are either circular or oval shaped, which gives the interior a softer, friendlier appearance than what you get in many luxury vehicles these days.

Take a moment to appraise the materials and you won’t be disappointed. The dashboard and door panels are skinned in a buttery-soft leatherette. Gorgeous microfiber suede is used on the headliner, roof pillars and sun visors. The aluminum accents on the dashboard and center console not only look great with their satin finish, but they have a subtle texture that makes them feel substantial. And then there’s the crystalline hemisphere on the center console. Half piece of art, half vehicle status indicator, this beautiful embellishment flips over when you turn the GV60 on, revealing the rotary shift knob. Who else in the automotive industry is pushing design quite like Genesis?

Beyond all that, the seats in the Performance model are covered in rich Nappa leather, plus the front ones are heated and ventilated. They also have adjustable bolsters, the driver gets an extendible lower cushion and these chairs can even give you a massage. The GV60’s front seats are very nice, but I’d like to have the bottom cushion an inch or so lower; it’s just a touch too high for me.

I also wish the steering wheel were slightly larger in diameter because the rim blocks the upper corners of the GV60’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Mirroring that display, there’s a 12.3-inch panel on the dashboard that’s home to a speedy and intuitive infotainment system with integrated navigation. This setup looks premium and very different from what you get in Hyundai and Kia models, though it performs just as well.

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The GV60’s infotainment system is responsive and easy to use. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Naturally, this luxury crossover’s multimedia array supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unfortunately, neither smartphone mirroring system can connect wirelessly, even though the GV60 comes standard with a wireless charging pad, so don’t forget a cable.

How accommodating is the back seat? It’s mostly comfortable, with plenty of legroom and width, plus the bottom cushion is a nice height above the floor and the split backrest is adjustable. It’s just a shame headroom comes up a little short. My noggin grazes the ceiling if I sit up straight.

The GV60’s cargo hold has 24 cubic feet of space and nearly 55 with the rear backrest folded. Like other E-GMP cars, there’s no real front trunk, just a small cubby that’s large enough to store a Level 1 charging cable or maybe an order of Chinese takeout, but that’s about it.

Keeping things simple, the GV60 is offered in two trims, both of which come standard with all-wheel drive. Advanced is the base SKU, brandishing 314 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque, plenty of both to be certain. The top-level Performance grade is, however, appreciably spicier, pushing out 429 horses and 516 pounds of twist, though the boost mode, which is accessible from a steering wheel-mounted button, increases the output to a thundering 483 horsepower for up to 10 seconds. Drop the hammer with boost mode engaged and this all-electric Genesis shoves you into your seat like getting head-butted by a raging bull, enough for a 0-to-60 run of less than 4 seconds. The sensation of speed is accentuated by this vehicle’s relatively soft suspension, which causes it to squat and dive slightly during heavy acceleration or braking.

Three drive modes are accessible via a separate button on the steering wheel: Eco, Comfort and Sport. Unlike a lot of vehicles, there is a pronounced difference between these settings. Eco noticeably reduces the performance, so the GV60 is significantly less punchy. Comfort is perfect for everyday use and Sport really livens up the accelerator responsiveness.

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Comfort is one of this vehicle’s strong suits. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Like I just mentioned, the GV60 is softly sprung to the point it can feel just a touch floaty. The advantage to this bobbing is that the suspension eats up bumps and ruts, so you barely feel them. Helping deliver this, the Performance model features a preview system that scans the road surface using a forward-facing camera. It can then preemptively adjust the electronically controlled suspension to deliver a smoother ride. So many luxury vehicles try to be track-day toys, with carbon fiber trim, aggressively bolstered seats and bone-jarring rides. But people rarely use that stuff. They drive to Costco or hit up Starbucks after visiting Urban Outfitters. I love that Genesis recognizes smoothness and silence as virtues in a luxury vehicle.

With loads of giddy-up and four driven wheels, the GV60’s range isn’t all that great. A 77.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is standard across the board, providing 248 miles on a full charge in Advanced models and just 235 in Performance versions. It may not have the longest legs, but making up for that, this Genesis is a charging champ. Like the EV6 and Ioniq 5, the GV60 should be able to absorb energy at a maximum rate of around 235 kW, enough for it to DC fast charge from 10% to 80% in a blistering 18 minutes, which is exceptionally quick.

At EV Pulse, we typically like to see electric vehicles offer at least 300 miles of range, and the GV60 falls well short of that mark, but so do some of this crossover’s major rivals. With 20-inch wheels, the Audi E-Tron S can only go 208 miles between charges, though if you get 21- or 22-inch rollers that figure drops to a paltry 181. The Tesla Model Y Performance is rated at 303 miles of range, which is great, and the suave Volvo XC40 Recharge delivers a middling 223 miles on a charge.

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When it comes to DC fast charging, the GV60 has a significant edge over that Audi and Volvo. The quickest the E-Tron S can absorb electricity is 125 kW, a disappointing performance in 2022. The XC40 Recharge tops out at 150, which is a good showing, if not a great one, and the mighty Tesla should be able to absorb energy at a maximum rate of 250 kW, which is excellent.

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It’s a real shame the GV60 is only being offered in four states. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Right now, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 are two of my favorite electric vehicles, but the 2023 Genesis GV60 is unquestionably the best of this South Korean bunch, and it gets even better when you consider the price. This top-shelf Performance model checks out for $69,560 including $1,095 in destination fees and $575 for a fancy paint job. Sweetening things, the GV60 should still be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Seventy grand is certainly a lot of money, but that’s less than what a Tesla Model Y Performance starts at and this is way nicer. Additionally, the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition I recently reviewed was only a few hundred bucks cheaper and far less luxurious.

The GV60 is one of the best EVs available today, but here’s this crossover’s biggest problem: It’s super hard to get your hands on one. They’re only available at select retailers in Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Utah and Washington, which is a shame because this vehicle is a shining star, not just in the Genesis lineup, but the luxury EV segment as well.

Recent Updates

Updated (8:55 a.m. EDT, 09/13/2022): Added additional states the vehicle is available in.

Written by Craig Cole

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