Genesis GV60 review: Premium EV sets its sights on the big guns

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The GV60’s wide range of price, engine and performance options, as well as a generous specification, puts it up against a diverse array of competitors

A few years ago, the premium electric car segment was still quite sparsely populated. Only Tesla claimed to offer a high-end EV experience.

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Genesis only arrived in the UK last year but is already following suit, with three electric vehicles planned for this year alone. Two are fully electrified versions of existing cars – the G80 and GV70 – while the third is this all-new GV60.

Such a wide range of competitors could be an advantage or disadvantage as it struggles for recognition, but there’s no question that Genesis has a lot of work to do to impress some high-profile competitors.

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One thing is for sure, the GV60 definitely stands out visually, especially in the striking Sao Paolo Lime of the launch cars. Even in subtle tones, the car’s looks are a little challenging, but it looks a lot better in metal than it does in photos.

It has the now-familiar Genesis face, with the split quad headlights – LED standard, adaptive matrix as an option – and the comb grille, this time low on the front to help battery cooling. Behind that ‘face’ and clamshell hood, the rest of the car rises a lot and looks chunkier, a feeling reinforced by the pinched window line at the rear. Most of the rear is broken up slightly by the clean V-shaped slash in the C-pillar metal trim and tailgate-mounted spoiler.

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Despite its chunky design, the GV60 hides its size pretty well. It looks pretty compact, but there’s plenty of room inside for four six-foot-tall adults.

It’s a fantastically comfortable and spacious place to whittle away the miles, and brings with it the quality materials and construction that are already a hallmark of the brand. Despite a huge center console housing infotainment controls, driving selector, phone charger and storage spaces, it still feels open and spacious thanks to this console’s flat floor and sculpted shape. The panoramic roof – a £1,120 option – enhances that feeling even further.

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The future-oriented philosophy of the GV60 is underscored by high-tech elements such as the dual 12.3-inch screens for instruments and infotainment, a head-up display, fingerprint recognition for driver profiles and the delightfully tactile crystal ball that rotates around the Expose drive selector switch when the engine is started.

As you’d expect from a premium EV, the refinement is excellent, thanks in part to active noise-cancelling technology. Wind noise only becomes noticeable in the three-digit range on the motorway. It sails almost silently on British roads, with virtually no annoying tire or wind noise.

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The ride is similarly impressive. Top-of-the-line GV60s come with adaptive suspension that uses a forward-facing camera to track the surface and prepare the system for upcoming changes. It works great and so equipped the GV60 is one of the most cushioned and comfortable vehicles in its class. But the passive damping of smaller models also ensures a quiet, comfortable ride.

Handling is sharp and responsive, although like so many electronically-assisted systems, there’s a lack of feedback. It’ll also grab and steer well at high speeds, but it won’t tell you much about what’s going on underneath. It also still suffers from slight body roll, even when the suspension is in its firmer Sport setting.

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As usual, Genesis keeps the GV60’s specs simple. There are three trim lines, each reflecting a different powertrain configuration. Premium is more comfort and range oriented, with a single motor at the rear and reasonable but not thrilling performance. Sport adds a motor up front to improve performance but reduce range, while Sport Plus further increases motor power and adds some silly features like boost and drift modes.

The performance of the Sport Plus is frankly unnecessary, but it’s fun. In normal use, the two engines put out 429hp, but tap the light green boost button on the steering wheel and you’ll get the full 483hp for 10 seconds. It’s a novelty to have a dedicated button to unlock “more” power, but it would make more sense to make this full power mode the default setting in sport mode.

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Even in boost mode, the GV60 isn’t as fast as a Tesla Model Y or Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, but a 0-100 km/h time of four seconds is really good enough for real-world use.

The lower-powered premium model is quite a leap in performance, with 226 hp and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 7.8 seconds. Its performance feels far more mainstream, but it’s priced much closer to mainstream models while maintaining the quality and comfort common to all models.

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If you want comfort, refinement and range at a good price then it makes a lot of sense. However, I suspect the sport could be the sweet spot of the range. At £53,605 it’s not much more than the Premium, but brings all-wheel drive, 314bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.5 seconds with a range of 292 miles, compared to the Premium’s 321 miles and the 289 of SportPlus.

All versions of the GV60 use the same 77.4kWh battery, which can be charged at up to 350kW thanks to the dedicated E-GMP platform, allowing drivers to add 70% of the charge in just 18 minutes.

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This clever platform also means the GV60 offers vehicle-to-load capability, allowing you to power external devices – from laptops to lights – from the battery via the internal three-pin socket or an optional charge port adapter.

Aside from the powertrain, the basic specs for the different GV60 models don’t differ much.

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The range starts at £47,005 for the Premium, which offers 19-inch alloys, auto-dimming LED headlights, dual 12.3-inch displays, parking camera, acoustic glass, dual-zone climate control, eco-friendly faux leather upholstery, keyless entry and start. It also includes driving aids such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, blind spot collision avoidance and lane following assist.

The only addition to Sport besides the additional engine are 20-inch alloys, while Sport Plus ups that to 21-inches and adds electronically controlled suspension, an electronic LSD, and aluminum and suede interior trim and Nappa leather upholstery.

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Additionally, buyers can select a selection of option packages ranging from the tech-heavy Innovation Package, which includes a head-up display, matrix headlights and remote-controlled parking, to the Comfort Seat Packages, which add more seat adjustment, heating, ventilation and ambient lighting.

Custom options also include a Bang & Olufson sound system, the panoramic sunroof and digital door mirrors, which use slim cameras on the car’s exterior and screens mounted in the door tops to replace traditional glass mirrors. As with any other version of this tech, it’s £1,200 and could be better spent elsewhere.

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Genesis has already proven that it can do the premium car thing just as well as any of the more established brands. With the GV60, it proved it could do the EV thing too. There’s a range of strong powertrain and specification options to suit different needs and budgets, all wrapped up in an interesting, comfortable and refined package.

Price: £66,405 (£77,195 as tested) Engine: Two 180 kW synchronous motors; Battery: 77.2kWh; Perfomance: 483 hp; Torque: 516 pounds foot; Transmission: single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive; Top speed: 146mph; 0-100km/h: 4 seconds; WLTP range: 289 miles; Consumption: 3.25 miles/kWh; Charge: Up to 350kW

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