2023 Genesis GV60 Review: Willfully Wild | News



2023 Genesis GV60 | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

The verdict: Loaded with usable tech, styled to turn heads and powered for neck-snapping acceleration, the all-new, all-electric Genesis GV60 is the closest thing yet to a Tesla Model Y killer.

Versus the competition: The GV60 is less expensive than a Model Y and has a far more opulent and luxurious interior, packed with artistic flourishes — and it looks fantastic to boot.

South Korean luxury brand Genesis follows a two-pronged school of thought when it comes to electric vehicles: On the one hand, there’s the completely normal-looking 2023 Electrified G80 sedan, which is visually nearly indistinguishable from the gas-powered version. It’s great if you want a traditional, normal-looking, everyday luxury car that also happens to be an EV.

Related: 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Review: The Best G80?

At the other end of the showroom, you have the car discussed here: the 2023 GV60. Based on a completely new EV platform that’s shared with models from brand siblings Hyundai and Kia, the GV60 has Jetsons-level styling, unexpected color combinations inside, truly eye-popping features and details, and some wild performance capabilities — all for a very market-competitive price. (Note: I did not say “cheap.”) Given segment-leader Tesla’s continual price creep into luxury-vehicle territory with the Model Y, the GV60 is an interesting alternative for Tesla-intenders.

The Family Face, Writ Small

The GV60’s look is immediately controversial and difficult to classify. There are, however, a few obvious characteristics that help distinguish it, including the Genesis family face that adorns the front end. The split-level LED headlights are attractive, modern and stylish, without being odd as they are on some vehicles. Genesis’ “G-Matrix” grille is absent, but the diamond-pattern mesh shows up in a lower opening below the headlights.

The GV60’s sides have a classic “Coke-bottle” shape, with bulging fenders and muscular haunches. It all terminates at the rear with a truly bizarre zig-zag bit of chrome, as well as taillights that adopt the same split-level theme that’s seen up front. These details make the GV60 immediately identifiable as a Genesis, and the artistic flourishes foreshadow the cabin’s unique design cues.

All that said, just what kind of vehicle is this? Genesis calls the GV60 a “coupe crossover utility vehicle,” which is a class that includes models like the Tesla Model Y, BMW’s X4 and X6, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. The GV60’s swooping roofline gives it a curtailed rear end, and it also deletes a good chunk of space from the cargo area and reduces backseat headroom for the sake of style. And there’s no denying this car actually has style, especially when adored with the Performance trim’s massive 21-inch wheels, which look capable of finely grating some Parmesan cheese. Things get even more curious when you stand back and realize that the overall silhouette of the GV60 is almost identical to the Model Y’s, but the differences in design details, flourishes and execution are worlds apart. The Model Y is boring and frumpy, while the GV60 is anything but.

Stunning Performance

Given the GV60 is an all-new electric car with a new powertrain, how does it drive? Well, it’s a blast — quite literally, if you have a GV60 with a bright-yellow “Boost” button on the steering wheel (found in uplevel Performance versions).

The base GV60 Advanced trim comes with two motors for standard all-wheel drive, making a healthy 314 horsepower and 446 pounds-feet of torque. And while that’s plenty impressive, the Performance trim I tested ups output to an eye-popping 429 hp and 446 pounds-feet of torque. And then, when you push that Boost button, you get 10 seconds of 483 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque that feels like when the USS Enterprise engages warp drive; acceleration is instantaneous.

We ran a GV60 Performance down a drag strip against our long-term Model Y Long Range, with its own Acceleration Boost unlocked, and it blew the Tesla away: With the GV60’s Boost Mode engaged, it got to 60 mph in 3.77 seconds, versus 4.32 seconds for the Model Y with Acceleration Boost; without Boost engaged, the GV60 still did 0-60 mph in 4.35 seconds.

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All these times are blisteringly quick for a compact luxury SUV, but the Tesla fell well behind the Genesis’ best time. Tesla does, however, also sell a Performance version of the Model Y, which has a manufacturer-claimed 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds.

Unfortunately, lightning acceleration is pretty much where the GV60’s performance aspirations end. For one, it’s not as eager to change directions as is the Model Y. That doesn’t mean the GV60 is wallowy or soft, it just doesn’t have quite the same level of athleticism as the Tesla. That said, the GV60 definitely has a more compliant and well-damped suspension than the Model Y, which we’ve found to be overly stiff and bouncy. Overall, the GV60 is more of a grand touring luxury vehicle than a sporty one, despite its prolific acceleration.

You can enable one-pedal driving using the regenerative braking system, which also offers different levels of regen braking. In everyday driving, the GV60’s efficiency is surprisingly good, averaging more than 3 miles per kilowatt-hour during a lot of routine use. Its range is just OK, at least according to its EPA estimates: 248 miles for the base Advanced trim level and 235 miles for the Performance. Those numbers fall well below the Model Y’s range estimates. The GV60 can charge at up to 235 kilowatts using a 350-kW DC fast charger, which means going from a 10%-80% charge in as little as 18 minutes, according to Genesis. That ability to quickly replenish range — assuming you’re using a DC fast charger that supports its maximum charging speed — makes its more modest range less of an issue.

Art and Tech Abound Inside

While the Tesla’s interior is spartan to the point of feeling nearly empty, the Genesis amps up the style and luxury quotients well beyond that standard.

The width of the cabin is obvious from the moment you sit down; the GV60 is shorter than its Hyundai Ioniq 5 sibling but just as wide, leaving plenty of space up front for two big occupants and a considerable center console, with cupholders and controls. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the interior, though, is its available colors — for better or worse. When’s the last time you saw a blue interior with lime green piping and stitching? You’re not going to find that in anything short of a custom order from Bentley or Ferrari. As a relative newcomer, Genesis decided to offer wild interior looks to help distinguish itself in the market. It worked.

The GV60’s tech is relatively easy to use and, wonder of wonders, there are actual buttons all throughout the cabin. The automaker hasn’t gone all-in on touch-only controls as some brands have, and that immediately makes the GV60 easier to use, simpler to adjust, and, frankly, safer to operate.

The technology in the GV60 is also top-notch stuff, with an enormous two-panel display that stretches across a good portion of the dashboard. Ahead of the driver is a 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster screen, and to its immediate right is another 12.3-inch touchscreen running Genesis’ latest multimedia system. It can be controlled from the screen itself or via a rotary knob on the center console.

There’s a lot more on the center console that’s also interesting, like an artsy illuminated sphere that flips over when the GV60 powers on, revealing the gear selector. A fingerprint scanner that you can touch, like an older iPhone, will immediately recognize you, power the vehicle up and implement your stored settings. There’s also a facial-recognition camera, like on the current iPhone, built into the driver’s-side B-pillar that can recognize your face and unlock the car. Most of this stuff works as promised; only the facial-recognition camera occasionally failed to identify me.

The GV60’s driving position feels just a tad too high versus the surrounding controls, but the front seats are comfortable overall. The backseat is a bit less comfortable, where tight legroom and headroom combine with a high beltline to make passengers feel a bit like they’re sitting in a cave. At least there’s plenty of width back there, and the seats themselves are beautifully crafted and comfortable.

Not Cheap, But Neither Is Anything Else Like It

The GV60’s prices are pretty much spot-on for the segment. The Advanced trim starts at $60,385 (all prices include destination), and the Performance starts at $69,385. Meanwhile, it costs $67,440 to order a base Model Y Long Range and $71,440 for a Model Y Performance. Even though the GV60’s starting price is significantly lower than the Model Y’s, the Genesis is a much nicer car, with more style, artistry and comfort than the Model Y, if not quite the same level of interior room or estimated range.

The Model Y has always been questionable as an actual “luxury” vehicle — it’s priced like one, but it lacks some opulence and luxury features. The Genesis GV60 leaves no doubt about its intentions: It’s a luxury crossover, with all the specialness, performance and technology that implies. It’s an incredibly appealing EV with unfortunately limited availability; as of this writing, it’s available in Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Utah and Washington. If Genesis plans on being a big-time luxury brand, it should make the GV60 available nationwide.

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