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Nascent Korean premium brand’s first EV arrives in fast, if not furious, crossover form

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The Genesis brand has been (back) in Europe for about a year now, and so far its models have been fairly conventional. They are good looking and decent to drive, but the range has been wanting for something to truly distinguish it.

It would have made sense for Genesis to launch as an electric brand. Instead, it has offered only petrol and diesel engines until now. It does plan to go electric-only by 2030 and the new Genesis GV60 crossover is the first step towards that goal.

The GV60’s design is fairly clean, with smooth shapes and few fussy details. Exceptions are the black ducktail spoiler and the ‘Chrome Volt’ window surrounds that mimic a lightning bolt. Split LED lights are a Genesis signature.

The fundamentals immediately look good. The GV60 uses the same E-GMP platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6, two of our favourite medium-sized EVs. Genesis says it’s here for the long haul, and it has two more EVs – electric versions of the G80 saloon and GV70 crossover – waiting in the wings. It plans to build the brand gradually, though, relying on both the strength of its products and its friendlier, more personal approach to selling its cars.

That said, it has quite a lot of brand building to do. In July, it sold just 62 cars. Is the GV60 going to supercharge those sales? The recipe of Kia EV6 with a generous dose of premium appeal sounds like a good start. Let’s see how it stacks up.

Range at a glance

The GV60 range is relatively simple: there are three trim levels, and they are tied to the power output. Premium uses a single rear motor, while Sport and Sport Plus have dual motors and all-wheel drive. All versions use the same 77.4kWh battery pack.

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Genesis GV60 Premium RWD226bhp
Genesis GV60 Sport AWD321bhp
Genesis GV60 Sport Plus AWD*483bhp

*Variant tested


02 Genesis G60 Sport Plus RT 2022 side pan

The Genesis GV60 is the third car to use Hyundai and Kia’s dedicated E-GMP electric car platform, after the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. That bodes well, because in those cars the associated technology has already been proven to use energy efficiently and recharge rapidly, and the Kia in particular demonstrates that it can handle pleasingly well.

The only choice of battery in the GV60 is the familiar 77.4kWh pack. Annoyingly, the group is taking a page out of Tesla’s book by being coy about the exact capacity. So 77.4kWh is the gross capacity, but Genesis, Kia and Hyundai will not disclose the usable capacity.

The electric GV60 retains the Genesis family grille, although it moves further down than on ICE models. Some of it is filled in and hides ADAS sensors; most of it is functional, as high-performance batteries need a fair bit of cooling.

Three motor set-ups are available, with the single- and basic dual-motor options familiar from the EV6 and Ioniq 5. We’re testing the Sport Plus range-topper, which has identical 241bhp motors on each axle, for totals of 483bhp and 516lb ft. For the time being, these are unique to the GV60 because the Kia EV6 GT has an even more powerful motor on its rear axle.

It’s a fast car, then, but also an expensive one, which makes us wonder what Genesis can add to an already tasty recipe. Mechanically, it’s nothing revolutionary. Compared with lesser E-GMP cars, there are some additional features and some uprated hardware, such as active noise cancelling, adaptive suspension, a rear limited-slip differential and four-piston brakes.

That’s relatively minor stuff, though, so the GV60 will need to justify its price with a more luxurious interior and distinctive styling. The latter is subjective, of course, but judging by the amount of attention our test car got, it appears to be striking the right chord. Not a public charging session went by without the owner of another EV coming up to ask what the car was. The retina-searing hi-vis São Paulo Lime paint undoubtedly drew people in, but once they got past the colour, reactions to the design were mostly positive.


10 Genesis G60 Sport Plus RT 2022 dashboard

When we tested the Genesis G70 and Genesis GV80, their powertrains and chassis tuning came in for some criticism. Their interiors, however, were high points, and the brand has maintained that standard here in the Genesis GV60.

The car trades the more traditional open-pore wood of its stablemates for a selection of aluminium trim options, but it sticks with leather on the more expensive specs. (Leatherette is standard on entry-level GV60s.) Nearly everything feels high quality, with soft-touch materials even down to the door bins. The unfortunate exceptions are the sturdy but plasticky door handles.

The front seats have a wide range of adjustment, including the side bolsters. For all their fancy features, however, they could be more comfortable. The rear has good leg room and decent head room, and the seatback can be reclined a long way. There’s no option of rear climate control, though.

In terms of usability, the GV60 puts touchscreen-obsessed car makers to shame. There are two contiguous screens for the infotainment and gauge cluster, but they’re clear, responsive and easy to use. Crucially, they’re supported by a rotary selector, actual shortcut buttons and dedicated controls for climate functions. Major controls are all just a press away, and the settings menus let you configure the car to work as you want it.

As a ground-up EV, the GV60 makes good use of its footprint for interior space. The absence of a centre tunnel allows for a floating centre console that leaves storage room beneath, and there is no shortage of cubbies and cupholders.

In the back, knee room is generous, although the rear cabin isn’t quite as limo-like as that of the longer Kia EV6. Like that car, the bench is quite low, and there isn’t much room under the front seats for rear passengers’ feet. By way of compensation, those sitting in the back will appreciate how far their seats can recline.

The boot has a lot of surface area, but the drive motor and aft section of the battery pack under the floor take their toll on available height, and there are no hooks for shopping bags.

Multimedia system

15 Genesis g60 sport plus rt 2022 infotainment 0

Genesis’s infotainment system has clear shades of BMW’s iDrive, with its combination of large touchscreen, rotary controller and smattering of physical buttons. It has its own graphical style, but it has clearly been inspired by the best.

The menus respond quickly, and while the sheer number of options in those menus can seem overwhelming at first, it’s mostly stuff you experiment with during the first week. Once you’ve settled on a configuration that suits, you leave it alone. More choice is good. Unlike on a Tesla, there is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but both require a wired connection.

What holds it back from a five-star rating is the lack of EV-specific features. Sure, the navigation system can find charging stations, but it gives no information about speeds or availability. There is also no indication of how much range will remain once you reach your destination. When Tesla practically plans your whole route for you, this isn’t really good enough.


20 Genesis G60 Sport Plus RT 2022 speed track

Thanks to a 100kg weight advantage and a powertrain that’s able to sustain a high power output for longer, the Genesis GV60 just beats the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT in a straight line. In Boost mode, this unaggressive-looking crossover will sprint to 60mph in just 3.8sec, reaching 62mph two-tenths later.

Unlike many EVs, it doesn’t let up at higher speeds, either. It takes only 11.5sec to hit 110mph – nine less than the Ford. Genesis has given it quite a liberal speed limiter, too: the GV60 Sport Plus tops out at 146mph and has no trouble getting there: it took just 23.6sec to reach 140mph.

Camera mirrors are a £1240 option. They work surprisingly well on the move thanks to clear, low-latency screens but parking is slightly harder because they make distances harder to judge. The aerodynamic benefits are limited so we’d stick with standard mirrors.

Necessary? No. But this level of instant performance continues to be giggle-inducing even after you’ve got over the initial shock of it. As with other EVs, it does come with minor caveats, because the GV60 isn’t able to produce the full 483bhp continuously; how much power you get depends on the driving mode.

In general, and in a clear contrast to Teslas, configurability defines the GV60. Not in a tiresome way, though. Once you’ve set everything to how you’d like it, you can ignore the menus and it’ll do what you want it to.

The three main modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport – make a big difference. Eco only ever gives you about half the total power, but given there’s so much to start with, it works pretty well for normal driving.

Comfort sharpens the throttle and liberates more power but delivers it in an odd way: it takes about a second after you’ve fully pressed the accelerator before the GV60 delivers what feels like full power, as if it has the mother of all turbo lag.

To get rid of all the trickery you need Sport mode, but if you just mat the accelerator, you will still get ‘only’ 429bhp. To access all of the kilowatts, you need to press the steering wheel-mounted ‘Boost’ button, which will unleash the full 483bhp for a maximum of 10 seconds at a time. Some might view this as an annoyance, while others will find it heightens the sense of occasion.

Whatever mode you’re in, the GV60 lets you choose the noise that accompanies the acceleration. You can select from a few different options and how loud it is – from none at all to full spaceship mode.

Once you’ve settled on your preferred mode, the GV60 behaves like a good EV should. The power is delivered smoothly and without any clumsy interventions of the traction control, while steering wheel paddles let you vary the amount of brake regeneration through five levels, from frictionless coasting to one-pedal driving.

All GV60s get the same brake discs, but the Sport Plus has uprated four-piston calipers on the front. Slightly disappointingly, it didn’t stop any quicker from 70mph than the Kia EV6, while the Mustang Mach-E GT needed three metres fewer still.


22 Genesis G60 Sport Plus RT 2022 front corner

While the fastest, range-topping Genesis GV60 is called the Sport Plus, we’ll probably need to wait for the Kia EV6 GT and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N to see quite how much of a sports car really lurks within the E-GMP platform.

At the same time, it’s worth remembering that in dual-motor form, the GV60 is a near-2.2-tonne SUV. Viewed in that light, it does well enough, albeit without setting any new standards.

The dual-motor set-up lends a neutral, benign handling balance, and despite a surfeit of power, the rear wheels stay resolutely in line; steering is quick but short on feedback.

At 2.3 turns from lock to lock, the steering is reasonably quick, and it has a consistently and naturally weighty feel. You need to probe the limits of grip before it starts feeding anything back, but that’s not unusual in modern cars. That said, there is a slight woolliness to responses that we also observed with the otherwise dynamically excellent Kia EV6. That initially saps confidence, but you soon realise that there is enough grip to lean on, even if you can’t quite sense it through the rim.

The front and rear motors are equally powerful, which creates a secure but somewhat unsatisfying handling balance. There’s some torque steer under hard acceleration, and you can feel the rear squirm out of corners, but, on a dry road at least, it never develops into oversteer. Having a front motor also compromises the turning circle, which, at 11.9m, is typical for a fairly large car but unexceptional for a dedicated EV.

The appeal of the GV60 Sport Plus is the prodigious power, which can be securely deployed. While the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT has a more playful side, artificial though it may be, the GV60 feels far more natural than the Tesla Model Y. We’ve not driven the rear-wheel-drive GV60 in the UK yet, but a drive in Germany and experience of the rear-drive EV6 suggests that the entry-level GV60 has a sweeter balance.

Comfort and isolation

23 Genesis g60 sport plus rt 2022 side corner 1

Further suggesting that ‘Sport Plus’ might be a misnomer is that the GV60, with its sportiest suspension set-up and largest wheels, is still really rather comfortable. It doesn’t waft quite like a Hyundai Ioniq 5, and on some rough roads the chassis can become slightly restless, but the ride refinement is still miles ahead of the Mach-E and Model Y, and it beats the passively suspended EV6.

The GV60’s ride is absorptive but composed and even makes the awful concrete sections of the M25 tolerable. It’s quieter than its rivals elsewhere on the motorway, too, with road noise all but absent and just a bit of wind noise at higher speeds.

To achieve this refinement, Genesis has thrown its whole arsenal of tricks at the GV60. Foam inserts in the Genesis-specific Michelins and laminated glass work passively, while active noise cancelling through the speakers cleverly masks any remaining noise.

The Sport Plus is the only GV60 to get adaptive dampers, which are aided by a camera in the windscreen that scans the road ahead and primes the dampers for upcoming bumps and ruts. It’s a missed opportunity, however, that there isn’t a bigger difference between the Comfort and Sport settings on the dampers. It’s there, but you really have to be looking for it. There would absolutely be room to let the suspension breathe a bit more in Comfort and perhaps create a Sport Plus mode that tightens the body control even further than it does in the current Sport mode.

The seats could do with some work too. There’s no shortage of adjustment, and the optional ‘Ergo-Motion’ function that automatically turns on a short massage program to keep you comfortable on long drives actually works. They’re even accredited by the German AGR campaign for healthier backs. However, the padding is hard in the wrong places and the lumbar support is quite harsh. On the whole they’re comfortable, but they’re no match for the best luxury car seats.

The assisted driving features are a mixed bag: there are a lot of them, and core features such as adaptive cruise control and lane following work well. The lane keeping assistance is too intrusive but easily turned off, while the blindspot cameras also found in other Kias and Hyundais are as useful as ever. Some of the extra features, however, such as the automatic lane change function, automatic speed assist and remote parking, feel like gimmicks at best and half-baked beta trials at worst.

Track Notes

Genesis g60 sport plus rt 2022 track notes

The 483bhp GV60 has no problem rocketing up Millbrook’s steep inclines, and the brakes cope fairly well with scrubbing off speed. The stability control is also finely tuned, dealing with slip and provocation smoothly and unintrusively.

However, the Kia EV6 revealed there is genuine dynamic talent in the E-GMP bones. Combine that with Genesis calling this version the ‘Sport Plus’ and it creates expectations the GV60 can’t quite meet.

There is a lot of grip, but the steering lacks the feedback and precision to give the confidence to really lean on it. And even though the stability control can be fully turned off, the GV60 feels resolutely front-led. An aggressive lift will get the chassis to rotate, but it refuses to do so on the power in its standard modes.

The Sport Plus features a Drift mode, but as the convoluted way of engaging it isn’t even included in the owner’s manual, we didn’t manage to test it on track.


01 Genesis G60 Sport Plus RT 2022 Hero

Genesis is the premium sibling to Hyundai and Kia, so the Genesis GV60 is more expensive than a Kia EV6 or Hyundai Ioniq 5, but not by as much as you might expect. It starts at £47,005, only £2810 more than an EV6 and about as equally well equipped. The Sport Plus is a slightly startling £18,400 more, but that’s still on a par with the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, and far cheaper than a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

The problem all Genesis models have is brand recognition, and that takes its toll on the predicted residual values, which in turn makes the monthly rates rather expensive.

Spec advice? Base Premium, with 225bhp and rear-wheel drive, is the best value. Some unexpected kit is standard, but other things that should be standard, such as heated seats, are options. The Innovation Pack and Comfort Seat Pack are essential additions.

Over the course of a week that included performance testing and a lot of motorway use, we averaged 2.9mpkWh, which isn’t bad for an electric SUV with this much power. The Ford and the Volvo C40 did significantly worse, but the slightly less powerful Model Y Long Range (the Performance isn’t available here yet) tested earlier this year did better still, at 3.1mpkWh.

That 2.9mpkWh is enough for the GV60 to squeeze a 220-mile real-world range out of its battery pack. That’s not setting any new standards, but we have no reason to suspect a rear-drive GV60 wouldn’t match the mechanically similar EV6’s 260-mile range. Like the Kia, the Genesis can also charge at well over 200kW, which yields a 10-80% charge in 18 minutes. Based on our experience, that seems realistic.

Finally, Genesis is touting what it calls the ‘Genesis Difference’ as a major benefit of ownership. The idea is that you have a personal assistant instead of a traditional dealer, and servicing and test drives can be arranged from wherever you like, while five years of warranty and servicing are standard. For the time being, however, there is a significant caveat: home test drives are currently only available in London and the south-east of England, and the only Genesis store so far is in a shopping centre in London.


25 Genesis G60 Sport Plus RT 2022 static

The Genesis GV60 uses a time-honoured recipe: borrow proven mechanicals from sibling brands but garnish them with a different design, la nicer interior and a few unique features to convince buyers the price is worth it. The formula has worked for some (Audi, for instance), but it can easily fall short of expectations, as it did with Infiniti.

In the case of the GV60, the base was already accomplished: the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are excellent EVs with good efficiency, rapid charging, accomplished chassis and mature technology. The GV60 has all of those things but adds a sumptuous interior, an even more intuitive infotainment system, exterior design that is original and distinctive, and, in the Sport Plus, breathtaking performance.

Genesis could have made better use of the chassis tech, and the high PCP rates are an issue. And despite good efficiency, its range lags somewhat behind those of alternatives with bigger batteries. Compared with other high-performance EV crossovers, though, the Genesis feels like a more thoroughly developed and well-rounded car, and one that has plenty of everyday feel-good factor to boot.

Illya Verpraet

Illya Verpraet Road Tester Autocar
Title: Road Tester

As part of Autocar’s road test team, Illya drives everything from superminis to supercars, and writes reviews, comparison tests, as well as the odd feature and news story. 

Much of his time is spent wrangling the data logger and wielding the tape measure to gather the data for Autocar’s eight-page road tests, which are the most rigorous in the business thanks to independent performance, fuel consumption and noise figures.

Genesis GV60 First drives