Entry-level Genesis GV60 adds class and refinement to its Kia EV6 tech twin

Quite often, less is more with EVs. The base models tend to be so quick already, and so well equipped, that the more expensive versions have little more to offer than on-paper bragging rights and, unhelpfully, less range. So when we road tested the Genesis GV60 in 483bhp Sport Plus form, we wondered if the standard rear-wheel-drive version, with its single rear motor, reduced focus on ‘sportiness’ and smaller wheels, might be the sweet spot of the range. So now we’ve tried one in the UK.

But first, a quick refresher on what a Genesis GV60 is, in case you’ve not quite kept up with the new Korean luxury brand’s quickly expanding range. It uses the same underpinnings and 77.4kWh battery as the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 but adds Genesis’s styling cues, more premium interior materials and a dollop more refinement. In effect, then, this is an EV6, but posher and, to this tester at least, better looking.

02a genesis gv60 rwd fd 2023 side driving

Until relatively recently, it wasn’t even that much more expensive than an EV6. However, a price hike late last year of nearly £7000 (from £47,005 to £53,905) has well and truly torpedoed that particular USP. It’s now quite a bit more expensive than the standard-range rear-drive Tesla Model Y and even the Audi Q4 E-tron.

The interior still trounces the Audi and Tesla for quality and plushness, although some of the fussier styling details might be a bit too chintzy for some. It’s the least spacious of the three, but there’s still plenty to go around, offering more leg room than an ICE car of a similar length.

You need to take some time when you first get the car to set up the infotainment and turn off some of the annoying ‘features’, but once you’ve done so, it’s one of the easiest and frustration-free systems out there, with logical menus, a responsive touchscreen and plenty of physical controls, including a rotary selector.

On the move, the promise of extra comfort over cheaper EVs materialises – mostly. Noise isolation is excellent for the class, and the Ergo-Motion seats (we’ve yet to try any Genesis with standard seats) have a huge amount of adjustability, and are mostly very supportive on long journeys.

06 Genesis gv60 rwd fd 2023 dashboard

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We had expected more from the ride, given that the Premium rolls on taller tyres than the Sport Plus. It’s well controlled at higher speed but can get a little crashy around town. The likely reason is that it lacks the more expensive version’s camera-assisted adaptive dampers.

In the corners, the steering feels sharper than in the Sport Plus, although it’s still fairly heavy and numb. Thankfully, that’s no great impediment to enjoying the GV60’s balance. The E-GMP platform is naturally rear-wheel drive, and with the car's low centre of gravity and very little body roll, you can always feel that it is being pushed rather than pulled.

Cold temperatures during our testing made it difficult to assess the real-world range and efficiency. Nevertheless, an average of 2.9mpkWh during a week of consistent sub-zero weather is impressive when some similar EVs can return closer to 2.0mpkWh. The standard-fit heat pump no doubt helps with that. In more temperate weather, we’ve no doubt it would equal the EV6’s real-world 3.4mpkWh and 263-mile range. And of course the GV60 has the same 260kW charging capability.

With a bit more fine-tuning of the chassis, the standard GV60 would come very close to the perfect medium-sized electric SUV. As it stands, it’s still excellent. So it’s a real pity Genesis has given it such a dramatic price increase. It soundly beats the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Tesla Model Y for interior quality and refinement, and it’s a better car than the Audi Q4 E-Tron and Volvo XC40 Recharge thanks to the more upmarket interior, better driving dynamics and superior charging and range. But with a starting price of £53,905 and unfavourable monthly rates, it’s also considerably more expensive than all the rest. Perhaps that’s fair, and the next class up (BMW iX3, Audi Q8 E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace) is a lot more expensive still, but Genesis may have overshot a bit here.

14 Genesis gv60 rwd fd 2023 front corner

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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.

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Peter Cavellini 10 February 2023

The look isn't that offensive, most look the same, almost as if they've copied it closely, the interior looks American in style, im not a fan of light coloured interior because they show up every scuff and dirty marks, and yes, the price is prohibitive for most, I ve seen one and I though it was a Kia so it'll go in noticed by most.

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lukeski 9 February 2023

one question, why is the gear selector made out of anal beads?