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2023 Genesis GV60 First Drive: A Clean Entry into the EV Pool

2023 Genesis GV60 | Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Derek Boshouwers
The Korean luxury brand debuts it first all-electric model, and while it ain’t cheap, the small crossover ain’t chopped liver either
2023 Genesis GV60, profile
2023 Genesis GV60, profile | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2023 Genesis GV60, and learns the prices Canadians will pay for the two versions available to them: $71,000 and $79,000 (Advanced and Performance, respectively).

Austin, TX – The setting was as far as you could get from a bone-chilling – and range-sapping – context to test the first all-electric model to come from luxury automaker Genesis. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s Celsius on the day we took the wheel of the 2023 GV60, which makes its entry into an EV market in full expansion in the U.S. and elsewhere, even as a rising chorus of voices warns of the coming EV battery supply issues risk sabotaging that expansion.

Cold-weather range issues were not on the front burner on this hot sunny day spent in and around the state capital of the Lone Star state. Rather, the focus was on the performance capabilities of the GV60 small crossover, as well as the interior comfort, luxury and amenities it delivers for the price of $71,000 CAD (for the Advanced trim) or $79,000 (for the Performance edition); those prices include transport and prep fees.

Because yes, the pricing for our market was one of the details unveiled by the Korean brand as it hosted a first drive event for North America. We also learned more about the performance specs of the two versions and a few other facts and figures, which we’ll get to.

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2023 Genesis GV60, front
2023 Genesis GV60, front | Photo: D.Boshouwers

First though, a little putting into context. The Korean brand belonging to the Hyundai auto group turned five last year, and quite a semi-decade it’s been. The awards have piled up for the automaker’s three sedans (G70, G80 and G90) and, more recently, two SUVs (GV70 and GV80). The sales have followed, more or less, but one glaring absence from the brand’s slowly growing oeuvre was electrification.

That changes this year with the introduction of the hybridized G80 sedan, and more significantly, the coming debut of the GV60 all-electric model. And that’s the model we were invited to Texas to try out for a day.

Back to those facts and figures.

First thing to know, all-wheel drive is the standard configuration. The Advanced is the “base” model, though of course in typical Genesis fashion it comes pretty comprehensively equipped. For its all-in price point of $71,000, owners get maximum output of 314 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque from the two motors (74 kW in front, 160 kW in back).

Range from the 77.4-kWh battery pack is given at 399 km, which of course set me wondering if the failure to get that one measly extra klick for a nice, round 400 is maybe an intentional move, so owners won’t feel as disappointed by actual winter ranges in the mid-300s or lower! Range for the Performance edition is slightly lower at 378 km.

2023 Genesis GV60, charging on Electric Avenue in Austin, TX
2023 Genesis GV60, charging on Electric Avenue in Austin, TX | Photo: D.Boshouwers

In any event, range can be helped along by setting the braking regeneration to the highest of four possible levels (via the paddles on the steering wheel); that setting, i-Pedal, delivers true one-pedal driving, or pretty close to it.

By the way, that 399-km range puts the new GV60 ahead of its putative main rival, the brand-new Volvo C40, which is priced at $72,600 and delivers a range of 364 km.

Genesis gives a 10-80-percent charging time of 18 minutes on a 350-kW rapid charging station, but in truth stations delivering that strength of current remain as rare an event as a Maple Leafs’ playoff round win, even in infrastructurally-advanced Quebec. 50-kW stations are starting to appear in greater numbers, and on those the 10-80-percent trick can be done in 61 minutes. On the Level 2 (11 kW) stations owners will generally have at home, it takes 8 hrs.

Genesis has included a Battery Conditioning Mode which owners can use to maintain performance and shorten charging times in cold weather. Duly noted, but this day in Texas, with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s Celsius, was not the occasion to try that out.

The five drive modes are ECO, Comfort, Sport, Snow and MY (for personalized settings); the button for that sits on steering wheel, just below and to the left of the wheel’s hub. Know that you can also set the brake mode (regular or sport), but for that you need to mess in the settings on the screen.

2023 Genesis GV60, profile and front
2023 Genesis GV60, profile and front | Photo: D.Boshouwers

The Performance edition features twin 160-kW motors both front and back; output is obviously higher, for a total of 429 hp and 446 lb-ft. Note that in this version, there is, on the lower right side of the steering wheel, a Boost Mode button, and what that does is give a 10-second jolt of extra horses and torque (to a total of 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque) for some truly zany acceleration. Basically, it’s like the effect you get from plying your toddler with several spoonfuls of sugar, but compressed into 10 seconds. It really leaves an impression.

The Performance trim also adds the 17-speaker, 1,400-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, bigger 21-inch wheels, the active noise cancellation system, electronically controlled suspension and electronic limited slip differential, surround view monitor and blind spot view monitor and alloy pedals.

Towing capacity for the Performance version is 2,000 lb, or just over 900 kg.

2023 Genesis GV60, three-quarters rear
2023 Genesis GV60, three-quarters rear | Photo: D.Boshouwers

The outside
The GV60 is not just the first all-electric vehicle Genesis has produced to date, it’s also its smallest production vehicle yet. And while you see certain signature design features found across the brand’s current lineup, for instance the dual headlamps and taillights, this is not really that close a sibling to the next up in the lineup, the GV70 compact crossover. Edges are rounder here, so it’s “cuter” than its brother. Also, the 60’s wheelbase is actually longer than the 70’s, thanks to the rear wheels being tucked so far back they’re almost sitting behind the rear bumper.

Meanwhile, this being an EV, there’s not the same design needs at the front end, meaning the front grille, while recognizably Genesis in its styling, is smaller and placed lower down than in other Genesis SUVs.

Each version of the GV60 gets a unique wheel design, with the Advanced riding on 20-inch alloy wheels and the Performance on 21-inch jobs. The tires fitted on them are designed specifically for EVs.

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Derek Boshouwers
Derek Boshouwers
Automotive expert
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 50 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists