Genesis has installed amazing cutting-edge technology in its 2023 GV60 Performance crossover, which should be the stand-out in this column, but when a carmaker puts a yellow BOOST button on the steering wheel for an extra jolt of acceleration, well, that takes the cake.
Push the button and prepare for a 10-second throttle thrill as the dual-motor EV kicks out an extra 54 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. The Gen sprints to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. There’s plenty of spirit for highway passing, merging and adrenaline rushes.
The GV60 is the first dedicated battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from Genesis. Two variants are available, at least in select markets: The base Advanced and more powerful Performance. Both use two electric motors and a 77.4 kWh battery, but the Performance gets more clout with 429 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both come with all-wheel-drive and a single-speed transmission.
Many would agree the GV60 has brash looks for a crossover, with split rows of LED lights and a gloss-black crest grille, split rows of lights in the rear, and flashy geometric-design 21-inch wheels. But the vote is not unanimous: One analyst called the GV60 too funky, another says it looks frumpy from the side and someone else likens it to a bullfrog.
GV60 has a comfortable and refined behavior, but gets athletic when pushed. Handling on corners and curves is improved by a rear limited-slip differential and adaptive dampers, but don’t push it too hard: At 4,890 pounds, it will lean on corners. Steering is responsive and accurate.
The EV’s regenerative braking is exceptional and versatile. Four levels of re-gen are available, from a lighter feel to one-pedal driving. After selecting the mode on the steering paddle, the GV60 can accelerate, decelerate and come to a full stop with the gas pedal alone. Remember, heavy re-gen boosts driving range, too.
That is something to consider since its estimated range of 235 miles is barely average for the class. One full charge produces only 217 miles on the gauge, and some folks in cold climates say 200 is optimistic.
But it’s a quick charger. Genesis says the battery can go from 10 to 80% in 18 minutes when hooked up to a DC fast-charger (Level III). Figure on seven hours or so at a 240-volt (Level II) charging station.
Mileage figures are just above average for the segment: The EPA projects 97 MPGe city, 82 highway. The Advanced version does better at 103 MPGe city, 86 highway.
The cabin is fashionable and loaded with surprising design features. Just getting inside is impressive enough with “Face Connect.” First, unlock the door by looking into a camera inside the B pillar while holding the handle. The system confirms the ID and takes care of the rest, unlocking doors and automatically adjusting the seats, mirrors, media and head-up display.
Then start the car with a fingerprint check and off you go. It’s even possible to “loan” a key to a friend or relative via an iPhone message. Having second thoughts? Just revoke the key with a simple tap.
The cabin is loaded with clever gadgets, including a novel crystal sphere on the center console that glows when the engine is off. A standard 12.3-inch touchscreen sports sharp graphics and colors, is easy to reach and quickly responds to inputs. It has navigation, Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging device, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The driver gets a colorful 12.3 digital gauge cluster and head-up display for pertinent data. The main display offers at-a-glance navigation, drive-assist features, and access to phone calls and media.
But all this novel and high-tech stuff can’t overshadow the extraordinary design and comfort of the five-seat cabin. Plush seating is dressed in Nappa leather with contrast stitching. Both driver and passenger seats are heated/ventilated and offer 4-way lumbar adjustment. The driver has power-driven cushion extension, and the seat slides back for extra comfort during a charging stop.
Genesis has incorporated sustainability into the cabin, too. There’s even a “sustainable” tag on some seats. Some parts are made of recycled plastics and arm rests are made of vegan materials.
Cargo space is about average among luxury EV crossovers with 24 cubic feet of space behind the second row, 55 cubes with the second row folded. An automatic lift gate is standard. There’s also a “frunk” (front trunk) but it’s barely worth mentioning at about one cubic foot — enough to hide a small bag.
Advanced safety features include smart cruise control, which keeps the vehicle centered in lane and distanced from the car ahead; forward collision avoidance; blind-spot alert and collision avoidance when the turn signal is used; rear cross-traffic accident avoidance, and surround-view monitor for parking. It also has safe-exit assist and a remote parking feature.
At $68,985, some may question the GV60’s value — it’s $20,000 more than its kin, the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq5. It even tops the more powerful EV6 GT by $8,000.
But there’s no denying the alluring, high-tech interior of the Genesis. And, does no one remember the BOOST button?
Barry Spyker was the automotive editor and columnist for the Miami Herald
Base Price: $68,985 (Includes BOOST mode, adaptive suspension, 21-inch wheels, Nappa leather seats with massage feature, microfiber suede headliner, limited slip differential)
What’s all the excitement about? Novel and clever tech features like a crystal-dome shifter, luxe cabin, and a BOOST button for an extra 54 hp of thrills
Powertrain: Dual 160 kW motors in all-wheel-drive setup, energized by 77.4 kWh lithium ion battery; mated to single-speed transmission
How’s the performance? Sprints to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds using the BOOST button; Low center of gravity means agile handling for a nearly 5,000-pound vehicle
Fuel economy: EPA-estimated 97 MPGe city, 82 highway