By Mark Nichol
What Is It?
The GV60 is a family sized crossover EV and the first fully electric car from fledgling premium brand Genesis. An offshoot of Hyundai and only launched in the UK in 2021, a Genesis is supposed to give you an alternative to higher end cars from the likes of BMW, Audi and Jaguar. A tough ask for a new brand, true, but in fact the GV60 more than holds its own in a class that includes brilliant cars like the Audi Q4 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-PACE.
What's Good About It?
For a start, the GV60 is built on a cutting edge electric chassis shared with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. Those maybe aren’t the ‘premium’ cars you were expecting, but in essence, the only other cars that hold a candle to the GV60s chassis tech are the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-tron GT. The so-called 800v architecture allows the GV60 to have either a single electric motor or two of them, to charge its battery at incredible speeds, and even to put charge into other electric vehicles, car-to-car. Clever stuff.
But that would mean very little if the GV60 wasn’t a good car to drive and to live with. Thankfully, it really is. Mainly it’s a very comfortable, spacious and well-designed family crossover, but it also feels extremely high tech in ways that are actually useful day-to-day. It has biometric technology, so you can open it with facial recognition and start it up using your fingerprint. It has a 3-pin socket in the back so you can charge up your laptop, and you can even use the keyfob to make it drive itself out of a tight parking space. There’s also a glowing crystal orb in the centre console that rotates to reveal the gear selector when the car starts. That’s not a useful feature, necessarily, but it’s really cool.
What Could Be Better?
The GV60 possibly doesn’t have quite the sense of rear roominess in the cabin that you think it will, largely because the exterior styling makes the roof sit quite low. Similarly, the boot is a little on the small side as compared to other similarly priced electric SUVs; the GV60’s luggage space is comfortably big enough for family duties, but it’s around 100 litres smaller than both the Audi Q4 e-tron’s and the Hyundai Ioniq 5’s.
And while the cabin generally is beautifully designed and finished, a nice mix of high-tech and old-school soft leather (especially when chosen in a lighter colour), some of the touchpoints feel a little below par. The interior door pulls and the rotary gear selector are made from a shiny grey plastic that BMW or Audi, say, would definitely fabricate using higher quality stuff.
What’s It Like To Drive?
In essence this is a very lovely, very spacious, comfy, easy to use and pleasant to be in electric car. Ergonomically it’s outstanding – you really sit high in the GV60, looking down onto the road, and much like the Ioniq 5 it has a light, airy feel that’s innately relaxing. It just all feels like proper thought has gone into making it pleasant in every way. For example, every GV60 comes with active noise control, which works using the same principle as noise-cancelling headphones using the stereo speakers to assuage some of the road and wind noise. And, of course, there’s no internal combustion engine noise either - albeit you can choose to fake that sound through the speakers, another bit of playful GV60 technology.
The driving experience is altered somewhat by the version you choose, though. All have the same 77.4kW battery pack, but a base model ‘Premium’ GV60 has one 225hp electric motor driving the rear wheels, whereas ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ cars have 4 wheel drive from 2 electric motors - one at the front, one at the rear - meaning more power. Sport Plus spec also has a boost button, which gives the GV60 rocket-like pace for exactly 10 seconds, with the seat bolsters tightening up automatically to clamp you in when it’s happening. It’s hilariously quick (0-62mph in 4 seconds) but do you really need a family EV with 482hp and a drift mode? Yep, a drift mode. That’s a thing that allows the car to powerslide, Fast & Furious style
The answer is probably not. Most people will find this highly comfy and executive of feel - even without the fancy suspension option that uses cameras to read the road ahead and adjusts the car’s settings accordingly - but it’s just not that much fun around the corners. It steers sharply enough and it doesn’t roll around as much as you might assume either, but the GV60 is a better car when it’s being driven gently. The infotainment software is a joy to use, but there are still shortcut buttons for the air con so it’s all very intuitive. The seats are soft and comfy (when they aren’t clamping you in), and because it’s electric it’s very responsive to the accelerator. It feels nimble and easy to control, as well as feeling smaller on the road than it looks from the outside, somehow.
How Practical Is It?
It’s spacious and comfortably practical enough for family use, despite the boot volume number seeming a little on the small side. The space is 432 litres large, rising to 1550 with the rear bench dropped down. Compare that to the 520 of the Audi E-Tron and the 490 of the EV6 for context. You might also bemoan the lack of a simple bag hook or two in the boot and the absence of underfloor storage. It doesn’t have any luggage space under the bonnet either, which is a fairly common feature in bigger electric cars - all Teslas have one, for example.
However, the boot is still quantifiably large, and the GV60 feature some of the neatest in-cabin practicality and storage solutions on the market. Instead of a standard glove box it has a pull-out drawer, which increases space and means you can organise it neatly. There’s a big space under the centre console too, accessible to both the front and rear passengers. The flat floor means foot space is generous, as is legroom in general, albeit rear head space is a bit tighter than in some SUVs because of the car’s sloping roofline.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
The GV60 is pitched as a luxury car and with a price to match, although lease rates that begin lower than £600 per month feel good value for a car with this sort of prestige, comfort and - certainly for the time being - sense of rareness and mystique. You of course have to think about this in the context of running costs too. It’s a very tax efficient company car, saving you thousands per year compared to a similarly powerful petrol or diesel SUV.
It’s pretty efficient as well. Genesis claims up to 3.9 miles per kilowatt hour from all versions, but even if you get closer to 3 that’s still on par with what you could expect from any large electric family car. Claimed range is around 300 miles on a full battery regardless of which version you choose. You should easily exceed 200.
Anything Else I Should Know?
The GV60 feels like one of the most clever and feature rich cars on the planet, thanks to things like the rotating gear selector, noise cancellation, camera-based suspension, biometric driver recognition and self-driving using the key fob. Some of those things are optional, but regardless the GV60 is a very well-equipped car. All of them get features that you’d ordinarily expect to pay extra for, like wireless phone charging, a head-up display, parking cameras, electrically adjustable seats and 19-inch alloy wheels. Basically, no matter which GV60 you choose it’ll seem like an awful lot of very fancy car.
What Alternatives Should I Look At?
Mercedes-Benz EQC Leasing
Beautifully made, very quick and very comfy, the EQC offers more space and prestige (arguably) than the GV60.
Jaguar I-PACE Leasing
The I-Pace is the most fun to drive of these SUV-style electric vehicles, but it doesn’t feel as quirky as the GV60.
Audi Q4 e-tron Leasing
Audi’s electric family SUV is everything you’d expect: exceptionally made and very refined, and with a high-tech interior.
The Vanarama Verdict = 8/10
"Genesis’s first EV is brilliant in many ways and one of the most interesting cars on the market, both in terms of its overall styling and how packed it is with useful and quirky features. Not cheap, but great value and a fantastic futuristic family car."
3 Things To Remember About The GV60:
Genesis’s first EV is spacious and luxurious to drive.
Some of its features are genuinely surprise-and-delight.
In-cabin practicality is ace, but the boot is on the small side for the class.
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