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PIGGY BACKING: 2022 GENESIS GV60 PERFORMANCE

 

With the push towards EV’s growing stronger, nearly every brand on the market now has some sort of EV already in their lineup. Take Hyundai and their new Ioniq5 and Kia with their EV6 for example. Now it is Genesis’ turn to cash in on this opportunity with their smallest crossover yet, the GV60.

One thing is for sure, with my subject arriving in its funk-a-delic Sao Paulo Lime green paint, you can’t miss it. Outside of its green paint, the Genesis GV60 is a silent EV to the unknown suspecting wondering eye. What I mean is that there is no indication that this is a pure electric crossover; the plug port is in the back like a traditional gas tank and if we lift the hood, we find what appears to be an engine… well, the electric one anyways. And despite having a clean, swooping nose there is no EV badging, it carries the same Genesis’ branding looking with split head- and taillight design, even the 21-inch wheels look ordinary, well, not ordinary, but not some weird smooth EV wheel, the GV60 even has a front grille.

Once you’re done glazing into its six-beam LED jeweled headlamps, investigate the glass lens of the driver-side b-pillar that houses the facial recognition software to unlock the doors. Once inside, like the iPhone’s of 2013, use the fingerprint scanner to essentially start the car and watch the crystal sphere do a full 180-degree rotation revealing the gear select. A bit gimmicky? Sure. But who doesn’t love a good gimmick?

There are two performance variants to the GV60, the one they call Advanced that deliver 314-horsepower with 248-miles of range starting at $59,290 or the one I have here, the Performance that delivers 429-horsepower and 235-miles of range starting at $68,290. Power stems from two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear, adding all-wheel drive as a standard with the use of a 77.4 kWh battery pack and single-speed transmission.

As with any electric vehicle, you can be rest assured that the GV60 is one quick goose. Pushing the little green monster on the steering wheel activates the over boost system and allocates 10-seconds of additional performance with a peak 483-horsepower lighting up all four tires as it reaches 60-mph in just over 3.5-seconds. Probably a little too quick for the general population, but holy moly, hold on to your Starbucks for your passenger could end up with quite the moist lap. And not the good kind.  

Apart from its need for speed, the great thing about electric is its ability to just go. There is no fuss with a transmission, there’s no turbo lag, just put your foot down and this Genesis will out smoke a vape pen. When it comes to the handling portion however, things are a little different. As a premium brand, the GV60 copes well with the handling department providing decent steering feedback, a well-controlled body and it even features a camera that reads the road to help mitigate road imperfections back to the electronic adaptive dampers system to provide a subtle ride quality. Which works, some of the time, but not all the time. However, due to the weight of the batteries and its eco-friendly special tires, the GV60 isn’t exactly a mountain road warrior. Probably best not to find its limitations.

So, with looks that could swoon Saint Valentine himself and performance that can outrun his arrow, the GV60 sounds like it carries quite the full package. Unfortunately, I wish that was the case. The problem with the GV60 is that it is piggy backing off its sister company, Hyundai Motor Corporation, and feeling like they needed to scurry an EV model off the production line as quick as possible, the GV60 uses the same electric platform as the Hyundai Ioniq5 and Kia EV6. Which means, the GV60 uses the same 77.4 kWh battery pack and the same impressive quick charging capabilities that can go from 10%-80% in under 20-minutes through a Level 3 quick charger. Which in theory isn’t that big of a deal, a lot of mass production brands platform share, it helps keep costs down. However, with the Hyundai Ioniq5 topping out at $58,795 and the much quicker Kia EV6 clearing $62,295, the Genesis GV60 carries a $6700 premium.

Okay, sure, at a premium price there are a few nifty features built into our GV60 like the fascial recognition with a fingerprint scanner, the handsome blue nappa leather seats with suede like recycled material accents and the crystal ball that doesn’t tell you your fortune. Even having something different like the glove box drawer is unique and adds a nice touch. However, where it starts to faulter is that unlike what we’ve seen in the GV70 and G80 sedan with real metal trim, real wood accents, and 3D instrumental gauges, it gives the impression that the GV60 took some budget cutting shortcuts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the interior is a delightful setting. Much like many EV’s on the market, the GV60 too carries an open, airy cabin with a floating center console that looks like something out of the Starship Enterprise. There are plenty of screens to go around with two 12.3-inch displays and a central climate control display. Its when we start to touch and feel the materials around the cabin when things go array. The silver metal looking trim is painted plastic, the buttons feel cheesy and doesn’t quite represent that tactile feel we’ve come to expect. And while I can appreciate the design trying to be different and jazzy, things like the mirror control switch integrated into the design to represent a speaker looks like something that would be out of a Kia Soul.

Sadly, my challenges with the GV60 doesn’t end there. In an attempt to mimic Mercedes-Benz with their touch sensitive steering wheel control pad, it ends up being confusing to use as it controls many things and requires reading directions prompted on the instrument cluster to ensure proper use – and should you not follow direction you end up changing the radio station or changing the instrument cluster screen to something you didn’t want. Genesis also added two customizable buttons on the steering wheel – and coming from someone who owns a 2022 Kia product that has one customizable menu button, in my opinion, it’s a wasted feature, so to have two just feels annoying. Furthermore, like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I love a good gimmick, but when a gimmick turns into a headache it becomes a different story – the facial recognition system is fun, at first glance, but unlike, say Tesla, where you can walk up and the door opens automatically, you must wait for the GV60 system to process the facial scan. Then once in the car, you scan your fingerprint to let the car know you are the driver, as if the scan didn’t give that away already, once it processes the fingerprint, you can now push the start button.

Are you as annoyed reading that as I was writing that? Then imagine being in a parking lot when the sun has long set and there is not enough light for the fascial scan to read your face, your phone has died so you can’t use the flashlight feature. Well, since this is a true story, I had to have building security at my office come out to my car and wave a flashlight. A gimmick, yes… functional, only during the day.

Despite feeling like the GV60 was pulled out of the oven too soon, saying that its undercooked wouldn’t be right either. If you’re someone that prefers the styling of the GV60 over the other two, you are still getting a solid, quick shooting EV vehicle. Using the regular drive mode, I even managed to squeeze almost 245 miles of range from this Performance version. And charging times are a lot quicker than other EV’s on the market – from a 110v house outlet, the GV60 can charge from 80% to 100% in about 15 hours and from a Level 2 charging station I saw as little as 3-hours from 80% to 100%. However, should you want to pinch some pennies but still get the same performance, perhaps looking at the Hyundai Ioniq5 or Kia EV6 may be a better alternative.

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