Payne: Genesis GV60 is stylish, sci-fi Tesla challenger — charging excepted

Posted by Talbot Payne on September 1, 2022

Bay City — I’m a car columnist, but you may find my electric car reviews sound increasingly like electronics reviews.

Payne, you write a lot about high-tech and charging.

The 2023 Genesis GV60 is quick in a straight line - but less athletic in corners.

I know, I know. When I reviewed the Tesla Model 3 back in 2018, I marveled at its acceleration and crisp handling. But the more EVs I drove, the more they all felt the same. The Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Volkswagen ID.4. Torrid acceleration, smooth ride, low center of gravity in corners. Rinse, dry, repeat.

What continued to separate Tesla from the pack was technology and charging. Over-the-air updates, Autopilot driving, seamless charging stops, look-at-me-remote-driving-the-car-out-of-parking-space-with-my-smart-phone-for-goodness-sake.

I called the Model 3/Y smartphones on wheels. Everyone is playing catch up. Well, the 2023 Genesis GV60 has gotten darn close.

The 2023 Genesis GV60 is dominated by big dials.

The top of the line in Hyundai Motor Group’s skateboard-chassis-based trilogy of Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, the premium GV60 EV wows in style, speed, technology — even surpassing the Tesla in build quality and the ability to remote parallel-park itself. No kidding.

But Genesis still badly lags in Tesla’s secret sauce: road-trip charging.

I took the GV60 on my favorite long loop test — a weekend with family in Charlevoix, 250 miles up north. Like my short-loop test to Hell and back it is Pure Michigan: unique towns for photography, great twisty roads for performance, interstate chill time to test infotainment and driver-assist features. The big add of the Charlevoix loop is I get to test electric-vehicle range and charging availability, and show off the car to the public and friends along the way.

Like a luxury car (or electronics device) the GV60 passed the style test with flying colors. Though I find all three Hyundai Group siblings to be uniquely premium in their looks, passersby definitely preferred the Genesis. The Hyundai Ioniq 5? Nice, but too boxy. The Kia EV6? Nice but too bulbous. The GV60? Just right.

“The Porsche Macan-like rear hatchback caught my eye,” said a middle-aged pal.

“I’ve got to ask, what kind of car is that? A new Audi? It’s really beautiful,” said a 20-something employee at a Taco Bell carryout window.

As those comments suggest, the Korean-assembled GV60 rejects Tesla’s Apple-simple design (there’s not even a proper frunk), for an elegant European-styled SUV with plenty of curves, signature split-headlights, and even a big grille. The grille is hardly necessary as EVs have no gas engine to cool, but Genesis apparently feels the need to link the car to gas-engine siblings like the GV70. An anthropomorphic face also makes a human connection.

To my cartoonist’s eye, the face looks like Stitch in Disney’s Lili & Stitch movie. Whatever your thoughts, it’s unique.

The design detail continues inside with a big, Mercedes-like digital screen stretching across the dash, crisp pages to flip through on the infotainment screen and floating console below like a Cadillac Lyriq. Unlike Tesla, there are upscale flourishes everywhere, with fat dials controlling everything from the screen to the side mirrors to the transmission.

But in operation, GV60 is one of the most Tesla-like vehicles I’ve tested. It wants to show off.

The 2023 Genesis GV60 can self-drive for miles.

Roll up to a parallel parking space and my Genesis Sport not only would self-park, but it also gave me the option to step out of the car, stand on the curb and let the car park itself via key fob. The process is laborious as the car inches back and forth into a tight space — but it’s cool to witness.

It will also park in a perpendicular space and move out of a tight spot, all with remote operation. Tesla pioneered this drop-the-mike tech and Genesis has embraced it.

That autonomous habit extends to self-driving. It’s a feature available on other Hyundai products from the gas-powered Kia Sportage to the EV6 and Ioniq 5 — and I regret that Genesis doesn’t offer more capability. Think auto lane change that would put it on par with top-drawer luxury systems like Cadillac’s SmartCruise, Mercedes’ Intelligent Drive and Tesla’s Autopilot. Still, I came to rely on it as I drove long stretches of I-75 hands-free, the GV60 rarely nannying me to keep my hands on the wheel like my Model 3.

Self-driving at 80 mph is relaxing — but GV60’s charging issues filled the anxiety gap. The Hyundai Group says that it is developing a charger navigation system like Tesla, but for now drivers are on their own for navigating via an unreliable third-party charge network.

I’ve made this trip enough to know to ignore charge apps like ABRP and Chargeway that tell me to do a one-stopper via a West Branch charger. With a single charger, the West Branch unit could be out of order — or backed up with other vehicles. Better to use Electrify America chargers in Bay City and Gaylord — not just because they have multiple chargers, but also because weather can drain your battery.

Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne charged twice in the 2023 Genesis GV60 on a 250-mile trip north to Charlevoix.

Despite filing up to the recommended 80% of range (188 miles) to go 166 miles from Bay City to Charlevoix, I wouldn’t make it on a 90-degree day when battery range is just 70% (131 miles) of predicted range. So I stop twice — in Bay City and Gaylord — to be sure.

On my return trip, EA’s multiple charger options were crucial to getting home.

I entered Bay City with 50% of range. A quick, 7-minute fill-up on a 350 kW charger (a benefit of the Genesis’s fast, 800-volt platform) to 80% should have been enough to get me home with enough cushion to prepare for a 2 p.m. meeting.

Not much frunk in the funky 2023 Genesis GV60.

But the Electrify America station had a surprise in store.

When I arrived, a Mustang Mach-E was on the 350 kW unit — its passengers asleep inside. I plugged into the second 350 kW unit. It was out of order.

Two, slower, 150 kW chargers left. I plugged into a 150. Also AWOL. Down to my last charger.

Fortunately, it worked. At 150 kW the charge to 80% took 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes wasted on out-of-order chargers), and then I was on my way. But not before I warned an arriving Mach-E owner that two chargers were out of order.

Awright, Payne, enough about high-tech and charging.

With high tech and high style, the 2023 Genesis GV60 challenges the Tesla Model 3 - though its third-party charging options lag the Tesla network.

Leaving the Bay City charger with plenty of battery to get home, I put the Genesis in SPORT mode, nailed the accelerator and merged on the interstate with authority. EV60 will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds — on par with a Tesla Model Y Performance, despite the Genesis weighing 400 pounds more.

Much of that added weight appears the result of better engineering for a quieter driving experience. Tesla still has the lead thanks to its charging network, but Genesis is a player to watch.

2023 Genesis GV60

Vehicle type: Battery-powered, all-wheel-drive five-passenger SUV

Price: $59,985, including $1,090 destination fee ($69,560 Performance AWD model as tested)

Powerplant: 77.4 kWh lithium-ion battery with dual electric-motors

Power: 429 horsepower, 516 pound-feet torque

Transmission: Single-speed direct drive

Performance: 0-60 mph, 3.7 seconds (mfr., AWD); towing, 2,300 pounds

Weight: 4,890 pounds

Fuel economy: EPA 90 MPGe; range, 235 miles

Report card

Highs: Standout looks, lotsa cool features to play with

Lows: Floaty handling; 800-volt platform not much benefit

Overall: 3 stars

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

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