Home » The Genesis GV60 Performance Is A Tire-Frying Hypnotoad That Beats The Tesla Model Y In Many Areas

The Genesis GV60 Performance Is A Tire-Frying Hypnotoad That Beats The Tesla Model Y In Many Areas

Genesis Gv60 Performance Topshot 2

Say hello to the electric performance crossover of the moment, the Genesis GV60 Performance. On paper, the specs are incredibly impressive. We’re talking about a crossover with a zero-to-sixty time of under four seconds, incredibly fast charging speeds, and more gadgets than your local Best Buy. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like a Tesla Model Y Performance. Hell, the two cars even share a trim level name. So, can Genesis beat Tesla in the small, sporty electric crossover arena? Let’s find out.

[Full disclosure: Genesis Canada let me borrow this GV60 Performance for a whole week so long as I returned it brimming with charge and wrote a review of it.]

What Makes It Tick?

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As with the blockbuster Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Genesis GV60 rides on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform, a dedicated architecture for electric vehicles that looks very different underneath than most gasoline-powered cars. Because there’s no need to package a combustion engine between the strut towers, the front frame rails are quite far inboard, maximizing tire clearance to enhance turning radius.

Since there’s a massive battery pack under the floor, the sills on the GV60 are quite thick, which results in several benefits. Not only are large sills typically good at providing strong structure, the sills cover the sides of the pack completely, aiding underbody aerodynamics. Speaking of battery pack-related things, the GV60 features an 800-volt architecture that permits peak charging speeds of 235 kW — properly fast stuff.

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Regarding suspension, the GV60 uses a strut-type front suspension with aluminum lower arms, while rear suspension is a multi-link design using a mixture of aluminum and steel components. Springs are coils at each corner, as the GV60 Performance relies on adaptive dampers rather than air suspension to smooth out rough tarmac. This could prove cheaper for owners in the long-run, as air struts are still properly expensive things to replace.

How Does It Look?

Genesis GV60 front three quarters

The Genesis GV60 looks different, but that’s by no means a bad thing. Many compact electric crossovers are amorphous blobs designed more for the wind than for viewing pleasure. The GV60 flaunts that common approach with a dose of amphibian appeal. With sheetmetal clinging low to the platform, and plenty of curves, the car has the stance and silhouette of a frog on a lily pad. There’s further oddity in the details, like the zig-zagging chrome trim on the rear pillars that presents as an inside joke on floating roof fads, or the cross-hatched pattern on each wheel spoke. Oh, and there’s no rear wiper to speak of, so expect the tailgate glass to stay coated in dust. Still, it makes for a clean look — an amusing oxymoron from the design department.

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Overall, I’m a huge fan of the GV60’s aesthetic weirdness. It reminds me a bit of a Citroën C4 Cactus in Versace, although I’d rather anthropomorphize it as a captivating toad from the future — a Hypnotoad, if you will. Whether this crossover floats your boat or it’s too strange for you, it’s hard to argue that it’s boring to look at.

What’s It Like To Drive?

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It shouldn’t be surprising that most electric crossovers won’t let you go full hero mode and turn stability control all the way off. The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT has a certain level of intervention, and the Tesla Model Y Performance doesn’t yet come with any sort of performance mode for the stability control. The GV60 Performance is a bit different. Hold the stability control button to the left of the steering wheel for five seconds, and off really is off.

Fucking around normally equates directly to finding out, but the GV60 Performance’s body control is great, and its tires are high treadwear units that have a huge gap between making lots of noise and actually losing traction during enthusiastic driving. The steering doesn’t offer much in the way of texture, but weighting is linear and there’s just enough communication coming through the seat that you can get comfortable throwing it about. Think Porsche Macan more than anything. Granted, a Macan doesn’t weigh 4,890 pounds, so you have to be deliberate if you really want to hustle the GV60.

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Despite the sheer mass of Genesis’ performance crossover, the brand’s done a good job of gamifying the driving experience. Take the little green button on the steering wheel. Press that, and the GV60 briefly goes from being merely a quick EV crossover to being a 483-horsepower, 516 lb.-ft. of torque Mr. Hyde for ten seconds. However, unlike overboost modes in gasoline-powered cars, there’s no refractory period for the GV60 Performance. Just mash the green button over and over like you’re playing Need For Speed. Of course, range will be abysmal, but why not occasionally trade range for an adolescent ear-to-ear grin plastered across your face?

However, just because the boost button gives an extra surge of electrons doesn’t mean it’s best to leave the line with it activated. If traction control is off, the front tires will spin up like Beyblades, showering everything nearby with a healthy dusting of eau du Michelin. Hilarious? Absolutely. Fast? Not a chance. If you want to even out the tire wear, Genesis has you covered with the sideways baseball cap of performance car technologies – drift mode. Here’s how you activate it: With the GV60 Performance in park, hold the brake, tap the drive mode selector until you’re in sport mode, then hold the stability control off switch for five seconds. From there, hold both steering wheel paddles for three seconds, and you’re in. Whatever happens next is entirely up to you.

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Settle back down to a sensible pace and the GV60 Performance grows cosseting yet buttoned-down, like a sweater cut from very thick cloth. The ride never grows uncomfortable or fussy, the world outside never amounts to more than a hushed hum, and accelerator pedal response relaxes like it’s been slipped a melatonin. This little thing has luxury on lock, despite the power on tap.

If there’s one big downside to the GV60 Performance, it’s efficiency. If you live in a big city and don’t have access to private charging, range from 80-to-10 percent of battery capacity is critical, and this thing trades miles for smiles. Figure around 235 miles (378 km) from a full charge to zero, or around 164 miles (263 km) from 80-percent to 10-percent state-of-charge. An 800-volt architecture helps to replenish the battery pack quickly, but the public charging network can be a merciless thing.

What’s The Interior Like?

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The interior of the Genesis GV60 Performance is a great place to sit whilst pondering your orb. Admittedly, it’s a pretty great orb of cut crystal and adjustable illumination, plus it rotates up to become a shifter once you turn the car on. It’ll attract leagues of juvenile “P is stored in the ball” jokes, but it’s a rather cool bit of design. One can only hope that Genesis has avoided the TC by Maserati issue of refraction setting bits of the interior alight. Mind you, a giant orb isn’t the only strange part of the GV60’s cabin. The dome atop the passenger grab handle unscrews easily — an unusual compartment if ever I’ve seen one.

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As for the rest of the interior, it’s sensible, minimalist, and quite spacious. Clever things to make life easier. For starters, the door card inserts come with the sort of reflective pinstriping you’d see on old tracksuit bottoms, presumably so that other cars will know your door is open at night. The false floor in the cargo area has a separate, smaller lift-up flap to access charging cable storage. The glovebox is a drawer so you don’t spill all your stuff on the floor the moment you open it. Simple stuff, but it makes a huge difference.

Genesis GV60 Performance interior

Regarding infotainment, it’s a slick all-Genesis UX with very little in common with the infotainment systems in the GV60’s platform-mates. The portrait-style tiles look brilliant and feel years newer than phone-style grids used by many infotainment systems. What’s more, a rotary knob makes for quick and easy eyes-off use of the system once you’ve acclimated to the menu structure. However, the rotary knob itself feels a little bit cheap, deflecting under jog inputs like a chocolate bar wrapper. Back to the drawing board with that one. In addition, Apple CarPlay can only be used via wired connection which limits the usefulness of the console-mounted wireless charging slot, although there’s a very handy phone bin next to the USB port that keeps your device safely secured whilst on the road.

The GV60 Performance comes with a Bang & Olufsen audio system that features an incredibly weird DSP. Instead of altering traditional bass and treble sliders, drivers must plot a compass with four sound signature descriptors. While novel, I’m not entirely sure if it works very well. The surround mode comes across as shrill and inauthentic, while some odd reverb remains in studio mode. Granted, clarity is fine for the segment, but you might be disappointed if you’re coming from other Genesis products with high-end stereos.

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Speaking of tech, the GV60 features a highly unusual use of facial recognition. Walk up to the B-pillar and the car will scan your face to make sure you’re the owner before unlocking the doors. Once you’re inside, just put your fingerprint on the reader and you’ll be able to start the car. While this seems a little dystopian at first, Genesis claims that all data is kept in the car, potentially allaying some fears over data collection.

If there’s one Achilles heel, it’s that the front seats don’t really seem to be designed for humans. You get plenty of lumbar support, massive headrests, and then nothing to put your upper back against. It’s an unfortunate oversight that makes long journeys rather uncomfortable, and a rather puzzling one considering seat comfort is an area in which the GV60’s cheaper platform mates shine.

GV60 rear air vent

Although the front seats aren’t anything to write home about, Genesis has given plenty of thought to rear seat passengers. Despite the high floor, space is ample, while a few clever touches ensure that rear seat passengers can ride in comfort. Instead of putting air vents low on the console, Genesis has placed them in the B-pillars to blow cool air on passengers’ faces. Alternatively, the air vents can be used to cool drinks in the door armrest-mounted cup holders, a brilliant placement that means passengers can still have open iced tea cans even with the rear bench fully occupied.

What’s The Verdict?

Genesis GV60 Performance

The Genesis GV60 Performance is astounding. Its chassis tuning feels, to me, miles ahead of the Tesla Model Y, and its ornate design makes that Silicon Valley competitor feel quite dull. The Mustang Mach-E GT is wildly entertaining, but the GV60 Performance beats it in poise. The Genesis is a metallic dinner jacket to the Mach-E GT’s mildly vulgar graphic tee. Bold, yet refined in the right setting.

Granted, the EV market moves quickly, and more competition will soon be on the way from the likes of Porsche and BMW. Until then, the GV60 Performance is the quick electric crossover to buy. Sure, the Genesis is a lot of money, but $69,385 is about the same as a loaded-up BMW X3 M40i, so it’s certainly not an egregious price tag considering the GV60’s traditional competition. Compared to its electric competition, the GV60 Performance just undercuts the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and the Tesla Model Y Performance, although it doesn’t qualify for federal rebates under the Inflation Reduction Act. Still, it feels worth the extra post-rebate cost with an interior that’s simply nicer than its current electric competition.

Who Should Buy It?

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So, who should buy the Genesis GV60 Performance? I say: Gen Z tech bros, avant-garde DINKs, pro-am gamers, sane people who once considered a Model Y, early adopters, urban creators, and premium shoppers genuinely looking for something different.

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40 Responses

  1. Speaking of tech, the GV60 features a highly unusual use of facial recognition. Walk up to the B-pillar and the car will scan your face to make sure you’re the owner before unlocking the doors. Once you’re inside, just put your fingerprint on the reader and you’ll be able to start the car.

    Chance of this system eventually being exploited as a carjacking method: 100%.

    1. So, those mornings when one goes out and the car is covered with frost/ice/snow you’re going to have to scrape the B pillar as well as the windows? Hope the fob has an unlock button, or you can no longer keep the scraper in the car. Also, when you valet park it, or drop it at the mechanic’s, will you have to enter their face/fingerprint? Seems like a collosal P.I.T.A.

      1. The FOB still operates just like any other car, no reason to worry. Think of the facial recognition as a backup or alternative, like if you want to go hiking or to the beach. It’s a modern equivalent of the ford entry keypad.

    2. Why would a ‘face-id’ unlock result in carjacking?

      I’m picturing a scenario like this:
      * Carjacker pulls gun on some guy.
      * Carjacker: get in the car and drive me to 7-eleven NOW!
      * Guy: No way that’s not my car leave me alone!
      * Carjacker forces guy’s head in front of camera & car unlocks automatically.
      * Carjacker: You were LYING to me! Now drive me to 7-eleven before I shoot you.
      * Guy: My damn car betrayed me.

  2. Wondering why the front struts? My understanding is that they were invented for packaging reasons and there’s no way you’re going to get as good of geometry as you could out of a multi-link or a double wishbone.

    I like the biometrics. Uneducated on the security of typical face recognition.

    PLEASE STOP MAKING REAR WINDOWS SYMBOLIC
    They made the spoiler black so the rear window looks bigger. Just make the darn thing bigger. High rear belt lines baffle me. They look terrible. If anyone disagrees PLEASE let me know so I can understand.

    1. You are correct that Macpherson struts have better package but they were invented because they were simple and cheap. They still are. The geometry you get is not as good as a double wishbone or multi-link but even without an ICE engine in the front there are still reasons to save package space, especially if you want a decent frunk. Doesn’t say of this thing has a frunk though.

      1. Good to know. I think there was an article discussing zee Germans not having frunks and I was wondering if their tendency to do double wishbone or multilinks factored into that but it looks like BMW uses Macpherson struts! And the ID4. Mercedes and the upmarket VAG cars appear to be more complex designs though.

        This is definitely a rabbit hole I’m going down tomorrow.

        Still don’t like the idea of Macpherson struts very much (bending loads on a sliding mechanism give me engineer nightmares).

        PS: You are in the single most interesting engineering field out there and I LOVE your articles

    1. I thought the same. It looks fantastic if you’re looking down at it and has strong hideous German “coupe” suv vibes from any angle you’d actually look at it.

    2. This is my main complaint when they come out with pictures for a vehicle.

      For some reason pictures of the rear are usually omitted and I have to search for them after I read the article.

      Very annoying 1st world problem, but I don’t understand why it happens.

  3. “This $70k luxury car is terrific except for the unusable seats, abysmal range, and obsolete-on-arrival wired-only infotainment. But at least it’s got a cheap-but-cheerful exterior aesthetic befitting a car 1/4 its price!”

    I’m sure the GV60 was a hoot to flog in an empty parking lot, but I don’t understand how anyone can write such a positive review of a vehicle that, based on the review, is obviously terrible at being a usable car.

    1. I’m not trying to excuse it, but I think a lot of these early midrange ‘luxe’ EVs are in the same boat since manufacturers are having trouble figuring out how to make an already-expensive platform nicer while maintaining margins. It’s telling that Motor Trend put the GV60 ahead of Cadillac’s supposedly ‘watershed’ Lyriq.

      https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2023-cadillac-lyriq-vs-genesis-gv60-luxury-ev-comparison-test-review/

      1. It’s just mind-boggling that Hyundai/Kia makes two other vehicles on the same platform, in the same size class, that look more premium, are more comfortable, and offer more functionality for a lower price. Who out here is getting a GV6 over a Kia EV6, much less a Tesla?

    2. Absolutely. I keep hearing that EVs are improving yet so many reviews are still hung up on the acceleration gimmick while letting genuine problems slide.

  4. Tom – I created an account simply to remark how fantastic this review is. Your writing style is attention grabbing, modern, quirky, elegant, refined, all at the same time. You sir are a gem of a writer and I look forward to seeing what else you publish.

  5. I feel the exterior lacks the elegance of other Genesis cars. It sticks out in the lineup and looks more like a rebadged Kyundai/Kia than a Genesis.

  6. It’s cute, if more derivative than its siblings. Something needed to fill the ‘Juke’ niche now that Nissan only gives us the ‘refrigerator-on-wheels’ Kicks, though this is nearly twice the price.

  7. I spit my coffee out when I read about the wired CarPlay connection….I have two ’22 vehicles in my driveway on opposite ends of the price spectrum from the same manufacturer. Both have CarPlay and I’ve grown to appreciate the wireless connection on the expensive one. I cheaped out on the absolute base model of the other car, so it has a wired connection. Of all the things I wish the cheap car had, it would be a wireless CarPlay connection (and a manual transmission). It’s just soooo much less convenient, I never remember to plug my phone in, so then I’m stuck with whatever’s on the radio. It costs the manufacturer almost nothing to add wireless (radio already has Wifi), so in my case the wired connection is just a punishment for choosing the base model and I’m fine with that. On then Genesis….this is top of the line, there is no excuse. Whoever signed off on this decision obviously never spent ANY time with wireless Carplay. Wired Carplay is like single speaker AM radio by comparison….and the worst part is someone will buy this car, expecting it to have wireless CarPlay (because it should) and then spend an hour trying everything to get their phone connected wirelessly only to have the WTF moment when they discover it only supports a wired connection. Hyundai better have fast retrofit plan because customers will be constantly reminded of this shortfall.

    1. You can get a good wireless adapter for less than $100. It plugs right into the wired connection and makes it work just like a wireless one. So yeah, it might cost the manufacturer next to nothing to add it, but it also costs you next to nothing to fix it. So stop whining and fix it if you like wireless that much!

  8. The Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Blazer EV give you almost 100 more miles of range for less money. Personally I find the look of this vehicle to be hideous. This is more a competitor for a Chevy Bolt at 230ish miles of range except it is twice the price!

    1. Agreed. $70K for 235 miles of range is borderline ridiculous. For $65K, the Y long range travels for 100 more miles on a charge. The Mach-E Premium has an MSRP of $56K and will travel ~300 miles.

      1. This thing is DOA. 70K for an EV that goes 235 miles (the Bolt want’s a word) with a FAR inferior charging infrastructure to the Tesla. Nice try Genesis, come back when you have something compelling.

    2. I get the range thing, kind of, but I am guessing people spending 70 grand on this thing have another car or two in their multiple car garages. The Hyundai could see plenty of use on commutes and nights out.

      1. Yeah, my boyfriend’s parents have a 200 series LC and a base range Model S for precisely that use case. Have to see if Genesis is ‘nice’ enough for that type of clientele to consider.

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