History has taken its time. But now the South Korean luxury car arm of Hyundai / Kia has put its foot on the accelerator, upgrading the GV60 electric sports utility vehicle just months after its debut Down Under.

For the first time Genesis Connected Services gives access to a new level of safety and security conveniently through a smartphone, or embedded vehicle self-help, while on-air software gives owners wireless remote system updates.

To add to this, Face Connect and Fingerprint Start lets users into the GV60 using facial recognition, start the motor with their fingerprint, call up personal settings and other useful vehicle settings.

The Genesis GV60 comes in two variants, the basic(?) all-wheel drive and the
Performance AWD, at $107,700 and $114,700, plus on road costs, respectively. Both are covered by the Genesis five-year unlimited kilometre warranty with ten years roadside assistance, plus a choice of five years free Chargefox charging, or home charger and installation at no extra cost.

Sharing the platform with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, there is no mistaking the small, some would say medium-size, sports utility vehicle. The look is every bit its own – no harking back to its fossil fuel antecedents.

Even the wheels stand alone. The design is like ‘controlled chaos’ It’s as if there has been an explosion at the hub and bits and pieces of the five spokes have been splayed out towards the rim. Different! However, the 21-inch alloys do fill out the wheel arches well.

Also, complementing the front brake callipers are colour coded rear calliper covers wearing the Genesis hallmark. New exterior paint colours are Capri Blue Mica and Makalu Grey Metallic, replacing the old grey and blue. Sao Paulo Lime is no longer offered.

It’s a clubby atmosphere, dark blue leather and yellow piping, the dash dominated by a twin multi-colour screen display. The centre console, once again, is attention grabbing with a fly-by-wire gearshift knob, a la Jaguar, which when not in use, rolls away into the console to make way for a crystal hemisphere a bit like a snowdome, sans snow.

Seats are firm and flat but not duly uncomfortable thanks to an extensive range of adjustment. Leg and headroom are good all round considering the external dimensions.
Headroom is especially good, considering the presence of a panoramic glass roof.
The outboard rear seats are heated, and occupants have cupholders built into the doors, air vents in the pillars. Two USB-C can be found in the back, while a three-pin plug in the seat base will charge a laptop or run household appliances from the battery.

Additional improvements include an air purifier that checks air quality with a fine dust/particle sensor, while ambient lighting control now extends to the front footwells.
The maker puts the boot space at 432 litres with the seat backs up, extended to 1460 litres with the backs folded.

Fingerprint-based unlocking and keyless entry and start open the whole gamut of GV60 wizardry. A 12.3-inch touchscreen is the gateway to a mass of infotainment, backed up by a twin screen displaying a digital instrument cluster that can be changed to suit the driver.

Satellite navigation is on tap, via an info controller with handwriting recognition on the centre console. Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are topped off by a classy 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. A head-up display keeps eyes on the job. A wireless phone charger is handy, and three USB ports for audio / video input complete the list.

The GV60 Performance AWD relies on a pair of axle-fitted 180 kW electric motors producing a combined 360 kW and 700 Nm and on to the road via a dual motor all-wheel drive system.

With a five-star ANCAP rating standard active safety features include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian/cyclist detection and junction assist.

There’s blind spot assist and view with cameras, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist, safe exit assist, driver attention monitor, lane departure warning and lane centring, plus lane keep assist. All work well except the last, which can be too keen to help.

Passive safety has been boosted to ten airbags through the addition of thorax airbags for outboard rear passengers.

Flush door handles flip out as if to shake hands and a puddle light with Genesis logo welcome potential GV60 occupants.

In its well-mannered mood the Performance AWD will quietly tootle around town or cruise the country roads under most conditions, keeping the occupants in comfort thanks to a camera up front which keeps its eye on the road ahead and adjusts the suspension to deal with blemishes or worse.

Try the Boost button on the steering wheel, and blimey, the Performance AWD will hit 100 km/h in 4 seconds from rest. Flip between any one of four regenerative braking levels via the paddles behind the steering wheels. Top level is iPedal mode in which it’s possible to drive the car on one pedal without touching the brake.

Genesis claims power consumption of 18.5 kWh per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle.

Genesis GV60

Throughout the test the Genesis GV60 Performance hovered closer to 19 kWh per 100 kilometres on a mix of town and country driving.

No complaints here, having topped up the battery from 40 per cent to more than 90 per cent in 40 minutes on a public fast charger.

Rear vision mirrors on the outside are replaced by miniature cameras which project on to screens on the inside of the front doors. The displaced action takes some getting used to but the three-quarter blind spot often found with large SUV mirrors has all but disappeared.

Don’t take my word for it, but the Genesis GV60 EV has been named the top small premium SUV in the JD Power US Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study, which takes in new-vehicle owners’ assessment of design, performance, safety, usability, and comfort among other things. Say no more!

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 9/10
Safety: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 6/10


Genesis GV60 AWD $107,700
Genesis GV60 Performance AWD $114,700
Note: this price does not include government of dealer delivery charges. Contact your Genesis local dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Genesis GV60 Performance AWD Electric, reduction gear front and rear, SUV)

Battery Capacity: 77.4 kWh
Configuration: Two 180 kW motors front and back
Maximum power: 360 kW
Maximum torque: 700 Nm
Fuel: Electric
Combined fuel cycle 18.5 kWh/100km
Range: 466 km claimed by the maker

DRIVELINE: Reduction gear, front and rear; AWD

Length: 4515 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1890 mm
Height: 1595 mm
Turning circle: 11.94 m
Kerb weight: 2210 kg
Fuel tank: 0 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Back: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres
Ten years / unlimited kilometres roadside assistance, plus a choice of five years free Chargefox charging, or home charger and installation at no extra cost.


About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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