First Drive: The All-Electric Genesis GV70 SUV Is as Nimble as It Is Luxurious
Everyone loves a little boost, whether it’s with energy drinks, a double shot of espresso, or 20 minutes on the treadmill. Genesis feels the same way. That’s why it’s added a Boost mode to its new Electrified GV70. Pulling out to pass, need more urge to merge with freeway traffic, want more zip away from a stop light? Just tap the button at the base of the steering wheel. For 10 sweet seconds, you get a 54 hp kick with electric power surging from 429 hp to 483 hp.
On a recent drive out of Atlanta, through rolling North Georgia countryside, Boost mode proved to be more than just a party trick to impress—or scare—passengers. Sweeping past an 18-wheeler on a two-lane backroad just felt a little safer, more confidence-inspiring. This new GV70 is the third all-electric Genesis after the GV60 cute-ute crossover and G80 sedan, and the first to be built stateside at Hyundai Group’s sprawling plant in Montgomery, Ala. Strange name though; Electrified GV70 sounds more like a hybrid than a full electric.
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Essentially an electrified version of the gas-powered GV70 compact SUV, the GV70-e ditches any power from an internal-combustion engine and opts for a 77.4 kwh lithium-ion polymer battery pack under the floor. This juices the 214 hp electric motors front and rear, conveniently giving all-wheel drive. Both battery pack and motors are shared with the smaller GV60.
According to the EPA, the Electrified GV70 has a range of 236 miles on a full charge. That’s not as lengthy as the Mustang Mach-E‘s 312 miles (with a 91 kwh battery), but way better than the new Lexus RZ 450e’s 196 miles. But incorporating 250 kw/800-volt fast-charging in the GV’s system lets the battery replenish from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes, or add 60 miles of range in a mere five minutes. Level II 240-volt charging, though, takes around seven hours to go from 10 percent to 100 percent. Genesis sweetens the charging deal however by giving owners three years of free 30-minute rapid-charging sessions through Electrify America.
One cool design touch that makes topping-up a little easier is the location of the EV charging port behind a flap in the front grille. The thoughtful placement allows you to pull straight in to the charging station instead of having to go through the more typical dance of backing up to it. While on the subject of design, it’s that bold, crest-shaped grille—with its fully enclosed, shiny center section—that distinguishes this new EV version from its gas sibling. There’s also the reshaped lower air dam, unique 20-inch wheels and, naturally, the absence of exhausts at the rear. But don’t expect to stand out with bright colors. As of launch, there are only four somewhat somber hues—Vik Black, Savile Silver, Makalu Gray and Makalu Gray Matte.
On the road, even without Boost mode, the Electrified GV70 is a lively performer. Genesis claims the vehicle can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds which, after our drive, seems a little on the conservative side. Our iPhone stopwatch put it closer to four seconds. And that’s pretty impressive considering the SUV’s 5,000-pound bulk, which is a non-trivial 500 pounds more than its gas-powered counterpart.
Takeoff from a standstill is light-switch instant, with the power not tailing off until the speedo is showing triple-digit speed. And it’s all impressively serene and quiet inside, with road roar muffled and a near total absence of wind noise.
Having the battery mounted low in the body helps tame body roll, while slightly tauter suspension and tighter steering—compared to the gas GV—masks that extra weight, delivering surprisingly agile and nimble handling. The only trade-off is a slightly firmer, more fidgety ride.
Two versions of the Electrified GV70 are on offer; the $66,975 Advanced and the $73,775 Prestige. The Prestige compares to the similarly equipped $76,175 gas-powered GV70 3.5 AWD Sport Prestige. And remember, there’s still an available $7,500 EV tax credit from Uncle Sam—at least for now.
If there’s a downside, it’s that this Electrified GV70 is currently only available in 15 states in the US, though Genesis says it’s “moving very quickly” to add more. Also, expect initial availability to be extremely limited. Yet without doubt, this is a fun and feisty, well-designed compact SUV that’s a joy to drive and only enhanced by its electric power train. And, like the gas GV, it boasts one of the most luxurious, highest-quality interiors in its class.
Click here for more photos of the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70.
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