Genesis GV60 long-term test: report 1

The Genesis GV60 is one of the best electric SUVs you can buy right now. But can the upmarket tech-fest win over our man who's seeking a comfy family cruiser?...

Genesis GV60 red, front driving

The car Genesis GV60 168kW RWD single motor (Premium) Run by Stuart Milne, digital editor

Why it’s here Can a sprinkling of ‘premiumness’ elevate the upmarket Genesis GV60 clear of the family SUV pack – and into luxury SUV territory?

Needs to Be as comfortable and quiet as the best electric SUVs, yet offer the all-important tangible appeal buyers of premium models want.

Mileage 8387 Price £54,105 Target Price £54,105 Price as tested £59,605 Official range 321 miles Test range 310 miles Options fitted Innovation Pack (£2810), Bang & Olufsen Audio System (£990), Vehicle-to-Load (£880), Mauna Red paint (£740), Door mirrors with auto-dimming (£80)

12 April 2024 – An electric SUV for the prog rock generation

Passing the house where Mike Oldfield composed Tubular Bells, listening to Pink Floyd and driving a Genesis is surely the holy trinity of any fan of 1970s prog rock music.

And the nuances and quirks of both the complex musical structure of that musical genre and the dramatic features in the Genesis GV60 are not lost on me as I passed by Oldfield’s former home in east London a few weeks ago.

Like prog rock, cars increasingly employ all kinds of eye-catching trinkets in order to elevate themselves above the rather more mundane. The GV60’s equivalent of prog rock’s dry ice is the gear selector that rotates to reveal an illuminated crystal-like dome when the car is switched off. Its noodling guitar solos are replaced by pop-out door handles. Its Hammond organ is its fingerprint and facial recognition.

Also like prog rock, features like this can be an acquired taste. My kids love the “spinny” gear selector and the seats that slide forward and backwards when the car is switched on or off hold a strange appeal for them. Me? I’m not so taken with these kind of theatrics, because I prefer to get in a car and, go.

That’s all very subjective, of course. What isn’t is that the Genesis is a very good electric SUV indeed. I’m comfortably covering around 300 miles on a charge, even more than the 280 and 251 miles it managed in our summer and winter EV range tests. A home charge takes around seven hours; find a suitably powerful charger and it’ll accept 233kW, taking 18 minutes to boost from 10-80%. The charging flap that opens and shuts electrically is a nice touch, as are the rows of LED lights beside the charging socket that indicate the charge level.

I’ve been able to travel those long distances in comfort, too. The electrically adjustable seats are comfortable and extremely supportive, there’s lots of interior storage and the floating centre console provides a great feeling of space. While the sloping roofline reduces headroom in the back, it’s more than enough for my two kids. It’s the ideal car, in other words, for my painful daily 150 mile commute – which can easily stretch to five hours – as well as general family duties.

Genesis GV60 red, rear driving

It’s also pretty entertaining on a flowing road; more so than the closely related Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. Three levels of regenerative braking, plus a one-pedal mode which can bring the car to a complete halt, are accessed via simple steering wheel paddles, making it easy to select the correct mode for the road conditions. If there’s a criticism, it seems it’s a little more eager to illuminate the brake lights than some other EVs I’ve driven – such as my previous VW ID Buzz

The infotainment tech is a genuine high point. It centres around three screens, all of which are clear, crisp and responsive – and they need to be, because there are so many features and opportunities to tailor various car settings. Honestly, I’ve barely scratched the surface. Happily, the voice control works well, and I like the blend of touchscreen and physical scrolling wheel.

Yet for all this, it’s the head-up display (part of the £2810 Innovation Pack) and the standard fit Apple Carplay which vie for my attention most of the time. The former is particularly clear, and provides visual information regarding the excellent driver assistance system. Annoyingly, while the car has wireless charging, it still requires a cable to access Carplay or Android Auto, which needs to stretch untidily a few feet to the lower dashboard.

Genesis GV60 interior, dashboard, driving

So, while the GV60’s A-side (coloured vinyl with gatefold sleeve, naturally) is packed full of hits, there are also some B-side fillers. For what is quite a large car, the 432-litre boot is smaller than you’ll find in a Tesla Model Y or VW ID 4. Still, it’s fine for the weekly shop, but we easily filled it on a recent family weekend away. There’s no rear windscreen wiper, and the rear spoiler which stretches across the rear screen hampers rear visibility further.

Not that matters to those who’ve stopped me in the street to ask what it is. Several have asked if the ‘King Crimson’ GV60 is the “new Tesla”, but most think the Genesis is all rather enigmatic – like the very best prog rock albums.

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