The old saying that you don’t get something for nothing is apropos when talking about electric vehicles.
While EVs lack tailpipe emissions, their batteries store electricity generated elsewhere that pollutes. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 60.2% of all U.S. electric generation in 2022 was from fossil fuels, and another 18.2% came from nuclear power plants. In other words, nearly four-fifths of all electricity is far from "clean." And what about the environmental impacts of extracting rare earth minerals from remote locations around the world to create storage batteries? Are we trading petrol-powered cars for a pig in a poke?
In the end, it doesn’t matter.
We live in a world of yin and yang, of positive and negative, black and white, Democrat and Republican. The inexorable pull to one side extracts a price on the other. You can’t transport yourself across town in private transportation without paying a price. When that transport was a horse, the price was 20 pounds of hay a day, along with the excrement that the horse inevitably produced as a result.
All private transportation has its cost — and it remains to be seen whether EVs are truly better for the planet. But when it’s an electric vehicle as good as the 2024 Genesis GV60 compact luxury SUV, the cost seems more than worthwhile. For this vehicle is a design gem, a sparkling realization of fresh design. It’s radiantly Korean: fresh, modern and bristling with a contemporary, upbeat sheen.
You may have already seen it, with its ovoid shape and chrome V-shaped trim visually punctuating the rear roof pillar. It’s distinctive and sets the tone for its interior design.
Everywhere you look, you’ll see ovals employed. It’s the shape of the door handle pulls, the power mirror switches, and the rear seat cupholders. The coolest feature may be the transmission shifter, which rotates around when the car is started, revealing itself. Then, you twist it left or right to employ forward or reverse. When the car shuts off, it disappears, rotating around again.
The brilliant design continues to the interior’s thoughtful touches, such as the buttons on the side of the front passenger seat to adjust it from other locations, the button that shuts off the climate control except for the driver, and the icon that appears when you approach an intersection with a red-light camera. Open the glove box an you’ll find it’s a sliding drawer – and far easier to use. There’s even space under the center console for stashing a purse or computer bag.
And the finishes are bright and contemporary, with knurled finishes on the knobs, quilted leather and beautiful detailing. It speaks to the thoroughness with which this vehicle was designed.
For 2024, the Genesis GV60 lineup offers a new base model: the Standard, with rear-wheel drive and 294 miles of range. Next comes the mid-level Advance trim, with all-wheel drive and 248 miles of range. We drove the top-spec Performance model, with all-wheel drive and 235 miles of range.
The difference in range stems from a number of factors. The Performance model gets dual 160-kW electric motors and 21-inch wheels, both of which reduce range, but produce 483 horsepower. The Advance has dual motors as well, but its front is smaller, producing 74 kW and smaller 20-inch wheels. Together with the rear 160-kW motor, it produces 314 horsepower. Then there’s the Standard, with a solitary 168-kW rear motor producing a decent 225 horsepower.
And its tech is impressive, with a head-up display, wireless smartphone charger, 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system transforming the GV60 into a resplendent concert hall and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. But it also has Face Connect that allows the driver to lock or unlock the vehicle through facial recognition. It also adjusts the car to that driver’s profile, adjusting the seats, radio station resets, etc. The GV60 is also allows drivers to start and drive the car without a key by using your fingerprints.
Driving the Performance model proved the GV60 to be relatively silent despite its speed. The Performance’s driveline produces 429 horsepower until you hit the Boost button, which raises the outflow to 489 horses, making for fast getaways. Yet it’s done with an incredible amount of refinement as a result of its EV driveline. Part of this is due to the adaptive suspension and electronic rear locking differential, which make for a pleasing driving experience.
Cornering is assured, if sprightly. Body lean is minimal, although that’s when the battery’s weight can be felt. Yet part of the GV60’s refinement is due to the regenerative braking. Set it to its highest level, which means the car captures the maximum energy created during braking to recharge the battery, and one-pedal driving is a snap, making smooth driving a snap. And there’s enough athleticism to keep things entertaining.
If we have any quibbles, it’s that rear legroom seems a bit tight. And there’s no spare tire. But the GV60’s goodness makes up for thee shortcomings.
Prices start at $52,000 for the Standard, with our Performance test model fetching $69,550 before options. That’s not cheap. But it opens the door to exquisite EV that provides a rarefied driving experience, decent tech package and an unmatched design ambience.
2024 Genesis GV60 Performance AWD
Base price: $69,550
Powertrain: Dual 160-kW motors
Horsepower/Torque: 483/516 pound-feet
Range: 235 miles
Battery capacity: 77.4 kWh
Recharge time (240V): 7 hours (10%-100%)
Length/Width/Height: 177.8/74.4/62.4 inches
Cargo capacity: 24.7-55.4 cubic feet (including frunk)
Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds
(Larry Printz is an automotive journalist based in South Florida. Readers may send him email at TheDrivingPrintz@gmail.com.)
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