A glance at the specs and the body style of this vehicle should be enough to give driving enthusiasts a solid first impression of what it is and what it can do. It’s electric, and it’s a crossover. Double yawn. These are not ingredients from which one makes driving excitement.
But then you look at the badge. Genesis has been building some incredible luxury vehicles, in both sedan and SUV flavors, for a few years now. And upon entry, the BOOST button on the steering wheel gives you hope. Indeed, the 2023 Genesis GV70 Electrified brings genuine driving enjoyment to emissions-displaced motoring.
This shouldn’t be all that surprising. While when hybrids and the first full-electric vehicles appeared on our roads as sloth-like creatures focused solely on minimizing environmental impact, the potential was there for some astounding performance vehicles. The instantaneous torque provided by an electric motor can produce staggering acceleration. Indeed, when the BOOST button on this GV70 Electrified is pressed, horsepower leaps from the advertised total of 429 from the pair of electric motors front and rear to a healthy 483hp for 10 seconds.
To be honest, it’s not like the standard 429hp is slow. Even without prodding the magic spot on the wheel, a jab of the rightmost pedal gives a healthy jolt to the backside. And frequent use of the overboost will decrease the expected range of the 77.4kWh battery from the already rather low 236 miles. But goodness, what fun will be had between recharges. This chassis is already well regarded, underpinning the standard gas GV70, G70, and Kia Stinger. The extra mass of the battery is there, certainly, but the handling and ride quality are still stellar.
It takes a trained eye to notice that this is different from the standard GV70. Really, only the lack of tailpipes and the filled-in mesh of the grille are dead giveaways. I even struggled to find the charging port upon my first arrival at a high-speed charging station, as it is well hidden within that grille. It’s a beautifully designed crossover, even in this silver that seems destined to fade into the background of traffic. I rather enjoy that there is little that makes it look like an EV, as most dedicated EV platforms seem to lean into the “weird for the sake of weird” styling ethos.
The interior is similarly well-appointed, with plush leather surfaces and the usual great-feeling metallic buttons and toggles on the steering wheel. The rear seat is still a bit tight on legroom for larger folks behind tall people up front, but if you’re sized more like the average human than my family is, you should be fine. The widescreen infotainment system works just as well here as it does in other Hyundai/Genesis/Kia products, though I’d still like to see an update to wireless for the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I mean, there is a wireless charging pad that will work for most modern smartphones – I’d rather not keep the device plugged in all the time just to use my preferred navigation app.
That said, you will be using a cord rather frequently as I noted. I’m feeling less frustrated by somewhat lower stated battery ranges than I once was, as most EV charging does and should happen at home. With a home Level 2 240v charger, the GV70 Electrified can go from 10 percent to 100 percent charge in around seven hours – that’s plenty for most drivers. I’m still evaluating what will be right for my home, as it is all electric and built during the Carter administration with absolutely no planning for electric vehicle charging.
Thus my charging must happen at public stations, and here Genesis gets it right. The 800-volt architecture baked into the GV70 Electrified allows the vehicle to be charged (at the right stations) at a full 350kW. Moving from 20 percent to 80 percent charge takes around 18 minutes, so if you have working DC fast chargers along your route this can easily be used as a road trip machine. If your family is anything like mine, any road trip fuel stop involves at least 18 minutes of restroom breaks and milling about the convenience store for coffee, Reeses’ Cups, and other snacks sure to smear on the white leather seats. So as high-speed infrastructure improves and charging is better co-located with the interstate, this will only become a better long drive companion.
It’s fair to say that I’m impressed with the 2023 Genesis GV70 Electrified. It’s becoming easier to see how an EV can fit into more and more people’s lives, but this one proves that you don’t have to choose something that looks weird just to rock down to Electric Avenue.
[Images: © 2023 Chris Tonn/TTAC]
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