2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 First Drive Review: Quietly Fantastic, Except for the Range

If you can deal with just 236 miles of range, the GV70 remains a deeply pleasant and intuitive item to live with.

byChris Tsui|
Chris Tsui
Chris Tsui.

The 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 only comes in four colors: black, silver, gray, and matte gray. Yep, all shades and they didn’t even bother with white. 

Granted, the Electrified GV70 is not the electric Genesis made for the sort of person who orders their cars in red, yellow, or even blue—that’s what the Pokémon-esque GV60 is for. Instead, Hyundai’s luxury arm has taken its quietly fantastic compact SUV and made it even more quiet and more fantastic, deliberately wrapping it in a design that barely whispers of its e-drive status, making its bland color palette a fairly insignificant flaw. Though, I still miss the Mauna Red and Cardiff Green that are available on the gas version.

Chris Tsui

One big caveat with this car—and the two other EVs Genesis currently makes, for that matter—it’s currently only sold in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Genesis says more states are coming, though.

Speaking of caveats, the Electrified GV70 also doesn’t boast quite as much range as it probably ought to, and there are indeed a couple of tech-related shortcomings that keep it from being a 10 out of 10 daily driver. Ultimately, though, those are easy crimes to forgive considering the style, luxury, comfort, and driving experience on tap.

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 Specs

  • Base price (Prestige as tested): $66,975 ($73,775)
  • Powertrain: 77.4-kWh lithium-ion battery | dual permanent magnet electric motor | 1-speed transmission | all-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 429 (483 in Boost Mode)
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft
  • Seating capacity: 5
  • Curb weight: 5,038 pounds
  • Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds
  • Cargo volume: 28.7 cubic feet behind second row | 56.5 cubic feet behind first row
  • EPA range: 236 miles
  • EPA fuel economy: 98 mpge city | 83 highway | 91 combined 
  • Quick take: All of the virtues of the already-fantastic GV70 are arguably even better without gas—except the middling range.
  • Score: 8.5/10

The Basics

In case you didn’t know, the GV70 is the smaller of Genesis’ two SUVs, slotting underneath the three-row GV80 and similar in size to stuff like the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, and Lexus NX. This Electrified GV70 version—yes, the name is confusing—rides on the same platform as the gas one, which Genesis says was originally designed for both ICE and electric powertrains without compromise. The electric version’s body is, in fact, 24% more rigid than that of the gas GV70. Speaking of powertrains, we’re dealing with the same dual-motor setup found in the GV60 Performance making 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. A steering wheel button-activated Boost Mode amps it up to 483 hp for up to 10 seconds. 

It’s all powered by a 77.2-kWh battery good for a claimed 236 miles of range and capable of 240-kW charging. Genesis says DC fast charging can get the car from 10 to 80% battery in just 18 minutes while AC Level 2 charging will apparently get it from 10 to 100% in about seven hours. Every customer receives complimentary 30-minute charges at Electrify America stations for three years—though as many have found, what you end up pulling in those half-hour sessions can vary wildly. This being an EV from Hyundai, a built-in vehicle-to-load (V2L) system lets you power and charge things like laptops from both in- and outside of the car. 

Casual observers probably won’t be able to tell an Electrified GV70 apart from its gas-powered sibling, because not a whole lot was changed in terms of design. The differences are small; the closed-off grille is finished in a brushed metallic color and incorporates the charge port. A new rear bumper naturally has no exhaust tips sticking out under it while the standard 20-inch gunmetal gray wheels may look like the ones off of GV60 but are, in reality, a new design. 

Inside, things remain familiar to anyone who’s ever been in the existing GV70. The 14.5-inch touchscreen is big and easy to use, as are the many hard buttons and knobs. Also carried over is the brand’s 3D digital gauge cluster that tracks your eyes to deliver clocks and needles that appear to float, a bit like what you get with a Nintendo 3DS. New for the Electrified is a heavenly “glacier white” interior color option with “fog-scratched” aluminum trim that’s really quite pretty. Despite the EV packaging, Genesis has retained most of the gas GV70’s interior dimension. Cargo room suffers by 0.4 and 0.2 cubic feet behind the first and second rows, respectively, while second-row legroom is cut by 0.6 inches.

Driving Experience

Behind the wheel, the Electrified GV70 is exactly what I expected from a luxury electric crossover from the everyday-driving experts of the Hyundai Group—smooth, quiet, and comfortable on the highway while maintaining an aggressively agreeable, confident demeanor in the city and the twisties. A deliberately low-effort car to drive in pretty much all respects, the E-GV70’s inputs are intuitive, friendly, and reasonably light. The steering wheel moves with a precise but almost creamy lightness that’s not so light as to feel flimsy. The brake pedal feels solid and responsive and is attached to stoppers that easily proved their mettle in a semi-emergency situation. Par for the EV course, paddles behind the steering wheel let you control regenerative braking to allow for one-pedal driving if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Chris Tsui

This almost feels weird to say but even with hp and torque figures both in the 500 ballpark, this isn’t close to being the speediest EV out there. But the Electrified Genesis crossover will still hustle, instantaneously pushing occupants’ heads against the seats on aggressive stomps on the accelerator, leaving most traffic behind. The aforementioned Boost Mode does make hard launches that bit more urgent, but its button placement at the bottom steering wheel spoke means I completely forgot it existed after one Boost-assisted shot on an on-ramp. Two red Fast & Furious-style NOS buttons right where your thumbs rest would’ve been way more fun, but as with bright paint options, less in keeping with the car’s ethos.

Go-fast shenanigans aside, the GV70 remains a deeply pleasant and intuitive item to live with. The seats are comfy and supportive, everything is where you expect them to be, all of the buttons and knobs move with a quiet, damped smoothness, and much of the tech is fancy and useful. More than any other automaker, Genesis seems determined to make its EVs accessible and comprehensible to electric newbies; these are normal-looking, normal-feeling cars that just happen to be battery-powered. 

Chris Tsui

If I have to pick on some things though, I would’ve preferred a more traditional volume knob rather than the lay-flat scroll wheel that’s present, and those 3D gauges, while cool, are still noticeably more pixelated compared to the pin-sharp 2D clusters in the competition. Just like in the gas GV70, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are surprisingly not wireless, still requiring a USB connection—a straight-up perplexing omission for a future-facing electric luxury car from the country that gave us Samsung. 

Genesis Electrified GV70 Features, Options, and Competition

Provided you’re in one of the 15 states Genesis sells EVs in (those living in other states can technically buy one out-of-state and register it in their home state, but expect non-insignificant financial and logistical hurdles), the Genesis Electrified GV70 starts at $66,975. Standard equipment includes two-motor AWD, a pano sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, the company’s full suite of semi-autonomous driving tech including the reassuringly natural-feeling Highway Driving Assist II, electronically controlled suspension that anticipates bumps using a forward-facing camera, device-powering V2L functionality, and three-zone climate control. Tested here, however, is the $73,775 Prestige model which adds Nappa leather seats, leatherette on the dash and doors, a suede headliner, active noise control, a fairly fantastic sounding 15-speaker Lexicon audio system, heated second-row seats, manual rear sunshades, that fully-digital, 12.3-inch 3D gauge cluster, and a head-up display. 

The Electrified GV70 finds itself with few truly direct rivals—BMW does make an electric iX3 but does not sell it in the U.S. But ballpark competitors include the Tesla Model Y that’s cheaper and boasts more range but isn’t quite as luxurious, and the imminent Mercedes EQE SUV that’s a rung more expensive and technically one size class bigger but, again, gets more range. Those willing to forego the luxury badge might also consider the Ford Mustang Mach-E. That car can be had for quite a bit less money and drives more sportily, but its interior indeed does not even begin to hold a candle to the budget-Bentley sumptuousness that is the GV70’s cabin.

Value and Verdict

Compared to what else is out there, the $67K-to-start electric GV70 feels appropriately priced when evaluated purely on performance and presence. Just like we found with the GV60 that shares its powertrain, though, 236 miles of range is less than ideal. Smaller 19- or even 18-inch wheels would’ve undoubtedly helped things here, but Genesis has chosen to exclusively offer this car with 20s, at least for now. And from a style standpoint, I get it. The 20s aren’t exactly small, but I wouldn’t want them to be smaller than they already are. 

Chris Tsui

In any case, if you can live with its range-related shortcomings, the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 is a quietly excellent machine, and by “quiet” I’m not just talking about the absence of an engine. It doesn’t shout about its status as an EV. It’s not styled particularly funkily, there are no “Electrified” badges all over it, and Genesis hasn’t even bothered to lace its logos with any sort of eco-friendly blue glow. It’s just a GV70 that happens to be electric. Like many other brands, Genesis aims to have its entire lineup be electric by 2030 which means pretty soon, all GV70s will be of the Electrified variety. Maybe at that point, it can drop the silly name. For now, though, the Electrified GV70 is a quieter, smoother, more environmentally-friendly version of an already-quiet, already-smooth, already wholly fantastic vehicle. And if this is what a Genesis of the future will be like, the future’s looking bright.

Got a tip or question about the Electrified GV70? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com

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