The subcompact premium SUV segment has expanded in leaps and bounds, and Genesis, the upstart luxury arm of the Hyundai empire has earned the 2023 AutoTrader Award for Best Subcompact Luxury SUV with its fully electric GV60. This intriguing electric vehicle (EV) charmed our jury of over 20 automotive experts with its swoopy styling, innovative tech, fleet performance, and way-cool interior. This is the first time an EV has won in this category, and the GV60 sets the bar high not just for EVs, but for its segment as a whole. Our jury considered every single vehicle in this segment, electric or otherwise, and voted for a winner based on a dozen different criteria. This vehicle represents one that our jury would feel confident recommending to their own family and friends.
Electric vehicles trade on their effortless speed and silent operation, traits that translate well to the luxury driving experience. The GV60 Advanced AWD ($71,000) with 314 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque is certainly no slouch, but moving to the $79,000 GV60 Performance AWD ups the game. The extra $8,000 begets 21-inch wheels, 429 horsepower with 446 lb-ft, electronically controlled suspension, and more. The Performance’s Boost button on the steering wheel releases 10 seconds of extra juice from the batteries, providing a tire-chirping 483 horses and 516 lb-ft.
Yes, the GV60 is fast, but this pace is blended with a well-tuned chassis that serves up a compliant ride along with a dash of sport. Passengers are nicely accommodated – the GV60 is bigger than it looks. The powered tailgate opens to reveal 680 L of cargo space, expandable to 1,550 L. With active noise cancellation, the GV60’s cabin is remarkably quiet.
The 2023 Genesis GV60 is no electric wallflower, rocking a head-turning look adorned with cool detailing. Genesis’ signature two-line headlamps and taillamps punctuate the GV60’s flowing lines, there’s a fixed rear spoiler, and the C-pillars get lightning bolt-shaped pieces of chrome trim. Genesis also offers a fun palette of colours for this EV.
This cruise down electric avenue also comes with some innovative tech. A facial recognition camera hidden in the B-pillar allows drivers to unlock the car with just their visage, and a fingerprint sensor on the centre console starts the vehicle. One can drive the GV60 without ever carrying a key or phone. As noted in our first drive report, “Great for those days at the beach or the nudist colony.”
But what is a premium ride without a bit of theatre? The Crystal Sphere on the GV60’s floating centre console is a showstopper sure to impress even the most serious passengers. When pressing the GV60’s start button, it rolls over – the other half is a rotary gear selector seemingly lifted right from a B-movie spaceship. And that’s a good thing. The Crystal Sphere also functions as a foolproof way of signaling when the GV60 is running. Spot the crystal and the car is asleep; see the dimpled metallic gear selector, and you’re good to start driving.
As with all Genesis products, interior quality is top-shelf and the ergonomics are human friendly. The GV60 shares its EV platform with corporate siblings Hyundai Ionic 5 and Kia EV6, meaning 800-volt charging capacity and a claimed range of about 400 km. A best-case scenario sees the GV60 going from 10 to 80 per cent charge in 18 minutes on a 350-kW rapid charger. The same takes 61 minutes on a 50-kW DC charger, and about eight hours at home on your Level 2 charger.
The 2023 Genesis GV60 faced some stiff competition from the finalists in this segment, the Audi Q3, BMW X1/X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and the stylish Volvo XC40 for this coveted win. And we here at AutoTrader realize that electric vehicles are not for everyone – at least not yet.
Yet this BEV from Genesis hits the mark in so many ways. The brand’s no-haggle buying and ownership experience includes a generous warranty, five years of free maintenance, and the promise of never having to step into a dealership. As the brand’s first dedicated electric offering, the Genesis GV60 is AutoTrader’s Best Subcompact Luxury SUV for 2023.