Expert Reviews

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 First Drive Review

The march to electrification for Genesis is happening at lightning speed.

Its first two electric vehicles (EVs), the GV60 crossover and Electrified G80 sedan were introduced just last year, and on sale now is the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70, an all-electric version of the brand's slightly larger crossover.

By 2025 all new Genesis products will be fully electric, and by 2030 it plans to sell only EVs; gas-powered vehicles will be off the menu entirely. This strategy has Genesis skipping gas–electric hybrids altogether in favour of full-fledged electrification.

Some Things Borrowed

The Electrified GV70 shares its platform with the conventional version – an architecture that was designed from the outset to support both gas- and electric propulsion. Below decks is a 77.4-kWh battery and 800-volt architecture that, if you’re lucky enough to find a 250-kW DC fast-charger, will have the battery juiced from 10 to 80 per cent in 18 minutes, or add 100 km of range within five minutes. With a 50-kW charger, figure on about 73 minutes for the 10-to-80 per cent top-up, and a Level 2 charger will do a full charge in about seven hours. As a point of interest, Genesis estimates 68 hours on a good old 120-volt wall plug.

The all-wheel-drive Electrified GV70 runs with two electric motors, one front and one rear, both rated at 160 kW. Total output is a healthy 429 hp and 516 lb-ft. A boost button borrowed from its smalled sibling, the GV60, unleashes 483 hp for 10 seconds for those times when you want to embarrass just about everything else out on the road.

Some Things New

We already know the Genesis GV70 sports a fetching design, and to the casual observer there’s very little here to indicate this is the electric one. The only clues are the grille and a rear valance lacking the oversized exhaust outlets of the gas model. There’s no Electrified badging to be found anywhere. This version rides on unique 20-inch wheels shod with efficiency-first tires from Michelin. The charge port hides behind a well-disguised door in the grille.

As with all Genesis vehicles, this GV70’s cabin is a study in calming, organic design resplendent in fine detailing, top-shelf materials, and delightful touches. Every surface is a visual and tactile delight, and unlike the established players from Germany, Genesis is not beating us over the head with technology and gimmickry. There’s an easy familiarity to the controls, and praise be, a plethora of well-marked hard buttons and rotary controllers that fall easily to hand.

Genesis proves that, yes, you can produce a strikingly beautiful, tech-savvy cabin that does indeed incorporate sensible human-friendly ergonomics. Here’s hoping this continues into future products.

There's no frunk like the one you get with the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, and cargo capacity takes a minor hit of six litres when compared with the gas model – essentially unnoticeable. It’s rated to tow 1,588 kg (3,500 lb), which is more than most EVs on the market right now that aren't recommended for towing. Included with the Electrified G70 is vehicle-to-load functionality that enables the crossover to function as a battery to power outdoor devices, tools, bouncy castles, and even your house in the event of a power outage.

We’ll be getting only one trim level of the Electrified GV70 in Canada, that being the all-singing-and-dancing Prestige with an all-in price of $84,000. That’s $6,500 over the top-tier 3.5T Sport Plus AWD gas model, and right in line with a range-topping version of the all-electric Lexus RZ.

That means all the expected luxury amenities – Nappa leather, comprehensive safety and driver aid systems, remote park assist, panoramic roof, heated/ventilated/massage front seats, head-up display, excellent audio, and so on. Clever touches include an adaptive cruise that “learns” your driving style (making the system feel more natural) and, when signalling, a corresponding rear-view camera feed appears on either the left or right side of the digital gauge cluster.

A neat feature is the the ability for owners to check in with their GV70 using a smartphone app that can capture live snapshots of the vehicle and its immediate environment using the surround-view cameras.

The driver gets a slick 3-D 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and atop the dash sits a 14.5-inch touchscreen. All vehicles at this event were fitted with the Electrified-exclusive Glacier White interior with copper piping. Gorgeous to behold and perhaps a challenge to keep pristine, this hue surely highlights the cabin’s flowing design aesthetic that, as Genesis tells us, gets its styling theme from the cross-section of an airplane wing. The other interior colour is Obsidian black with grey piping.

While American models will be built at the new Genesis factory in Montgomery, Ala., Canadian versions will come from Korea. This plays into our favour, not only due to increased supply, but also because the Electrified GV70 south of the border only comes in grey, matte grey, and, er, silvery grey. For now. We get eight colours in Canada including red and blue, and two matte finishes.

Sultry Drive

On the road, the Electrified GV70 shows all the attributes of a modern luxury EV – silent, effortless progress, with alarming turns of speed just a Nike flex (and boost button press) away. Genesis has gone to great lengths to make this cabin cathedral-quiet, and with the standard electronically-controlled suspension with road preview that uses camera and navigation data to warn of imperfections ahead so the system can adjust in advance, its ride quality is suitably creamy without suffering any float.

When navigating the winding roads cutting through the scenic Georgia countryside, selecting sport mode firmed up the G70’s suspension and steering feel while giving the accelerator a tad more urgency. With its added weight over the 3.5L V6 model (about 220 kg in all), the Electrified GV70 will never be a sportster, nor was it ever meant to be. It’s an accomplished and swift luxury crossover that buttons down sufficiently for negotiating back roads at a brisk-if-not-blazing pace.

The Electrified G70’s stopping system manages to expertly blend mechanical and regenerative braking, and four levels of regeneration can be called up by the steering wheel paddles. The most aggressive setting delivers true one-pedal driving that, once you get the hang of it, has you rarely touching the brake pedal.

The Rest

And now what you’ve all been waiting for: the claimed range of Genesis’s latest electric offering. That would be 383 km – a bit underwhelming, yet in line with the Audi Q4 E-Tron (388 km) and better than the Volvo XC40 Recharge (359 km) and Lexus RZ (354 km). Still, a new EV with less than 400 km of range is not what the market needs right now.

Buying a Genesis in Canada has always been a uniquely hassle-free experience. With Genesis Canada owning the complete inventory, this direct sales approach bypasses the traditional dealer experience. Hence the all-inclusive, no-haggle pricing with destination charge built right in and no pricey options lists to wade through. Buyers never even have to visit a distributor – Genesis with deliver and pick up the vehicle as needed, as well as provide a loaner when yours is in for service. Of course, this hinges on living within range of one of the Genesis locations that provides these services.

Final Thoughts

Nonetheless, there’s a new face for the automaker popping up across the country in the form of the Genesis Retail Experience. By the end of 2023, 20 of these ritzy stand-alone brick-and-mortar facilities with be operating, with a total of 30 expected by the end of 2024. Genesis has aligned with Forbes Travel Guide on this venture, and the Forbes plaque indicates customers can find amenities one would expect from a five-star hotel or spa. Oh yes, Genesis wants your luxury car dollars, and more than half the battle is brand perception and cachet.

In that vein, the 2023 Genesis Electrified G70 provides a driving experience superior to that of its gas-powered siblings, elevating this all-ready immensely impressive crossover to next-level status. Luxury is all about calming, effortless and, if required, fleet progress, all of which this drivetrain delivers. And at $84,000 before tax, it's a screamin’ deal. The only question is whether its 383 km range will fit your lifestyle. If so, getting in line – oh, about five minutes ago – would be advisable.