The 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 is an all-new model, and the name says it all: it’s the all-electric version of the brand’s compact SUV.
It comes in a single Prestige trim level, and as with all Genesis offerings, its $84,000 price tag includes freight and dealer fees.
The Electrified GV70 shares its gas-powered sibling‘s looks, save for the grille: without need to cool an engine and to improve aerodynamics, the mesh on the gas version was traded for a solid piece moulded with the same diamond-shaped pattern. The charging port is hidden behind it, but let’s see if winter poses an issue. The owner’s manual says to “lightly tap” ice off the port door, but I’ve had very thick ice build up on the front when driving in fierce storms.
The interior styling is the same in both gas and electric as well. It’s a simple but handsome design that incorporates top-quality materials and just enough bling from its metallic accents.
The GV70 wasn’t rated by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the time of this writing, but it earns a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The GV70 comes with driver-assist technologies that include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, surround-view cameras, remote parking assist, emergency front and rear braking, safe exit assist, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring that also shows a real-time view of what’s alongside when you activate the turn signal, broadcast in the instrument cluster.
It also includes highway driving assist, which centres the vehicle in its lane but isn’t hands-free. It includes a lane-change function when you activate the turn signal; it first checks for vehicles alongside and then moves over itself. However, you must have your hands on the wheel for it to operate – but if it detects any steering input, it shuts off and you must steer it. It’s a step toward autonomous driving, but it’s not there yet.
The GV70 comes in that single Prestige trim with all the fixin’s, which includes power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, premium surround-sound system, three-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, wireless charger, head-up display, and hands-free power tailgate. The front seats are heated and ventilated, the rear seats are heated, and all are clad in Nappa leather; and driver and passenger have 14- and 12-way power-adjustable seats, respectively.
Unlike many electric vehicles(EVs) that stuff most functions into a central touchscreen, the GV70 retains a number of hard buttons and dials. It may not look high-tech, but it’s far less distracting when driving. It isn’t perfect – you adjust the climate vent airflow with some small-and-fiddly icons – but there are dials for temperature, and buttons to bring up the menus on the touchscreen. The 12.3-inch centre screen’s system is generally simple to operate.
The GV70 offers the inherent practicality of an SUV, with 813 L of cargo space – a mere five litres shy of its gasoline sibling – and the tailgate is hands-free and also opens with a button cleverly hidden in the rear wiper base. The seats fold down for more capacity but not completely flat. Small-item storage up front isn’t exceptional, but you get a cubby and console box, along with large door pockets. There’s a small storage compartment under the hood, but no full frunk, due to the electric motor placement. The Electrified GV70 can also tow up to 1,587 kg (3,500 lb).
The GV70 is roomy for front-row passengers, and a bit tighter but still acceptable for those in the rear chairs. The front and rear seats are heated, as is the steering wheel, and the front seats are also ventilated. It may seem odd to put such power-hungry features in, but when their butts and hands are warm, people tend to turn down the cabin temperature, which is even hungrier for power. If you’re alone, the climate can be set for driver-only, which saves even more power.
The front seats have power bolsters and cushion extenders. The driver’s seat has a so-called “ergo-motion” function that uses air bladders on the lower back to subtly change your seating position, which reduces fatigue. You can also input your height, weight, and inseam, and the seat will position itself to an ideal setting for you.
The Electrified GV70 is powered by front and rear motors that give it all-wheel drive (AWD), each one putting out 160 kW. That translates to a total of 320 kW, or 429 hp, along with 516 lb-ft of torque. They’re fed by a 77.4-kWh battery, and it has a range of 383 km on a charge. The GV70 has 800-volt architecture and on 250 kW charging (if you can find such a unit at a station), the battery can go from 10 to 80 per cent in 18 minutes.
The power output is a good fit here; acceleration is smooth for city driving, but quick and very strong when you need to pass at highway speeds. If that isn’t enough, there’s a “boost” mode that gives you 483 hp for ten seconds. It works in all drive modes, but combine it with the sport mode and its propulsion is scary-quick.
Driving Feel: 9/10
The GV70 is responsive and agile, and its low centre of gravity, thanks to the battery placement under the floor, helps it move sharply and smoothly around curves and with a minimum of body roll. The ride is comfortable overall, although it can exhibit a bit of side-to-side jounce over rough pavement.
Paddles on the steering wheel let you control the regenerative braking, increasing it to the point of one-pedal driving that brings it to a stop when you take your foot off the throttle.
Fuel Economy: 8/10
The GV70 is rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at 2.4 Le/100 km in the city, 2.8 on the highway, and 2.6 in combined driving – “Le” meaning litres equivalent, and indicating the electrical energy equivalent of gasoline energy. Among its rivals, it’s within a decimal place in combined driving with the Cadillac Lyriq, Lexus RZ, Mercedes-Benz EQB, and Audi Q4 E-Tron, but the Tesla Model Y rings in at 1.9 L/100 km.
The Genesis’ rated range of 383 km tops the Lexus RZ at 354 km and the EQB’s 356-km range; and it’s close to the Q4 at 389 km; but the Lyriq is rated for 494 km, and the Model Y with AWD is 449 km in its regular configuration, and 531 km with a long-range battery.
The Electrified GV70 comes only in Prestige trim for $84,000. The price includes freight, along with 5-year/100,000-km coverage for maintenance (although they don’t need oil changes, EVs do require inspections and servicing), and when that’s required, someone picks up the vehicle and leaves a loaner in areas where this service is available. In contrast, the gasoline GV70 ranges from $57,500 to $77,500.
Compared to AWD-equipped rivals, the Genesis is at the upper end of the scale. The Audi Q4 E-Tron starts at $63,400; the Tesla Model Y with long-range battery is $69,990; the Cadillac Lyriq starts at $72,994; and the Mercedes-Benz EQB around $77,700, although most have available options that will take the price higher, while the GV70 comes fully loaded.
For those who want to go fuel-free, the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 is a must on the test-drive list. It’s comfortable and great to drive; its range isn’t the highest but should be more than enough for many people; and while it isn’t the cheapest, consider its fully loaded status and the service aftercare it includes. It’s a vehicle that’s definitely worthy of attention.
|Engine Displacement||160 kW + 160 kW|
|Engine Cylinders||Front and rear electric motors|
|Peak Horsepower||429 hp|
|Peak Torque||516 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy||2.4 / 2.8 / 2.6 Le/100 km, 21.3 / 25.1 / 23.0 kWh/100 km cty/hwy/cmb; 383 km est. range|
|Cargo Space||813 / 1,603 L seats up/down|
|Model Tested||2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 Prestige|
|Price as Tested||$84,100|