If you’re looking for a gorgeous luxury EV, your chances are better if you find one that began life as a gas-powered model. Free from the occasionally over-the-top futurism that finds its way into the design motifs of those penning electric-only automobiles, these ICE conversions were originally conceived to do battle against a broader array of foes, thus baking in more diverse sheet metal and interior influences.
Of that crop, Genesis clearly has its best foot forward. There are three battery-powered models in the automaker’s line-up: two having started life on the gas-powered side of the showroom, with the third donating its purpose-built E-GMP drivetrain to help jump-start its siblings on the path to electron consumption.
If the GV60 crossover represents home base for Genesis’ excellent all-electric platform, and the Electrified G80 sedan tags in as the traditionalist’s choice (for those still shopping for four-door fare), then it’s the third member of this group — the Electrified GV70 — that stands out as perhaps the most convincing argument for conquesting those who’ve remained loyal to the gas pump. With styling that’s a gorgeous match for the elegant lines of the standard GV70, and boasting an all-electric heart that’s quick to charge and even more rapid with the pedal down, it’s the easiest point-of-entry for battery-curious Genesis buyers.
Fitting In (23 States at a Time)
Although the Electrified GV70 is priced roughly $7,000 higher than the smaller, purpose-built GV60 EV, its $66k window sticker puts it a whopping $13,000 under the G80 Electrified (while considerably improving on cargo space and ground clearance in the process). In the grander scheme of things, the single-trim, plug-in GV70 is a little more expensive than similarly-sized models from Audi, Cadillac and Tesla, but cheaper than battery-powered options from Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.
There’s one more complication when ordering the Genesis, and that is its limited availability. Currently, the GV70 is only offered in 23 states, and while that’s up from the 15 it could be found in at launch, it’s still somewhat of a hassle for fans eager to see the brand expand to their neck of the woods.
Attractive Inside and Out
I’d like to stress that the price delta between the GV70 Electrified and other compact EV haulers is easily absorbed by the sheer impressiveness of its cabin accoutrements. Throw in a little extra cash and you’ll be greeted by Nappa leather and all the expected detailing that Genesis has been relying on to differentiate itself from the occasionally indifferent interiors of its rivals. The swooping dash setup, which remains simple to use thanks to the inclusion of actual dials alongside its touch-sensitive elements, is the perfect complement to an SUV shape that merges drama with elegance in a manner that sets it apart from many of its rivals. It’s an arresting vehicle, visually, regardless of whether you’re sitting inside of it or longing for it as it passes by you on the road.
The GV70 also pulls off the packaging of its electric battery a little better than that of its G80 Electrified sibling. That power pack has to go somewhere, and while the raised floor of the sedan pushed my head noticeably closer to the vehicle’s ceiling, there’s no such detectable penalty in the SUV thanks in part to its airier habitacle. Break out the measuring tape and you’ll find extremely modest cuts to rear legroom and cargo space brought on by battery position.
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There are a few ergonomic miss-steps to be found inside the Genesis. The dashboard’s touchscreen is likely to be a bit of a reach for most drivers, but the rotating controller on the center console is more than adequate at making up for it. It’s a pity, then, that the size and position of the knob so close to the similarly-shaped gear selector for the transmission had me frequently changing radio stations instead of shifting into drive or reverse.
Leading the Charge
The gas-fired GV70 is one of the more delightful-to-drive SUVs in the luxury space, and the Electrified version does its best to replicate that experience in the absence of spark plugs and fuel injection. In a straight line the vehicle is absurdly fast: 60-mph arrives in less than four seconds thanks to 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque from its pair of electric motors. There’s a “boost” button on the steering wheel that ups the pony count to 483 for 10 seconds or so of white-knuckle fun, but you absolutely don’t need it to be impressed by the Genesis’ dedication to compressing the back of your skull through the headrest.
Much more important to most drivers is the smooth character of the Electrified GV70’s power delivery, its confident ability to pass quickly in nearly every circumstance, and the surefooted character of its all-wheel drive system. Yes, the vehicle does feel heavier in corners than the non-battery model, and its steering isn’t exactly verbose as it relays the state of the road under its wheels, but as a luxury conveyance over distances long and short the Genesis is truly excellent.
Also laudable is its fast-charge ability, which stretches to 200 kW with the right charger. Genesis claims you’ll be able to top up the GV70’s 77.4-kWh pack from 10% to 80% in a mere 20 minutes, and provided you’re able to locate infrastructure that can support its cyclonic electron hoovering, and in my experience this is no empty boast. I also managed to push the GV70 past its 236 miles of official range (seeing 242 miles or so of driving per top-up), even without using its most aggressive brake regeneration settings to trickle energy into the battery when coasting down.
The Road More Traveled
The 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70’s appeal lies in its balance. Good, although not class-leading range, paired with excellent speed both when schooling the vehicle in the lane beside you and charging up after the fact, competently cover the EV side of the equation. Its classy looks and top-notch interior then sugar coat the electric pill for first-timers who might have reservations about swapping in their gas-burner.
Wrap that in a superlative overall driving experience, and give it a price that that’s affordable (if not a bargain), and the Electrified GV70 is the perfect stepping stone for many on the tentative path to a fossil fuel-free future — and a well-conceived mid-point between the GV60’s appeal to the true believers, and the Electrified GV80’s ode to neo-traditionalists who simply can’t cotton to the wave of SUVs that has washed over the entire market.
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