By Derek Price
Ever forget your car keys?
Genesis has solved that problem by putting biometric technology in its new GV60 electric SUV, one of the most inventive and theatrical vehicles I’ve ever driven.
After a short setup process, the car is able to scan your face and fingerprint to recognize you as the driver. A facial recognition camera on the door, plus a fingerprint scanner on the center console, mean you can leave the key fob at home and use your own body to unlock the car, start it up and drive away.
You can keep driving a long time, too, with up to 248 miles of electric range and the ability to do ultra-fast, 350-kW charging. When you buy it, you get free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations for the first three years.
Step inside the GV60 — which was developed from the ground up to be a fully electric car, built on the same underpinnings as the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 — and one of the things that strikes you is all the visual theater that unfolds.
Door handles lie flush with the body when the doors are unlocked. They pop out with a science-fiction flourish when you unlock the car.
When you sit down, a crystal orb glows on the center console. It rolls over and turns into a rotary gear selector when you press the “start” button, an elaborate show that is both completely pointless and super cool.
Inside and out, the GV60’s designers have mixed the oh-so-familiar basic crossover shape with Futurama extras that add interest. It looks more distinctive and original than most electric cars, although it still leaves me wishing for more unrestrained, 1950s-style design elements that would take better advantage of the blank slate that battery packs and small motors provide.
EVs are revolutionary, and they should look the part.
One exception is the paint color on my tester, Sao Paulo Lime, which is wonderfully wild and unrestrained. I’d suggest Genesis use a more accurate name such as Tennis Ball, Highlighter or Safety Vest, but that kind of color boldness shows the GV60 isn’t afraid to be fun and different.
It offers a luxurious experience, for sure, but not the Old World, stuffy kind.
The interior is thoroughly modern with a contemporary, tech-forward design. Materials are plush and solid, making it feel like one of the better built electric cars I’ve ever driven.
You could spend hours learning about all the entertainment and creature-comfort features that are programmed into this car, but my favorites are the ones that happen serendipitously. At one point in a long drive, for example, the driver’s seat started applying a little lumbar pressure to my lower back. The GV60 seemed to magically know it had been a long time in that position and I needed a stretch.
Two versions are available, both of which have all-wheel drive. The Advanced makes 234 kW (314 horsepower) with a 248-mile range. My tester was the Performance model with 320 kW (429 horsepower) that delivers a whole lot more speed and a slightly reduced range of 235 miles.
It’s hard to find anything to dislike about the vehicle itself. The GV60 has a soft and near-silent highway ride, powerful acceleration, good range and an astoundingly comfortable cabin, all wrapped in a handsome design.
It’s easy to find things I dislike about using an electric car at the moment, though, like regularly driving up to non-working charging stations and having to wait my turn to do an “ultra-fast” charge, which still takes longer than a splash of gasoline at the pump.
If you’ve got a gasoline vehicle for road trips, though, and install a charger in your garage, the GV60 makes for an outstanding daily driving experience that’s hard to beat, regardless of what’s powering it.
Pricing starts at $58,890 for the Advanced or $67,890 for the Performance model.
At A Glance
What was tested? 2023 Genesis GV60 Performance ($67.890). Options: None. Price as tested (including $1,095 destination charge): $68,985
Wheelbase: 114.2 in.
Length: 177.8 in.
Width: 74.4 in.
Height: 62.2 in.
Motor: 320 kW (429 hp, 516 lbs. ft.)
Range: 235 miles
Why buy it?
The all-electric GV60 is fast, quiet, eye-catching and offers a lot of luxury for the money. It’s a strong option for buyers ready to make the leap into an upscale electric car.