Modifying a good recipe can be tricky, even if it’s your own. If you’re great at making a certain dish but want to tweak it, change it up a bit, or make something more unique, the results can vary. A great example of this is the 2024 Genesis Electrified GV70, which started as something great and then became something of a mixed bag.
The gas-powered Genesis GV70 is truly something unique—it’s a compact crossover that’s actually fun to drive. It’s right up there with the best-driving SUVs in its segment, such as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and BMW X3. And it’s great regardless of which engine you choose, either the 2.5-liter turbo-four or the 3.5-liter turbo-V6 because it has a great chassis and sports car steering. So you’d assume that tweaking the recipe by swapping its engine and transmission for electric motors and batteries would result in an excellent electric SUV. And it does, but somehow it also doesn’t.
There are some great things about the Genesis Electrified GV70 but almost all of them can also be said about the gas-powered versions, which are significantly cheaper. So the question becomes: Is it worth spending an extra $10,000-$20,000 for the EV?
2024 Genesis Electrified GV70 Specs
The Genesis Electrified GV70, aside from having the least exciting EV name in the history of EVs, is exactly what it says on the box. It’s an electrified GV70. It started as a gas-powered SUV (or diesel if you eat baked beans for breakfast) and then Genesis decided to stuff some batteries in it. Aside from its electric powertrain, everything about the electric GV70 looks and feels identical to its dino-fueled siblings.
From the outside, the only real noticeable differences are its lack of a functional grille, as EVs don’t need such things, and its lack of a fuel door. The charge port is built into the big grille panel and is surprisingly well-hidden. My first attempt at charging it probably looked quite funny to bystanders, as I walked around the car like a buffoon for several minutes. Still, since its looks are mostly unchanged, the electric GV70 is a stylish-looking SUV that stands out from its German and Japanese competitors.
For the most part, I’m glad Genesis kept the interior styling the same. The design is wonderful and my test car’s Glacier White interior made it look pinky-up fancy. The dashboard design is simple but elegant and there are loads of physical, redundant buttons to quickly access important menus and functions without having to use the infotainment’s BMW-like rotary dial. That’s good, too, as the rotary dial and gear selector dial are similarly sized and shaped, so I regularly got them confused when trying to use the infotainment without looking down. But the seats are lovely, the back seat is capacious enough for two car seats, and the trunk is decently roomy, as with every other GV70.
Instead of the two turbocharged mills in the normal GV70, the electrified version gets an electric motor at each axle, giving it all-wheel drive. The pair combine for 428 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, quite a bit more than the six-cylinder’s 375 hp and 391 lb-ft. It’s quicker than the six-cylinder car despite being heavier and feels it. Unlike the turbo-V6, however, it never feels interesting or exciting. It’s smooth and quiet but never engaging, which is a letdown. Sending electrons to those motors is a 77.4-kWh battery pack that’s said to net 236 miles of charge but I didn’t see anywhere near that (more on that later).
Driving the Genesis Electrified GV70
If you’ve driven a GV70 of any kind, you mostly know what the electric one feels like, which is to say excellent. Genesis nailed the chassis balance, steering, and braking for the GV70 and it thankfully didn’t fudge it up during the switch to electric. It steers, handles, and stops like a much sportier machine. However, with the electric version, you lose much of the gas-powered car’s sense of fun. It feels much more like a competent luxury car than a sports car, which robs the GV70 of its most charming attribute. However, if it wants to be a luxury car, it needs to ride better, as it’s a bit crashy over rough pavement, with too many secondary vertical motions.
As far as electric cars go, the Electrified GV70’s powertrain isn’t special, either, because it pretty much feels like every other one. It’s smooth, it’s quiet, and it’s quick. The regen braking works well, and its settings are controlled by the steering wheel paddles, while different driving modes also change its behavior. But the same can be said for almost any EV, including ones that come from Genesis’ parent company, Hyundai.
The Highs and Lows
Still, without question, the best part about the Electrified GV70 is how it steers and handles. It’s a much better driver’s car than its direct competition. It’s a sporty car with added cargo space that just so happens to be electric and that will make the enthusiast owner happy. I also love its neat 3D gauges and its ultra-comfy seats.
But its boring electric powertrain, disappointing range and efficiency, and choppy ride quality do hold it back from being truly special. Its range and charging station maps are also pretty difficult to use and far less intuitive than what you’d get in a Tesla. Considering it’s an EV, Genesis should have probably put more time and effort into helping drivers find a charging station.
Genesis Electrified GV70 Features, Options, and Competition
The Electrified GV70 costs $67,645 to start, about $20,000 more than the standard four-cylinder version, but it comes decently well-equipped. A panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, and Genesis’ full suite of active safety features are all standard kit. If you add the $6,800 Prestige package, you get the very cool 12.3-inch digital 3D gauge cluster, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, a Lexicon audio system, and active noise control to keep the cabin quieter, among other things.
There aren’t many competitors in this space, either. Tesla’s Model Y and Audi’s Q4 E-Tron are the most natural competitors but the Genesis GV70 is more premium than both. Then again, it should be considering its price tag. However, the BMW iX3 isn’t sold in North America, the Mercedes EQC isn’t on sale yet, and the Lexus RZ is a tad too small. So if you want a genuinely sporty electric luxury SUV of this size, the electric GV70 is sort of the only game in town.
Range, Charging, and Efficiency
Here’s where the electric GV70 falls down the most: range. Genesis claims 236 miles. When the car was dropped off to me, it had a 99% state of charge (SoC). My first drive with it was a 160-mile round trip. It just made it back with only a handful of miles left on the battery and it was a harrowing, nail-biting experience of keeping almost every creature comfort off in the freezing cold while driving at 55 mph on the highway in eco mode. Admittedly, it was cold, and losing 30% of an EV’s claimed range isn’t unheard of in that sort of weather.
However, even when temps warmed up the following days, I still barely saw over 2.3 miles per kWh, which is mediocre efficiency at best these days. While it isn’t horrible, it also isn’t good and a Tesla Model Y would embarrass the GV70’s range and efficiency. Is the electric GV70 more fun, more luxurious, and more interesting than a Tesla Model Y? Of course, but the customers who are spending the extra money on the electric version are likely more concerned with electric car things, such as battery, range, and efficiency. Someone who likes the GV70’s dynamics and comfort will likely prefer the gas versions. Thankfully, it charges quickly, with 250 kW charging speed capability. I made haste using a 350-kW Electrify America station and went from basically flat to almost full in under 40 minutes.
Value and Verdict
I liked being in the Electrified Genesis GV70. It’s great to drive and, as long as you aren’t traveling too far, great to live with. However, the very same drivability and livability compliments could be given to the GV70 2.5T and 3.5T, neither of which have range issues, and both of which are a helluva lot cheaper. So I’m not really seeing the value in the electric GV70 unless you absolutely need to own an electric compact luxury SUV that isn’t a Tesla.
Genesis started this project with a great recipe and it didn’t mess the original up when it switched to electric. However, its lackluster range and efficiency credentials make its move to electric a lateral one. If you’re asking me, stick with the gas GV70.
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