First drive in the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70: A beauty of an EV… just not for long trips

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Several months after Genesis rolled its first Electrified GV70 EVs off its assembly lines in the US, I got the chance to take it for a spin. I had a long drive from Chicago to Des Moines planned and thought, “why not test out an EV while I’m doing it?” Genesis was kind enough to send me a 2023 Electrified GV70 and I learned a lot on my journey. This is a beautiful car, but the lack of Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform beneath it is hard to ignore. Here are my thoughts.

The Genesis GV70 debuted in 2020 as a 2021 model year, but only as a combustion vehicle. That being said, Genesis introduced an EV version called the Electrified GV70 that was revealed in November of 2021 before hitting the market in March of 2022.

Following its debut, we reported that Hyundai Motor Group, parent company of Genesis, was planning to begin US EV production with hopes that the government would pass a subsidy bill to support local manufacturing.

That transition began with assembly of the Electrified GV70 EVs at Hyundai’s facility in Alabama, rolling its 2023 models off the assembly lines this past February. This past weekend, I got my first official taste of the Genesis brand by taking the GV70 EV 333+ miles from Chicago to Des Moines and back. That’s a travel time of about five hours and fifteen minutes… or so I thought.

The Genesis Electrified GV70 EV is pretty inside and out

As you can see from the images above and below, the Electrified GV70 is sharp. As a crossover SUV, it blurs the lines between aerodynamic sedan and roomy SUV, offering plenty of spaciousness up front and in the trunk, with just a bit of sacrifice to passenger space in the rear seats.

My loaner came in Genesis’ Makalu Grey exterior and the Prestige Package, which include Nappa Leather seats in Glacier White. The headliner was made from an excellent microfiber suede which added a level of coziness and contrasted the bright white leather quite nicely. As Hyundai Motor Group’s luxury sub-brand, the Electrified GV70 did not disappoint. The textiles, controls, and added features were all top-notch. Have a look:

I especially enjoyed the haptic touch temperature controls on the center dash that were easy to control while driving, as well as the air-conditioned seats. Another unique feature I enjoyed was the automatic posture control in my driver’s seat that would activate periodically to massage my body and adjust my lumbar support – perfect for long drives… and let me tell you, this was a long drive.

Charging woes

I won’t knock the design of the EV as it is truly luxe inside and out, but on the performance side, this is one of the most frustrating and baffling vehicle’s I’ve driven. I want to preface my negativity with the fact that this was an existing combustion chassis that Genesis electrified, so from its inception, it simply will not be able to compete with a bespoke EV platform. That said, the lack of real-world range in this EV made my road trip quite stressful and long.

Let’s start with the 2023 GV70 EV’s performance specs per Genesis, so you can get an idea of what I was working with, or at least thought I was working with:

  • Powertrain: Dual motor AWD
    • 160 kW in both front and rear combine for 320 kW
  • Horsepower: 429 hp
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft
  • Battery: 77.4 kWh
  • MPGe City/Hwy: 98 miles/83 miles
  • EPA Estimated Rage: 236 miles
  • Charging: 10-80% in 18 minutes on 350kW/800V charger

From my personal experience, those last two specs did not live up to their numbers on paper, especially range. I was given my loaner with about 205 miles of range left, but still had to recharge three times on my way to Des Moines (about 333 miles). Now, I also want to point out that my frustrations with the trip were just as much pointed at charging infrastructure in western Illinois and all of Iowa.

I started at a level 2 ABB charger in Dixon, IL to get back to 80% – enough to get me to a fast charger in Bettendorf, Iowa. I left Dixon with 190 miles of range and after driving 50 miles, was suddenly down to 110 miles remaining. These inefficient estimates made it very tough to plan my next charge, especially with stations so far and few between.

The Shell Recharge station in Bettendorf was broken, so I found another one about 10 minutes up the road in downtown Davenport, well off the highway and not ideal for an efficient roadtrip. That said, I was able to plug in, charge in about 40 minutes and make it to my last stop at an Electrify America fast charger in Williamsburg, IA, before reaching Des Moines… seven hours after leaving Chicago. That’s an extra two hours spent finding chargers, charging up, etc.

Again, not all Genesis’ fault, but the lack of range did contribute to the constant stops, and the much lower real world range was a huge inhibitor, even though I was driving in ECO Mode with no AC the entire time. I averaged 2.7 kWh/mile, translating to about 208 miles of real world range.

On the ride back to Chicago, I hit Williamsburg again and charged to 100%, knowing how far I needed to go to get to Davenport safely, with newfound knowledge that even if the Genesis GV70 EV said I had 200 miles, it was going to be far less than that. To my surprise, my total range was only 193 miles after a full charge, even though the vehicles EPA range is 236 miles. I never got anywhere near that number. I’d certainly blame the highway driving speeds as a contributor, but 40+ miles less than advertised was not ideal, especially since 236 miles of range is pretty tough for interstate EV travel to begin with.

Due to lack of chargers and less than adequate range, I found myself having to stop every 120 miles in Iowa before replenishing to 100% again as I tried to make it from the border to the Chicago suburbs on one charge. I ended up falling short of my targeted charger and had to stop about 20 miles early at an EVgo station to top off and get home. The complete return home, using my experience gained on the way there, still took 6.5 hours.

The Genesis Electrified GV70 is a grocery getter

In all, I really enjoyed the drive of the Genesis Electrified GV70. The AWD was perfect for overtaking cars on the highway and the EV’s lane keep and following assist provided an easy ADAS cruise during long stretches of highway. The side camera views when switching lanes were a nice touch and I found the interior to be beautiful and comfortable through both day and night driving.

It was easy to use Apple CarPlay, but a bit of a pain to keep scrolling through the center display to access Spotify and my Google Maps. I tried to originally use the EV’s own navigation, but it couldn’t even locate the address I was driving to in downtown Des Moines.

If you can’t tell by now, my biggest qualm with this EV is its range and software estimating how much of it I had left. Less than 200 miles of range on a 100% charge just will not do for longer trips. For that reason, I would recommend the Genesis GV70 EV as a family car driven around town and to neighboring cities, not for road trips… especially not through Iowa.

Like all of Hyundai Motor Group, Genesis is transitioning toward becoming an all-electric brand, so I’m looking forward to testing more of its EVs that will sit atop its E-GMP platform alongside the GV60, IONIQ 5 and 6, and Kia EV6.

Genesis is already promoting the 2024 Electrified GV70, which offers all the same specs as the 2023 model I drove, so I think I’ll pass on that and wait for its next bespoke EV model. Especially if I’m traveling more than 100 miles.

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