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2023 Genesis electrified GV70 Prestige AWD.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Genesis is paving the way for its electric future, introducing its third EV to the North American market in less than a year. This time, it’s the electrified GV70 compact SUV, which will start in Canada at more than $80,000. And while it is the first Genesis vehicle that will be made in the United States, Canadians won’t get the American-made model.

“The factory in the U.S. will supply the U.S. market – the demand is strong enough,” said Eric Marshall, director of Genesis Motors Canada during a media event in Atlanta. “The good news is it actually relieves pressure from the Korean factory where we will get our product from so it opens the door for more opportunities in the future.”

Since Genesis launched in late 2016, more than 15,000 vehicles have been sold in Canada. The current electrified lineup includes the new GV70, the GV60 SUV and the G80 sedan. Genesis plans to become an EV-only brand by 2030 and increase sales significantly for 2023 and beyond. “From an electric perspective, we intend to grow sales by 82 per cent this year,” said Marshall.

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The front trunk is small, but large enough for charging cables.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Compared to its gas-powered GV70 sibling, the electrified GV70 looks similar. It has the same shape, similar design cues including dual horizontal headlamps and taillamps, Genesis and GV70 monikers at the rear, but no “electrified” label to be found anywhere on its body.

“There is no badging. You will never see the word electrified on anything” said Jarred Pallet, senior manager of public relations and communications at Genesis Motor North America. “This is a new world of electrification and folks are creating separate branding for EV models … While we have made significant commitments to be an all-EV brand by 2030, we haven’t made announcements about specific future products yet. But you can extrapolate that one day in the future GV70 is just going to be an EV. Over time that electrified moniker will just fade away.”

Look closely at the front and Genesis’s signature grille gets an updated twist on the electrified version – it’s a reverse G-matrix grille with a hidden charge port integrated into the design. Push the “G” logo on the right side and the door opens, revealing the charging ports. Unlike the GV60, which has the charging port on the rear passenger side, the GV70 has it at the front. While it’s more convenient to attach the charging cable to the front when charging at a public station, I worry about safety and the expense of fixing the front end, if your vehicle is involved in a fender bender.

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The electrified GV70 comes with a 12.3-inch digital cluster and a rotary gear shifter.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The electrified GV70 comes with a standard 77.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and dual electric motors (160 kilowatts in the front and rear). The electric motors are powerful, producing 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque and up to 383 kilometres of range. The range is a bit low compared to some competitors like the Cadillac Lyriq, which offers approximately 500. But it has one-pedal driving with regenerative braking so you can use the accelerator pedal only to capture lost energy and bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

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The front driver’s seat moves 14 ways with four-way power lumbar and cushion extension.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The electrified GV70 has composed, nimble and smooth road manners, sweeping along the winding country roads beautifully while remaining whisper quiet in the cabin. Off the line, it’s quick and comes with “boost” mode. Hit a button on the steering wheel and the vehicle gets a power burst of 483 horsepower for 10 seconds so passing slower vehicles on the highway is easy. Don’t use it too often though because it’ll deplete the range fast. After driving the entire day, it returned fairly accurate range numbers. We began the day with 226 miles of electric range – the equivalent of 363 kilometres. We drove approximately 235 kilometres and returned to the hotel in downtown Atlanta with 81 miles of range, or 130 kilometres. The range was true to the driving distance travelled even though we used the boost mode several items and had the air conditioning, ventilated and massaged seats and radio running often.

The vehicle is also loaded with innovative technology including a remote smart parking assist system, which among other things can drive the vehicle out of a tight parking spot using only the key fob. The driver doesn’t have to be in the vehicle, either. Standing outside, push a few buttons on the fob to move the vehicle forward or backward remotely. It worked well. Parallel parking, however, was a bit fickle and didn’t work on several attempts.

The 2023 Genesis electrified GV70 will be available in one well-equipped model dubbed “Prestige AWD.” Prices start at $84,000 and delivery is expected later this year.

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The cargo space is large and easy to access thanks to the power lift gate.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Tech Specs

2023 Genesis electrified GV70 Prestige AWD

  • Base price: $84,000 (includes freight and pre-delivery inspection)
  • Drive/motors: All-wheel drive / 320-kilowatt dual electric motors – 160 (front) and 160 (rear)
  • Battery capacity: 77.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion
  • Charging times: Level 1 (120 volt) – 68 hours; Level 2 – 10-100 per cent in 7 hours; Level 3 DC fast-charger (250-kilowatts, 800 volts) – 10 – 80 per cent in 18 minutes
  • Horsepower/torque: 429 (with boost mode up to 483)/516 lb-ft
  • Claimed Range: 383 kilometres
  • Alternatives: Tesla Model Y, Cadillac Lyriq, Mercedes-Benz EQE, Lexus RZ

Looks

Sweeping lines and attractive design cues, but at first glance there’s little to differentiate the electrified model from its gas-powered sibling. Look closely and you’ll spot the subtle differences including the reverse G-matrix grille, which holds the charging port behind the “G” logo and new colours including Capri Blue and Mauna Red.

Interior

Elegant upscale interior with tech touches including a fingerprint authentication feature, a large 12.3-inch 3-D digital cluster, a 14.5-inch centre touchscreen and a rotary gear shifter. The front driver’s seat moves 14 ways with four-way power lumbar and cushion extension; the front passenger seat is 12-way power operated with four-way lumbar support. The exclusive glacier white two-tone interior looks clean and sophisticated, but will likely get dirty fast.

Performance

Stellar off-the-line performance thanks to a power burst with the “boost” mode button on the steering wheel. The SUV has well composed and confident road manners, but range is on the low side.

Technology

Plenty of innovative and cool technology including fingerprint authentication, smart cruise control with stop and go, lane keeping and following assist systems, a head-up display and a remote smart parking assist feature.

Cargo

With 813 litres of cargo space, it’s large and easy to access thanks to the power lift gate. Drop the second-row seats to expand the space to 1,601 litres of room. There’s a front trunk, or frunk, but it’s so small, my purse wouldn’t fit. Charging cables might.

The Verdict

Genesis is on a roll with its third electrified vehicle. The GV70 is a luxurious, stylish, fast and well-equipped electric SUV. But it lacks range compared to some competitors.

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Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

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