I drove Hyundai’s luxurious new $70,000 electric SUV and saw why it’s one of the best Tesla rivals yet – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

I drove Hyundai’s luxurious new $70,000 electric SUV and saw why it’s one of the best Tesla rivals yet

The Genesis GV60 Performance delivers super-fast charging, alien looks, and wild tech like facial recognition.

Tim Levin/Insider

I drove the Genesis GV60, a new compact electric SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand. It’s one of the best Tesla rivals to hit the market yet. The funky GV60 serves up dazzling tech, quick performance, and a comfy, upscale cabin.

A downside of being as wildly successful as Tesla is that your products — long the main attraction — start to blend into the background. Cars that used to turn heads and feel cutting-edge are now, in parts of the country, commonplace.

A Tesla Model Y is just as likely to be owned by an obsessive early adopter as an Uber driver or your grandpa. But you know what feels decidedly not ordinary? The Genesis GV60.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

The funky electric SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand serves up daring looks, heart-thumping performance, and loads of dazzling tech. If you’ve been looking for an EV that’s a bit more special and premium-feeling than your neighbor’s Tesla, the GV60 is worth a look.

What we like: Jaw-dropping style and tech

Sure, Elon Musk still makes some of the most technologically advanced cars around. No question. But they’ve lost the mysterious, futuristic allure they once had for many buyers. It doesn’t help that Tesla hasn’t meaningfully updated its lineup in years.

The GV60, on the other hand, is fresh, fun, and futuristic through and through. The souped-up GV60 Performance that Genesis lent me cost around $70,000. Sticker price for the base model is $59,290.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

Its smooth, organic shape draws you in and gives it the appearance of a humongous beetle or an alien spacecraft. Flush-mounted door handles and flowy headlights add to the streamlined look.

Approach the GV60’s driver’s side and it will recognize an authorized driver’s face and unlock automatically. Sit down, place your index finger in just the right spot, and the SUV wakes up, ready to drive. You don’t even need to carry a key fob, if you consider it an undue burden on your pocket or handbag.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

Is facial and fingerprint recognition a little gimmicky? Sure. But it felt like a glimpse into the future and put a big grin on my face nonetheless.

The quirky cabin, though compact, is brimming with flair. The glove box is actually a drawer and, just like its exterior, the GV60’s interior rejects hard edges in favor of blobby, rounded features. When you turn it on, a mesmerizing glass orb between the front seats rotates 180 degrees to reveal a gear selector. Neat.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

The upscale interior keeps you feeling comfy and fancy with appointments like cushy leather seats that automatically massage the driver on long highway stints. That’s another advantage over Teslas, which lean more minimalist than luxurious.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

A smattering of crisp, easy-to-use screens — plus a heads-up display projected onto the windshield — lend the GV60 a high-tech vibe. But Genesis didn’t overdo it. There are still old-fashioned buttons for some shortcuts, climate controls, and the like.

Driving the GV60

One notable button is affixed to the steering wheel and reads “BOOST.” Pressing it briefly unlocks a bunch of extra power from the GV60’s dual-motor, all-wheel-drive system. Not that it needs the additional oomph: The souped-up GV60 Performance that Genesis lent me already puts out a generous 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. In layman’s terms, that means you’ll be gleefully rocketing into the distance with every stomp of the right pedal.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

Ride quality is pleasant thanks in part to a feature that scans the road and adjusts the suspension firmness in real-time. Active noise canceling and a well-insulated cabin make highway driving library-quiet.

And handy gizmos aid us feeble human drivers: blind-spot cameras, a 360-degree birds-eye view, and a fabulous advanced cruise-control suite come as standard equipment. In traffic and on the open road, the Genesis was able to confidently and automatically stick to its lane and keep up with the flow of traffic, leaving me feeling less beaten down than usual after a five-hour drive.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

What falls short: Not much

Range, estimated by the EPA at 235 miles in the GV60 Performance, is a slight sore spot. Opt for the standard model and you’re supposed to get a healthier 248. The Model Y, for instance, is rated for up to 330 miles.

But limited range becomes less of an issue when you consider the GV60’s outrageously quick charging speeds. Hook it up to one of the more-powerful charging stations out there and you can recharge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes, the brand says. On a road trip, I topped up from 15% to 94% in a breezy (for EVs) 34 minutes.

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

Another knock against the GV60 is how exceptional Hyundai’s other offerings are. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 (which both share their underlying platform with the GV60) deliver bold styling, the same super-fast charging tech, similarly snazzy screens, and more — all for less money.

Our impressions

The Genesis GV60.

Tim Levin/Insider

The media is quick to compare every new EV to Tesla because it’s the Goliath of the EV world. Tesla owns the US EV market, while the old-school companies that dominated the auto industry for decades scramble to play catch-up.

But the GV60 proves once again that serious competition for Elon Musk isn’t coming — it’s already here.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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