Having the right face can open many doors and this is the thinking behind the latest Genesis GV60 EV.
It is the first model to use the company’s new pure electric platform, already winning independent awards for its sophistication and performance and has just been updated with a raft of features designed to make owning, driving and enjoying the ‘baby-Genesis’ a better experience.
So, after a very impressive experience with the original GV60 earlier this year I eagerly took up the opportunity to try the updated model, which includes facial recognition software and a fingerprint to unlock the doors for a driver and operate the in-car features at your fingertip. A world first in the car sector say Genesis.
The idea is that once you set up the system you could, if so inclined, leave your transponder key at home or in the office and just walk-up to the car, look at it and the doors click open ready for you to sit in and drive away. This supposedly reduces the risk of having keys mislaid, stolen or damaged and also prevents any unrecognised person from getting into the car to take items or even drive it away.
All very laudable ideas I am sure, except that the system did not work for me every time. Fortunately, having the keys to hand meant we could unlock, start and lock the car as normal without the need for my face to fit the fast getaway.
Fitting technology for its own sake seems expensive and you have to ask if it gives the owner, who ultimately matters most, any real benefit.
Nevertheless, I was enjoying my re-acquaintance with what is one of the better pure electric executive cars.
It was not as powerful as the earlier 4WD model I tested so it was slower accelerating and had a lower maximum speed but the range was significantly improved and nudged 300 miles between recharges.
As it stands, the 2WD Premium is the entry-level model to the series but we had some options fitted.
Our premium spec model came with an Innovation pack, Comfort seats, nappa leather upholstery, Outdoor pack and Bang & Olufsen audio together with auto-dimming door mirrors which, together with some other accessories, added £7,210 to the standard price of £53,905.
It was the company’s first model to use the new platform for electric powertrains and now Genesis has incorporated the fingerprint and facial recognition systems together with a digital key to make a highly personalised range of features set to a user’s taste, along with Plug and Charge for seamless power payment.
The less powerful motor is just as smooth as its stronger stablemate and makes virtually no sound but responses are sharp and you can select eco, normal or sport modes to refine responses and maximise range or performance.
It has front struts and rear multi-link suspension so it handles very well and in fact our lighter Premium version felt a bit more agile than the Sport Plus tested before, possibly due to being lighter in weight. Roadholding was good and handling was safe and predictable.
The turning circle is not particularly tight but its easy and there is a lot of feedback through the wheel at speed. With maximum battery charge recuperation selected on the column paddle the deceleration was very strong and it became single-pedal progress so the brakes were largely unused.
A self-releasing parking brake works in conjunction with auto-hold so a driver just rolls to standstill and can move off without trouble, particularly useful in stop-start urban driving.
The GV60 Premium rode over bumps quite well and smoothed out most potholes and ridges but let you know how hard it was working and occasionally it would jar over bad surfaces. The Comfort seats were excellent, even automatically gently gripping the driver as speed increased.
Access was excellent to cabin and the big boot with the power cables neatly stored under the flat floor. Capacity could be quickly increased by removing the roller-cover and individually dropping the offset-split back seats.
The roominess of the GV60 was down to its new floorpan and provided a lot of leg and headroom with good visibility out helped by bright lights, big ‘dipping’ door mirrors and very good front wiper wash system. However, there was no wash/ wipe to the rear glass and that is an omission I would like to see corrected as low speed airflow did not sweep away water or dirt.
In regular use quick charging on fast and superfast points would take between 20mins and just over an hour while a 11kw wallbox unit would be around 7hrs 20 mins.
Essentially, the Genesis GV60 is an eye-catching alternative executive car with unrivalled customer servicing and back up, is very well equipped and both comfortable and roomy. It’s also engineered with a good useful range and for technophiles probably delights with its features, but I still have doubts about the wisdom of some advanced systems and don’t really see how they are an improvement over what has gone before.
Model: Genesis GV60 168 RWD Premium EV
Price: £61,115 inc options
Mechanical: 77.4kWh battery, 168kw motor, RWD
Max Speed: 115mph
Range: 290 miles
Insurance Group: 49
CO2 emissions: Zero
Tax costs: Bik rating2%, VED £ZeroFY, £ZeroSR
Warranty: 5yrs/ unlimited miles
Size: L4.52m, W1.90m, H1.58m
Bootspace: 432 to 1550 litres
For: Very roomy with excellent seats, ultra smooth powertrain, strong deceleration, very highly equipped, premium brand appeal
Against: Fiddly to use tech, not agile, average performance, intrusive road & suspension noise. By Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency