Kia Soul EV review

Kia Soul EV 2023

We road test the latest versions of the quirky Kia Soul EV – the long range Explore and Urban commuter…

It’s fair to say that the Kia Soul has always been something of a left-field choice.

Originally launched in 2008, it’s now in its third generation. Over the years the Soul’s divisive looks have been softened and it’s now more cool than weird.

However, it remains difficult to categorise its boxy design because it has elements of a hatchback and crossover.

Kia Soul EV 2023

One thing is for sure, there’s bags of head and legroom in the front and back. And while the boot isn’t the biggest (315 litres), with the rear seats flipped down the load space expands to 1,339 litres.

An electric version of the Soul has been available in the UK since 2014. Back then, it had a modest 27kWh battery pack with a claimed range of 132 miles.

The latest model (launched in 2020) is only available as an EV (no petrol, diesel or hybrid variants). New for 2023, there are now two models – Urban or Explore.

The main difference between the two is that the former has a small 39.2kWh battery pack, while Explore boasts a 64kWh battery. Claimed ranges are 171 miles and 280 miles respectively.

Kia Soul EV 2023

We drove them both over a couple of days and those range figures are realistic. In fact, in the right conditions with a bit of restraint, it may even be possible to squeeze more miles out of a Soul.

Priced from £32,845, Urban provides an entry-level EV for Kia. It’s also significantly cheaper than Explore, which starts at £39,045.

As well as the new battery options, the Soul has also received the lightest of exterior makeovers. From what we could see, the bold new Kia badge is now integrated into the horizonal trim linking the slim LED headlights and there’s also a new Kia logo on the boot, while the tail-light clusters appear to have a darker tint.

Kia Soul EV 2023

Except for an infotainment system update, it’s much the same inside as before. In other words, it’s a fairly generic old school Kia interior with a ‘black plastic’ look and feel, paired with a ‘traditional’ central infotainment screen and driver’s digital instrument binnacle.

We say ‘traditional’ because the Soul’s newer stablemates (the Sportage, Niro and EV6), all benefit from futuristic dual panoramic curved displays.

That’s not to say that the Soul’s infotainment system is poor, because it’s certainly not. It’s clear and responsive, but just lacks the wow factor of its younger siblings.

Kia Soul EV 2023

However, like the rest of its interior, it is starting to look a bit dated.

For the record, the Urban gets a small 8.0-inch touchscreen and a 7.0-inch driver’s digital cluster, while the Explore is treated to a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat nav.

Both the Urban and Explore models are generously equipped, with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), a reversing camera, lane-keep assist, LED headlights, a smart entry system and adaptive cruise control all standard. Explore adds goodies including black leather upholstery, heated front seats and heated steering wheel.

Kia Soul EV 2023

Under the bonnet the 39.2kWh battery pack is paired with a 134bhp electric motor, while the 64kWh version gets a 201bhp motor. Drive is through the front wheels on both models.

The latter is faster (0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, top speed of 104mph), compared to 9.9 sec/97mph for the Urban Soul.

On the road, there doesn’t seem to be much between the two in terms of acceleration because the less powerful Urban’s battery weighs 140kg less. In fact, on a loose or slippery surface, it’s possible to spin the Soul’s front wheels if you floor your right foot.

Kia Soul EV 2023

That said, there is a more noticeable difference when it comes to handling, because the lighter Urban feels slightly more agile.

Whichever version you choose, you’ll get a smooth, whisper-quiet EV experience, spiced up with a bit of instant torque.

For a relatively tall car, body roll is well controlled. And though the ride is on the firm side, it’s perfectly acceptable, while grip is good for a front-wheel drive car.

So, the Soul doesn’t deliver the most engaging drive, but it can have its fun moments.

Kia Soul EV 2023

There are four driving modes – Eco, Eco , Normal and Sport – and the latter is properly fast, but as ever, Normal will do just fine. Eco and Eco are heavy on regenerative braking, which recharges the battery by harvesting power otherwise wasted during deceleration, but tends to dull the further dulls the driving experience.

If you do stick with Normal, then use the paddles behind the steering wheel to adjust the level of brake regeneration, especially on downhill sections or when slowing down from speed for a junction.

Kia Soul EV 2023

Ultimately, the Soul EV is more about being affordable, a doddle to drive, well-equipped, comfortable and practical. Judged on that basis, it ticks all the right boxes.

Finally, the batteries on both versions can be charged from 10-80% in 47 minutes via a 100kW connection, while a 10-100% charge on a 7kW wallbox takes six hours – ideal for charging overnight at home or during the day at a workplace.

At the end of the day, if you like its looks, the Soul is very capable and an easy car to live with. Plus, it comes with peace of mind because like all Kia cars, it’s blessed with a generous seven-year warranty.

Verdict: The Kia Soul is a quirky family EV choice. Offering good value for money, it’s spacious, safe and well-equipped.

Kia UK

Lexus RZ review

Lexus RZ review

Luxury brand Lexus is a little late to the party with its first purpose-built electric vehicle. So, the question is – has the RZ been worth the wait?

Lexus is no stranger to electrification. After all, Toyota’s premium sister brand launched its first hybrid, the RX 400h, way back in 2005.

However, it’s taken until now for Lexus to introduce its debut pure electric car designed from the ground up – the RZ 450e – which sits between the mid-size NX and larger RX SUV models.

The RZ’s many EV rivals include the Audi Q4 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQA, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Kia EV6, Genesis GV60, Polestar 2 and Jaguar I-Pace.

Lexus RZ review

Before I begin, let’s deal with the elephant in the room, because the RZ has been co-developed with the very similar Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra EVs.

In fact, the RZ 400h is being manufactured alongside its cousins in the same plant at Motomachi, Japan, and they all share the same e-TNGA platform.

It may bear more than a passing resemblance to the Toyota and Subaru, but the RZ differs in some key areas.

The exterior has some uniquely Lexus touches. Its sharper front end features the signature spindle grille (now sealed), while its derriere features a light bar running across the width of the car and softer lines than the BZ’s rump.

Lexus RZ review

Naturally, there’s also a more opulent, driver-focused interior with leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and Lexus’s latest (and much improved) 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, plus an optional double panoramic roof (which is dimmable and has a coating to reduce the heat it lets into the car) and 20-inch wheels.

So-called “radiant” heaters mounted at knee-level in front of the driver and passenger are another option. Unlike convection heating, they use infrared radiation to heat solid objects directly in front of them and Lexus claims they use around 8% less energy.

The RZ 450e has an all-wheel-drive layout as standard. Named Direct4, it features two electric motors mounted on each axle, and though it has the same 71.4kWh battery ((of which 64kWh is usable) used by its cousins, the front motor has been upgraded to deliver 201bhp while the rear remains unchanged at 107bhp, producing a combined 308bhp with a maximum torque of 321 lb-ft.

It’s swift, with a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.3 seconds, while driving range varies from around 245 miles (20-inch wheels) to 270 miles (18-inch).

Lexus RZ review

The RZ has a maximum 150kWh charging capability, meaning a boost from 10-80% can take as little as 30 minutes when connected to a fast public charger. Naturally, it will also charge overnight using a 7kW wallbox.

Sounds good, but some rivals have ranges of around 300 miles, while the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 have a maximum charging capacity of up to 350kWh – that’s 10-80% in just 18 minutes.

On a more positive note, Lexus loves innovation and the RZ is a classic case. From 2024 there will be an option to ditch the traditional steering wheel and choose a butterfly-shaped ‘yoke’ instead.

Looking like something out of Top Gun, it also utilises Lexus’s new One Motion Grip steer-by-wire system. That means it has no mechanical link and no steering column between the steering wheel and driving wheels.

Lexus RZ review

The system requires just 150 degrees of steering wheel rotation between straight ahead and full lock, eliminating the need for any hand-over-hand movements, and allows a better view of the instrument binnacle ahead. However, you also have to keep your hands at the quarter to three position.

I tried the ‘yoke’ version, as well as a regular wheel with a conventional electric power steering rack.

Given a few weeks to adapt, I think the quirks of the new steering wheel would become second nature. For instance, at low speeds, little movement is required for a lot of steering to the front wheels, making it easier to manoeuvre.

Higher speeds require more movement to apply less steering to the wheels for better stability. In practice, that change in ratio meant that my cornering wasn’t as smooth at higher speeds because the steering is so sharp and fast.

Lexus RZ review

Frankly, I felt much more confident driving the RZ with a traditional steering wheel, though the yoke and steer-by-wire are not just a gimmick and many drivers will prefer the system.

My only other observation would be that the yoke’s diminutive stature means the stalks for indicators and lights are on the stubby side, while the regenerative braking paddles have been reduced to buttons.

When it’s available from 2024, a test drive in both versions would be highly recommended.

The steering is a talking point, but ultimately the RZ drives like a Lexus, which means it’s luxurious, smooth, refined and supremely comfortable.

Lexus RZ review

Compliant over poorer road surfaces, it felt nothing but composed over our varied test routes. Hustle it in Sport mode and it stays nicely flat in faster corners and there’s no shortage of grip. Given its agility, you’d never know it weighs more than two tonnes. That said, the RZ is best enjoyed wafting along in the default Normal setting.

Unlike many EVs, the RZ’s brakes seemed fairly responsive and I liked the use of paddles behind the steering wheel to adjust the level of regen on the move.

Ultimately, the Lexus RZ ticks Lexus’s three Cs of confidence, control and comfort in all driving situations. Job done.

The cabin is a mixed bag. The design up front means it’s not quite a spacious as some other EVs because the centre console is solid and fixed. Puzzlingly, there’s not even a glovebox on the passenger side.

Lexus RZ review

The good news is there’s plenty of head and legroom for three adults in the back and boot capacity is a healthy 522 litres, or 1,451 litres with the rear seats flipped. Note, there is no ‘frunk’ under the bonnet – the charging cables have to be stored in the boot.

There are three trim levels to choose from (Premium, Premium Plus and range-topping Takumi).

Priced from £62,600-£72,100, the entry-level Premium model comes with a generous amount of standard equipment including LED headlights, eight-way electrically adjustable front seats, a powered bootlid, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and Lexus’s extensive safety and driver assistance systems.

Move up the grades and other goodies such as a head-up display, 360-degree camera system, radiant heated front seats, a two-tone paint job and a Mark Levinson sound system are offered.

Lexus RZ review

And a special mention for Safe Exit Assist (a Lexus exclusive) which prevents your door opening into the path of vehicles and cyclists approaching from the rear. Great idea.

Finally, if you choose an RZ you’re also buying into Lexus’s reputation for reliability and award-winning customer service.

Like all Lexus cars, it also benefits from an extended manufacturer warranty for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first (as long as you service your car with Lexus).

What’s more, Lexus guarantees the battery will retain at least 70% of its capacity after 10 years. And given its long experience in battery technologies, the company believes the actual capacity at the point should be at least 90%.

Ultimately, the Lexus brand means a lot, which may trump the fact that some RZ rivals offer longer ranges, more power and engagement, plus quicker charging at a lower price.

Verdict: Striking, sumptuous, safe and sensible, the pure electric Lexus RZ 450e is a classy family-sized SUV delivering superb build quality and clever innovations. An impressive debut EV from a top-notch brand.

Lexus UK

Lexus RZ review

Nissan Ariya review

Nissan Ariya

We road test the distinctive Nissan Ariya mid-sized electric SUV…

It’s taken Nissan more than 10 years to follow-up the game-changing Leaf with a brand new EV model. So, is the Ariya as good as it looks?

Let’s start by going back to basics. The Ariya (we think it’s pronounced ‘Arr-Ee-Yah’) is a mid-sized five-door SUV, so its rivals include the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Skoda Enyaq, Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y.

First impressions count and two things stand out. Its futuristic looks are like nothing else on the road, while its plush interior is a real step-up for Nissan.

Nissan Ariya

There’s a choice of two battery sizes- a standard 63kWh unit or the ‘extended range’ 87kWh, which Nissan claims can travel 250 miles and 329 miles respectively from a full charge.

Starting at £46,145, entry-level models use a single electric motor to power the front wheels, producing 214bhp (63kWh) and 239bhp (87kWh).

All-wheel drive versions (marketed as ‘e-4ORCE’) get the larger 87kWh battery and an extra electric motor, delivering a total of 302bhp. However, range takes a hit, resulting in a claimed 285 miles.

Nissan Ariya

The front-wheel drive 63kWh is capable of a 0-62mph sprint in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 100mph, while the all-wheel-drive 87kWh has a 5.7-second 0-62mph time and can go on to 124mph.

Standard equipment is generous and there are just two trim levels to choose from – Advance and Evolve.

Entry-level Advance is fitted with full LED lighting, a heated windscreen, climate control, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, 360-degree cameras and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Nissan Ariya

Evolve adds a panoramic sunroof, a video-based rear-view mirror, ventilated seats, heated rear seats and a Bose sound system, among other features.

The extensive list of safety and driver assistance aids standard on all grades includes Intelligent Driver Alertness, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Jam Pilot, Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Full Auto Park and a 360-degree Around View Monitor. Extra goodies on the Evolve spec include Pro-Pilot Park and a Head-up Display.

The Ariya can be charged at speeds of up to 130kW (slower than some rivals such as the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5), meaning you can top up from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, while an overnight charge from a 7.4kW wallbox will take 10 hours.

Nissan Ariya

Our 63kWh Advance test car looked stunning in Akatsuki Copper with a pearl-black roof. Somewhere between a traditional and coupe-styled SUV, it’s no shrinking violet and is on the tall side.

Up front, the large closed-off grille is flanked by sharp LED daytime running lights and headlights, while the swooping roofline leads to a full-width LED light bar at the rear of the car.

Inside, it’s smart and minimalist. Stylish wood-grained trim spans the width of the dashboard and it has a premium feel.

Nissan Ariya

Touch-sensitive controls with haptic feedback are hidden within the trim, illuminating when the car is switched on. More of these ‘buttons’ are conveniently placed on the sliding centre armrest, which can be moved via the press of a button to provide additional foot space in the front or the rear.

The Ariya’s infotainment system consists of two 12.3-inch screens, mounted side-by-side – a driver’s digital instrument cluster, plus a main infotainment interface complete with sat nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

The cabin is spacious and light with plenty of room in the back for rear passengers to travel in comfort.

Nissan Ariya

Single motor models get a decent 466-litre boot capacity (1,348 litres with the back seats down), reducing to 408 litres if all-wheel drive is chosen.

The overwhelming sensation on the road is of a relaxing driving experience. Not only is it comfortable and well insulted inside the cabin, it’s been well put together and the delivery of all that instant torque is smooth and quiet.

There are three driving modes (Eco, Sport and Normal), though we found the latter will do just fine. As you’d expect from Nissan, there’s also an e-pedal option, which winds up the regenerative braking and can bring the car to a halt simply by lifting off the accelerator.

It feels planted at high speed and on flowing country roads, but try to hustle in more challenging corners and its weight and height become more obvious. There’s a bit of body lean and 2.2 tonnes to slow down, which tends to blunt the driving engagement.

Nissan Ariya

That said, grip levels are good, though as we found with our front-wheel drive test car, it is possible to spin the front wheels when setting off on loose surfaces and in the wet if you’re too heavy on the accelerator.

Otherwise, the steering feels nicely judged, and the commanding driving position offers good visibility (plus there’s a rear wiper, unlike some rivals!).

We haven’t tried the 87kWh all-wheel drive e-4ORCE model yet, but we suspect the increased grip, power and range (we’d estimate the real-world range in our 63kWh test car is closer to 200 miles) might be worth the extra expense.

Verdict: Safe, spacious and surprisingly classy, the Nissan Ariya family SUV boasts serious kerb appeal. Easy to drive and comfortable, it’s at its best cruising along stylishly and smoothly.

Nissan UK

Nissan Ariya

Kia XCeed review

Kia XCeed

It’s time to get back behind the wheel of Kia’s popular XCeed compact crossover, which has just been treated to a facelift…

The XCeed is an important car for Kia in the UK, accounting for 10% of the South Korean company’s sales in the country during 2021, and more than half of all Ceed family sales over the same timeframe.

Just to recap, the XCeed is longer and taller than a standard Ceed hatch, and features a higher ground clearance and driving position, bigger wheels and a more rugged look.

The makeover brings a fresher exterior design, more kit and a new ‘GT-Line S’ trim level.

Kia XCeed

The design tweaks are subtle. Outside, there are updated LED head and taillights, a revised front grille and bumpers, plus new colours such as Sprint Green.

Interior upgrades are harder to spot, but apparently the lower portion of the instrument panel has been redesigned, with touch-sensitive buttons, dials and switches that control the audio volume, heating, and ventilation systems.

Meanwhile, the choice of engines is now between a 1.5-litre turbo petrol and a plug-in hybrid.

Priced from £23,395 to £32,995 for the PHEV, the XCeed line-up now consists of ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’ trim levels with GT-Line S replacing the old range-topping ‘4’ model.

Kia XCeed

Entry-level 2 grade comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 4.2-inch driver instrument cluster. There’s also a reversing camera system, cruise control, speed limiter, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, plus safety systems such as collision avoidance assist and pedestrian/cyclist recognition.

The 3 adds 18-inch wheels, privacy glass and LED indicator lights on the door mirrors. Inside, there’s a 10.25-inch touchscreen, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, along with front seats that are heated and have electrical lumbar adjustment.

The range-topping GT-Line S gets a 12.3-inch driver’s digital display, plus a 10.25-inch central touchscreen. Other goodies include special 18-inch wheels, a bespoke body kit, a panoramic sunroof, black leather and suede seats that are heated front and rear, a powered tailgate, an upgraded JBL sound system and a wireless phone charger.

The interior is perfectly decent, but compared to newer Kia models, such as the Niro, Sportage and EV6, it looks dated up front where there’s a curvy instrument binnacle and separate centre touchscreen instead of the merged panoramic, dual 12.3-inch screens.

Kia XCeed

That said, the XCeed’s infotainment system is a perfectly good and intuitively laid out display, while the interior itself is well put together with plenty of soft-touch surfaces.

The driving position is comfortable and there are no complaints in the visibility department.

There’s ample space in the cabin for adults front and rear. Boot capacity is 426 litres with the seats up and 1,378 litres with them folded down, though the PHEV’s boot is smaller at only 291 litres (1,243 litres in total).

We tested the plug-in hybrid and petrol versions of the new XCeed.

Kia XCeed

The entry-level 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engined car (badged T-GDI) develops 158bhp and can sprint from 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds (top speed 129mph).

Economy is up to 44.8mpg, while CO2 emissions are 143g/km. Drive sensibly and 45-48mpg is quite possible.

The engine itself is punchy, but vocal when pushed. That said, it settles down nicely on the motorway, while the six-speed manual shifts well.

The steering is light and accurate, body lean is well controlled and overall the XCeed is agile and delivers a decent drive.

Kia XCeed

Some may find the suspension a little on the stiff side and it’s not the most sophisticated of rides on poorer surfaces, but it feels planted and it’s more dynamic than you might think.

The PHEV combines a 1.6-litre petrol with a 8.9kWh battery and electric motor (producing a combined 139bhp) mated with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

With a top speed of 99mph, it takes 10.6 seconds to sprint to 60mph and offers up to 30 miles in electric-only mode.

In theory it can return as much as 200mpg. The reality is that your economy will depend on your journey lengths and whether you keep the battery charged up.

Kia XCeed

Drive with the battery depleted on longer journeys and you’re looking at closer to 40mpg.

Crucially, especially for business users who get tax benefits, tailpipe CO2 emissions are just 32g/km.

The XCeed PHEV is generally more refined than its ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) sibling. The hybrid system itself is smooth and switches between petrol and electric, and vice versa, almost seamlessly.

It feels planted on the road and zips along surprisingly swiftly in Sport mode, while the six-speed auto box is particularly slick.

Kia XCeed

Yes, you heard right, the XCeed PHEV isn’t afflicted with a CVT gearbox like most plug-in hybrids, so no high-revving din under heavy acceleration.

More comfortable than sporty, spirited drivers will find body lean well controlled in more challenging corners.

It’s also worth noting that the XCeed PHEV can (unusually for a car of its size and type) tow a braked trailer of up to 1,300kg.

Verdict: The refreshed Kia XCeed is better than ever. Whether you go for a straight petrol or the plug-in hybrid version, it’s more comfortable than engaging, but still a great all-round package. Add the affordable price and generous seven-year warranty and it’s no wonder it’s been selling so well.

Kia UK

Genesis GV60 review

Genesis GV60

We road test the first pure electric car from the new, upmarket Genesis brand…

Before we begin, let’s start with a quick refresh. Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, which also includes Kia. So, think Lexus/Toyota and DS/Citroen. Only launched in the UK in the summer of 2021, its impressive stable of prestige cars includes saloons, SUVs and an estate.

Up until now, the range hasn’t quite matched up to the equivalents from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

The good news for Genesis is that we think the fully electric GV60 will go down as the brand’s breakthrough model.

Genesis GV60

Developed alongside its award-winning cousins, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, the GV60 is arguably the most successful of the trio in the looks department.

Slightly shorter than the Ioniq 5 and EV6, it’s nicely proportioned with a curvaceously muscular stance and short overhangs. There are flush-fitting door handles along its flowing profile, plus the option of rear-facing cameras instead of conventional door mirrors. Slim, stacked headlights and a broad black grille are highlights up front, while its sexy derrière is a candidate for Rear of the Year.

Priced from £47,005, the new Genesis GV60 is available in three trims (Premium, Sport and Sport Plus) and all versions come with a 77.4kWh battery, but different choices of electric motor.

Genesis GV60

It’s not worth listing the differences between the grades when it comes to goodies. Let’s just say, the GV60 is generously equipped, though obviously you should compare. Perhaps more importantly, it’s the technical differences that matter.

The GV60 Premium gets a single 225bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels, giving up to 321 miles of range.

Sport versions come with dual motors producing a total of 314hp. These cars are four-wheel drive, but range is down to 292 miles.

Genesis GV60

The top-spec GV60 Sport Plus we tested gets a more powerful dual-motor setup that produces an impressive 483bhp in total, though range is down again to a still decent 289 miles on a single charge.

It’s worth noting that there’s a boost button on the Sport Plus which unlocks a 10-second blast of gut-wrenching power. Oh, and those 0-62mph times range from 7.8 seconds for the Premium down to 4.0 seconds for the Sport Plus.

The Genesis GV60 also comes with a state-of-the-art 800-volt electrical system that lets you charge it using ultra rapid 350kw chargers from 10-80% full in just 18 minutes.

Genesis GV60

Alternatively, a 10-80% charge via a more common 50kW connection will take 73 minutes, while a 10-100% boost from an 11kw home wallbox takes seven hours 20 minutes.

The cabin is spacious and faultlessly finished, though it’s worth test-driving the GV60 is you regularly carry taller than average rear passengers because of the sloping roofline.

Two wide 12.3-inch digital screens take care of infotainment duties, but thankfully there’s also a good balance of traditional buttons and dials to easily access commonly used functions.

Genesis GV60

The interior’s party trick is the gorgeous crystal ball in the middle of the centre console (Genesis calls it a ‘Crystal Sphere’) which revolves to reveal a rotating dial with Drive, Reverse, Park etc when the GV60 is ready to go.

The boot has a useful 432-litre capacity to the parcel shelf, expanding to 1,550 litres with the rear seats folded down. There’s also space under the bonnet – the perfect spot to store your charging cables.

My only criticisms of the cabin are that the brushed metal effect used extensively has a plastic feel to it – not unlike a much cheaper Hyundai. Also, visibility through the small rear window isn’t the best, and there’s no wiper.

Genesis GV60

The GV60’s driving position is comfortable, if fairly high, and the car itself certainly feels substantial.

Obviously it’s quiet, refined and very fast. The Sport Plus we tested had adaptive predictive suspension, which uses information from the front camera and navigation system to adjust damping in advance, delivering an impressively comfortable ride.

There’s good body control in corners, but ultimately the GV60’s agility will always be compromised by its width and two-tonne weight. In other words, you’d need some track time to have the confidence to take it close to the limit.

Genesis GV60

That said there’s a serious amount of grip and traction from those epic 21-inch Michelin-shod wheels, so you can still have fun and a play with the various drive modes.

We found Comfort mode does just fine and the GV60 is at its best cruising effortlessly along at the legal limit. Oh, and a special mention for the steering wheel paddles which let you vary the amount of brake regeneration through five levels, from frictionless coasting to one-pedal driving.

Finally, the steering is light and accurate, but there’s not much in the way of feedback, while the brakes are progressive, unlike many EVs.

Genesis GV60

Before we sign off, it’s worth remembering that Genesis is no ordinary brand, offering a completely different VIP ownership experience.

There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

What’s more, Genesis’s 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Verdict: The all-new Genesis GV60 is a class act. Big, practical, comfortable, safe and a joy to drive, it’s one of the best electric crossovers on the market with serious kerb appeal. Add the unique sales and aftercare package and it’s sure to appeal to buyers who prefer the finer things in life.

Genesis