Genesis keeps elevating its lineup with new models like the G80, but one of the most important new additions is the GV80 midsize SUV. The GV80 is easily set to become one of the brand’s most popular models with its stylish exterior, luxurious interior and great driving dynamics.
The Genesis GV80 is available with two engines: a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6. Or tester had the base four-cylinder engine, which generates 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and buyers can choose either rear- or all-wheel drive. If you opt for the all-wheel drive version you also get an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
The 2.5T is a great engine, which means that you could easily skip the optional V6. The turbocharged four-cylinder packs a nice punch with good acceleration and power when you need it. The only thing we’d like to see improved is the sound of the four-cylinder, which can sound a bit unrefined when you push it hard.
The all-wheel drive GV80 2.5T is rated at 21 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
On the road, the GV80 is a comfortable cruiser with minimal road noise and although the ride can be a bit harsh thanks to those massive wheels. The suspension does a great job of minimizing body roll, but you can feel a bit too much of the road than we’d like.
Inside the GV80’s interior is a first class experience with its high quality materials. Everything you touch feels luxurious and the cabin is designed to make everyone comfortable. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, which makes them perfect for a long road trip. It’s nice that they are also heated and cooled.
No matter which seat you’re in, the GV80 has more than enough space, for even someone that’s over 6 feet tall. We do wish that the GV80 2.5T was available with the third row, but sadly those extra seats are only available if you opt for the twin-turbocharged V6 version.
The GV80’s interior also looks modern thanks to its 14.5-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system can be operated either via the touchscreen or the circular touchpad on the center console. The touchpad isn’t great, so we found ourselves just touching the screen to operate the infotainment system. The screen’s graphics are great and the system is easy to use.
The higher trim levels get a full digital instrument cluster, but in our tested there’s a combination of an analog speedometer and a customizable digital screen next to it. The gauge cluster looks perfectly fine, but it would be better if the fully digital instrument cluster was standard.
On the safety front, the GV80 comes standard with a bunch of tech features, like adaptive cruise control with machine learning. The Genesis’ Highway Driving Assist II bundle gives you adaptive cruise control with lane-centering and lane-change functionality. If parking isn’t something you’re interested in, the remote parking assist system will park the GV80 by itself with you holding down a button on the key fob.
The 2021 Genesis GV80 starts at a reasonable $49,925, if you want all-wheel drive you’ll have to pay an additional $5,750, since it comes with a bunch of other features. There are also two option packages, the $4,350 Advance package adds 20-inch wheels, a 21-speaker Lexicon audio system and some extra safety features. The Prestige package lists for $8,750 and adds 22-inch wheels, heated second-row seats, adaptive damping and the remote parking assist system.
We’re very impressed with Genesis’ first SUV, with its stylish exterior and first class interior. It has everything that it needs to compete with the Germans.