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High-tech 2023 Genesis GV80 delivers the goods to take on top luxury SUVs Featured

Posted On Wednesday, 09 August 2023 23:37 Written by
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The design of the 2023 Genesis GV80 will turn heads, including its standout grille. The design of the 2023 Genesis GV80 will turn heads, including its standout grille. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

In roughly six years, Hyundai has done the unimaginable with the lineup of its luxury Genesis brand.

Viewed at first as an upstart with little hope of competing with Lexus, Cadillac, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Infiniti, and other longer-standing luxury vehicle lineups, the consistently high quality of Genesis’ offerings quickly has gained devotees in a category that is difficult to crack.

Genesis' move into the SUV category began with the GV80, their flagship SUV offering which was launched a few years ago and continues to shine in 2023.

I recently tested the 2023 Genesis GV80 (specifically, an all-wheel drive version with the 3.5-liter engine and 20-inch wheels), and I’m back with a full report on this SUV that is clearly a contender and far from a pretender in the luxury SUV world.


LOOKS

The exterior design of the 2023 Genesis GV80 provides one of the most striking looks you’ll find on any luxury SUV. It was certainly a head-turner wherever I went, with people thinking it was a much more upscale vehicle (such as a Bentley).

The distinctive front grille of the GV80 may be the most attractive looking front end on any luxury ride, splitting the difference between too plain and excessively gaudy. It gives off an air of luxury and class that shines in the segment.

Smooth lines on the side of the vehicle provide a nice silhouette, and the 20-inch alloy wheels are quite sharp, as is the panoramic sunroof.

My test vehicle featured an optional “Cardiff Green” paint scheme that was quite eye-catching. And little touches help the ambience, such as power-folding outside mirrors that splash the Genesis logo via puddle lamps, like a Bat signal style projection, onto the ground when you open the door.

Moving to the inside, the detail work on the interior of the GV80, right down to the trim and the stitching on the Nappa leather seating, is immaculate.

It’s on par with the quality of its luxury competitors who have been at this for a much longer time, which is a tremendous achievement. When you step into the GV80, you know you’re in a true luxury vehicle, and not some pretender.

The long, swooping dashboard that contours around the massive infotainment touchscreen flows smoothly, and all buttons and controls on the steering wheel and center console are well placed and easy to access.

Two rows are standard in the GV80, but you can opt for a power folding third row, though it is a bit tight and probably not necessary unless you regularly have more than 5 passengers.

Interior features include leatherette seating surfaces (which can be upgraded to Nappa leather), matte finish wood trim, leatherette wrapped upper instrument panel, power front seats with four-way power lumbar, heated and ventilated front seats, front seat massage function, and manual rear door sunshades. Tri-zone climate control allows everyone to enjoy their own temperature in the vehicle.

There are also options including a suede headliner, power door closure and power rear door shades. Overall, all 5 passengers in the two-row GV80 should be very comfortable and have plenty of head room and leg room.

Second row folds flat to allow for more cargo to be carried. With both rows upright, you get a total of 34.9 cubic feet of space, but with the rear row folded down your space increases to 84 cubic feet.


HOW’S THE RIDE?

The Genesis GV80 delivers under the hood, with a pair of powerful motor options.
I tested a GV80 with the higher-end engine, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 offering 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque.

Like all GV80 models, it was paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and came with all-wheel drive.

The other engine option on the GV80 is a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder option, with output of 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet.

The V6 engine was quite powerful, especially in Sport mode, getting me from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds.

While it can be argued that some of the luxury SUV competition offers a more powerful and more sporty performance than the GV80, I wouldn’t say that the difference is huge. While driving perfectionists may like the German offerings more for this reason, most drivers will be quite happy and enjoy the driving experience in the GV80, especially with the V6 power plant.

It’s very smooth at all times, with limited outside noise intrusion, and the power is there whenever you want to inject it and test the GV80’s limits. Handling is strong for a larger vehicle, and braking is immediate. Drive modes include Eco, Comfort, Sport, Custom and Snow, and the driver can adjust them as needed, depending on circumstances on the roadways.

The electronically controlled suspension system on the GV80 also plays a role in improving the driving experience by looking ahead at the road conditions via cameras and adjusting the suspension as needed to improve ride quality.

As far as towing, the GV80 can pull a maximum of 6,000 pounds, a bit less than most rivals in this class of SUVs.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The massive 14.5-inch high-definition touchscreen that hosts Genesis’ infotainment setup on the GV80 is among the most attractive and smoothly functioning offerings in the luxury car business.

The only downside is it’s a bit far away for touchscreen use by the driver, but that’s not a major issue because voice commands work so well. I was able to change music selections, set up navigation and so much more, all with my voice. There was little to no confusion on the part of the vehicle, which understood me clearly every time and took the appropriate action.

The extra wide rectangular screen offers every type of setting adjustment you could possibly want, and the handy center dial is another way to access its various sections and make decisions. There are also well-placed small dials for volume and changing radio channels.

The vehicle offers AM/FM/SiriusXM radio/HD radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a wireless phone charger that is well-placed up front. Audiophiles will enjoy the quality sounds coming from the optional Lexicon 21-speaker premium audio system.

In terms of safety, the GV80 has a five-star overall government rating, and there is an excellent set of safety features included.

Highway driving assist — the basic self-driving setup on the GV80 — works quite well and will keep the vehicle in its lane and slow down or speed up to accommodate traffic.

And an excellent set of cameras capture all angles and make parking situations a breeze even if things are a bit tight.

Other safety features include: Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Driver Attention Warning, Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, and Safe Exit Assist. You also get standard automated emergency braking (including pedestrian detection).


MPG

The official fuel mileage numbers on the 2023 Genesis GV80 with the six-cylinder engine are 18 city/23 highway/20 combined. On paper, it’s just a tad behind its main luxury rivals in this category.

But my testing did not measure up to those numbers. In mostly city driving, I was averaging between 15 and 16 miles per gallon, a few miles per gallon lower than the listed amount.

Fuel economy may be the one weak spot on an otherwise excellent vehicle, but it’s probably not enough of a detriment to sway buyers away from the GV80. 

Estimates for the four-cylinder engine are listed a bit higher at 21 city/25 highway.


PRICE

The 2023 Genesis GV80 I tested was priced at $75,520, and its base price starts about $57K.

Trim levels are broken down into Standard, Advanced and Prestige, and you can choose between the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and the 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine.

This is not cheap, but it is more affordable than the German alternatives, including the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5. And I’d argue it’s equal to or better in overall quality and performance than many of those more expensive rivals.

Warranties are excellent, as Genesis offers a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, as well as a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty — the best you’ll find in the industry. Three years of scheduled maintenance is also included.

BOTTOM LINE 

Genesis has shown that its brand has staying power in the luxury field, and the GV80 remains a worthy flagship SUV, as the brand continues to grow with a new wave of electric SUV options.

With an elegant design, well-appointed interior, strong driving sensibilities, excellent tech and cutting-edge safety features, the 2023 Genesis GV80 is on point from all angles.

In fact, it makes a respectable argument for being the best luxury SUV on the market, period, even when all the top European, Asian and U.S. competitors are in the discussion.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu


Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Genesis GV80 
  • Price as tested: $75,520  
  • Best feature: Luxurious, high-quality design, class leading tech and safety systems  
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury SUV buyers seeking a modern, tech-savvy vehicle
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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