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2021 Genesis GV80 is a stellar flagship for upstart luxury brand Featured

Posted On Friday, 04 June 2021 02:44 Written by
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The design of the GV80 blows away most of its competition. The design of the GV80 blows away most of its competition. :Photo courtesy of Genesis


The Genesis name and reputation has been gaining steam in the auto industry over the past few years, starting with the introduction of its first luxury sedans. The upscale brand put out by Hyundai is quickly showing the competition how to get things done.

It was only a matter of time before Genesis put out SUVs. Enter their latest magnum opus, the GV80 midsize SUV — their new flagship vehicle that will no doubt put the competition even further on notice due to its sharp design and overall performance capabilities.

Attractive, powerful, and tech-savvy, it’s hard not to like what the GV80 offers. And few competitors offer as complete a package as you’ll find here.


Between its beautiful massive mesh front grille, sharp headlight design, attractive side accents, and its sleek and low design, the exterior look of the GV80 is hard to beat, measuring up against all the best in its luxury SUV class. My test vehicle had an extra-sharp Cardiff Green Metallic Paint which made it look even better.

Tires are either 19 or 20 inches, depending on trim level, and LED lights are featured.

Going inside, you get ample trunk space, even moreso with the second row down. Even better, the rear seats go down via a one-touch button. Up front, you get extra storage space below the center console, plus a large storage bin up top by armrest.

Rear seating is extremely roomy so all 5 passengers can be comfortable, and you get excellent head and leg room throughout the vehicle. Top-notch leather seating materials let you know this is a true luxury ride, and the seats are very comfy — among the best I have sat in across all luxury lines.

A highlight is the sharp panoramic moonroof, as well as quality wood trim on the inside front doors. Ambient interior lighting boosts the mood in the vehicle.

There are some controls of temperature and music accessible in the center of the rear seats, and USB ports accessible in the rear.

Intuitive steering wheel controls let you control music, cruise control, and info screens.

To say Genesis has knocked this entire design out of the park would be an understatement. It’s arguably the best looking SUV out there.


There are two engine offerings in the GV80, and either one will make drivers happy.

I test drove the base engine, a 2.5-liter turbo four cylinder offering 300 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft. of torque. There is also the opportunity to level up to a 3.5-liter twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine boasting 375 hp and 391 lb.-ft. 

Both are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters included for more control. One design note: The shifter is included in the center console as a dial.

Rear-wheel drive comes standard, with the option to upgrade to AWD. Drive Modes that can be selected include Eco, Comfort, Sport, or Custom.

The GV80 features multilink front and rear suspension with self-leveling, and ventilated front and rear disc brakes.

I truly enjoyed the driving experience with the 2.5T engine, with its impressive power and acceleration that makes freeway merging and overtaking a breeze, and a 0-to-60 time of just over 6 seconds.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the GV80 offered perhaps the smoothest ride I’ve experienced in an SUV so far this year, in addition to impressive cornering on curvy roads and responsive braking.

I’m sure the 3.5 twin-turbo is even more enjoyable, but honestly you probably don’t even need to go that route unless you’ve got money to burn. The base engine will do just fine.


The 2021 Genesis GV80 is loaded in terms of safety features, and the tech is pioneering in terms of design.

I absolutely loved the extra-wide 14.5-inch infotainment screen that was controlled by a dial in the center console. Everything can be viewed or controlled from this dial, including: Map, navigation, satellite, media (Bluetooth connections, plus a nice Sounds of Nature feature), voice memo, valet mode, seat controls, quiet mode (moves the radio sound up front only), climate, notifications, vehicle info, and vehicle manual. 

It’s a lot to take in, but in the end using it is very simple and effective, better than almost any other system I’ve seen on a luxury vehicle. And it looks great too, as a bonus.

If you don’t want to mess with the dial, voice commands also worked very effectively for phone, music and navigation actions. It’s also very easy to connect your phone, and there is a wireless charging pad up front.

Connected Services are also offered, offering everything from weather updates, to vehicle diagnostics and maintenance information.

Standard tech features include: Premium Audio with 12 speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for phone mirroring, Bluetooth for music and phone streaming, and a helpful rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.

Moving on to safety, the GV80 has all angles covered when it comes to keeping you and your family safe. Among its features are:
— Vehicle Stability Management
— 10 airbags
— Seat belt pre-tensioners
— Tire Pressure Monitoring
— Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist detection, Junction and Lane-Change Assist, and Evasive Steering Assist
— Smart Cruise Control
— Driver Attention Warning
— Rear Seat Warning
— Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist
— Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist
— Safe Exit Assist with Child Lock
— Rain-Sensing Wipers
— Parking Distance Warning (Front and Rear)

Higher trim levels will bump up your sound system to a Lexicon Premium Audio setup with 21 speakers, and also add safety features such as Surround View Monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Remote Smart Parking Assist, and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (Rear).


The official fuel mileage numbers listed on the RWD GV80 I tested were 21 city/25 highway/23 combined. In my real-world testing, I averaged 20.1 mpg in the vehicle.

Choosing AWD with the base engine drops the official combined fuel mileage to 22.

Moving up to the 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine, the official numbers fall to 18 city/23 highway/20 combined.


The 2021 Genesis GV80 that I tested was priced at just over $58,000. Base price for the vehicle with the 2.5-liter engine is $48,900. These are actually pretty decent prices for the luxury SUV segment, which can be much more expensive from some other brands.

Moving up to the 3.5-liter engine, prices range between $60K and $72K, which is less of a bargain.


With the stellar GV80, Genesis has put the luxury vehicle world on notice. It holds up very well against the leading luxury SUVs, and establishes the Genesis brand even more deeply as a serious contender with strong growth potential for years to come. The brand may not be the most recognized yet, but it’s definitely on its way to a very long and successful career.

==== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2021 Genesis GV80
  • Price as tested: $58,475 (starts at $48,900)
  • Best feature: Styling, tech, drive quality  
  • Rating: 5 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: High-end SUV buyers wanting the latest, greatest, luxury offering that blows away many long-standing industry favorites
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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