- Yes, the price helps, but the tech and comfort stand out too.
- The GV80 is a thoroughly impressive SUV that gives the Germans a run for their money.
- In our instrumented testing, the GV80 3.5T was neck and neck with the BMW X5 xDrive40i.
Recent models from the fledgling Genesis brand had us expecting big things from the all-new 2021 Genesis GV80 luxury crossover — especially the 3.5T model with its stout turbocharged V6 engine. That said, we're not sure we expected the new SUV to bring the fight to stalwarts like BMW and Land Rover quite so ... suddenly. After all, how well could this Korean upstart compete against the big dogs in its first year anyway?
Now that we've put a GV80 3.5T Advanced+ through Edmunds' full battery of closed-course and real-world tests, you can color us pleasantly surprised. Read on to see how the GV80 stacks up, and why.
Freshman phenom — or close to it, anyway
There's never been a more competitive time for vehicles in the midsize luxury SUV segment. And it just got a little more crowded near the top.
In its first year on the market, the brand-new 2021 Genesis GV80 earned a score of 7.9 out of 10 in our comprehensive rating process. That is very good.
Good enough, in fact, to tie the BMW X5 and the Land Rover Defender in Edmunds' midsize luxury SUV rankings. Yes, you read that correctly: A brand-new Genesis received the same overall score as two of the most desirable SUVs out there today. Only the Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne scored higher.
But at Edmunds, we generally don't do ties since we're trying to help shoppers make decisions. Our tiebreaker vote awarded the GV80 fourth place, behind the X5 and ahead of the Defender.
The Genesis also topped big-name rivals such as the Audi Q8, the Maserati Levante and the Cadillac XT5 — no tiebreaker required.
The price is only part of it
Pricing is undoubtedly a big factor. The GV80 starts at $49,925 including destination fees, which is about $5,000 less than most luxury SUV competitors. And in the case of the X5, the GV80 is more affordable by an eye-popping $10,000 to start.
The Defender has a similar starting price, although its higher trims command prices in the $70,000-$80,000 range to start. At its most expensive, the GV80 with both the Advanced package and the Prestige package comes to $71,975 including destination.
But cost is not the only factor at play. In fact, the GV80 achieved its highest scores in the areas of Comfort and Technology. It earned an 8.5 out of 10 in both categories. We consider these fields to be critically important in the midsize luxury SUV class as they are undoubtedly major factors for most buyers in the final shopping phase.