2021 Genesis GV80
- Summer 2020
What to expect
- Midsize SUV with seating for up to seven
- Fresh styling look for the brand
- Debuts new technology features
- Launches the first GV80 generation for 2021
What is it?
The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the first SUV from Hyundai's fledgling luxury spinoff. We've known this midsize SUV was coming for a while now. In fact, the only surprise is that it took this long.
Up front, the GV80 has a big shield-shaped grille that's similar to the one that debuted on the updated 2020 G90 sedan. It's flanked by a new quad-headlight design. Whether you like or hate the new look, it's fair to assume you'll be seeing a lot more of it on upcoming Genesis models.
The interior looks as well appointed as we'd expect, showing off plenty of quilted leather along with a UFO-like two-spoke steering wheel and some new technology features for the brand. Most prominent is the 14.5-inch infotainment screen, which has a controller located in the center console near the shift knob. This setup takes a few cues from Mercedes-Benz's MBUX system, offering features such as handwriting recognition and an augmented-reality navigation overlay.
There's also a new gauge cluster display that will apparently feature some level of 3D effects, using sensors to track the driver's eyes to better create an illusion of depth.
Like all SUVs in this price class, the GV80 offers a host of luxury features for both first- and second-row occupants. Standard features include imitation leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear charging ports and configurable ambient lighting. There's also a full set of advanced safety features, with everything from adaptive cruise control to blind-spot monitoring.
The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with your choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. A turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 is optional on all trim levels and is exclusively offered with all-wheel drive. Seating for five is standard on most trim levels, with the top two V6 trims adding a third row for a total of seven seats. Considering the GV80 is meant to compete in the midsize class, the third row isn't expansive but it can seat adults in a pinch.
Why does it matter?
Sedans are fine but SUVs are where the money is, at least from the automaker perspective. Genesis absolutely needs a lineup of SUVs if it wants to compete with the luxury heavy hitters, and the GV80 will be the template for what to expect from future Genesis SUV models.
The GV80 also previews the future direction of the Genesis brand, with technology and design features we expect to see roll out across other Genesis models in the coming years.
What does it compete with?
The new GV80 will go toe to toe with some serious competition, including the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Jaguar F-Pace, Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLE. While the GV80 starts at a higher price than its non-German competition, the wealth of standard features helps narrow the gap. The addition of what looks to be some off-road capability will help it in this segment as well.
The GV80 represents a huge leap forward for the Genesis brand. That's good news for the nascent brand as it prepares for the launch of its first SUV.