Car review: 2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD makes a splash as company’s first SUV

As a newer company in the luxury market, the Genesis brand has been selling luxury cars that offer all the trimmings for an easier-to-live-with price tag. However, the company has been missing an SUV model until now.

Genesis has hit a homerun with its first SUV. The new GV80 certainly has a very stylish look; no conservative looks for the brand. The GV80 now has its own distinctive face. Its large angular grill is flanked by four slim light clusters that will make you remember the brand. The body has curves and even two louvers on the front fenders to add some extra visual appeal. The top-of-the-line GV80 Prestige model also comes sporting huge 22’’ wheels.

Past Genesis models came with nicely appointed interiors for the price tag. Now for 2021, the new GV80 has really upped the game. Upgraded materials highlight the upscale new look of Genesis vehicles. The real wood trim is a nice touch.

Quilted Nappa leather seats are ventilated and heated and are dream seats offering every comfort. Only the driver’s seat has massage.

GV80 models are available with two or three rows. My model came with five seats and plenty of space for people and gear.

There is very large 14.5” touchscreen with impressive graphics but there’s a learning curve to use it correctly.

The GV80 provides a surprisingly competent luxury SUV driving experience. With a hushed cabin and a smooth ride even with the large wheels, this vehicle will pamper you on the road. The 3.5T model comes equipped with a 375hp twin turbo V6, so power is not an issue. There are no problems passing or accelerating. Simply expect loads of power and torque when you hit the gas.

The AWD system gets the power to the ground and the decent ground clearance should provide good all-weather capability.

If you’re parked in a tight spot, a cool remote feature can help you out. With the push of a button, the GV80 can back out or pull forward without you inside.

Cost: $59,650; as tested $73,510
MPG: 18mpg city and 23mpg highway; I managed 19.1 mpg in 236 miles of mixed driving.
Safety: forward collision-avoidance assist; safe exit assist; blind-spot collision avoidance assist; lane keeping assist with lane-changing oncoming; high beam assist; blind view monitor; smart cruise control with machine learning; surround view monitor; driver attention warning; parking distance waring reverse; highway drive assist2
Options: $5,200 Advanced package; $500 Himalayan gray paint; $6,600 Prestige package; $150 mud guards; $150 cargo tray; $45 first aid kit; $85 wheel locks; $85 rear bumper applique
Things to know: The first SUV for Genesis combines distinctive looks and loads of luxury for a price that is less than the competition.

Pros:

  • Good looks help the GV80 standout in the crowded luxury class
  • Comes packed with safety equipment and technology
  • Long warranty period and service valet make ownership easier

Cons:

  • Gas mileage is lacking with the thirsty twin turbo V6
  • Expect a learning curve for using the infotainment system
  • The big price jump for the Turbo V6 models makes the four-cylinder version attractive

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