2021 Genesis GV80: 6 Things We Like (and 2 Not So Much)

2021 Genesis GV80 2021 Genesis GV80 | photo by Steven Pham

The 2021 GV80 is luxury brand Genesis’ first venture into the SUV market — and it’s made a pretty big splash.

Related: 2021 Genesis GV80 Review: Korea Crafts a Global Contender

Genesis, Hyundai’s stand-alone luxury brand, has been around for a few years. Up until now, though, it’s only put out sedans. The GV80, a rear-wheel-drive mid-size SUV built on the same platform as the G80 sedan, is the first SUV in the Genesis lineup. And it was well worth the wait with its host of standard safety features; choice of smooth, powerful engines; and sleek styling to boot. It is sure to give competitors from established luxury brands — like the BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE — something to worry about.

Reviewer Aaron Bragman thinks so, too. To read the rest of his review, click the related link above. Or, for the condensed version, here’s what we like (and a couple things we don’t) about the 2021 Genesis GV80:

Things We Like

1. Unique Exterior Styling

genesis-gv80-2021-17-exterior--front--maroon.jpg 2021 Genesis GV80 | photo by Steven Pham

“Unique” is not a slight, here; the GV80 doesn’t look like any other SUV on the road. In a good way. Out front, there’s a massive trapezoidal grille, flanked by quad headlights. This makes up the “G-Matrix” look, which mimics the wing and shield logo. Shape is paramount in the design, with one long curve stretching all the way to the rear for a refined look.

2. Luxury Interior

The GV80 has one of the best interiors in the luxury game, from quality materials all the way down to the finishes of the knobs and switches. Most of the controls are mechanical rather than touch sensitive, a route many luxury brands have taken lately. The round multimedia controller on the center console gives full command over the 14.5-inch multimedia screen — or, you can use the touchscreen to control it. Or your voice. The gauge cluster is reconfigurable and (if you opt for the top trim) becomes a 3D digital display.

3. Excellent Engines

The 300-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder comes standard, or you can get a 375-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6 in upper trims. Both are responsive engines ready to provide the power you need when you need it. 

4. Refined Ride

genesis-gv80-2021-39-angle--front-row--interior.jpg 2021 Genesis GV80 | photo by Steven Pham

The standard 19-inch wheels (as well as the optional 20- and 22-inchers) provide a smooth ride. Isolation is great, but not so numbing you can’t feel the road at all, and road noise is minimized thanks to tech that filters out road noise in real time. Overall, its ride leans more toward “comfort” on the spectrum of “comfort” to “sport.” That works well for a driving experience focused on control.

5. Sweet Safety Suite

The GV80 comes with a robust standard safety suite, including an adaptive cruise control system that adapts to the habits of the driver, automatic braking with pedestrian detection and a highway assist system that helps merging in heavy traffic.

6. Bang for Your Buck

genesis-gv80-2021-06-dynamic--exterior--maroon--rear-angle.jpg 2021 Genesis GV80 | photo by Steven Pham

For a base GV80, you’ll be out only $49,925 (prices include destination), but for that price you get almost all the features listed above: the 14.5-inch multimedia screen, the suite of safety tech, faux-leather seats and a powerful four-cylinder. Most competitors start at several thousand more. If you need more features, a loaded GV80 in the top Prestige Trim with all-wheel drive and a V-6 runs $72,375. 

Things We Don’t

1. The V-6 Isn’t Worth the Price Bump

Both engines are great — but that’s to the V-6’s detriment. It’s hard to justify shelling out more for a V-6 when the four-cylinder is top-notch. You do get a hint more power with the V-6, but nothing game-changing. 

2. Low on Space in the Back

genesis-gv80-2021-63-cargo--interior.jpg 2021 Genesis GV80 | photo by Steven Pham

With a RWD vehicle, things tend to get a little tighter in the back. The GV80 is no exception. In two-row models, legroom and headroom are good all around, though space starts to suffer in the cargo area. The cargo floor is especially high, as is the lift height required to get any of your cargo over the bumper. Also, the three-row model — which is exclusively available in the AWD Advanced Plus Trim — is low on legroom in the third row.

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