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2021 Genesis GV80 Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

From the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, we get a first look at the 2021 Genesis GV80. Watch the video for more.

By Fred Meier

Genesis at last has its first SUV following the unveiling of the 2021 GV80 in the brand’s native South Korea. While Genesis has some impressive cars, you can’t build a luxury brand today without SUVs — even Porsche sells more SUVs than cars. And the GV80 was first shown as a concept car in the U.S. way back at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

Related: 2020 Genesis G90: Prices Up But Luxury Value Remains

There still are U.S.-specific details, including a price, to come closer to the launch here later in 2020. But it seems likely that the GV80 will follow the lead of the sedans — including the refreshed G90 flagship just priced this week — as a value versus comparable vehicles from established luxury marques. While we wait, here are 10 things we know for sure about the 2021 Genesis GV80:

1. We’ll Get Turbos, No Diesel

The GV80 will offer six-cylinder diesel in South Korea but not in the U.S. Instead, Genesis said the U.S. will get two turbocharged engine choices — without specifying them. A good bet is that one will be a version of the 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 available in all three Genesis sedans, and the other likely will be a turbo four-cylinder. That could be the 252-hp 2.0-liter now in the G70 sedan, but it also could be a new 290-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four that’s reportedly coming to the G70 after making a debut in the Sonata N-Line.

2. It’s a New Platform

Nice as the new Hyundai-brand SUVs are, a luxury SUV needs a classier pedigree. ...

Genesis at last has its first SUV following the unveiling of the 2021 GV80 in the brand’s native South Korea. While Genesis has some impressive cars, you can’t build a luxury brand today without SUVs — even Porsche sells more SUVs than cars. And the GV80 was first shown as a concept car in the U.S. way back at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

Related: 2020 Genesis G90: Prices Up But Luxury Value Remains

There still are U.S.-specific details, including a price, to come closer to the launch here later in 2020. But it seems likely that the GV80 will follow the lead of the sedans — including the refreshed G90 flagship just priced this week — as a value versus comparable vehicles from established luxury marques. While we wait, here are 10 things we know for sure about the 2021 Genesis GV80:

1. We’ll Get Turbos, No Diesel

The GV80 will offer six-cylinder diesel in South Korea but not in the U.S. Instead, Genesis said the U.S. will get two turbocharged engine choices — without specifying them. A good bet is that one will be a version of the 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 available in all three Genesis sedans, and the other likely will be a turbo four-cylinder. That could be the 252-hp 2.0-liter now in the G70 sedan, but it also could be a new 290-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four that’s reportedly coming to the G70 after making a debut in the Sonata N-Line.

2. It’s a New Platform

Nice as the new Hyundai-brand SUVs are, a luxury SUV needs a classier pedigree. So the GV80 rides a new rear-wheel-drive platform specific to Genesis, with all-wheel drive available. AWD models will get an electronic rear differential. And if you’re channeling your inner Escalade, you also can opt for 22-inch wheels.

3. It Has Eyes on the Road

As offered by some other luxury brands, the GV80 can smooth the ride with an available electronically controlled adaptive suspension that uses the front camera to recognize upcoming road conditions.

4. It Gets G90’s New Grille and Headlights

While the greenhouse seems pretty generic-SUV, there is design drama below the beltline. GV80 gets the latest big Genesis crest grille, and flanking it are a pair of the high-tech LED headlight lines that Genesis calls Quad Lamps. The lamps, which also are reflected in the taillights, made their debut on the refreshed 2020 G90, and Genesis says the two-line design “will come to define Genesis.”

5. The Interior Shows Class

Getting our hands on it will be the test, but the GV80 interior certainly looks the part of a true luxury SUV. The elegant design has simple shapes, horizontal lines and plenty of French stitching and quilted leather (even for console knee pads). And in the battle of luxury screen size, the GV80’s 14.5-inch multimedia display should play well. Genesis did not specify whether it functions as a touchscreen; there’s a knob controller on the center console and also a writing recognition pad for using handwritten letters to set a navigation destination. Knob and button controls are minimized, though they’re included for climate control. The shifter is a rotary knob.

6. A New Kind of Quiet

The GV80 has what Genesis calls a world’s-first noise-canceling technology, which goes beyond existing tech with a system based on digital signal processing that analyzes road noise in real time.

7. Even the Driver’s Seat Is Smart

Genesis also claims the first-ever “active-motion driver’s seat,” which uses seven inflatable air cells to help cut fatigue in hours on the road.

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8. Virtual Reality Navigation?

Maybe. While not saying whether the U.S. will get it, Genesis says “certain markets” will have available an “augmented reality” navigation system that superimposes driving guidance over actual driving video from the front camera.

9. A Third Row Is Optional

Genesis says a third row will be optional for the GV80, as it is in such potential rivals as the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5.

10. Driver Aids Boost Safety

The GV80 offers sophisticated safety and driver assistance tech, with some features making a first Genesis appearance. The adaptive cruise control has machine-learning capability to adapt its performance to the habits of its drivers. The highway assist system includes lane changing when the turn signal is used and help with merging in congestion. The rear cross-traffic alert system includes automatic braking. The blind spot monitor system can actively intercede and avoid collisions in situations such as leaving a parking space. And the forward collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection also will respond to vehicles approaching from the right or left at an intersection.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

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Recalls

The 2021 Genesis GV80 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2021 Genesis GV80 has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The GV80 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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