- Sized to compete with BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE
- Three rows of seats
- Rear-wheel (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)
- Two new engines: Turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbocharged 3.5-liter V6
The Genesis brand, a luxury spinoff of the Hyundai/Kia conglomerate, should finally gain sales relevance in the SUV-crazed domestic market with the 2021 Genesis GV80. The Genesis GV80 is a 3-row luxury SUV that will share its underpinnings with the upcoming next-generation G80 sedan. It will go on sale in the summer of 2020, but we were at the SUV’s North American debut in Miami on January 28.
How Big Is the 2021 Genesis GV80?
The GV80’s 116.3-in wheelbase positions it between the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. In other words, it’s not as big as the biggest SUVs, but it’s a solid middleweight contender. The new SUV carries on Genesis’s “athletic elegance” design language, sharing its massive grille with the just-restyled 2020 Genesis G90 sedan. Easily the most defining element of the GV80’s design are its quad headlights, which form two distinct lines on either side of its massive grille to create an easily identifiable face on the all-new SUV. The G-Matrix pattern found in the GV80’s optional 22-in wheels is carried into detailing in its exterior lighting and grille.
Inside, the SUV looks like the future. The centerpiece of its design is a horizontally oriented 14.5-in split-screen infotainment system. Only a few dedicated buttons for secondary controls exist in this new SUV. Like its competitors, Genesis is adopting handwriting recognition using a pad on the center console, which allows users to forgo keypad when typing into the navigation system. A 2-spoke steering wheel isn’t beautiful, and Genesis finally gave in to the temptation to redesign the (perfectly adequate) gear selector — a knob style shifter replaces the traditional lever that has served Genesis well until now. Quilted leather seats further reflect the G-Matrix pattern found in the GV80’s exterior styling. There’s an inescapable sense that the GV80 is every bit as nice inside as the best the Germans have to offer — at least that’s the case with the fully outfitted GV80 Genesis shown in Miami.
What Powertrain Options Are Available for the Genesis GV80?
Two new engines not yet available in other Hyundai/Kia products see their debut in the 2021 Genesis GV80. A 300-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder will be the base engine, and a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 good for 370 or more hp will be optional. Final output for the V6 hasn’t been finalized.
Arranged longitudinally, the engines will drive the rear wheels in base trim, but AWD is optional. Both mills are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and AWD variants will come with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which evenly distributes torque between the rear wheels when needed.
What Safety Features Are Available for the Genesis GV80?
The GV80 will offer as standard equipment a suite of advanced driver aids designed to increase comfort and safety. A new semiautonomous feature Genesis calls Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning debuts in the GV80. This adaptive cruise control system can learn the driving characteristics of its driver and then mimic their style in its autonomous mode. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist can look ahead into intersections to see potential collisions with cross traffic from the left or right. It’s capable of seeing pedestrians as well and can stop the SUV automatically.
Better known systems like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert also help prevent collisions while the Driver Attention Alert Warning monitors the driver’s state of attentiveness and can sound an audible and visual alert when it senses behaviors that indicate fatigue. Ten airbags, including one between the front passengers, are standard.
Why Should You Consider the Genesis GV80?
Genesis is offering a variety of services and confidence-inspiring incentives to choose a GV80 over the competition. Among those are its 3-year/36,000 miles of complimentary service and a free service valet, plus three years of connected services, including roadside assistance. Genesis is claiming a best-in-class warranty for the GV80, which likely means it will get the same 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty as other Hyundai/Kia products. On GV80, however, that also includes on-site flat repair, transportation to a dealer and reimbursement for inconvenience.
How Much Is the Genesis GV80?
Pricing for the GV80 has not yet been announced, but it’s safe to assume Genesis will adopt the same value strategy with the GV80 that it does with its sedans. In order to undercut its German competition and not compete with the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, the GV80 needs to start in the high $40,000 to low $50,000 range. Find a Genesis for sale