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May 29, 2020, 5:04 a.m. EDT

New car review: The 2021 Genesis GV80

The GV80 blends luxury and value with a starting price below $50,000

By Autotrader

The Genesis GV80

The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the first crossover sport-utility vehicle from Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai. The GV80 is a midsize SUV that competes against well-established rivals like the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus RX and Acura MDX. The GV80 is primarily a two-row/five-passenger crossover, but one trim can be optioned with a small third row. Like its German competition, the GV80 comes standard with rear-wheel drive or can be optioned with all-wheel drive.

As an all-new model from a newer brand, the Genesis GV80 doesn’t have the familiarity of its competitors but deserves serious attention. This new Genesis SUV blends luxury and value with a starting price less than $50,000. It includes a strong suite of safety features and can be had with cutting-edge technology such as the ability to pull in and out of parking spaces while the driver stands outside the vehicle. The Genesis also has a class-leading warranty that includes 10 years/100,000-mile coverage for the powertrain.

What’s new?

The 2021 Genesis GV80 is a brand-new model and the first SUV from the luxury brand. See the 2021 Genesis GV80 models for sale near you

What we like

  • Long list of standard and optional features

  • Leading-edge safety and technology

  • Class-leading warranty

  • Rear- or all-wheel drive

  • High-end amenities like massaging seats

What we don’t

  • Small third row only available on one trim

  • No V8 or hybrid options

  • Newer brand may lack familiarity

How much?

$48,900 to $70,950

Fuel economy

The Genesis GV80 offers a choice of two turbocharged engines. GV80 2.5T models use a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes a potent 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. This model comes with RWD as standard or AWD as an option.

Read: 8 great 3-row SUVs priced under $40k

Higher-trim and higher-power GV80 3.5T models come with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that makes 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. AWD is standard with the 3.5T. All GV80 luxury SUVs use an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy ratings are still to be determined.

Standard features and options

The 2021 Genesis GV80 has a broad lineup that spans 10 trims.

  • The GV80 2.5T RWD Standard starts at $48,900, plus destination fee of $1,025, and includes the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, heated 12-way adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, hands-free power tailgate, 19-in alloy wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers and power-adjustable steering wheel. The standard infotainment system bundles 14.5-in screen, 12-speaker premium audio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and four USB ports.

  • The GV80 2.5T RWD Advanced ($52,800) adds panoramic roof, ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel, Digital Key, wireless phone charger and 21-speaker Lexicon audio.

  • The GV80 2.5T AWD Standard ($54,650) has AWD, panoramic roof, ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel, wireless phone charger and Digital Key.

  • The GV80 2.5T RWD Prestige ($57,050) includes leather upholstery, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Remote Smart Parking Assist, surround-view camera, massaging front seats, heated second-row seats and tri-zone climate control.

  • The GV80 2.5T AWD Advanced ($59,000) includes AWD, leather seats, 20-in wheels, surround-view monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Remote Smart Parking Assist and Lexicon audio.

  • The GV80 2.5T AWD Prestige ($63,400) has AWD, 22-in wheels, electronically controlled suspension with Road Preview, head-up display (HUD), massaging front seats, heated second-row seats, Blind-Spot View Monitor, surround-view camera, tri-zone climate control and Remote Smart Parking Assist.

  • The GV80 3.5T AWD Standard ($59,150) has the more powerful twin-turbo V6, larger front brakes, 20-in wheels and electronically controlled suspension with Road Preview.

  • The GV80 3.5T AWD Advanced ($64,350) gains leather upholstery, the surround-view monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Remote Smart Parking Assist, HUD, Lexicon audio, massaging front seats and tri-zone climate control.

  • The GV80 3.5T AWD Advanced+ ($65,050) is the only 7-passenger GV80. It adds a small third row with power-folding functionality.

  • The GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige ($70,950) is the top-line model. This Genesis luxury SUV is loaded with Nappa leather upholstery, power-operated second-row seats, 22-inch wheels, electronic limited-slip differential, active noise cancellation, a 12.3-in digital instrument cluster, suede headliner and ventilated second-row seats.

All GV80 models have a class-leading warranty that includes 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain. The GV80 includes 3 years/36,000 miles complimentary maintenance, valet service and connected services.


The new GV80 comes stocked with a full suite of active safety and driver-assistance systems. Included in its repertoire are lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot collision assist, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

Optional are even more impressive systems. Blind-Spot View Monitor presents a live image in the digital instrument cluster of the GV80’s left and ride sides when changing lanes. The Remote Smart Parking Assist enables the GV80 to pull in and out of tight parking spaces while you control the vehicle while you stand outside it. Another good-to-have feature is Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (Rear) – essentially automatic emergency braking for when you’re in reverse.

Behind the wheel

The new Genesis GV80 promises driving manners more on the athletic side of the spectrum. That’s because it’s RWD by nature, similar to German rivals like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

RWD is standard on GV80 2.5T models with the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, with AWD optional. The more powerful GV80 3.5T has AWD standard. Acceleration looks strong with either engine. Even the base model packs 300 hp, while the V6 delivers 375 hp and nearly 400 lb-ft of torque.

Also see: 8 new luxury SUVs for under $50,000

Various drive modes change the GV80’s personality from relaxed and efficient to agile and dynamic. Those seeking to maximize comfort will do well to opt for a model with the electronically controlled suspension. In addition to its ability to quickly adjust the GV80’s ride quality in relation to the road, it has the ability to “read” the road ahead and anticipate.

Other cars to consider

2020 BMW X5  – All-new just last year, the X5 features a standard 6-cylinder engine or optional V8. Along with brand panache, this luxury hauler brings excellent driving dynamics and versatility.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE  — This other German rival, formerly known as the M-Class, features sophisticated technology

2020 Lincoln Aviator  — This all-new 3-row SUV from Lincoln boasts elegant design, RWD or AWD and an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Used Lexus RX  – Lexus broke the mold decades ago when it created this luxury crossover. It remains a practical, comfortable and highly reliable choice no matter what generation you choose.

Used Acura MDX  – Like the Lexus RX, the Acura MDX has a solid history of reliability. It is a versatile and well-equipped 3-row luxury crossover SUV with a standard V6.

Questions you may ask

How much does the 2021 Genesis GV80 cost?

The new GV80 luxury SUV starts at $48,900, plus $1,025 destination fee. The top model begins just over $70,000.

Who makes the 2021 Genesis GV80?

The GV80 is made by Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai.

When can I buy a 2021 Genesis GV80?

The Genesis GV80 is set to go on sale in summer 2020.

Is the 2021 Genesis GV80 AWD?

The new GV80 comes standard with RWD in turbo 4-cylinder models. AWD is optional on those and standard on models with the twin-turbo V6.

Also see: These 3 EVs are the lowest cost to own over 5 years

Autotrader’s advice

The Genesis GV80 joins a crowded and competitive segment, but it looks to have the chops to take on the segment’s best players. Any model is recommendable and well-equipped but we think the Advanced trim – especially in 2.5T trim – is an excellent value. Those with deeper pockets can get a more sublime and sophisticated luxury SUV. Genesis’ standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty makes the GV80 all the more appealing. 

This story originally ran on Autotrader.com .

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