Authentic exterior design
2021 GV80 SUV. Photo: Genesis
At first glance, the GV80 is nothing less than stunning. Not only because of wise choices from the design department, and coherent components, but also because it doesn’t try to be a larger version of a sedan. It’s a truck. A big beautiful and shiny truck.
From the new split headlight design shines and is a 360-degree feature – following the line on the side with chrome accents and to the rear with the split taillight feature, to the massive front grille and the original wheels and colour palette, the GV80 was designed by pros. With an impressive presence, all the while standing out from its German counterparts – the GV80 makes a good first impression.
Genesis wants young professionals to buy its cars (isn’t that what all manufacturers want?). For one part, they are an influential goldmine that could provide the brand the propulsion it needs for a proper take-off. But this customer type has proven itself hard to snag from Germany’s Big Three.
Genesis is making more noise than the other “outcasts” of the segment, like Lexus and Acura. And if you take the GV80’s price and add all the inclusions, combine that with the look, quality of finish and warranty and maintenance – the GV80 is almost an unbeatable proposition. The brand can only hope that the GV80 and the upcoming GV70 will catch the attention of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz buyers. And if the GV70 drives and “feels” as good as the GV80 – it might be the long-awaited home run.
Shopping for a 2021 or 2022 utility? Here’s a full list of models to keep in mind. And here’s a batch of large luxury 2021 SUV models to consider.
2021 Genesis GV80 Interior: A “Budget Bentley” on the inside…?
2021 GV80 SUV interior. Photo: Genesis
Yup. You read that right. No. We’re not the ones who came up with the surname. It’s been going around the internet for a while now, and we have to admit that the GV80’s Prestige variant somewhat makes a case for it – but it doesn’t apply to everything inside the GV80.
First, assembly quality is irreproachable, and the mix of tones and textures embedded between dashboard, the digital climate controls and jewel-like rotary dial in the centre console is a work of art. The spaceship-like steering wheel, however, might draw criticism for its lack of sporty “feel.” The seats are some of the plushest and most comfortable out there – the Nappa leather in our Prestige tester demonstrated its capabilities for long-haul trips.
2021 GV80 SUV. Photo: Genesis
A clear infotainment screen stands 14.5” wide on top of the dashboard – a little too far from the driver’s reach. The system it projects could be more intuitive; it will take some time to get used to. Fortunately, you can still accomplish plenty with the analogue dials and buttons.
New year, new screens
Inside, the 2024 Genesis GV80 ditches the two-spoke steering wheel design in favor of a new, more conventional three-spoke unit. The formerly separated digital instrument cluster and infotainment screens have also been combined into a single 27-inch OLED display, as is fashionable these days. As a result, the GV80’s dashboard gets a simpler look. That said, the lower dashboard design and the center stack look largely the same, but you do get actual knobs to control volume and tuning. It’s almost as if automakers are learning their lesson about deleting those in the first place. Below those controls, the updated GV80 also gets a new wireless charging pad.
Entertainment doesn’t end with the front passengers, though. Those sitting on the second row also get their own 14.6-inch screens suspended from the front seatbacks, as well as classy quilted leather. The GV80 Coupe (shown above) gets a few different interior color options than the SUV, including two-tone options with contrast stitching and faux-carbon accents.
2021 GV80 SUV Images and Specs
|2.5L Turbocharged Inline-4; 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
|2.5L: 300 hp; 3.5L: 375 hp (Twin-Turbo V6)
|2.5L: 311 lb-ft; 3.5L: 391 lb-ft (Twin-Turbo V6)
|Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) or All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
|Fuel Economy (City/Highway)
|EPA Not Available
|Approximately 194 inches
|Approximately 77 inches
|Approximately 68 inches
|Approximately 116 inches
|Cargo Volume (Behind 2nd Row)
|Approximately 33.9 cubic feet
|Cargo Volume (Max)
|Approximately 84 cubic feet
|5 or 7 passengers (depending on configuration)
GV80 SUV horsepower & driving impressions: sweet (not spicy) motoring
2021 GV80 SUV. Photo: Genesis
Most GV80 rivals offer a wide variety of engines with an upper – more aggressive, motorsport-inspired range-topper that makes a lot of noise. The GV80 only has two engines, and although plentiful in terms of power, the lineup is not as diversified.
Under the hood
First, the 300 horsepower, 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit with 311 lb-ft serves as the base engine, and a turbocharged 3.5-litre, 375 hp/391 lb-ft of torque powerplant is the second and most robust option. Both units deliver segment-standard power, but if you’re the heavy foot kind, go with the 3.5. The smooth-shifting 8-speed auto gearbox responds quite quickly when the accelerator pedal is rolled in from a standstill. Once at speed, pick-ups are also executed promptly – the gearbox doesn’t hesitate on which gear to go with.
Throwing the GV80 around showed how the plush ride has its limits, but only when stiffness is needed. In other words, the GV80 provided good compensation for road imperfections but reacted with minimal body roll when tossed in an on-ramp at high speed. It’s not a road-dripping Audi Q7, but it definitely provides good balance. The GV80’s all-wheel-drive system is rear-biased and an electronic limited-slip differential can manage the best and worst condition – that also helps the GV80 handle itself. The standard Idle Stop and Go feature on the GV80 is a finicky one. It lags, jolts and can become annoying when driving in urban settings. Like most if not all systems of this kind, you can deactivate it.
The Genesis GV80 gets notable updates for the 2024 model year, including a new Coupe model.
Genesis debuted the latest versions of the GV80 SUV and its sleeker Coupe sibling in South Korea Wednesday, with the latter making good on the concept we saw at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Both models get a slight exterior refresh to the outgoing GV80, including a narrower and wider grille, updated lower fascia and vents and new wheel designs ranging between 20 and 22 inches. Around back, the SUV actually loses its exhaust outlets for the sake of a more “sophisticated” look, while the GV80 Coupe still gets quad exhaust pipes.
We don’t get the full-width LED taillights from the concept, which is a bummer, but the rear bumper does get black trim surrounding the rear diffuser to make it look a bit sportier.
Under the hood, the 2024 Genesis GV80 SUV gets the same two engines as before. As the base option, you get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. The larger 3.5-liter turbocharged mill still manages 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque.
But, there is a more potent option for the GV80 Coupe, which borrows the high-output version of the 3.5-liter engine from the G90 sedan, which ups the output to 409 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with the extra power that comes from an electric supercharger, the Coupe also gets a fitting Sport+ driving mode that enhances (read: augments through the sound system) the exhaust note from “a large-displacement sports coupe”, in Genesis’ own words.