The Genesis brand’s “athletic elegance” design language is applied to an SUV for the first time in the 2021 GV80. (Manufacturer photo)

The Genesis brand’s “athletic elegance” design language is applied to an SUV for the first time in the 2021 GV80. (Manufacturer photo)

2021 Genesis GV80 is the brand’s first sport utility vehicle

Great design, comfort, and serenity take center stage in this completely new luxury midsize SUV.

After Hyundai established Genesis as an independent marque in 2017, it was easy to predict an eventual Genesis SUV. Brands sold in the United States can’t stay competitive without an SUV in their lineup.

The first Genesis SUV, named GV80, is here now, having arrived on our shores about two months ago. The G stands for Genesis and the V stands for versatility. Genesis uses an alphanumeric naming system for all of its vehicles.

Reaction to the GV80 has been widely positive, especially for the exterior design. SUVs are basically a box, and Genesis pulled off quite a feat by sculpting an authentic SUV abundant in skillful flourishes without going overboard. The gorgeous design announces that the GV80 is a luxury-level SUV.

Pricing is another attractant for the GV80. With a $1,025 destination charge included, the 2021 GV80 starts at $49,925. The top-tier model’s base price is $71,975 and fully loaded comes in just over $72,000. To see what a good deal that is, check out price tags on other luxury SUVs.

Genesis GV80 is a midsize SUV with seating for up to five passengers. A third row seat is optional. There are two engines available: a 300-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 375-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. Rear-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional, and an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on every model.

Fuel economy isn’t a GV80 superlative. Its numbers fall about mid-range compared to other luxury midsize SUVs that are not hybrids. The four-cylinder engine with RWD is rated 21 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. AWD drops the combined mpg rating to 22. Ratings for the V6 are 18/23/20 mpg.

There are three GV80 trim levels: Standard (base), Advanced, and Prestige. I drove a 3.5T AWD Prestige model with delicious dark-green paint called Cardiff Green, which Genesis has named as GV80’s signature color.

Bold, unique styling singles out the 2021 Genesis GV80 interior. (Manufacturer photo)

Bold, unique styling singles out the 2021 Genesis GV80 interior. (Manufacturer photo)

Genesis gives every GV80 model a large number of standard features consistent with luxury status. Extra equipment distinguishing the Prestige trim includes 22-inch alloy wheels, electronic limited slip rear differential, active road-noise cancellation, power and ventilated second-row seats, 12.3-inch 3D digital cluster, power rear side window shades, and power door closure. That last item is also known as soft closing doors. It makes those heavy SUV doors easier to operate and eliminates jarring slamming sounds. Seems like a gratuitous add-on, but the power doors are an excellent feature.

The 22-inch wheels are designed to mimic the G-Matrix pattern of the GV80 grille, and they couldn’t be more attractive.

Comfort and tranquility levels inside the GV80 are so high it’s almost an autogenic experience. My serenity was interrupted, mildly, only by the infotainment system’s lukewarm friendliness. Its control center is a large rotary dial in the center console with some touchpad behavior in its DNA. I circumvented it by mostly using the helpful physical controls and touchscreen Genesis was smart enough to provide.

In defense of the infotainment system, the 14.5-inch display is fantastic and the control dial is visually lovely. To make matters better, there’s an even more beautiful rotary dial in the center console. It’s the gear changer, and it has a wonderful tactile quality.

Though the 3.5T engine isn’t a barnburner, it delivers ample power for the GV80. The vehicle seems bigger than it is when driving on curvy roads, but handles the turns deftly.

The 2021 Genesis GV80 luxury midsize SUV has two rows of seats, accommodating five passengers. A third row is optional. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2021 Genesis GV80 luxury midsize SUV has two rows of seats, accommodating five passengers. A third row is optional. (Manufacturer photo)

2021 GENESIS GV80 3.5T AWD PRESTIGE

Base price, including destination charge: $71,975

Price as driven: $72,375

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

Talk to us

More in Life

Andrew Vait, left to right, Annie Jantzer and Linzy Collins of The Little Lies rehearses Monday evening in Everett, Washington on May 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

The Music at the Marina series concludes today with The Little Lies, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.

Josh Haazard Stands inside his workspace, the HaazLab, where he creates a variety of cosplay props and other creative gadgets, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at his home in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
This contraption crafter turns junk into sci-fi weaponry

Joshamee “The Chief” Haazard is a costume prop maker in Monroe. He transforms trash into treasure.

For your kids’ sake, stress less about their grades this school year

Don’t make a big deal over grades. Instead, encourage out-of-classroom activities and remember, learning is supposed to be fun.

At the prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus, the dramatic west cliffs of Ireland meet the turbulent sea as Europe comes to an abrupt end. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Enjoy the simple life on Ireland’s starkly beautiful Aran Islands

Three limestone islands make up the Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer.

American Queen changes COVID protocols; can I get a refund?

fter American Queen changes its COVID protocols, Patricia Voorhees Furlong and her husband want to skip their river cruise. Is that allowed? Or, will they lose out on $7,858?

Erika Weinert, an Everett-based mother, editor and now author, sits at her home workspace and holds her first published book, “Cursing with Style” on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
What the @#$%! Everett mom publishes a dictionary of curse words

Erika M. Weinert, 42, a copy editor who does business as The Werd Nerd, wrote “Cursing with Style.”

The 2022 Lexus GX has a 301-horsepower V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, and full time all-wheel drive. (Lexus)
Updated 2022 Lexus GX 460 expands list of standard features

Navigation and a 10.3-inch multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included.

Bruce Johnson has an exhibit on the history of clowns at the Lynnwood Library in Lynnwood, Washington on August 11, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Clown historian takes the funny business very seriously

Bruce Johnson, a.k.a “Charlie the Juggling Clown,” wants to pass his craft down to future generations.

Ella Larson, left, and Simon Fuentes sort through blueberries at Hazel Blue Acres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fruits, flowers and bees aplenty in Arlington farm fete

First-ever event highlights local growers’ bounty and contributions to local community

A bald eagle flys over Howarth Park back to it’s perch on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Learn how to photograph birds in three-part workshop

Participants will learn to make appealing, sharp bird photos even if they are new to photography.

The Snohomish County PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building.
PUD installs fast chargers for electric vehicle drivers

Funding for the t62.5-kilowatt chargers came in part from fines paid by Volkswagen over its 2015 diesel engine scandal.

Airbnb host cancels, and now he has to pay $1,300 more

When Curtis Rahman’s Airbnb host cancels his reservation a day before his arrival, he tries to find a substitute apartment. But the new property is smaller and costs more. Is a $200 credit enough to make up for the trouble?