The 2021 GV80 is available in RWD and AWD and comes powered by two engine choices that include the standard turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder or a twin-turbo 3.5L V6. The 2.5L inline four-cylinder is rated at 300 horsepower while the 3.5L makes 420hp. The 3.5L V6 makes 375 horsepower and 391 lb-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
The GV80 is available in numerous trim options, starting with the 2.5T trim, which can be stepped up to the 2.5T Advanced or Prestige trim. The 3.5T is the more powerful engine option trim, it is available in the standalone trim or enhanced to the Advanced or Prestige trim as well.
Being a luxury vehicle, the GV80, even in the Standard trim is packed full of equipment that is typically optional in lesser vehicles. Standard equipment includes heated front seats, power liftgate, power folding heated mirrors, electrically adjustable heated front seats with memory function, leather steering wheel and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The GV80 infotainment system comes standard with a 12-speaker sound system, 14.5 touchscreen, Satellite radio, voice-activated navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four USB ports and Bluetooth integration.
Additional convenient features on the luxurious GV80 include keyless open with push button start, parking distance warnings, one-touch power windows, rain detecting wipers, HomeLink compatibility, hill hold control, Smart Trunk, High-Beam Assist, Genesis Connected Car Services and the advantageous Highway Driving Assist.
3.5T Advanced Plus trim offers an exceptional amount of premium features for the luxury SUV, these include Active Motion massaging driver seat, power reclining rear heated seats, Nappa leather seating, rear seat HVAC controls, 21-speaker 1050-watt sound system, Surround View Monitor, head-up display, Remote Smart Park Assist and capacity for 7 passengers instead of 5.
This vehicle is equipped with several safety features including anti-lock brakes, electronic stability, traction control and side curtain with driver knee protection airbags.
GV80 comes loaded with advanced safety systems such as Driver Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision, Forward Collision-Avoidance and Evasive Steering Assist.
The 2021 GV80 is arguably the most important vehicle in Genesis' lineup, especially given America's seemingly insatiable appetite for SUVs. It's a model that faces a lot of robust competition -- from European automakers in particular. But the good news for Genesis is that the GV80 is, in a word, brilliant.
My test GV80 has the base engine: a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four, which puts out a healthy 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The GV80 uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and while rear-wheel drive is standard, this one has all-wheel drive. In the US market, this AWD system includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential, which helps with power delivery and handling. The all-wheel-drive GV80 2.5T is EPA-estimated to return 21 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined. Over a week of testing, I saw 21.8 mpg.
The GV80's ride is nicely controlled, and there's a noticeable difference between the different suspension settings. In its standard setting, the GV80 nicely coddles passengers while driving over broken pavement or highway expansion joints. Still, nice as it is, the GV80 lacks the driving-on-a-cloud sensation you get from the sophisticated air suspensions in German SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLE.
The Good ~ Smooth and powerful turbo-four engine ~ Great interior craftsmanship ~ Excellent infotainment and safety tech
The Bad ~ Digital instrument cluster should be standard ~ I4 engine doesn't sound that great
The Bottom Line For its first SUV, the Genesis GV80 is damn impressive.
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