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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T is easy to fall for

Here's a closer look at Genesis' smaller-engined luxury crossover SUV, the one you don't see in most of the press shots.

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Chris Paukert
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view
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The 2021 Genesis GV80 is one of this year's most intriguing new vehicles, SUV or otherwise.

This is the first SUV to be offered by Hyundai's young luxury brand, and it's got serious presence inside and out. 

This midsize crossover lines up convincingly against established competitors such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, as well as the Acura RDX, Lexus RX and Lincoln Aviator.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view (wide)
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While most first-year GV80s will come outfitted with all-wheel drive and a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6, this is a lower-cost rear-drive model with the 2.5-liter turbo I4.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - side profile view
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This 2.5T brings 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque to the party. Those figures outperform not only the other four-cylinder models in the GV80's class, but also some larger, naturally aspirated V6s, too.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - dashboard
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The GV80's best feature is its minimalist interior, which avoids coming across as too austere thanks to its rich materials and subtle flourishes like its knurled-finish switchgear. 

The standard 14.5-inch billboard infotainment touchscreen is also impressive. It's great that it comes with embedded navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment, though we wish the latter two features were available wirelessly. 

You also can't get a Wi-Fi hotspot, which feels odd on an SUV that offers everything else from a digital key to auto-adjusting massaging seats.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - steering wheel
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The two-spoke rugby-ball-shaped steering wheel won't be for everyone, but it definitely helps contribute to the GV80's distinctive interior.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear three-quarter view (wide)
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The GV80 boasts up to 84 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. That's a skosh more than the Mercedes GLE and a bunch more space than the X5.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear three-quarter view
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Like its V6 brother, this four-cylinder model can be equipped to tow up to 6,000 pounds.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - 20-inch wheel
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This model came fitted with 20-inch wheels and 265/50-series Michelin Primacy Tour all-season rubber. Together, they offer a slightly more compliant ride than the loaded 3.5T Prestige model's 22-inch wheels and electronically adjustable suspension.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front fender
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That said, the 22-inch wheels on other models certainly fill out the wheel wells more convincingly than these alloys.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - fender garnish
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The GV80's distinctive double-element fender garnishes echo the design theme found in the headlights and taillights.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front corner
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You can even get active noise cancellation tech on the GV80 to counteract road, wind and engine noise. Unfortunately, it's not available on this particular trim.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - wheel and front fender detail
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The EPA says that the 2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD can achieve 21 miles per gallon city, 25 highway and 23 combined. 

Even if you opt for AWD, the numbers hold up smartly: only the combined efficiency number drops, and just by a single mile per gallon. 

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front camera and grille detail
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That imposing grille does a good job of hiding the forward-facing camera that's part of the birds-eye 360-degree surround-view monitor.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - headlight
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Keep clicking or scrolling for more images of the 2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T.

2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear corner
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - taillight
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - taillight
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - taillight
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear hatch badge
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear wiper and hatch release
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - side mirror
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front seats
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - engine
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - engine
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - engine
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - engine
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - hood badge
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - air intake
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear spoiler
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear three-quarter view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD- side profile view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - front three-quarter view
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear three-quarter view (wide)
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - dashboard
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - interior door detail
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - steering wheel
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - steering wheel
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - infotainment screen
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - infotainment screen main menu
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - navigation screen
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - infotainment screen
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - infotainment screen
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - infotainment screen
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - door speakers
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - engine start button and turn-signal stalk
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - steering wheel detail
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - steering wheel badge
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - power seat controls
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - gearshift selector and infotainment controller
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - HVAC controls
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - wireless charger
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - gauge cluster
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Chris Paukert/Roadshow - gauge cluster
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD- gauge cluster
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - gearshift selector and infotainment controller
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - drive mode selector
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - interior door detail
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - perforated leather
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear HVAC controls
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - power seat controls
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - cargo area
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Chris Paukert/Roadshow - cargo area, rear seats 60% folded
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Chris Paukert/Roadshow - cargo area, all seats folded
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear seats
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear seats
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - rear seats
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2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD - vehicle auto-shutoff timer
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