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2021 Genesis GV80: The New Luxury Family SUV

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

This is the first Sport Utility Vehicle for Genesis, and we tested the top trim; the Prestige 3.5L Twin Turbo V6, the three-row, 7-passenger, and most powerful version of the GV80.

This trim puts out 375 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, although powerful, not a performance, or noisy SUV. It’s luxurious all the way, with quiet and comfortable power. You feel it, you don’t hear it, and it’s smooth, not sporty to drive.

Fun Factor: 8

Can it Family: 8

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 9

Karaoke-Friendly: 9

Baby-Friendly: 8

City Cruising: 8

A brand new body style

The body style of the GV80 is truly unique and unlike any other luxury SUV on the road today. Its massive grille is instantly recognizable on the road and shouts ‘look at me’ to every passerby. The side turn signals are certain to delight as they are not in the usual spot but integrated into the chrome front quarter panel accents.

With 20” wheels that really stand out against a sea of modern wheel designs in 2021 and this fantastically sparkly Adriatic Blue, the GV80 is in a class all its own.

Interior comfort and design for the elite

The exterior blue flows inside the cabin with an Ultramarine Blue and Nude Beige interior bringing the entire machine together like the perfect piece of art. The knobs and handles all have diamond-cut finishing, even with ambient lighting inside the round gear shifter and open-pore wood trim.

The Nappa quilted leather seating offers maximum comfort with a 16-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and even massage options.

Luxury and space in the second and third rows

With the 3.5T Advanced and Prestige trims, you get the third-row with 2 additional seats for extra (small) passengers. They are power lift and lower and offer climate vents. You can power the seats from the rear cargo area buttons or the infotainment touchscreen in the driver (or passenger) seat in the front.

I will say, the entry and access to the 3rd row are awkward at best, without a lot of space for your passengers to climb in and out, and I would prefer Captain chairs in the second row for more flexibility in using all of the seating and space.

That said, the second row is flush with luxury features such as 3-zone automatic climate control, a second sunroof, mirrors, that fully suede headliner, hooks, and even power window shades. The Nappa quilted leather seats are of course comfortable and the legroom is plentiful. Your kids cannot be complaining about space, nor would any full-size adults.

Unique quirks abound

In an $85,000 car, you’re bound to get some quirky features you’re not sure you needed, much less knew existed, but here they are in the top-of-the-line GV80. Mirrors embedded into the headliner for your rear passengers, and reclining third-row seats are sure to please the discerning 12-year old in your life.

Also for your sanity, is Passenger Talk, much like the feature offered in minivans, you can flow your voice through the rear speakers so that you don’t have to shout at them that you’ll be at school in five minutes or to stop fighting.

I was recently on a call with Hyundai (the owner of Genesis) and apparently this feature - the Sounds of Nature is a passive safety feature. It’s meant to help you concentrate on the road, and driving, by offering you sounds like Lively Forest (my favourite), Snowy Village, Rainy Day, or a few other options. The sounds are crystal clear!

Safety and advanced technology is robust with Genesis

I’ve been very impressed with every safety and technology feature within Genesis cars over the past year, since testing the G70, G80, and G90. This GV80 is over the top, with ‘Smart Park’ (it parks itself without you in the car) and even remote park assist as you’ll see in this TikTok which parallel parks the car for you WITHOUT you being inside the car!:

In addition to these advanced tech features (which may or may not be actually be useful), you get all of the advanced safety features that I love including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keep and lane departure control, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and one of the best and most high-definition backup cameras with 360/surround-view available on any vehicle today. It even has a sensor for when the car in front of you is pulling away ahead of you, and the side view cameras on the instrument display when you put your turn signals on.

What does this luxury cost?

The starting price for the base Genesis GV80 Select AWD trim is $64,500 and gets you the 2.5L 4 Cylinder with seating for five. Going up to the Advanced 2.5T gets you Genuine leather seating, 20" aluminum-alloy wheels with Michelin all-season tires, Head-Up Display (HUD), Surround View Monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), Ventilated front seats, Fully automatic rear climate control for $70,000.

You can get the 2.5T in an Advanced trim for $80,000 which seats 7 or bump up to the Prestige with all of this in the top trim for $85,000 Canadian which includes the Electronic Limited Slip Differential, Road Active Noise Cancellation,12.3" 3D TFT LCD digital instrument cluster, “Ergo Seat” with 16-way driver’s power-adjustment and extension, Forward Attention Warning, Parking Collision Avoidance-Assist Rear (PCA-R), Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), Nappa leather seating with quilting, Microfibre suede headliner, Ventilated front and 2nd-row seats, Power-folding 3rd row seats, Power-operated side rear sunshades, and Soft close doors

Would I buy this luxe family hauler?

It’s pricey, but worth it, if it fits your budget. That’s all I’ll say because truthfully this beauty does not fit within my budget. I had plenty of comments and questions from strangers in my week with the GV80 and one luxury car collector (he had 3 Mercedes-Benz in his driveaway when he waved me over) said “As you can see, I love cars, that one may very well be my next, it’s beautiful!”.

Watch my YouTube review video:

*The Genesis GV80 was loaned to me by Genesis Canada for a week to facilitate this review.

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