The Hyundai Genesis GV80. PHOTO: GENESIS

The Hyundai Genesis GV80. PHOTO: GENESIS

2021 Genesis GV80

Hyundai’s premium brand adds its first utility vehicle, and it’s a beauty

For most automakers, differentiating their various vehicles from competitors’ offerings is no easy task. That’s likely true also for Hyundai’s luxury-focused Genesis division, which recently began shipping the new 2021 GV80 utility vehicle.

It has taken time for Genesis to gain traction as a label competing in the same bracket as established brands originating from Europe, Asia and North America. But as the model lineup evolves and expands, Genesis is steadily gaining acceptance.

Specifically, the midsize GV80 pals around with the BMW X5, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and the like. However, it appears obvious from a first glance that the Genesis design team has gone to great lengths to shape a vehicle that appears more hatchback than squared-off notchback, hence the sloping roofline. The GV80’s large mesh grille is similar to that of the G90 flagship sedan and will reportedly show up on future Genesis designs and redesigns.

The base GV80 has a 300-horsepower four-cylinder and rear-wheel-drive, which is plenty adequate for lighter-duty use in warmer climates where all-wheel-drive isn’t necessary. Optional is a 375-horsepower turbocharged V-6. PHOTO: GENESIS

The base GV80 has a 300-horsepower four-cylinder and rear-wheel-drive, which is plenty adequate for lighter-duty use in warmer climates where all-wheel-drive isn’t necessary. Optional is a 375-horsepower turbocharged V-6. PHOTO: GENESIS

The GV80’s body panels — including aluminum doors, hood and tailgate — is attached to a new platform that will also be used for the next G80 sedan.

Compared with the BMW X5 (the unofficial gold standard for vehicles in this class), the GV80 not coincidentally varies by no more than about an inch in length, width and in distance between the front and rear wheels. Whereas the X5 can accommodate five passengers, the GV80 allows the option of third-row seating for two additional folks (hopefully small in stature) to squeeze into.

Meanwhile, front-seaters gaze upon an attractive and uncluttered dashboard. The centrepiece is a narrow 14.5-inch touch-screen positioned on the dash top and next to the gauges. Below the touch-screen, a narrow band incorporating the air vents contributes to the streamlined effect, as does a large rotary dial that’s used in place of an actual gearshift lever on the extra-wide floor console.

Lastly, an extra-thick padded leather steering wheel is in keeping with the interior’s luxury-class leanings.

A wide 14.5-inch (diagonal) touch-screen hovers over the sleek and modern centre console, which is home to a dial gear selector for the standard eight-speed automatic transmission. PHOTO: GENESIS

A wide 14.5-inch (diagonal) touch-screen hovers over the sleek and modern centre console, which is home to a dial gear selector for the standard eight-speed automatic transmission. PHOTO: GENESIS

GV80 buyers can choose from two available engines, starting with a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder that puts out 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V-6 delivering a maximum 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting duties for both powerplants. All-wheel-drive is standard.

Four-cylinder fuel economy is officially rated at 11.3 l/100 km in the city, 9.5 on the highway and 10.5 combined. That’s for the GV80 2.5T, while the 3.5T clocks in at 12.9/10.4/11.8. Note that premium fuel is required for both.

In Canada, the GV80 Select starts at $64,600, including destination charges. This is not a stripped-down price-leader model since it comes with dual-zone climate control, 12-way power-controlled and heated front seats (including power lumbar support), hands-free power liftgate and a panoramic sunroof. A heated leather steering wheel and a 12-speaker audio system are also included.

The second-row seat has plenty of room, although things are much tighter for the two occupants of the optional third row. PHOTO: GENESIS

Tri-zone climate control, leather seat coverings, wireless phone charging, power-closing doors and surround-view camera monitor are either optional or standard in the Advanced or Prestige models, with the latter topping out at $85,000 (the 3.5T). This trim gets you active road-noise cancellation, quilted Nappa Leather upholstery, power-folding third-row seats and doors that automatically shut tight when being closed. Also standard with the Prestige is a system that can park the GV80 for you, whether you’re inside or outside the vehicle.

Regardless of which GV80 you select, a range of dynamic-safety technology is included, such as emergency braking, pedestrian/cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic and driver-attention warning.

Although Genesis has its work cut out for it to catch up to the more established utility-class marques, the GV80 appears to be a solid first step in the right direction with a surfeit of style, content and performance in addition to competitive pricing.

What you should know: 2021 Genesis GV80

  • Type: All-wheel-drive midsize utility vehicle
  • Engines (h.p.): 2.5-litre I-4, turbocharged (300); 3.5-litre V-6, twin-turbocharged (375)
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Market position: Genesis is steadily developing a range of upscale models to compete with more established nameplates. A combination of crisp styling and solid engineering (backed by parent company Hyundai) should help the brand succeed.
  • Points: A utility model is a first for Genesis and an important lineup addition. • Tidy interior keeps buttons and switches to a minimum. • Both engines deliver good horsepower and torque. • Base trim level is far from base and includes a full range of active-safety technology. • Available third-row seat is not suited for full-size passengers.
  • Driver assist: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); autonomous emergency braking (std.); inattentive-driver alert (std.); lane-departure warning (std.); pedestrian/cyclist detection (std.)
  • L/100 km (city/hwy): 11.3/9.5 (2.5)
  • Base price (incl. destination) $64,600

BY COMPARISON

BMW X5 xDrive40i

  • Base price: $77,900
  • Coveted utility vehicle offers six- and eight-cylinder engines from 335 to 617 h.p.

Jaguar F-Pace

  • Base price: $55,300
  • AWD is standard equipment. Supercharged-V-8 option makes 550 h.p.

Lexus RX

  • Base price: $58,000
  • Recently updated model offered in regular and extended sizes. Hybrid available.

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

AutomotivecarsSUVsTrucks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Those who walk by the welcome figure often touch hands with it. (Screenshot/Jessica Poirier)
‘A presence in the school’: The story behind Hope Secondary’s welcome figure

After a year’s worth of delays due to COVID, the welcome figure… Continue reading

Environment Canada says the Eastern Fraser Valley will enjoy plenty of sunshine this week. (Black Press News File)
Sunny weather to stay around all week in Eastern Fraser Valley

Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope all forecasted for a week free of rainfall

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has called for the resignation of B.C.’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside. He made the call during a speech in Vancouver on April 10, 2021, in a rally for a parent embroiled in legal battles surrounding his child’s transition.
Chilliwack school trustee calls for B.C.’s minister of education to resign

Barry Neufeld spoke at rally for jailed father in Vancouver, calling SOGI 123 a ‘dangerous experiment’

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Most Read