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2021 Genesis GV80 Review- Interior Is Seriously Luxurious

Fledgling luxury carmaker Genesis has proven that it is quite capable of challenging European and Japanese luxury brands and now it’s getting into the premium SUV game with the 2021 GV80. The GV80 takes on the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-class. Genesis’s first SUV is powered by a standard turbocharged four-cylinder or a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine; the rear-wheel drive will be standard and all-wheel drive will be optional. We’ve sampled both engines and have conducted an instrumented test on both the V-6 and the four-cylinder; we can report that the new SUV delivers both agile handling and a serene ride. We were so impressed with the GV80 during our annual 10Best evaluation event, we gave it a spot on the 2021 list and an Editors’ Choice award. Let’s review 2021 Genesis GV80 with Bestechz!

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

2021 Genesis GV80 Review- Interior
2021 Genesis GV80 Review- Interior

The GV80’s interior ushers in a new, more upscale vibe for Genesis’s lineup. Burled-wood trim, metal accents, integrated ambient lighting, and a large slim-shaped infotainment display keep things upscale but uncluttered. Despite the fancy materials, the interior design provides a sense of minimalism that feels truly elegant in person. The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and available with a massage function that feels legitimately relaxing. A standard three-across bench seat in the second row allows for up to five passengers; a third row of seats is an optional feature but space back there is limited and should be considered a place solely for kids. We fit 13 carry-on suitcases behind the second row and the GV80 swallowed a total of 28 with the second row folded flat.

Styling and Design

2021 Genesis GV80 Review- Design
2021 Genesis GV80 Review- Design

With a presence and curb appeal worthy of a blue-blood European luxury brand offering, the new GV80 showcases the brand’s distinctive pentagonal shield grille which comes off as a tad oversized on the Genesis sedans but looks as right as rain affixed to the handsome SUV. The GV80 sports all-LED exterior lighting in the form of striking horizontal twin hash-marks, which wrap around the four corners of the body and make for an eye-catching light signature at night.

As with all of the new Genesis models, the GV80 has a fresh look that moves it significantly upscale from parent Hyundai and a bold design that sets it apart both from traditional luxury offerings from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz as well as more value-oriented luxury fare by Lexus, Infiniti and Acura.

Sizewise, the new GV80 is close to the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5, slightly longer and wider but a good 2-3 inches less tall with a tastefully plunging rear roof line and a rear end design that’s more wagonish than blocky SUV. There are a lot of custom touches.

For one, a built-in rear window spoiler continues the trajectory of the plunging roofline and also connects visually to a slicing daylight opening that arcs cleanly over the side windows. The GV80’s longer dash-to-front-axle side proportion gives the Genesis SUV an intrepid cab-rearward, back-on-its-haunches look. The GV80’s clean-but-slightly-muscular flanks are pure sculpture, as if the design went directly from clay to steel. It especially looks great with the dub-worthy 22-inch five-spoke alloy wheels that come with the Prestige AWD trim. All models get pert flat-oval dual exhaust outlets, even the 4-cylinder 2.5T model shown here.

Infotainment and Connectivity

A slim, 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen stretches across the middle of the GV80’s tailored dashboard. The fact that the screen is touch-sensitive is most likely to provide the front-seat passenger an opportunity to change the radio station or manipulate the navigation system, because the screen itself is quite a reach from the driver’s seated position. Luckily, a click-wheel controller is mounted on the center console so the driver can interact with the system and it works quite well.

Our Verdict

The bold and super-classy 2021 Genesis GV80 is a credible threat to the best midsize luxury SUVs on the market, humbling many with a combination of technology, quality and customer service that’s hard to resist. And while the brand has a lot of work to do in terms of building a reputation, it’s not like it needs rebuilding (see Cadillac, Infiniti, Lincoln). The next few years will be crucial, but Genesis currently finds itself in a good position.

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