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

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read