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

Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

The memorial site for double-murder victims Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie, located in Charles Hoey Park, will be allowed to stay for another two months after the City of Duncan changed its policy on temporary memorials. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan allowing memorials to murdered pair stay longer

Policy change related to memorial for double-homicide victims in city park

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Victoria police will be making numerous arrests throughout the day Jan. 27 as part of its #VicPDWarrantWednesday project. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Numerous arrests today part of Victoria police #WarrantWednesday project

VicPD says arrests part of warrant enforcement project

The barge sank again on Jan. 8 and is still resting under water. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
Refloating of sunken Port McNeill barge to resume in early February

This will be the second attempt at recovery after poor weather conditions caused barge to re-sink

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read