This Car Review Is About: A new entrant, one of three in its family, to the “luxo” SUV marketplace. Genesis has had the G80 and G70 sedans for sometime, and in late mid-2020 released the GV80, with the GV70 unveiled in November.
The GV80 has three engine choices, a single transmission, and varying electronics & trim aligned with the engines. There is a 2.5L four with front or all wheel drive, a 3.0L straight six with diesel fuel and AWD, or a petrol fed 3.5L V6 also with an AWD system.
What Does It Cost?: The range starts at $90,600 plus on-roads, with the 3.0L starting from $103,600 (plus ORC) and tops out at $108,600 (plus ORC). Genesis have gone to a fixed price, non-negotiable system, and that may deter some. However, when buying a house, the price generally tends upwards, not downwards…
The Luxury Pack that was featured in our review vehicle is $10,000. It’s an extensive list of features that are included and really add extra value overall. For the driver there is a device that scans the face and provides a Forward Attention Warning service. A self parking and parking assistance package is part of it, with forward and reverse parallel and perpendicular parking assistance.
RANC or Road Active Noise Cancellation makes the cabin an incredibly quiet place to be. That can be enjoyed for the 18 way powered driver’s seat that includes Pelvic Stretching and bolsters that close in on the sides of the driver in Sports mode or heavy acceleration. It’s a seven seater and the third row seats are powered, moving at the touch of a button, including a recline feature.
The doors are soft close and the tail gate door is powered, as expected. The driver has a super clear high definition 112.3 inch display including a three dimensional effect look that has to be seen in the flesh to reveal. Multi-zone climate control with rear seat controls is standard in the Luxury package too. The centre row has heating in the outboard sections.
All seats have ultra-soft Nappa leather with “G-Matrix” diamond quilting sewn in.
Under The Bonnet Is: A return of history, in one context. German manufacturers have stayed with the tried and true straight six for a reason, and Genesis clearly thought that the addition of one to the range was worthwhile. And it is.
Being an oiler, it’s not about the peak power (204kW), but the peak torque and where that comes in for the engine’s rev range. In this case there are a hefty 588Nm of torque, available from an easy going 1,500rpm through to 3,000rpm, not far off the roll-off to the peak power’s 3,800rpm.Economy for the big GV80 (2,267kg before passengers and fuel) improved during our drive. It started close to 10.0L/100km and finished dead on 8.0L/100km on our 70/30 drive cycle. Genesis quotes a hefty 12.0L/100km on the urban, 7.0L/100km for the highway, with 8.8L/100km for the combined.
On The Outside It’s: Familiar yet different. There are hints of other brands, noticeably from Germany, however it’s also distinctively its own vehicle. It’s shorter than it appears, with the styling making it longer than 4,945mm. Height is imposing at 1,715mm, with overall width of 1,975mm seeming a big handling ask. But no.
The vehicle supplied came with the Luxury Pack which includes a largely gloss-free white paint. This beautifully highlights the chromed Genesis “Crest” shield grille, the double row LED headlights and tail lights, plus the chromed side strips and piano black inserts in the front and rear bumpers. The rear door is powered and accessed via, smartly, a small press-tab in the wiper motor housing.
Along each flank rests two creaselines, one from front to rear from the bonnet line, the other covering the front and rear wheel arches separated by the doors. There are two vents mirroring the front and rear lights at the rear of the front guards. The rear windowline is distinctive, with a triangle finish to the D-pillar.Wheels are 22 inch alloys with a multispoke design. Grip is courtesy of 265/40 Michelin tyres.
On The Inside It’s: A place to stretch the legs and shoulders in utter comfort. Beige leather in the test car with diamond padding, electrically adjustable for all three rows, and beige suede style material on the roof are absolutely sumptuous. There are two separate sunroofs to bring in light from above.
The rear and centre row seats have individual electric controls. These raise and lower on command, and include the headrest folding on the rear row. The centre row can be moved fore and aft, and can move to a position to allow ingress and egress for the rear seaters. They are a little on the slow side for our taste, however there is a safety factor to consider for that speed.Cargo space with the third row seats down is huge at 727L. This increases to 2,144L with the second row folded.
The driver has a classy looking two-spoke two-tone leather bound steering wheel, also with electric adjustment, along with a two position seat memory setting.
For the driver there is a dash that is fully digital plus it has an extra cool feature. Aligned with a sensor strip that monitors the driver’s eyeline, the display has a 3D effect. It’s quite an unusual sight, seeing a flat screen suddenly blur for a flicker of a moment before providing a true 3D depth. For those that have an issue with it, it can be switched off. The driver also has a HUD display. A user friendly feature here is either the left or right dial change to the outside view when the indicator stalk is employed. the screen has a high pixel count so it works perfectly with the quality of the lenses used.In the middle of the upper section of the black and beige trimmed dash is a wider than widescreen touchscreen. Touchscreen, in this case, is a bit loose, as it’s set too far back in the dash and blocks off the centre-dash speaker. By the way, as good as the Lexicon sound system is, not having A-pillar mounted tweeters drags down the soundstage, as high frequency signals are directional in nature, and the door mounted units fire straight into the legs of the driver and passenger.In the centre console is a crystal look rotary drive selector dial, and a larger silver ringed white opaque circle. The silver ring is the default interface for much of what the touchscreen would do, and embedded in the menu options is a tutorial on how to use the opaque circle for items such as entering in an address for navigation. It works, but not excessively well. At the bottom left is the tarmac or terrain drive selector. With a push it switches between tarmac or soft-roading (Mud, Snow, Sand), and a twist changes the desired drive mode, with a commensurate change of the look of the digital driver’s screen.To the left is a cupholder insert, with a hinged door that folds to the right. Easy for the passenger, not so for the driver. However, a nice touch is the woodgrain trim here, and the sliding door at the far end of the console that reveals a wireless charge pad. It’s inclined to around 50 degrees, and aligned horizontally too, making for easier placing and removal. The whole centre console is a floating design though, and largely unusable as the squabs come up to almost the lower section of the top of the console.In between this and the touchscreen is a haptic feedback screen to operate the climate control. Again, it’s good but just a little fiddly for the section for fan speed, requiring a little more precision than necessary to adjust the horizontally aligned stripe. It’s backlit and only visible when the ignition is on.
On The Road It’s: Quicker than the seat of the pants will suggest. The linear torque delivery and free revving 3.0L six will launch the big GV80 at a velocity that feels rapid but not indecently so until you eyeball the numbers. The superb noise isolation mutes a lot of the aural feedback the brain would normally use as a guideline here, so when the numbers are changing at a rate the brain says otherwise to, it comes as a bit of a shock, and a relief to know that it’s working better than expected. We mentioned how quiet the cabin is earlier. Acoustic glass reduces road noise so the driver can enjoy the experinece at a higher level.
Bearing in mind the mass of the GV80, it’s a superb handler with: Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension (GACS) – including; Road Preview-Electronic Control Suspension (Preview-ECS) & Dynamic
Stability Damping Control (DSDC), says the specification sheet. In normal driving this has the rear of the GV80 slightly wallowy, with that just little bit too much softness for our tastes in the rear. The front is more tied down. Move to Sport and the suspension tightens up but not to the point that it’s excessively hard. The car’s driveline can be customised, so the engine can be in Comfort mode for, let’s say highway country driving, but the suspension and steering in Sport, to suit the driver’s taste and road conditions.
Braking is en pointe, with 360mm by 30mm discs up front with twin caliper pads, single calipers at the rear. The pedal measurement for just how much pressure is required is amongst the most intuitive we’ve experienced, and we were able to judge to a pinpoint, stopping distances.
Steering and there are hints of understeer in certain driving circumstances, with one particular corner a great test, at suburban speeds, of who much steering is required versus how far the nose naturally drifts wide or stays on line. Here we found the GV80’s front end requiring only a whiff of extra turn to have the nose where we wanted it to be.
In day to day driving over the seeming too-short week, the GV80 delivered on its promise of a luxury SUV, with the ability to street brawl. It’s an easy park that belies the size, has a beautifully sorted drive and handling setup, and delighted from ignition on to off.
What About Safety?: Standard safety features are extensive, again, as you’d expect. Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist with Rear/Side vision, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Driver Attention Warning that also includes Leading Vehicle Departure Alert. This beeps gently at the driver to advise the car ahead has moved on from a stop sign or traffic light.
Forward Collision Avoidance Assistance which brings in Car/Pedestrian/Cyclist detection, Junction Turning/Junction Crossing function, plus Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane-Change Oncoming/Lane-Change Side function, Evasive Steering Assist function, High Beam Assist and Lane Following Assist. The front seats have pretensioning belts. Ten airbags are fitted with a front centre side airbag, thorax and pelvic airbags for the front passengers, and thorax bags for the second row.
What About Warranty And Service?: Industry standard here at five years and unlimited kilometres for the warranty and that includes 24/7 roadside assistance and courtesy vehicle when being serviced. Servicing is performed at a dedicated centre however Genesis will arrange, at a distance of up to 70 kilometres from the main centre, to pick up and return to your place of work or at home. Genesis connected services are coming and information is available online.
At The End Of The Drive. Genesis have delivered a smack in the face to the established brands that provide luxury SUVs. The addition of the somewhat quirky looking GV70 bolsters their offerings in comparison to BMW or Audi or Mercedes with their more extensive range. As a package, the GV80 is what a cricket team needs in a test: a solid and dogged opener, with the ability to lay a foundation that the rest of the team can build upon.
With our week behind the wheel we feel that the GV80, in the specification tested, is a classic opening stand. There is a lot to like and it’s almost perfect straight out of the box. Almost. But the “negatives” such as they are, do very little to dull the shine of what the GV80 offers. And that’s a competitive, price appealing, high driver enjoyment level, raise of the middle finger to other brands and those that sneer at Korean offerings.