The Genesis GV80 is an automobile of the more opulent kind that arouses curiosity and pampers with technology, performance and comfort. In terms of price, it remains reasonable, but in one place it exaggerates.
Anyone who wants to use their car to show others that they have achieved something has usually avoided models from Korean manufacturers. But with the premium brand Genesis, which was officially launched in Germany in 2021, and the SUV flagship GV80, customers seeking status and demanding customers alike will get their money’s worth.
Be it the extra-wide Genesis lettering at the rear, shiny 22-inch wheels, plenty of chrome trim, the huge radiator grille or the sheer size – the GV80 stands out from other cars in several ways. Turning heads, filming cell phones as well as asking neighbors and passers-by are currently constant companions for a GV80 driver.
Is this an American model or even a new Bentley?
Many people find it difficult to correctly classify the all-wheel drive giant. This is also because it is probably not entirely a coincidence that it flirts a little with the flair of luxury British cars with its Cardiff Green paintwork and its powerful air vents in the front. But even when curious people are informed about its Korean origins, a certain awe remains.
The proper SUV with its chic leather world and fine ambience also gives its guests the feeling of having reached the top. So there is plenty of space. No forced contact from elbows at the front, no knee contact with the backrests of the front seats in the back seat, no annoying trunk Tetris if the luggage is larger. If it’s just a trolley or a shopping bag, they and smaller guests almost seem a little lost in the versatile rear seat. The sober numbers confirm the impression: between 735 and 2,152 liters can be loaded behind the electrically opening and closing flap.
At the front, the GV80 enchants the driver in a sometimes even astonishing way. There is the digital cockpit, which shows classic round instruments with a chic 3D effect. The driver does not need to wear special glasses to experience three-dimensionality. Instead, cameras constantly monitor where his eyes are in order to give him the impression of a spatial depth on the display, which makes the instruments appear like finely crafted chronographs.
The extra-wide 14.5-inch touchscreen of the infotainment system, a head-up display in XL format and a smaller display for the air conditioning technology round off the digital excess. However, the operation of the many functions via various interfaces is not beyond doubt. As a driver, you have to stretch your right arm wide to make entries on the touchscreen. Alternatively, you can use the rotary pushbutton with touchpad function in the center console. However, the control panel, which is pleasing to both the eye and the hand, does not always precisely implement what the finger is trying to command on the display.
Finally, the occasionally obtuse voice control also causes annoyance. So you should have some time to get used to it and, in some situations, some patience. The connectivity technology is clearly well solved, enabling easy pairing with the smartphone, which is supplied with power wirelessly in a shell via induction. The GV80 is also easy to drive. Pressing the start button next to the steering wheel brings a powerful R6 diesel to life. Its pithy, grumpy sound promises a high level of performance, which the almost 2.3 ton all-wheel drive vehicle offers in abundance in almost all situations.
With a big ship of this size, the diesel engine, which has been much criticized in the recent past, continues to be an attractive alternative, which is mainly due to the 588 Newton meters of torque, which is managed by an eight-speed automatic transmission that quickly changes gears. The sprint to 100 takes 7.5 seconds, and the maximum speed is 230 km/h, which can be reached quickly with constant, tight traction.
Given the moderate wind noise and the road holding that inspires confidence at high speeds, you should always keep an eye on the speedometer unless you want to unintentionally be a speeder. Assistance technology can help, because thanks to traffic sign recognition, the adaptive cruise control automatically adjusts the speed not only to the vehicle in front, but also to the applicable limit.
It is also advisable to keep a close eye on the speed display when turning and cornering, because occasionally a certain list will make you realize that you are driving around the corner faster than you intended. Despite the comfort-oriented nature and the high weight, the GV80 can be driven quickly and fun through curves. What is helpful here is a platform that is essentially designed for rear-wheel drive, which, with power distribution on both axles and an electronic limited-slip differential, allows powerful acceleration without traction problems.
If you travel faster, your fuel consumption will easily reach a double-digit level. With an average consumption of 8.9 liters, we only exceeded the WLTP manufacturer’s value by two tenths of a liter, but it is already around two liters higher than that of a Mercedes GLE with similar performance. The GV80 certainly doesn’t deserve an environmental angel. Lots of fine things and plenty of them is the motto of the GV80, which particularly applies to the top luxury equipment we tested, which is offered in combination with the 3.0-liter diesel for just over 70,000 euros.
In addition to a few individual extras, you can also order the recommended technology package for 4,300 euros, which, in addition to the impressive 3D instrument cluster, also includes a head-up display and Highway Assistant II. The price rises to around 85,000 euros if you tick a few more boxes. Given what’s on offer, this is relatively cheap compared to the even more expensive German premium league and in this respect the GV80 is a typical Korean that ultimately offers a lot of car for the money.
Genesis GV80 3.0 D 8AT AWD – Technical data:
Four-door, five-seat luxury SUV; Length: 4.95 meters, width: 1.98 meters (width with exterior mirrors: not specified), height: 1.72 meters, wheelbase: 2.96 meters, trunk volume: 735 – 2,152 liters
3.0 liter in-line six-cylinder diesel; 204 kW/278 hp, maximum torque: 588 Nm at 1,500 – 3,000 rpm, all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic, 0-100 km/h: 7.5 s, Vmax: 230 km/h, standard consumption: 8.7 liters /100 kilometers (WLTP), test consumption: 8.9 liters, CO2 emissions (WLTP): 224 g/km, emissions standard: Euro 6d, efficiency class: C, price: from 63,400 euros
Genesis GV80 - Short description: Why: because Genesis offers more car for the money than the competition Why not: because the age of electric cars has already arrived in the luxury class What else: Mercedes GLE, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Lexus RX, VW Touareg