Genesis set to launch BMW X5-rivalling GV80 SUV

Korean upstart set to challenge German luxury SUV establishment.

Korean luxury brand Genesis is preparing to launch an all-new BMW X5 rival onto the Australian market, in the form of the GV80 SUV.

The new Genesis GV80 is scheduled to launch locally in October with a starting price of $90,600 MLP.

It’s the first SUV from the luxury vehicle arm of Hyundai, and will be offered in four variants, with three powertrains, rear- and all-wheel drive, five and seven seats, and an optional Luxury Package. 

“Having established Genesis in Australia as a maker of high-quality luxury cars, we are delighted now to introduce the brand’s first SUV in the form of the all-new GV80,” said CEO of Genesis Motors Australia Jun Heo.

“As well as appreciating the Genesis pillars of desirable design, advanced technology, all-road capability and superior comfort, GV80 customers will be treated to the unprecedented luxury of the Genesis-to-you service, and a convenient all-inclusive ownership experience,” he said.

The new luxury SUV features what Genesis calls its “G-Matrix” pattern crest grille, flanked by quad headlights inspired by the Genesis emblem.

The car’s classic rear-wheel-drive proportions are emphasised by a contoured roofline and a “parabolic line” graphic running through the body, with different models sitting solidly on either 20- or 22-inch alloy wheels. 

Inside, the premium leather-finished cabin is offered with five interior colour combinations matched with four open-pore real wood trims.

Genesis GV80

Headline features include a 14.5-inch touchscreen multimedia unit, central integrated control dial, 12.0-inch head-up display, and a 12.3-inch Genesis 3D cluster on models fitted with the optional Luxury Package.

Additional convenience and luxury features include wireless smartphone charging, power-operated door latches on the Luxury Package, and a 1050 Watt, 21-speaker Lexicon premium sound system.

A comprehensive list of standard safety features across the range includes 10 airbags and the Genesis Active Safety Control suite, which encompasses a multi-function forward collision avoidance assist system, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, smart cruise control with stop & go, and a surround view monitor with 3D function.

Pricing starts from $90,600 for the “entry-level” GV80 2.5T with a 224kW/422Nm 2.5 litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive.

Standard features include a mood-lit cabin with genuine leather and wood-finished trim, a 14.5-inch HD touchscreen multimedia interface, panoramic sunroof, 20-inch alloy wheels and a power-operated tailgate.

Next step up the ladder is the GV80 2.5T AWD, priced at $95,600, which pairs the petrol turbo with all-wheel drive, and adds a third row to take seating capacity to seven.

The $103,600 GV80 3.0D AWD introduces the brand’s all-new straight six turbo diesel engine, boasting 204kW and a hefty 588Nm of torque.

Finally, the Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD, at $108,6000, packs an all-new 3.5-litre turbo petrol V6 producing an impressive 279kW and 530Nm.

Both the 3.0D AWD and 3.5T AWD are seven-seaters and feature Road Preview Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension, which uses the front camera to monitor the road surface ahead and initiate pre-emptive adaptive damper control. These models also feature an electro-mechanical limited slip differential (e-LSD), and 22-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/40 Michelin tyres.

Genesis GV80

All GV80 models feature an Australian-specific chassis tune, which Genesis says is designed to deliver an optimal balance of comfort and refinement. 

The company claims localised tuning of suspension and steering was developed over thousands of kilometres of testing on a range of surfaces, including urban roads, highways, mountain passes and gravel country roads.

All-wheel drive variants feature a terrain/drive mode system with eco, comfort, sport and custom modes for road driving, as well as specific settings for snow, mud and sand driving. The electro-mechanical limited slip differential (e-LSD) on the 3.0D AWD and 3.5T AWD also helps on rough roads, as well as delivering heightened handling capability.

The Luxury Package is available on each of the four variants at an additional cost of $10,000 and includes Nappa leather trim, a 12.3-inch full screen instrument cluster, three-zone climate control, soft close doors, an 18-way power adjustable driver’s seat with massage function, and additional Genesis Active Safety Control systems.

The GV80 will join the existing G80 and G70 sedans in the Genesis line-up, with an all-new G80 sedan also due later this year. 

But kicking the tyres or taking a test drive in a new Genesis won’t be as simple as slipping down to the Valley and finding a dealer, for Queensland buyers at least.

Genesis employs a direct-sales model, which means you can’t buy via a dealer, but instead need to visit a Genesis Studio, of which there is currently only one in the country – in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall – or fire up the computer and buy online. 

The trendy Genesis “Studio” in the heart of Sydney is the template for how the brand plans to position itself locally, with a luxurious fit out in a multi-story CBD facility, where sharply suited sales folk serve steaming lattes, but can only book you into a test drive, rather than take you for a spin around the block. 

Genesis GV80

To counter this, the company recently announced the opening of a new test drive facility in Sydney’s Parramatta, with another due in the NSW capital before year’s end. 

The brand’s first Melbourne showroom is also due to open later this year, but it will be 2021 before there’s a Genesis showroom in Brisbane.
 
A controversial aspect of the Genesis experience is the brand’s adherence to a fixed-price sales model, meaning there’s no negotiation on the published price.

The company believes its generous ownership package more than compensates for any discounts, with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, and five-year/50,000km complimentary scheduled servicing. 

Also included is five-year/unlimited kilometre Genesis-to-you service, which involves personalised new vehicle deliveries and a concierge service for maintenance.

A five-year/unlimited kilometre valet service and 24/7 roadside assist are also part of the unusually generous Genesis ownership package.  

After its soft launch here under the Hyundai brand in 2014, Genesis Motors Australia relaunched in Australia as a standalone operation last year, with the aim of redefining the luxury ownership experience.

So far this year Genesis has sold a total of 99 vehicles, trailing luxury rivals Infiniti (197), Jaguar (1011), Lexus (5625), Audi (9552), BMW (15005) and Mercedes-Benz cars (18,984).  

Though still a tiddler here, Genesis is gaining in strength internationally. 

The brand was recently been ranked the top premium brand for the fourth consecutive year in the renowned J.D. Power 2020 US Initial Quality Study (IQS), which is based on a survey of owners’ experiences.