New car review: Genesis GV80 3.0D
New, large luxury SUV from Genesis offers a well-appointed and attractively priced alternative to Germany’s prestige triumvirate
Luxury Korean brand Genesis has made a significant addition to its nascent model range which until now had comprised just two vehicles – the BMW 3-Series-sized G70 sedan and the larger limousine-like G80 sedan.
Hyundai’s luxury arm has now added the brand’s first SUV, the BMW X5-sized GV80.
It’s a vitally important model that should help get Genesis on the radar of more prestige buyers and grow the still-fledgling brand’s market share, especially given our ongoing love affair with the SUV genre.
Genesis has also announced the impending arrival of another smaller SUV, the GV70, which will go up against the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC when it arrives sometime in the first half of 2021.
Rounding out what has been a frenetic period for the brand, Genesis also recently replaced the original G80 sedan, which it first launched here as the Hyundai Genesis back in 2015, with a striking looking new model.
But back to the GV80 SUV which is offered here in four variants with a mix of three powertrains, rear or all-wheel drive and five or seven seats.
It’s certainly an eye-catching beast, with its big, bold grille and imposing dimensions, and Genesis has gone big with a plethora of standard infotainment tech, advanced safety, and driver assistance features.
The list of features and equipment is enough to fill a small book but includes a suite of 10 airbags, with a front centre airbag.
Elsewhere, there’s a power tailgate, 20 or 22-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport rubber, panoramic sunroof, surround-view monitor with 3D function, power tilt and reach steering adjustment, 14.5-inch HD touchscreen, 12-inch head-up display, 21-speaker 1050W Lexicon by Harman audio, satellite navigation, DAB+ radio, wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated front seats, 12-way power adjustable front seats, rear door sunshades, and a suite of Genesis active safety control technologies.
That’s just a small sample of what is on the standard equipment list and in addition to that there’s a $10,000 Luxury Pack option, as fitted to our test car, which crams a bunch more goodies into the opulent cabin.
Pricing is very competitive when measured by the standards of its mainly German rivals against which the GV80 looks to be very good value.
The entry-level 2.5-litre turbo petrol with five seats and rear-wheel drive starts at $90,600 while the full-fat AWD seven-seat flagship, packing a 279kW/530Nm 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol, tops out at $108,600.
Sitting between these models is a pair of seven-seaters, a 2.5 turbo-petrol AWD and an in-line 3.0-litre turbo-diesel AWD as tested here.
The two petrol engines in the range are the same as those used in the new G80 sedan, while the diesel is currently exclusive to the GV80.
All three engines marry to an admirably slick eight-speed auto with rotary shift-by-wire gear selector and paddle shifters with downshift rev matching.
The 204kW diesel provides effortless performance and with a robust 588Nm of maximum torque delivered between 1500 and 3000rpm makes easy work of hustling along the 2267kg SUV.
Its official 0-100km/h sprint time is a claimed 6.8 seconds, just three-tenths slower than the equivalent BMW X5 30D diesel with outputs of 195kW/620Nm.
The fluid in-house developed auto delivers barely perceptible shifts and the diesel engine is very refined, getting on with its business smoothly and quietly.
There is also a four-level switchable active sound system to generate more engine “note”.
The serenity extends to all occupants of the plush interior thanks to an extensive range of NVH reduction measures while the Luxury Pack includes an additional Road Noise Active Noise Control system.
The system monitors and analyses road vibrations then uses a digital signal processor to generate an inverted soundwave that effectively cancels the noise.
It can provide separate tailored noise-cancellation for the driver’s position, front passenger seat and rear seats.
Out on the test loop the GV80 impressed with its low levels of tyre and road rumble, even on south-east Queensland’s notoriously noise-inducing coarse-chip bitumen.
It also rides impressively well, even over gnarly road surfaces, despite the obvious challenge of running on big 22-inch wheels and low-profile 40-series tyres.
Genesis boasts of extensive localised suspension tuning for all models while the six-cylinder models feature sophisticated adaptive suspension and damper controls with Road Preview electronic control. The latter uses the vehicle’s front camera to detect speed bumps, potholes and the like and controls damping forces to optimise ride quality.
The GV80’s impressive road manners don’t stop there, with the big seven-seater also boasting well-weighted steering and surprisingly capable dynamics, given its size.
The cabin is well-crafted with a luxury look and feel, albeit bolstered by our test car’s Luxury Pack inclusions.
There’s an elegant sufficiency of soft trims, lashings of leather (Nappa leather with the Lux Pack) and real wood garnishes, along with suede headlining, quilted seat stitching and 64-colour mood-lighting.
The luxury continues via an 18-way adjustable driver’s seat with massage function; heated and ventilated second-row seats with power adjustment; and three-zone climate control for the different seat rows.
Unsurprisingly, the power adjustable, fold-away third-row seats are better suited to children than adults.
Meanwhile, with the second row of seats in use there’s a generous 727 litres of cargo space available, expanding to a cavernous 2144 litres with the seats folded.
Sweetening the deal for GV80 buyers is a comprehensive range of Genesis Experience “extras”, including concierge pick-up and delivery (within 70km of a Genesis “Studio”) for scheduled servicing and warranty work; a courtesy car; handover delivery service for new purchases; roadside assistance; five years/unlimited kilometre warranty; and complimentary scheduled services for five years/50,000km for the petrol engines, or five years/75,000km for the diesels.
In summary, for prestige SUV buyers willing to look beyond the badges of the established players in this category, the GV80 represents a new and compelling offering.
ENGINE: 3.0-litre turbo diesel in-line 6 cyl.
ANCAP CRASH RATING: Not rated.
FUEL CONSUMPTION (combined cycle, litres/100km): 8.8 (232g/km CO₂).
FOR: Spacious cabin with luxury fit and finish, responsive diesel powertrain, refinement, impressive blend of comfort and dynamics, well-priced with plenty of standard kit, distinctive looks, ownership add-ons.
AGAINST: Third row better suited to kids, mobility kit – no spare wheel.