Three months after my review of the remarkable Genesis G90 sedan (Dec. 2 Town Crier), we now have more evidence that the luxury division of Hyundai means business, and absolutely no one – including Lexus, Land Rover, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Bentley – is safe (yes, even Bentley).
The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the brand’s first SUV, and it’s simply a stunner. Like the G90, it’s clear that someone at Genesis wants to sincerely flatter Bentley with styling cues that are just this side of “call the lawyers.”
However, this is no cheap knockoff. Stealing a page from the Lexus playbook of 30 years ago, it delivers on content and quality while coming in at a price that simply shouldn’t be possible.
Under the hood is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 making 375 horsepower. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A standing start to 60 mph takes just 6.2 seconds. The Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimate comes in at 18 mpg city/23 highway.
It’s smooth, gives a satisfying growl when you lean into it and is otherwise whisper-quiet.
The materials, fit, finish and details all convey a feeling that you are in a special vehicle. You are whisked in extreme comfort and quiet, at speed, to your destination in a machine that also handles better than one would expect.
There are several trim levels of the GV80, starting as low as $48,900. Our tester was the 3.5T AWD Prestige, with a base price of $70,950. Among the standard equipment features at that price are 22-inch alloy wheels, Nappa leather interior and power-adjustable second-row seating.
As for extra-cost options, the Adriatic Blue paint was $400 – and that’s it. With $1,025 freight, the as-tested price of the 2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige is $72,375. I drive 104 new cars a year at minimum. I’ve been doing that for 24 years. If you’d hidden the price and asked me, I’d have said $100,000-plus.
I’m not kidding. I don’t know how they did this – a stylish luxury SUV for loaded Chevy Tahoe money – but I’m sure glad they did.