Avoid the 2021 Genesis GV80 Unless You Want an ‘Atrocious’ Ride, MotorTrend Says

Hyundai’s luxury offshoot is officially in the crossover competition. The 2021 Genesis GV80 is catching consumers’ and critics’ attention. Luxury has a new face, and it’s clear Genesis is taking this introduction seriously.

But along with the accolades for its unique design and lavish touchpoints, the Genesis GV80 is also getting a few thumbs-down. One review called the behind-the-wheel experience “atrocious.” Is the ride really that harsh?

High hopes for the Genesis GV80

The Korean luxury brand is gaining popularity. So when word spread that Genesis planned to introduce a midsize crossover, car enthusiasts grew excited. They had high hopes, and first impressions indicated the GV80 was ready to deliver.

The two-row SUV delivers on luxurious components and style, but MotorTrend recently noted some shortcomings. Calling the ride “harsh” and the infotainment “unintuitive,” the publication shows the GV80 isn’t quite perfect. And though the reviewers liked the V6 engine on the top trim, they called the two lower trims’ 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four overworked and underpowered.

Why MotorTrend called the ride ‘atrocious’

MotorTrend’s experience testing the 2021 Genesis GV80 was positive in many areas. But things went south during the test drives. The judges said, “There’s no feel, and thanks to the very quiet luxe-oriented tires, no grip.”

They also pointed out the GV80’s “lack of steering response” as a primary problem. And they added that while this maladjusted handling is bad enough “on a mainstream subcompact,” on a “72,000 luxury SUV, it’s atrocious.”

Performance and handling

Consumer Reports had a different take on the 2021 Genesis GV80’s handling and performance. The luxury crossover’s steering and handling impressed CR’s experts, calling it “very enjoyable to drive.” Driving dynamics and engine capability were also among their list of likes.

Though MotorTrend’s critics felt overworked in the turns, Consumer Reports said the Genesis GV80 feels “connected to the road,” similar to Acura and Lexus rivals.

So you might have to test-drive a GV80 yourself to determine whether its handling suits you. 

What the Genesis GV80 does right


The 2021 Genesis GV80 Is a Legitimate Bargain

MotorTrend might not endorse the 2021 Genesis GV80’s driving dynamics, but there’s plenty this luxury midsize crossover does right. Genesis spared no expense with quality materials, from quilted leather to authentic wood trim. The 3D infotainment display looks real enough to reach out and grab. The gauge clusters also offer high-resolution imagery. It’s also loaded with the latest driver aids and safety technology extras, as well. 

Despite MotorTrend’s swipe at the 2021 Genesis GV80’s performance capability, this luxury SUV is on par with others in its class. Like the BMW X5 and the Lincoln Nautilus, the GV80 offers a couple of powertrain choices. Choose from the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, capable of 300 hp and 311 lb-foot of torque, paired with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Or get the twin-turbo V6 making 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque on the top trim, which is AWD and can seat five or seven. All have an eight-speed automatic transmission for a seamless shifting experience. 

The 2021 Genesis GV80 may have an “atrocious” driving dynamic, in MotorTrend’s opinion. But it remains an impressive vehicle. The luxury SUV segment has a new challenger, and for many consumers, it’s exactly what’s been missing.