The Genesis GV80 Is Headed in the Wrong Direction in 2023
The Genesis GV80 made its debut for the 2021 model year and set out to disrupt the midsize luxury SUV market against stalwarts of the segment like the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE Class, Volvo XC90, and Audi Q7. The GV80 certainly has plenty going for it, including sharp styling, a price that undercuts much of its more established competition, a long list of standard features, loads of modern technology, and a choice of sprightly powertrains.
However, despite its overall appeal, the GV80 still has a minimal market share against much of its competition, and its popularity already appears to be waning slightly.
The GV80 hasn’t proved particularly popular among buyers
According to GoodCarBadCar, Genesis GV80 sales are continuing a downward trend. Over 20,000 models were sold in 2021, its first full year of availability. In 2022, that figure slipped by about 17,500 models. Through August 2023, 11,692 GV80s have found new owners, which is slightly ahead of this point during 2022 but presumably far less than the figure Genesis hopes to achieve.
For comparison, Volvo has sold over 25,000 XC90 models through the first eight months of the year. BMW sold over 18,000 X5 models in the second quarter of 2023. Mercedes-Benz sold 13,771 GLE Class models in Q2 alone.
Though far from a failure even in sales terms, the low number of GV80s moved so far in its short lifespan is somewhat surprising given its credentials. A base 2024 GV80 starts at $58,645, nearly $10,000 less than a 2024 X5, and features a spry 300-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder with standard all-wheel drive. Standard kit includes creature comforts like synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a hands-free liftgate. There’s also loads of standard tech, like a 14.5-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, a digital key, and navigation. The GV80 also sports a long list of standard driver aids.
Buyers can opt for a more luxe experience with a choice of five trim levels or up the power with an available 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 cranking out 375 horsepower. A third row of seats is also available for those who need to haul up to seven passengers. An upscale four-seat model is also offered.
Overall, the GV80 is a highly appealing option in the luxury midsize SUV class, even if its sales haven’t underscored it.
Why is the Genesis GV80 struggling to find buyers?
The Genesis GV80’s lackluster sales are certainly not a result of criticism among automotive experts. Car and Driver gives the GV80 a 10/10 rating, ranking it as the top model in its class. MotorTrend ranks the GV80 No. 3 among luxury midsize SUVs, and Edmunds ranks it No. 4 out of 11 models (No. 3 if you combine the Mercedes GLE/GLE Coupe models).
While speculatory, it’s likely a major contributing factor to the GV80 failing to keep pace with the sales figures of its rivals is its Genesis branding.
Brand loyalty pays massive dividends in the luxury segment, and Genesis may simply be struggling to take away consumers who remain faithful to other luxury automakers.
To boot, many might not feel the Genesis badge has the same prestige level as BMW’s Roundel, Mercedes’ Tri-Star, or the four rings of Audi, even if the product is as premium overall. As a relatively new automaker, Genesis also faces the uphill battle of questions surrounding its long-term viability among consumers. Those who value aspects like expected reliability are bound to turn to the Lexus RX or Acura MDX.
The GV80 could also be losing out to cheaper models that offer a third row of seats. GV80 buyers must opt for a pricier mid-range model to get a third row, while models like the Cadillac XT6, Infiniti QX60, and MDX have a standard third row and start at a lower price than the base GV80.
Perhaps some of these potential sales barriers will be eradicated over time, but for now, the GV80 is still struggling to succeed against much of its competition despite its strong credentials.