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Countless luxury cars exude sophistication. However, few are genuinely breathtaking. The 2021 Genesis GV80 belongs in the latter category.

Upon its initial reveal, many wondered if the GV80 would be a true luxury SUV. However, those qualms were tossed out the window once the reviews started pouring in.

Genesis lacks the name recognition of significant luxury auto manufacturers like BMW and Lexus. However, just as the new Hyundai luxury-brand offshoot is gaining some clout, it’s setting its sights even higher. The automaker’s latest vehicle, the 2021 Genesis GV80, targets consumers looking for a high-end luxury vehicle. It doesn’t do so by being sold at an outrageous price. Instead, it displays a truly unique design that oozes elegance.

How did an SUV with a starting MSRP of just $48,900 become such a head-turner? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the 2021 GV80 to learn more.

Genesis is still writing its origin story

A front-facing shot showing off Genesis' signature grille on a green 2021 GV80 driving down the highway
The 2021 Genesis GV80 in action | Photo via Genesis

Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai, launched in late 2015, making it one of the newest additions to the automotive industry. The manufacturer entered the market with a sedan-focused lineup. 

Genesis’ addition of the 2021 GV80 midsize SUV represents a foray into a new segment. This venture could be seen as inevitable, as the auto market has shifted from sedans to crossovers and SUVs in recent years.

The South Korean automaker didn’t take long to find its footing, as the 2021 Genesis GV80 is earning critical acclaim before it even reaches dealer lots. To the surprise of many, this newcomer is even being likened to industry giants, such as the nearly $200K Bentley Bentayga.

As Car and Driver points out, these comparisons may not be accidental, considering the design team behind the GV80. Former Bentley designers Luc Donckerwolke and SangYup Lee wanted to build more than an SUV when drawing up the initial sketches of the GV80. They wanted to create a strong brand identity for Genesis.

“The first thing we asked ourselves is, “Is this part of the family?” Lee said in an interview with Cool Hunting. “Right now, as a luxury Korean brand, we begin with blank pages—as a designer, working on each design, and at the same time as we are building the brand.”

The 2021 Genesis GV80 is a cut above the rest

If you’re looking for one of the best luxury SUVs of 2020, the all-new GV80 might be right up your alley.

The 2021 Genesis GV80 has a bold exterior highlighted by a stately grille. Most importantly, its unique profile separates itself from a class plagued by similar-looking models like the Acura MDX and Lexus RX.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Genesis GV80’s cabin is a paradise. Few vehicles can match the sound-absorption level of the GV80, which helps create a serene atmosphere. Car and Driver even compared the noise level of a V6-powered GV80 to the Mercedes-Maybach S560, which sets the industry standard.

The 2021 GV80 has two spacious rows of seating, with an option for a tightly fit, power-folding third row. Available Nappa leather upholstery and matte-finished wood trim add to the ultra-luxurious ambiance. Plus, its standard heated seats, available ventilated seats, and available heated rear seats help you adapt to every season. 

This midsize SUV may not be able to keep up with the super-luxury SUVs it emulates. However, the 2021 Genesis GV80 holds its own. It comes standard with a 300-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, the available 375-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gives this SUV the power boost it deserves. 

Get more for your money with the 2021 GV80

Hey, Genesis’ obscurity might even work in your favor, as your sub-$50,000 luxury SUV might be confused for something that costs more than triple the price. Everyone loves getting a good deal, so getting a luxurious dupe of an SUV for a fraction of the price seems like a no brainer. 

While it may not stack up in performance against a Bentley, it certainly does look the part. So if you’re a money-savvy buyer, the 2021 Genesis GV80 might just be worth the test drive.


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