Since launching as a singular Hyundai model, the Genesis luxury brand has risen in popularity and esteem. Its vehicles are suitably quick, and offer a lot of safety and quality, especially for the price. The Genesis G70 was recently named both Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award and the North American Car of the Year. But now, Genesis is getting really serious about competing with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and Land Rover. Soon, the brand will launch its first luxury SUV, the Genesis GV80. But will the GV80 be able to compete with the other luxury SUVs on sale today?
Genesis GV80 specs and features
Design-wise, Motor1 reports Genesis’ designers kept the production version looking very similar to the concept shown a few years ago. The door handles are more conventional, there are now side mirrors, and the window trim is simpler, but overall, the GV80 hasn’t changed much from the concept. Autoblog reports the production grille is a little bigger, however. Opinions on that feature are somewhat divisive, though Roadshow actually prefers the production Genesis GV80 to the concept.
The Genesis GV80’s interior also looks the part of a luxury SUV. There’s open-pore wood trim, quilted leather, air vents stretching the width of the cabin, and a large infotainment screen. There are actually two center displays, like in the Range Rover Evoque: one for navigation, one for the HVAC system. There will be “minimal” physical buttons—even the center display is digital, reports Motor1. And unlike Lincoln’s or Aston Martin’s push-button gear selection, Genesis has taken a page from Jaguar’s book: the gear selector is a knob that rises out of the center console.
Genesis hasn’t revealed all the GV80’s mechanical details. The SUV will use the same rear-wheel-drive platform that the brand’s sedans use, though all-wheel drive will be an option. The original GV80 concept was hydrogen-powered, while the production version won’t be.
Car and Driver predicts the GV80 will offer the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that’s also in the G80 Sport and Kia Stinger. This makes sense, considering the next-gen G80 will also use the same RWD platform. Roadshow mused Genesis’ 5.0-liter V8 could also be a possibility. The transmission will likely be an 8-speed automatic, predicts Jalopnik.
Pricing and availability
The Genesis GV80 will launch first in its home market of South Korea. It should hit dealerships there in late January. A global launch will follow sometime in late 2020, though Genesis has not revealed a specific date.
Genesis has also not revealed the GV80’s expected starting price. Car and Driver predicts the GV80 will start at roughly $50,000.
How does the Genesis GV80 compare to other luxury SUVs?
It’s difficult at this point to accurately compare the GV80 to other luxury SUVs. In addition to the starting price, Genesis also hasn’t yet revealed the SUV’s standard or optional features. However, considering multiple Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis models are IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winners, the GV80 will undoubtedly offer a wide array of standard safety features.
Assuming the $50k is a good estimate, the GV80 would be priced rather attractively compared to its luxury SUV rivals. The Range Rover Evoque is slightly cheaper, starting at $42.5k, but it has no 3rd row and only has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It will also most likely be less reliable. But, it’s likely the Evoque will be more of an off-roader than the GV80.
The Audi Q7 will most likely be more expensive, with a $53,550 starting MSRP. And even its most powerful engine, a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, has less power: 329 hp vs. the Korean engine’s 365 hp. That engine is a $6000 option; however, the Q7 does have standard AWD.
It’s a similar story with the BMW X5. The base sDrive40i makes 335 hp and starts at $58,900. The AWD xDrive40i starts at $61,200.
Determining exactly how well the Genesis GV80 does luxury will have to wait until we know more. But regardless, it appears the luxury SUV market has an interesting and stylish challenger on the horizon.
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