When automakers first make their newest and biggest obtainable for journalists to check, they sometimes roll out loaded examples for reviewers to pattern. In different phrases, top-flight fashions with the poshest interiors, the flashiest wheels, the very best tech and most significantly, essentially the most highly effective drivetrains. It is smart, insofar because it affords reviewers the possibility to expertise all of a car’s newness and greatness without delay, giving us the possibility to determine what we like, and what we do not. Side impact? It’s tempting to get distracted by all these bells, whistles and horses. That’s notably simple to do when there are such a lot of of all three, as is the case with the 2021 Genesis GV80. In reality, this upscale SUV has so many new options and particulars to expertise, I believed it finest to start out out with a loaded GV80 3.5T in all-wheel-drive Prestige trim, a $72,000 as-tested luxurious juggernaut. If you have not learn my first drive evaluate of that mannequin, please think about pausing studying this text and doing that now.No matter the engine, the GV80 is one sharp SUV.
All completed? Good. Now, to Genesis’ everlasting credit score, the corporate made quite a few configurations of its new GV80 obtainable at its Detroit-area first drive occasion, so I’m going to remain centered on powertrain and trim variations, since most of my different impressions carry over. So let’s take a more in-depth take a look at this considerably extra inexpensive model, the GV80 2.5T with rear-wheel drive. While my tester continues to be spec’d out in highfalutin Prestige guise, this crossover is so much inexpensive, stickering at $58,475 as examined (together with $1,025 in freight). As you will quickly be taught, the Himalayan Gray Metallic sweetie seen right here is priced to strike worry within the coronary heart of at the moment’s premium SUV market. That’s admittedly nonetheless a thick wedge, however a base GV80 begins at $49,925 delivered, which is not far above the worth of a Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy from Genesis’ mother or father model. Make no mistake, regardless of the way you choice it, the GV80 represents an unparalleled quantity of contemporary luxurious SUV for the cash.
4-cylinder energyWhile I believe the twin-turbo V6 within the 3.5T mannequin fits the general ambition of the GV80 finest, the smaller, single-turbo, 2.5-liter inline-four featured right here has tons to supply — not the least of which is its 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque (the latter peaking from simply 1,300 rpm). Those output figures solidly outpoint not solely the smaller 2.0-liter I4s within the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE 350, they’re really considerably extra spectacular than the ability metrics mustered by the liter-larger, naturally aspirated V6s within the Acura MDX and Lexus RX. On the road, this interprets to stable — however not overwhelming — quantities of oomph, whether or not trundling round city from stoplight to stoplight or merging onto the freeway. The eight-speed automated shifts crisply and obsequiously, and I’d ballpark a 0-to-60-mph time within the 6.5-second vary. The 2.5T can be surprisingly quiet, particularly for an I4. That is smart, as a result of with the 3.5T, your entire GV80 drive expertise is hushed, be it when it comes to engine, highway or wind noise (frankly, I am unable to recall driving an SUV with a sub-six-figure price ticket that is as quiet as a GV80 V6). And but, even with out that mannequin’s distinctive lively road-noise cancellation tech (suppose: Bose 700 cans for your entire cabin), this 2.5T RWD is not far behind.
Speaking of the four-cylinder, the two.5T’s soundtrack itself is not bothersome, however it’s a bit featureless, and its character does not match the GV80’s larger-than-life appears to be like in addition to the pricier, thirstier V6. That mentioned, a stable slug of torque is all the time obtainable for passing and the engine’s fuel-saving stop-start tech is unobtrusive sufficient that I left it enabled for 95% of my drive (one thing of a rarity for me).
It’s value noting that I solely had the possibility to drive the two.5T unladen, and not using a cabin stuffed with passengers or gear within the cargo space, and my drive day happened on Michigan’s drably flat and rain-slicked roads. I’d have an interest to expertise an analogous mannequin totally loaded, maybe within the mountains, if solely to see how a lot starch this powertrain actually affords. Regardless, Genesis says the two.5T can tow a stable 6,000 kilos, the identical as its 3.5T large brother, so this combo should be moderately stout. Of course, if you would like the elective (small) third-row seats, you may’t get it with a four-cylinder engine. In reality, it’s important to pony up a really particular 3.5T trim, Advance Plus.The GV80’s 2.5-liter turbo 4 places out 300 hp and 311 pound-feet — extra energy than some rivals’ V6 engines.
4-cylinder effectivityThe payoff for going with the smaller I4, along with a considerably cheaper price tag, is markedly higher gas economic system. The 2021 Genesis GV80 2.5T RWD nets 21 miles per gallon metropolis, 25 freeway and 23 mixed in accordance with EPA estimates. If you go for AWD, the numbers maintain up properly, with solely the mixed quantity dropping by a single digit. Compare that to the AWD-only 3.5T, which will get 18 mpg metropolis, 23 freeway and 20 mixed. None of those effectivity totals (all achieved on premium gas) will rating you on a slot on the Rainforest Action Network’s holiday-card record, thoughts, however these are stable figures for this class.So, the I4 is inexpensive and demonstrably extra environment friendly. Good stuff. But should you’re picturing this GV80 as some form of secret, cheap efficiency mannequin for driving lovers as a result of it is rear-wheel drive and lighter general, properly, suppose once more. This is not a sport sedan on stilts, and it nonetheless weighs each little bit of 4,700 kilos. That’s to not say this Genesis handles like an overstuffed sofa — GV80s can hustle round corners well — however there is not a lot in the best way of really feel or involvement, particularly from the steering. On the plus facet, although Genesis’ road-scanning adjustable suspension is not obtainable on RWD fashions, as a result of this 2.5T wears smaller 20-inch wheels wrapped in 265/50-series Michelin Primacy Tour all-season rubber, this car affords higher trip high quality than the V6 I wrote about beforehand. (Base, 2.5T Standard trims trip on 19s with even taller sidewalls, in order that they should be extra compliant nonetheless.) While you may’t get all the posh fixins discovered within the V6 mannequin, the two.5T’s cabin stays posh, unique and really properly geared up.
Interior excellenceEven although the two.5T RWD Prestige lacks most of the super-swish options discovered solely on the 3.5T’s Prestige trim (e.g. quilted Nappa leather-based, energy soft-close doorways, 3D-effect digital gauges, and so forth), the two.5T RWD’s inside nonetheless feels upscale. This wasn’t a foregone conclusion, because the RWD Prestige even goes with out most of the options that come commonplace in AWD fashions with the identical engine and trim — you may’t get lively noise cancellation or a head-up show, as an example. Thankfully, the inclusion of options like a widescreen, 14.5-inch infotainment show, 21-speaker Lexicon audio system, knurled-finish switchgear, panoramic roof and matte-finish wooden assist elevate the cabin to vital heights. However, it is the general aesthetic and the standard of match and end that basically promote the premium vibe that enable the GV80 to face shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Lincoln Aviator and Mercedes GLE.When it involves security tech, Genesis has fortunately been much more simple. Regardless of pushed wheels or trim, all GV80s obtain adaptive cruise management with Highway Driving Assist II (lane centering and highway signal recognition), lane-departure warning and blind-spot collision-avoidance help, forward-collision warning with auto brake, plus a primary driver monitor and an uncommon further airbag mounted entrance heart airbag. Prestige trim provides 360-degree birds-eye digicam protection for simpler maneuverability, reverse auto-brake, blind-spot monitor and ultrasonic rear-seat occupant alert, however that is about it. All in all, your entire GV80 line is on-point with regards to security gear.While the 3.5T should be the GV80 to covet, there is definitely no disgrace within the 2.5T’s recreation.
Should you purchase one?Is it value shopping for a GV80 slightly than the extra conventional (and predictable) luxurious manufacturers out of Europe and Japan? 100%. Dollar for greenback, the GV80 is not only a higher worth when optioned like-for-like, it really has extra road presence than the institution, plus it has a nicer cabin and a much-longer guarantee. In equity, if historical past is any information, the GV80 will not have comparable resale worth entrenched rivals from Europe and Japan, however then once more, you will not be forking over as a lot cash to start with, and Genesis typically has higher dependability scores.Now, do you have to think about this 2.5T versus a 3.5T? Well, should you can afford to splurge, I’d. The further energy — 375 hp and 391 lb-ft — and refinement makes the six-cylinder engine a worthy improve. Plus with the best way Genesis tiers its trim strains, you are likely to get extra commonplace gear on 3.5T fashions, too. One thing more: Since RWD does not radically alter (not to mention enhance) the GV80’s agility or enjoyable quotient, I’d go for an AWD mannequin no matter engine, particularly should you’re positioned someplace that sees an excellent quantity of rain or snow. In equity, this 2.5T RWD is prone to be a reasonably uncommon hen on vendor tons anyhow. A Genesis spokesperson tells me that at the least within the early days of GV80 gross sales, solely round 30% of fashions on tons are prone to include this smaller engine. Of that quantity, solely round a 3rd are anticipated to be fitted with RWD.All in all, it is exhausting to go fallacious with the 2021 Genesis GV80. It is not simply the most effective worth within the midsize luxurious SUV section, it is one of many higher choices, interval.