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How'd They Do That? The 2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige

2021 Genesis GV80 front 3/4 view

Four months after my review of the remarkable Genesis G90 sedan, we now have more evidence that the luxury division of Hyundai means business and absolutely no one (Lexus, Land Rover, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Bentley) is safe (yes, even Bentley).

2021 Genesis GV80 rear 3/4 view

The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the brand's first SUV and it is simply a stunner. Like the G90, it's clear that someone at Genesis wants to sincerely flatter Bentley with styling cues that are just this side of "call the lawyers". But this is no cheap knockoff. Stealing a page from the Lexus playbook of 30 years ago, it delivers on content and quality while coming in at a price that simply shouldn't be possible.

2021 Genesis GV80 hood up

2021 Genesis GV80 engine

Under the hood---and the shroud---is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 making 375 horsepower. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A standing start to 60 miles per hour takes just 6.2 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimate: 18 miles per gallon city/23 highway.

It's smooth, gives a satisfying growl when you lean into it and is otherwise whisper-quiet.

2021 Genesis GV80 liftgate open

2021 Genesis GV80 cargo area

2021 Genesis GV80 interior

2021 Genesis GV80 rear seat

2021 Genesis GV80 rear seat HVAC

2021 Genesis GV80 front seats

2021 Genesis GV80 front seat detail

The materials, fit, finish and details all convey a feeling that you are in a very special vehicle. You are whisked in extreme comfort and quiet, at speed, to your destination in a machine that also handles better than you'd expect.

There are several trim levels of the GV80, starting as low as $48,900. Our tester was the 3.5T AWD Prestige. Base price $70,950. The window sticker is at the end of the review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment features at that price are 22-inch alloy wheels, Nappa leather interior and power-adjustable second-row seating.

2021 Genesis GV80 instrument panel

2021 Genesis GV80 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2021 Genesis GV80 gauge cluster

2021 Genesis GV80 infotainment and HVAC

As for extra-cost options, the Adriatic Blue paint was $400 and that's it. With $1,025 freight, the as-tested price of the 2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige is $72,375. I drive 104 new cars a year at minimum. I've been doing that for 24 years. If you'd hidden the price and asked me, I'd have said $100,000 plus.

2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige front view

2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige side view

2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige rear view

I'm not kidding. I don't know how they did this---a stylish luxury SUV for loaded Chevy Tahoe money. But I'm sure glad they did.


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