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Five model years into its tenure as a stand-alone manufacturer, Genesis remains offmany people’s radar. It should be better known, since many accolades—and two athletes’ misfortunes—have put the former topline Hyundai model into the limelight.
Genesis now offers five vehicles: three sedans and two sport utility vehicles. The GV80 is new for 2021. It gathered unwanted international attention as the SUV Tiger Woods was driving in Southern California earlier this year when he crashed while driving nearly twice the speed limit. A month later, Kentucky freshman basketball player Terrence Clarke, also driving a Genesis SUV, died in an intersection accident in Los Angeles. The product, however, deserves to be known for better reasons than celebrity misfortune.
Launched in November 2020 as a 2021 model, the Genesis GV80 is available in several trims, all powered by the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. Seating for five is standard; the AWD Advanced+ has a third row, expanding seating to seven. But the third row is adequate only for agile, petite people. The GV80 and smaller GV70 join the former three-sedan-only lineup as the auto industry’s new success story. Genesis models are flush with industry awards—all warranted. Last year, in its first year of eligibility, Genesis ranked highest in overall brand dependability by J.D. Power.
Genesis vehicles are still sold at Hyundai dealerships, the South Korean manufacturer that previously sold the former Hyundai Genesis, its top-line sedan.
Like its siblings, the GV80 is best on the open road. It’s a keen cruiser, smooth and quick. But it’s not as sport-oriented as its German-made counterparts.
Innovation generates the smooth ride. An electronically controlled suspension system uses a forward-facing camera. It reads the road surface ahead and makes quick suspension adjustments. An intuitive trip-zone climate control on the Prestige trim further adds to the GV80’s appeal. It’s also all necessary if the SUV wants to compete successfully against stalwart rivals such as the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLE.
The GV80 drew attention from observers wondering if the new beauty was a Bentley or an Aston Martin. The three vehicles share handsome exterior designs. The GV80 is not a supercar, but it joins its stablemates with much to o er as a newbie entering a tough market. Consider: A navigation-based smart cruise control (ASCC), remote smart parking assist, an NFC digital key, an around-view monitoring (AVM), 22-inch wheels and Nappa leather seating. Also included are a 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, a 21-speaker Lexicon audio system, electric side curtains and driver-controlled second and third-row seating.
The safety system features include 10 airbags, forward collision avoidance assist, reverse parking collision avoidance assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, automatic high-beam assist and lanekeep assist (LKAS).
The 2021 Genesis GV80 is worthy, particularly if something classy and unheralded is your preference. And if you’re good with its resale value still undetermined.