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2021 Genesis GV80 Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Genesis GV80 Performance Review


Performance: 7.6

The 2021 Genesis GV80 is a brand-new model, and it delivers enjoyable performance. It gives you a choice between two potent turbocharged engines, and it gets good gas mileage. Handling is surprisingly agile, making this Genesis engaging to drive. The ride is comfortable as well.

  • "Various drive modes change the GV80's personality from relaxed and efficient to agile and dynamic. Those seeking to maximize comfort will do well to opt for a model with the electronically controlled suspension. In addition to its ability to quickly adjust the GV80's ride quality in relation to the road, it has the ability to 'read' the road ahead and anticipate." -- Autotrader
  • "Unlike many crossover SUVs that are based on a front-wheel-drive architecture, the GV80 is rear-wheel drive by nature. This means it has the driving characteristics more associated with a sports sedan. This is also the setup used by German luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, which puts the GV80 in good company." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "RWD is standard on GV80 2.5T models with the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, with AWD optional. The more powerful GV80 3.5T has AWD standard. Acceleration and power similarly comes in two doses: strong or stronger. With 300 hp, even the base 2.5T is quick and has the power to satisfy all but the most demanding drivers." -- Autotrader

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (standard in V6 models)
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

The base engine is reasonably powerful and has decent acceleration, though it won't blow you away in either capacity. The V6 is much quicker off the line and at highway speeds, and it never feels underpowered. The eight-speed automatic transmission makes a great match for each engine, and it shifts smoothly and on time.

  • "As with the Mercedes, the GV80's base engine is a turbocharged 4-cylinder, but the one in the Genesis is more powerful. Outputting 300 horsepower, even a base 2021 Genesis GV80 promises eager acceleration. Those seeking even more gratifying oomph should look to the optional twin-turbo V6 in the 3.5T models. This stellar engine puts out 375 horsepower to make the GV80 downright quick. All models use an 8-speed automatic transmission, which we generally prefer over many of the 9-speed and 10-speed setups used in competitors." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base engine is quite satisfying. We think most drivers may not know it is a four cylinder based on performance and sound. It is among the better turbo fours we've experienced, with minimal hesitation when accelerating and with enough power to not feel strained. Plus it has a refined feel and sound once underway. The V6 is quite robust, delivering effortless acceleration that is particularly appreciated when merging into traffic. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly with both engines." -- Consumer Reports
  • "The turbo V6 is punchy, and throttle response is well-metered. Acceleration is strong but the GV80 doesn't feel overly powerful. Genesis says that among those who've registered interest so far, the 3.5T is proving the more popular choice. For its part, the 2.5-liter makes impressive power for a turbo-four, and it's certainly up to the job, although it demands a bit more patience accelerating up to freeway speeds or executing a two-lane pass. The biggest downside to the turbo-four is an engine note that's gravelly under full-throttle acceleration." -- Autoblog

MPG Estimates

With its base engine, the GV80 gets slightly better fuel economy ratings than many other vehicles in the luxury midsize SUV class. Ratings drop by a few mpg in models with the V6.

  • Turbo-four, RWD: 21/25 mpg city/highway
  • Turbo-four, AWD: 21/25 mpg
  • V6, AWD: 18/23 mpg

Handling and Braking

The GV80 displays a surprising amount of athleticism for its size, and it's more engaging to drive than some of its classmates. The ride is firm, but it's still comfortable. Several features are available to improve ride quality or performance, such as a limited-slip differential and an upgraded suspension. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "With its rear-wheel-drive foundation, the new Genesis GV80's driving manners are athletic by nature, similar to German rivals like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE." -- Autotrader
  • "The ride, handling, and steering are impressive, making the GV80 very enjoyable to drive. It feels tied down and connected to the road, more like the European competitors than the floatier Acura MDX and Lexus RX. The ride is taut, although it has good compliance for absorbing road imperfections even with its massive 22-inch wheels. The body feels stout and substantial, contributing to a solid overall feel." -- Consumer Reports
  • "The GV80 handles sharply and the suspension setup is on the firm side regardless of drive mode setting, but this Genesis isn't a hot-rod wagon on stilts like a Mercedes-AMG GLE63. The GV80 feels powerful, but it's still a coddle-me-first, thrill-me-second proposition. From its muted growl at full throttle to its supple, direct steering and easy-to-modulate brakes, the GV80 is a zen cocoon. This is a vehicle that knows and embraces its mission for balanced, total luxury, and it's unexpectedly excellent for exactly that reason." -- CNET
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2021 Genesis GV80

MSRP: $48,900 - $65,050

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