By on January 15, 2020

Genesis

Sure, we weren’t hankering for a high-riding Genesis model, but the brand was. And many buyers might, too, or so the fledgling marque hopes.

After teasing the upcoming midsizer since 2017, Hyundai’s premium brand pulled the wraps off the GV80 in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday. In doing so, it raised the brand’s complement to four vehicles: three sedans, and this CUV. So, how does the GV80 stand apart in an overcrowded segment?

There’s only so much you can do to turn heads as a crossover, and Genesis no doubt hopes the GV80’s crisp lines and sizeable grille captures the attention of those with a desire for understated elegance…and value.

Genesis

Riding atop the updated platform underpinning the next-generation G80 sedan, the GV80 will offer two turbocharged engines when it reaches the U.S. market this summer. Genesis didn’t flesh out that statement, leading us to believe a base 2.5-liter (found elsewhere in the Hyundai Motor Group stable for 2020) will join the brand’s twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 on the engine roster. Korean buyers can choose a market-specific 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel.

Rear-drive at its core and all-wheel drive for most buyers, the GV80’s design hails from studios on three continents. “Athletic Elegance” is the design language seen here, resulting in a CUV that appears to be the love child of Bentley and Infiniti. Quad Lamp headlights, arranged in stacked slits that flank the vehicle’s corporate Crest Grille, are mimicked by twin fender vents. A deep lower body crease combines with a flowing body line connecting headlamps to taillights to lend visual length and the appearance of a cinched waist.

Genesis

“The Quad Lamp graphic will become the most recognizable, unique signature of Genesis design, as the simplest of lines communicate a distinct identity,” said Hyundai Motor Group design boss Luc Donckerwolke in a statement. “Two lines will come to define Genesis.”

Inside, Genesis’ mantra of “luxury in space” resulted in an airy cabin and uncluttered dash topped with a wide yet low-profile 14.5-inch split infotainment screen. There’s also a steering wheel panned by resident TTACer Corey. Placed atop the expansive, wood-topped console is a dial shifter for the eight-speed automatic and the Genesis Integrated Controller — a useful bit of kit that allows users to write, by hand, instructions or other various inputs, thus avoiding the annoyance of tapping away at the touchscreen.

Genesis

Quilted leather fills the cabin of the GV80, joined by active noise cancellation technology to offset road noise and seven air cells in the driver’s seat to eliminate fatigue. Soft surfaces are everywhere, as Genesis apparently learned from rivals that the random spotting of a cheap-looking piece of plastic can pop a buyer’s luxury bubble in an instant. Further insulation from the surrounding world is provided by an electronically-controlled adaptive suspension that anticipates coming road imperfections and makes the necessary adjustments in advance of their arrival.

Standard driver-assist aids are many, and include smart cruise with AI-based intelligence, Highway Driving Assist (which will move the car over when the driver applies the turn signal), and assist features designed to prevent collisions when moving forward, pulling out of a parallel parking spot, and when backing up. Blind-spot monitoring is included in the bundle.

Pricing, like power specs, will have to wait until closer to the GV80’s on-sale date, but expect the brand’s first crossover to compare favorably with Japanese and American competitors. Genesis may be a premium brand, but its parent corp knows that value is still a Korean virtue.

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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37 Comments on “GV80: At Last, a Crossover From Genesis...”


  • avatar
    tylanner

    I’m sorry but I have no words that would even come close to characterizing my scornful reaction to this offering.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I suppose I would characterize my initial reaction as “confusion”? The genesis sedans have such a coherent and clean design language. The stacked headlights and side strakes/vents are just too much on this SUV. I don’t find it ugly, just needlessly fussy in an attempt to be visually interesting. Its just not as clean as it could be and ends up being overstyled as a result.

      Im sure it will do fine though, tall hatchbacks seem to be all the rage these days.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Really interested to see pricing for the turbo v6 model. Hopefully not much more than a new Enclave. Our 08 Enclave is still a nice place to be after 104000 miles. But when we get outside of NY state with their ridiculous 65 mph interstate speed limit the V6 in the Buick works too hard and shifts too often to feel good at 70 to 80 mph. Especially when pushing a head wind or loaded with 6 people. We really like the Palisade and Telluride but both offer similar power as the Enclave. We would like a bit more.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      Sounds like you should look into the Ford Explorer or Lincoln Nautilus with the 335-hp 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6. It went 0-60 in 5.9. The hybrid is even faster.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        I like the looks of the new Explorer but have not sat in one yet. The previous generation I drive at work and do not like at all. The Nautilus is too small and expensive. The Aviator would be nice but way out of my price range. I read the Telluride may get a new top trim. If that includes the twin turbo v6 that would hit the sweet spot.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “The Aviator would be nice but way out of my price range.”

          The Aviator is a (slightly) cheaper way into the good motor than the 84 month Explorer trims which the V6 is limited to.

          • 0 avatar
            kcflyer

            Well color me shocked. You are correct. The starting price on an AWD aviator is $1240 less than the Explorer ST with 4wd. Still a lot of coin but less than I would have thought. Still hoping a Telluride with the twin turbo v6 comes in closer to 50K. I believe the KIA is bigger inside than the ford or Lincoln. Looking forward to checking out all three at the auto show.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        You have zero idea what you’re talking about.

        The Explorer doesn’t get the 2.7TT
        The Nautilus doesn’t get a hybrid system
        The Explorer Hybrid isn’t even out yet
        The Aviator Plug-In is stupid expensive.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Highway Driving Assist (which will move the car over when the driver applies the turn signal)”

    Uh, what? Having a feature that keeps you from drifting out of your lane is one thing, but I think this one is a bad idea.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    There’s a lot going on in the design but I don’t hate it. I actually like the interior in spite of the fashionable tacked on screen. And sorry Corey, I like that steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I don’t hate it either – it looks expensive in that green. I’m not sold on those fender “vents”, though. But, not a fan of the two-spoke steering wheel with the big center.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Looks like a winner.

    Genesis (Hyundai) seems to have better designs than what BMW is churning out these days.

    If only they’d give us high performance wagons.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice interior, but yawn.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    “how does the GV80 stand apart in an overcrowded segment?” shows that Genesis has responded to the previous TTAC articles stating that this brand needed a CUV in this segment. I wonder whether TTAC thinks that Genesis may be unwise offering this vehicle in this “overcrowded segment” – that was the tone that I sensed when I read the article.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I don’t hate it. I would prefer the lines to not look so droopy towards the rear, but I feel that way about my own vehicle too.

    I kind of prefer the styling of this over the large Genesis sedans. I would also prefer a larger engine option, but a turbo V6 is probably sufficient for most people.

    Like so many of the Genesis cars in the past, if I look closely at any one spot, it looks like something from another brand, but overall it is cohesive.

    I suspect I will be shocked by the sticker price, though.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Sean McElroy had a bit about this thing on Autoline Daily today, with a video clip. The diesel available in Korea sounds interesting.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The Japanese don’t have anything right now that really competes against the GV80 (the RX-L, QX60 and MDX don’t cut it).

    The Aviator is probably the most direct competitor w/ the XT6 also competing (at least in price-point, even if FWD-based).

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      I think you’re right about the competition. Genesis has been beating the cheap publicity drum via car enthusiast websites with calculated leaks of the GV80, keeping it seemingly forever on the light boil. To attract a broader public, it’ll need to spend some real advertising money to get the name about after years of fooling around with dealer squabbles over who gets the franchise. It’ll have to be really good to beat the Telluride/Palisade, being smaller and more expensive, or what’s the point of it.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        And so are the X5, GLE, Aviator, etc. (being smaller – tighter interior – and more expensive).

        But all those vehicles offer more lux, more tech/amenities, more power, RWD driving characteristics (which also allows for greater towing capacity), etc.

        The markets for the 2 classes of CUVs are different.

        The group of lux CUVs that have more to worry from the Telluride, Palisade and CX-9 would be the FWD/transverse models like the RX-L, QX60 and MDX.

        • 0 avatar
          HuskyHawk

          Agree that Hyundai/Kia offerings are nice enough to steal some buyers from this depending on the price. If Ford could somehow put a decent interior in the Explorer, it would as well. Genesis succeeds on offering great value, it doesn’t have the brand cache to do otherwise. Still, they needed this product badly. Now they need a compact to go with it.

    • 0 avatar
      cbrworm

      I can’t tell if this is the size of the biggest Infiniti (QX80) and Lexus (LX470?), or if it is smaller.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    In videos, it looks much nicer. I’m not blown away by it, but at least my stomach isn’t churning watching videos like it was looking at the rather poor images.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I think it’s very distinctive and exemplifies a “premium” CUV. I’ll be anxious to see real world pricing

  • avatar
    deanst

    Are they paying royalties to Walmart for using the acronym for Walmart’s Great Value brand?

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    That was thoughtful of them to include extra-large blind spots on the C-pillars. Otherwise, it looks decent.

  • avatar
    monkeydelmagico

    Derivative and boring exterior. Interior looks the business. They are going to eat Lincoln, Caddy, and Inifiti lunches.

  • avatar

    It looks like game changer. German three are running for cover, Detroit three are already dead.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “Inside, Genesis’ mantra of “luxury in space” resulted in an airy cabin”

    That last picture makes me physically uncomfortable:
    – Incredibly wide center console with hard edges pointed at my right leg
    – Bulbous overstyled protruding driver door taking up space where my left knee belongs

    (It might be the angle of the picture, but visually projecting the lines from the seat cushions forward says it’s not.)

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I winced too, but remember:

      A) This segment is for the wife, and

      B) This piece of that segment is the expensive end where the wives aren’t fat.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      A lot of interior pictures are taken with a mild fish-eye lens effect to make to cabin seem larger and “Airier” than in real life. So, the seats look more drawn out and comfy but it also makes the footwells look like smaller and cramped. I’m sure the real thing will be more equally proportioned. But I agree the extra-wide consoles can be a problem.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I am a buyer that looks for the interior modern design and comfort inside the cabin first then the exterior styling of a car. This does it for me if the base price is around the $60K and all option version is $80K! It is a buy at these price points for me!

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    There is something very RoboCop about this car.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Looks like a Bentley from some angles and a Ssangyong Roadius from others. Interesting.

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