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Car reviews - Genesis - GV80

Genesis models


We like
Effortless twin-turbo V6 power, smooth-acting driveline, quiet cabin, splendid fit and finish throughout, generous aftersales support, balance of handling and ride comfort
Room for improvement
Thirsty engine, no wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, uptight speed and driver attention monitoring, overly chunky steering wheel, slight loss of rear headroom in Coupe

Coupe variant joins updated V6-only Genesis GV80 range as a fuss-free prestige alternative

3 May 2024



GENESIS has introduced its updated GV80 and new GV80 Coupe range to the Australian market this month, the refreshed large segment luxury SUV range now rationalised to offer all-wheel drive V6 petrol power only, the four-cylinder petrol and six-cylinder diesel now axed from the Aussie line-up.


Pricing for the range now starts at $130,000 plus on-road costs, an increase of $19,800 over the preceding V6 petrol model and a $24,300 step up to the entry point for the range (with the 3.0-litre diesel now axed).


Upticks in the purchase price are somewhat offset by the previously optional Luxury Pack now incorporated as standard, and the revised GV80 range is offered with new safety and convenience technologies plus updated paint and extended upholstery options.


Options include matte paint and a rear seat entertainment bundle priced at $2000 and $4500 respectively.


SUV models continue to offer the flexibility of six- or seven-seat configurations while the GV80 Coupe is a dedicated five-seat proposition.


The MY25 Genesis GV80 ranges – which rivals the likes of the Audi Q7/Q8, BMW X5/X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Wagon and Coupe – adopts a revised global suspension tune adapted independently for the GV80 Coupe. Both models run an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.


Among the changes offered in the GV80 range is a 27-inch OLED screen serving both instrumentation and infotainment duties.


An 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is accompanied by convenience technologies including fingerprint recognition, a UV-C sterilisation centre storage bin, heated console armrest, digital rear-view mirror, new console design and three-spoke steering wheel, Genesis connected car services, over-the-air software update capability, and rear-seat entertainment as an option.


The model is differentiated externally by Micro Lens Array LED headlights, new 22-inch wheel designs, re-moulded bumper covers and a newly styled Crest Grille.


Added safety technologies include updated highway driving assist, an in-cabin camera, upgraded forward collision avoidance, lane follow assist and remote smart parking assist.


For the GV80 Coupe (from $136,000 + ORC), and in addition to its own unique styling cues, we find real carbon-fibre interior trim garnishing, a flat-bottom steering wheel, contrasting stitch work and seatbelts, and aluminium pedals.


The rakish SUV also scores its own 22-inch alloy wheel design, unique front bumper, dual exhaust tips and rear spoiler – as well as the addition of an extra drive mode (Sport+) and Flex Brake (adjustable brake response) mode selection.


As mentioned at the outset, the GV80 range is now offered exclusively with a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-biased all-wheel drive system. The listed output is 279kW and 530Nm with ADR Combined cycle fuel economy of 11.7 litres per 100km.


The claimed 0-100km/h time is 5.6 seconds for the SUV and 5.7 seconds the Coupe.


Braking duties fall to upgraded monobloc aluminium callipers (front) and discs all-round. The SUV sports silver-painted callipers and the Coupe black.


All Genesis vehicles are now backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty including complimentary scheduled servicing (intervals pegged at 12 months/10,000km) and roadside assistance and Genesis to You concierge service.


Driving Impressions


Premiumness in the mainstream luxury car sector has become something of a byword for unnecessary gimmickry in many instances. Rather than focusing on top-notch materials, outstanding build quality, and innovative engineering, many manufacturers seem to have strayed down the path of trying to outdo one another in inventing technologies for technology’s sake.


Often, that quest comes to the detriment of the end user who neither really wants nor expects a level of wizardry better saved for a military bunker. In short, most of these additions contribute little to the overall sense of premiumness luxury manufacturers once sought so hard to deliver.


Then, there is Genesis… Tech savvy, but not in the least complicated or supererogatory, the range delivers everything a prestige buyer expects without resorting to sophisticated gadgetry. What’s more, it does so while creating a driving experience that is not only premium, but inviting, welcoming; almost as if you’re coming home each time you sit behind the ‘wheel.


That’s a rare series of traits to find in a modern premium car.


The GV80 and its newly introduced Coupe sibling are a little bit unique in that respect, but also in terms of their styling and presentation. There’s no sterile ‘sameness’ here, just modern and sophisticated looks that allow the vehicles to stand out from the crowd in a way that is contemporary and acceptable.


In many ways the GV80 is comparable to a fine piece of sculpture that offers up new details the longer you study it, rather than a gaudy styling exercise that turns heads for the wrong reasons, and dates so very quickly.


The assembly quality, panel gaps, and paint lustre are first rate, and inside the mix of materials and attention to detail is simply outstanding in respect of the price.


When compared with many of the Genesis’ rivals the cabin is calm, quiet, and very comfortable. There’s no tyre roar. Visibility is terrific. Seating adjustment is brilliant. Small but important details we’ve become both used to and tired of criticising in other premium marques.


On the road the GV80 is a joy to live with, excusing of course the uptight safety aids Hyundai Motor Group (and others) is becoming infamous for. The car seems to shrink around you while offering a deceptive amount of cabin and cargo space, easily matching that of the BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE.


The move away from the traditional (read: ubiquitous) black on black décor of Genesis’ nearest rivals is a welcomed point of difference and adds to that feeling of personalisation deserved of a $130,000 car. Being able to customise upholstery, trim, and garnishing at no extra cost really does give the GV80 an advantage over its well-established rivals.


And it’s a lovely drive. Of course, the twin-turbocharged petrol V6 may not be as technologically advanced as the drivelines featured in some of the rivals listed above (and the deletion of the 2.5-litre petrol and 3.0-litre diesel certainly limits choice) and there is no electrification to be seen, at least not in Australian-delivered GV80 models. But the basics are very well sorted.


Smooth, effortless and torque rich delivery makes the engine an agreeable touring partner, and one that cooperates instinctively with Genesis’ decisive eight-speed transmission. There’s an assertiveness both to the engine’s character and its tone that is quite provocative, encouraging generous amounts of right foot when the opportunity presents itself.


The G6D3-series twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine delivers gutsy mid-range performance for effortless overtaking and hill climbing. It never needs to be forced or over-revved to achieve sufficient power delivery but is hardly what you’d call economical, that lack of electrification hitting hard at the overall fuel figure.


On test, we struggled to get the dial into the low 11-litre range and found the fuel use quickly rising to the mid-14-litre range when pushed or loaded with passengers.


The chassis of the GV80 is well tuned to a variety of conditions, even gravel roads (a HMCA press launch staple).


Steel springs and electrically adjustable damping provide a well-blended compromise between agility and comfort, the only negative experienced on launch the sensation of reverberation from the front-end when travelling over unkempt surfaces – and perhaps a reflection on the larger diameter wheels than the suspension setup itself.


The GV80’s steering is consistent and well weighted, though we found the thicker steering wheel rim can be uncomfortable when maintaining grip on longer drives. The steering response is backed by a level of communication not all electrically assisted units can match, adding to the enjoyment that comes from Genesis’ obviously rear-biased all-wheel drive arrangement.


There’s an enthusiasm for corners that belies the GV80’s proportions with feedback and grip that ranks as excellent, even on loose or greasy surfaces – points that bode well not only for current GV80 buyers, but also the brand’s future range of Magma performance models.


Buying a prestige car seems to have become a habitual act for most Australians. We choose what we know, what we think impresses our peers, and not always what impresses us; almost as if lineage means more than the reality of ownership – and enjoyment.


It’s part of what makes the Genesis brand hard to ignore. Uniquely stylish, user-friendly, and genuinely premium, it should not be overlooked; and we’d encourage anyone considering a European or Japanese rival to at least take a test drive. Like us, you might just come away impressed.

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