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Model update: Genesis GV80

Date: 24 May 2022   |   Author: Martyn Collins

Can this premium SUV really challenge the established opposition?
What's new:
We try Genesis's biggest SUV with petrol power.
Standard equipment:
20in alloy wheels, 12-way power adjustable front seats, 8in TFT instrument display, 14.5in infotainment display with navigation and Genesis Connected, keyless start and go, power tailgate, Apple Carplay, Android Auto

We tried the G80 in Luxury Line trim earlier this year and were impressed more with the sum of its parts than the car itself. So, the question we asked ourselves, is whether Genesis's full-size SUV, the GV80, could make more of an impression? 

Like the G80, the GV80 is only available with large petrol and diesel engines, neither of which are below the highest 37% BiK company car bracket. And although there are already plans for a full-electric version of the G80, the GV80 will have to soldier on with ICE engines until the brand goes fully electric in 2025 - so until then, the Genesis' appeal to the corporate market is marginal. 

Still, Genesis believes it will appeal to user-chooser buyers, with their emphasis on a different owner/manufacturer relationship. There are no dealers, and you're looked after by a Genesis Personal Assistant, who is not a salesperson, but does everything from booking a test drive at the start, right through to arranging a service. 

But let's get back to the GV80. First thoughts are that Genesis' 'four-dash' front and rear lights and large, distinctive front grille work better on this SUV. Is it me or is there some Bentley Bentaga SUV in this SUV's design? It wouldn't surprise me, as there are some former staff from Crewe working for Hyundai's premium, luxury arm. Yet overall, the GV80 doesn't look like rivals, it's something different, especially on the 22ins alloy wheels fitted as standard on this Luxury Line version. As such, it attracted a lot of attention and interest from other drivers during the week we had this car. 

Inside, again, it's the attention to detail and quality that impress. The dashboard design is virtually the same as the G80's, but we like the extra ash wood trim on the centre console. The soft Nappa leather, with its quilted finish, plus the optional, potent Lexicon Premium Audio System - and the fact that the interior is spacious - make for a really comfortable and refined place to spend long motorway trips. The GV80 can also be specified with an extra set of seats that are hidden under the boot floor for more practicality and even when they're in place, the boot at 727 litres is a decent size.

There's substance behind all the luxury and style, as there's plenty of the latest tech, including Hyundai's clever blind spot monitoring system, that's activated every time you put the indicators on. Then, there's clever self-parking function, where the GV80 can be moved froward or backwards - by the key. Again, it works well, although seeing such a big SUV moving on its own with no driver at the helm is scary. 

There is also a 14.5in screen for the infotainment, but it's a shame it has the same operating system and feel as you'd get in cheaper Hyundai and Kia models. 

Despite the 22in wheels, we were pleasantly surprised by the generally cossetting and refined ride of the GV80 with its Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) - although it's notably more unhappy at lower speed and around town than the G80. That refinement generally remains unchanged in the other driving modes - although Sport makes the throttle response notably sharper. 

Genesis claim 300hp from the 2.5-litre turbo petrol engine, but performance merely feels adequate from start off, although speed quickly builds on the move. Plus, even on a long trip, we couldn't quite match Genesis's mid 20s mpg figure. The steering is reasonably precise, but lacks feel, and the handling is tidy - although the tall heavy body equals some roll. Like the G80, the GV80 is comfortable but unremarkable to drive. There's even a "Terrain Mode," but the large wheels are definitely not suited to off-roading.

So, like the G80, the GV80 impresses with the sum of its parts - rather than the drive itself. However, the GV80 stands out more against key SUV rivals, such as the Audi Q7 and BMW X5. In fact, we'd go as far to say its quality and attention to detail is a match for these Germans and betters the Land Rover Discovery. No wonder then, that in a recent interview, UK director and regional operations manager, Andrew Pilkington told us the GV80 was one of the most popular models with UK buyers. 

The German rivals are logically the better cars, but we can see the different owner/manufacturer relationship appealing to some and the Genesis GV80 is a stylish, well-made alternative.

Genesis GV80 Luxury Line (seven-seater)   

P11D: £60,850

Residual value: 37.4%

Depreciation: £38,051

Fuel: £15,805

Service, maintenance and repair: £4,144

Cost per mile: 97.41p

Fuel consumption: 26.1mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 243g/km (37%)  

BIK 20/40% a month: £375/£750

Luggage capacity: 727 litres

Engine size/power: 2,497cc/300hp


  • Attractive styling,
  • Luxurious interior
  • Refinement
  • Unremarkable to drive
  • Thirsty
  • Depreciation