The Genesis name was originally founded in Seoul as the flagship luxury arm of Hyundai. By 2015 though, the name would officially become a standalone marque to realise the full potential for showcasing cutting-edge luxury, safety and reliability. That notion culminates in the arrival of the brand-new Genesis GV80, a model that aims to define the concept of ‘progressive luxury’.
A unique design
The GV80 evokes an aesthetic that is like no other SUV on the road today. A bold front fascia is achieved with a dominating futuristic G-Matrix grille paired to a double-stacked headlight design. The original look immediately sets the tone for what the Genesis name is all about and rightfully so, as the flagship GV80 will pave the way for all future Genesis SUV models.
The design comes compliments of the Genesis Global Advanced Studio, which leverages the brand’s Athletic Elegance philosophy. Satisfying the current market’s appetite for performance-loaded SUVs, the GV80 features rear-wheel-drive proportions married to a contoured roofline that meets with a dramatic swept window design on the sides. The chassis sits on large 20-inch or 22-inch alloy wheels depending on the spec customers choose.
The rear end is just as audacious with similar double-stacked tail-lights flanking the ‘Genesis’ insignia, which spans the width of the boot lid. This ensures that the GV80 will never be confused for any of its competitors. Elsewhere there’s the option for a range of premium paint finishes including eight gloss and three matte exterior colours.
Bucking the trend of some SUVs being offered in a confusing array of variants, Genesis have made it easy to choose the right GV80 with just four variants and three powertrain options. These include:
- 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with rear-wheel drive (224kW of power, 422Nm of torque)
- 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with all-wheel drive (224kW of power, 422Nm of torque)
- 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel engine with all-wheel drive (204kW of power, 588Nm of torque)
- 3.5-litre V6 turbo petrol engine with all-wheel drive (279kW of power and 530Nm of torque)
Genesis have included a Luxury Package option that can be applied to any of the four models. Uprated appointments include Nappa leather trim, a 12.3-inch full screen instrument cluster, three-zone climate control, soft close doors, an 18-way power adjustable driver’s seat with Ergo Motion massage function, and additional Genesis Active Safety Control systems.
A touch of European interior
Car companies tend to use luxury European interiors as a benchmark for their own. Genesis is no different and they have faithfully appointed a luxurious premium leather-finished cabin in the GV80 that can be chosen in five attractive interior colour combinations matched with four real-wood trims. There’s almost no clutter on the entire dash, which gives the cabin a sense of space with the help of a panoramic sunroof. All the seats feature a diamond-stitched design save for the third-row seats if the seven-seat option is ticked. A power-operated tailgate is also a welcome feature.
A 14.5-inch Genesis infotainment system touchscreen multimedia unit, central Genesis Integrated Controller dial and 12-inch Head-Up Display form part of the GV80’s standard equipment. There’s also wireless smartphone charging, power-operated door latches (Luxury Package), and a 21-speaker Lexicon premium sound system.
Behind the wheel impressions
Director of Global Business Development at The CEO Magazine, Lachlann Macdonald, recently got behind the wheel of the new Genesis GV80. Addressing the question on everyone’s mind on whether the SUV is just an expensive Hyundai, the answer is a definitive ‘no’.
“The level of technology in the car is unlike anything from its parent company and if you’re shopping for a German brand of premium SUV, the GV80 should absolutely be included in your test drives.”
“I think it will give the Germans a real run for their money,” he adds.
While the exceptional quality of the leather trim and lightweight aluminium doors were all highlights, it’s the car’s practicality and reliability which could be a main sell for families. Earlier this year J.D Power released its annual U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study for 2020 which analysed the problems experienced by car owners of three-year-old vehciles. Genesis topped that list so this in itself could be an attractive selling point.
Overall, Macdonald highlights the value for money GV80 owners will be getting.
“It essentially feels like you’re driving an expensive German car.”
One of the key selling points of the Genesis name is the impressive standards of safety built into every model. The GV80 reinforces this by standardising features such as 10 airbags, a highly rigid body structure and a host of electronic aids including Driver Attention Warning, Car/Pedestrian/Cyclist detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Machine Learning function and Surround View Monitor just to name a few.
The more adventurous drivers will be glad to hear of the inclusion of a drive mode selector, which can switch between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom modes to suit snow, mud or sand driving.
Establishing the Genesis name won’t be easy against the more established names, so the Korean company seems to be playing to its strengths. All private-use GV80s will come with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and five-year/50,000km (whichever comes first) complimentary scheduled servicing. Owners will also have access to the Concierge Service and Courtesy Vehicle Service.
The Genesis Concierge Service will arrange for the pick-up and delivery of customer GV80s within a 70km distance to a Genesis workshop when it is due for service. During this time, all owners have access to a Genesis courtesy vehicle. Owners are also automatically enrolled into the company’s five-year 24/7 Roadside Assistance program to get you out of trouble wherever you are.
The Genesis GV80 range will be priced starting from A$90,600. Visit Genesis for more information.