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2021 Genesis GV80: Korea’s first premium SUV lands in Australia

John Law

Genesis has today launched their first ever SUV, the GV80, into the Australian market. Three engine options and two lush levels of specification make up the initial choice, with the most affordable GV80 starting at $90,600 plus on-road costs – that ought to give the established German marques a bit of a fright.

There are two petrol engines – one four-cylinder, one six – and a single diesel offered in the range. The two levels of specification are sure to make picking a GV80 relatively easy with little customisation outside of paint colour and interior hue left to the customer. Interestingly this differs from the enormous options lists offered by the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Benz GLE-Class.

Genesis GV80 Front Cab
Sure the GV80 is attractive outside, but this cabin is seriously opulent considering the price.

While the exterior is perhaps the most sophisticated in class, it’s the opulent cabin of the GV80 that promises to be chock full of useful technology that has us excited. The cockpit design centres around a vast 14.5-inch touchscreen which easily bests competitors in pure size terms. Real wood trimmings accent the classy cabin, and we applaud the move to a dual-spoke steering wheel that lends an air of opulence where so many SUVs go for sporty.

Keeping drivers on track is a standard fit satellite navigation system with augmented reality displays for directions and live traffic updates. Supplementing the touchscreen is a touchpad that can recognise handwriting as another way of navigating the infotainment system, with a 21-speaker sound system as icing on the cake.

Genesis GV80 Front 3/4
The entry-level GV80 packs a 2.5-litre four-cylinder.

Powering the entry-level GV80 is a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 224kW and 422Nm matched with an eight-speed automatic. Genesis offers the option of both rear and all-wheel drive (for an extra $5,000), thanks to the modular rear-drive platform that underpins the new GV80 and coming GV70 SUVs.

A three-litre straight-six diesel producing 204kW and 588Nm is also offered and might be our pick of the range. That’s available with all-wheel-drive only for $103,600. Topping out the lineup is a 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 which will make the GV80 a rapid ride for just $108,600 thanks to 279kW and 530Nm outputs. That engine is paired with a rear-axle limited-slip differential to keep things under control.

Genesis GV80 Rear
We reckon the diesel inline ‘six is the pick, though.

Safety tech is generous and includes ten airbags, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear AEB with cyclist and day and night pedestrian detection, junction assist, 360-degree monitor, safe exit assist and lane-trace assist. A cutting-edge adaptive cruise control system that uses artificial intelligence to learn a driver’s habits features on the GV80 – we reckon that’s pretty cool.

Genesis offers just two levels of specification – standard and an optional luxury pack which costs $10,000. For the extra cash, buyers will be treated to 18-way adjustable heated and cooled Nappa leather-appointed front seats with massage function, a heated steering wheel, soft-close doors and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.

Genesis GV80 Rim
The return of the two-spoke wheel is welcomed by Chasing Cars.

The GV80 gives the choice of five seats on the base car, or seven seats from the 2.5T AWD and up. Adding to the cabin opulence in the 3.0D and 3.5T vehicles is standard-fit adaptive suspension and vast 22-inch alloy wheels.

Customers will have the ability to play with spec a little bit with the raft of hues offered inside and out. Premium colours include Himalayan Grey, Lima Red and the Cardiff Green. There are also matte shades available for an extra $2,000 on top; those include Melbourne Grey, Brunswick Green and Matterhorn White.

Genesis GV80 Front
Not as much customisation as the Germans – but great value.

Obsidian Black and Vanilla Beige make up the more traditional interior choices, but Genesis offers a fair amount of excitement with two-tone schemes. Urban Brown matches with Vanilla Beige, Ultramarine Blue with Dune Beige and Maroon Brown with Smoky green. Sweet. Each of the leather tones can be further accented with the choice of Birch, Metallic, Olive or Black Ash real wood trims. Genesis’ first SUV has arrived in Australia with sales set to begin this month.

2021 Genesis GV80 Pricing

All prices are before on-road costs

GV80 2.5T – $90,600
GV80 2.5T AWD – $95,600
GV80 3.0D AWD – $103,600
GV80 3.5T AWD – $108,600

Luxury Pack – $10,000
Matte Paint – $2,000