2022 Genesis GV80 Luxury Review

Hyundai is part of a horde of automakers trying to ruffle the German establishment by creating its own luxury brand.

We test the top-of-the-line Genesis GV80 SUV which is packed with luxury features.

There is a different level of customer service

Genesis is in its infancy as a brand. Hyundai’s luxury arm can’t match the badge appeal of a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz, so it differentiates itself by offering more ownership benefits.

The first five scheduled services are free and Genesis will pick up and drop off your car when a service is due, provided you live within 70 km of a Genesis studio.

They will also leave you a courtesy vehicle while the service is over.

A free five-year roadside assistance program is the icing on the cake.

The cabin is sumptuous

Our tester had the optional six-passenger Luxury Package, which costs $13,000 more than the GV80’s starting price of $92,000 plus roads. More seats cost less – the seven-seat version’s luxury pack costs just $10,000.

For the extra expense, there’s premium Nappa leather throughout, a large 12.3-inch digital screen in front of the driver, suede trim on the roof and pillars, heated and ventilated seats in the first and second rows and power-adjustable seats and sunshades in the return.

The extra $3,000 in the six-passenger version buys individual, reclining second-row seats with wing-shaped airplane-style headrests, a center console with a wireless charger, and dual 9.2-inch rear entertainment screens.

It feels like business class.

Some technologies seem overkill

Genesis isn’t alone in having power adjustment of all three rows of seats, but you wonder if a simple manual lever to fold the seats would be a better solution.

It would certainly be faster.

The auto-park feature is also something you tend to only use once to show off to neighbors. The massaging seats engage automatically after a while, which can be disconcerting if you’re not expecting it.

It’s a real luxury brand

The attention to detail and quality of materials in the cabin is on par with its German rivals and there’s more bling for the money in terms of gadgets and luxury items.

Highlights include Blind Spot Alert which shows you a video feed of the road behind you when you flick the indicator. Ambient lighting adds an air of sophistication after dark, as do puddle lamps that illuminate the road when you open the door at night.

Genesis finished top of all luxury brands in JD Power’s respected quality and reliability survey.

The driving experience is a little off, though

There are three engine choices for the GV80. It starts with a turbo four-cylinder developing 224 kW and 422 Nm, then there’s a 3.0-litre diesel with 204 kW and 588 Nm and a 3.5-litre V6 turbo developing 279 kW and 530 Nm.

We had the diesel, which offers an impressive blend of growl and refinement. A silky-smooth 8-speed auto manages to snatch the right gear for maximum thrust and it’s reasonably efficient for its size.

The driving experience is disappointing, however, with a suspension that struggles to keep its cool on the roughest roads. It tends to float a bit over big bumps, while the chunky 22-inch wheels with low-profile rubber wiggle over pockmarked tarmac.

The steering is crisp, but in corners you can feel the weight of the car as it pitches and leans. It’s fine for family highway driving, but it lacks the poise of a BMW X5 or Audi Q8.

Originally published as Genesis GV80 Luxury 2022 Review

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