The All-New Genesis GV80 Debuts As The Brand’s First SUV: How Does The Upstart Crossover Stack Up?

Here are the details on Genesis' first step outside sedans

[Photos: Genesis]

The Genesis GV80 has gotten its share of teasers, but on Wednesday the final version finally debuted in South Korea. It’s the first SUV offering from Hyundai’s luxury brand, while its styling takes on cues from its revamped G90 sedan. While it may look similar on the outside to the sedan thanks to that big grille and split headlight assembly, but it looks to be a bit of a different beast under the skin.

At its South Korean launch, the Genesis GV80 will have a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel engine making 274 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. Sadly for diesel fans here in the U.S., the company specifically said that powertrain won’t be coming to our market (no surprises there). What we will get instead are two turbocharged gasoline options, though it’s unclear exactly which ones we’ll have at this time. Odds are the 2.5-liter turbo engine coming to the Hyundai Sonata N-Line will be one of the options, as it’s also slated to replace the 2.0-liter unit in the Genesis G70. As for the other, the ubiquitous 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 seems an obvious choice, though reports suggest it will have a 3.5-liter unit instead.

The current 3.3-liter engine makes 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, so a larger displacement option could put the GV80 somewhere around 400 horsepower. Mind you, we may have more U.S.-specific information later this month, or at least closer to the car’s North American launch date. As with the brand’s other models, the new Genesis GV80 will have an eight-speed automatic transmission, with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Plenty of technology in the new GV80

Genesis is building its reputation as a luxury automaker that also brings value to the table. While final pricing information isn’t available yet, it should be much less expensive than its European rivals over at BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. For that money, you’ll still get a wide range of technology on offer in the new GV80. The company claims the car has the first “smart” cruise control, going beyond just using radar and actually engineering artificial intelligence into the system. According to Genesis, it will “independently learn” your driving characteristics and implement an autonomous driving strategy to suit.

Other systems like forward collision avoidance, lane change assist, blind spot collision avoidance and driver attention alert are available as well. While the GV80’s ten airbags normally wouldn’t be a notable item, the company does mention a particular airbag positioned between the driver and passenger to mitigate any interior impact in the event of a crash.

On the comfort front, the new Genesis GV80 employs Road Active Noise Cancellation technology, which claims to significantly reduce noise while driving. The system uses digital signal processing to generate sound waves opposite to those coming into the cabin to make for a quieter experience. In the center stack, Genesis’ first SUV boasts a 14.5-inch split-screen infotainment display, with a more minimalist approach to button layouts we see in other Genesis models.

The diamond-quilted leather seats are another nice touch, but Genesis says the driver’s seat is an “active motion” seat containing seven air cells. Those cells are meant to reduce fatigue on road trips, though we’ll have to see how they actually work when we have a chance to drive the car. While the model comes standard with two rows, you will also be able to get it with three rows of seats.

More coming later this month

Genesis’ diesel GV80 will launch in South Korea with that diesel engine for about 66 million won, or roughly $56,750. Stay tuned to for more coming in late January, and expect the new Genesis GV80 to arrive in North America sometime later this year, with it possibly hitting the U.S. in 2021.