Ascend to Peak Grandeur in the Genesis GV80

by Petrol Mum

The recently released Genesis GV80 is a large, luxury SUV with many impressive elements, so bear with me as I explore some of these features with you here. To start with, the GV80 model line-up has four variants, with three powertrains, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, and five or seven seats.

A Luxury Package ($10,000 option) is offered on each of the four variants and includes features such as Nappa leather trim, a 12.3-inch full screen instrument cluster, three-zone climate control, soft close doors, 18-way power adjustable driver’s seat with Ergo Motion massage function, and heated and ventilated second row seats.

Road Preview Electronic Control Suspension comes standard on six-cylinder variants and uses the GV80’s front camera to detect speed bumps or potholes and then controls damping force to optimise ride comfort and minimise impact; Rolls-Royce offers similar technology. The ride was comfortable in the GV80, but I found it a little disappointing how it road over the bumps considering this technology was fitted.

Also similar to Rolls-Royce, the GV80 has Active Road Noise Control technology that minimises noise from the road surface coming into the vehicle. Using accelerometers and microphones, it detects noise coming into the cabin and releases reverse phase soundwaves through speakers inside the vehicle to create a quiet ambience. An acoustic laminated glass windscreen and front door glass is also standard in GV80, to isolate occupants from wind and road noise. Although this technology was in operation there was still some road noise evident in the cabin when driving.

The GV80 3.0D I drove had the Luxury Package and was powered by the all-new 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produces 204kW and 588Nm, paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The diesel engine was very quiet, both inside and out of the SUV, and it can power the GV80 from rest to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds. The 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder has an official combined fuel consumption figure of 8.8L/100km and for my week I used 9.4L/100km.The six-cylinder variants of the GV80 have an electro-mechanical limited-slip differential that optimally apportions torque between the rear wheels according to the conditions. Drive modes available in the 3.0D include Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom and for off-road driving there is Snow, Mud and Sand.

The exterior design of the GV80 is striking, particularly in the Matte Matterhorn White colour ($2,000 option) of the SUV I drove. This mountain of an SUV demands presence on the road with its proportions underlined by attractive 22-inch alloy wheels. The GV80 has a large turning circle and it would most likely be difficult to navigate it though a tight parking station. Even though you are up high off the ground the nature of the door design, which extends to the bottom of the sill, means that you need to be conscious of the height of the kerbs you park next to because the bottom of the door may be closer to them than you think. Their large size therefore makes it nice to have soft close doors that are part of the Luxury Package, again similar to Rolls-Royce; you don’t need to slam the doors shut, just close them until a small gap is left and they close automatically.

Once inside you will appreciate the GV80’s cabin draws inspiration from a Korean architectural philosophy that emphasises ‘the beauty of white space’. I liked how the air vent design continued across the dash and I felt there was a Bentley-esque feel, with the diamond stitching on the Nappa leather seats and leather appointed door trims and the etching on the rotary gear selector and other tactile points within the cabin. The wood inserts are tasteful and I liked the stitched leather appointed dash and the metal speaker covers as they all combined to give me a real sense of luxury. Personally though, I would not have a light interior colour.

The 14.5-inch Genesis infotainment system touchscreen multimedia unit incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Media from your Bluetooth, USB music, USB video, DAB/FM (which has patchy coverage in outer Sydney) and AM radio can be enjoyed on the 21 Lexicon speakers. At the front of the centre console under a powered cover there is wireless charging for compatible devices, two USB ports and one SS USB port. Under the front of the centre console there is another storage ledge with one 12V outlet.

I liked that I could select Quiet Mode, so the music was only played through the front speakers thereby avoiding the possibility of disturbing the rear passengers, a handy feature if you have small children sleeping in the back. Or conversely if I needed to get the attention of my passengers all the way in the third row seat I could use the passenger talk feature that utilises the front microphone to pick up the driver’s voice and play it through the rear speakers.

Should you need a bit of relaxation while driving you also have a number of ‘Sounds of Nature’ to listen to. The choices available include Lively Forest (the favourite of my family), Calm Ocean Waves, Rainy Day (not recommended if you have children who immediately need to go to the toilet as soon as you get in the car), Open-air-café (should you want to recreate a café ambience while you are actually sitting in your driveway drinking your during a COVID-19 lockdown), Warm fireplace, and Snowy Village.

Added relaxation for the driver comes in the form of three different massage settings; pelvic stretching, lumbar stretching or whole body stretch. The quality of the massage is not equivalent to that offered by Volkswagen for example and I didn’t like the feeling of the massage on the bottom half of the seat at all. The driver’s seat has power adjustment for every direction, including active side bolster support that squeezes you when Sport mode is selected, and two memory positions.

The passenger’s seat also gets power adjustment; however it misses out memory positions and the massage function. The driver can move the passenger seat forward/back or adjust recline using the controls on the right hand side of the passenger seat. Both front seats are heated and cooled, but the cooling function did not work that well and this is something that many other car manufacturers struggle with as well.

The steering column is power adjusted with easy access, and the steering wheel is heated (part of Luxury Package), and has a design that is different to other manufacturers, which I think it looks classy. The voice control button on the steering wheel is designated with an androgynous-looking silhouette, but like other Hyundai vehicles the voice control only works when your phone is connected via Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. This is something I think Genesis should improve so that it can provide a voice control functionality equivalent to other similar priced SUVs.

The Luxury Package includes a 12.3-inch Genesis 3D cluster and this took a bit of getting used to look at. Most of all because I didn’t like that the taco went in an anti-clockwise direction (as shown in the above photo), so I would look down and feel startled for a moment thinking the engine was revving higher than it actually was. The driver’s dash also incorporates a camera view when you indicate either left or right, so that you can see down beside the SUV before you turn.

A 12.0-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) that can be adjusted for height, rotation and brightness comes standard on all GV80 models. The HUD can be configured to display turn info, traffic info, driver convenience, blind spot and radio/media info depending on your individual preference.

The 3.0D and 3.5T GV80 models offer seven seats and the second row on my GV80 (with the Luxury Package) had heated and cooled seats with the heating extending to the centre seat as well, and like the front seats the cooling did not work that well. There is enough head and leg room for two adults to sit comfortably here and they each get a vanity mirror with a light. The centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two large adjustable drink bottle holders at the front of it. This is good because anything other than a small plastic drink bottle would not fit in the drink bottle storage in the door cubbies.

The second row seats have power recline and height adjustment with a 60:40 split (60 is on passenger side) so the seats can be moved manually forward and back independently and a 40:20:40 split folding mechanism for laying them flat. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points and under the central air vents there is one USB port and one 12V outlet. Three mats cover the floor including the transmission tunnel to prevent the carpet wearing from children stepping over it.

The Luxury Package also includes power operated window blinds that are controlled using the window opening button, something my children appreciated, and the ability for second row passengers to control their climate settings with a digital temperature, air speed and mode control with central air vents and vents under the front seats. But there is a significant design flaw in the climate system in my opinion with the rear air speed control also controlling the front air speed, which annoyed me a lot because my children like to have the air blowing hard and I do not. Thankfully you can lock the rear climate controls from the front if desired.

To access the third row seats there is a button on the second row seat that electrically moves the second row seat forward. The gap is large enough for me to step into the third row and there is plastic where you step to get in. Once you are in the seat you can press the button on the shoulder of the second row seat to bring it back upright. However I found that the third row is not suitable for adults as I couldn’t straighten my neck and my knees were up high. The third row does not have any child seat restraint points and would therefore be best suited for tween-sized children. There are air vents on the side and under the second row seats, with the temperature controlled by the second row climate settings. There are drink bottle holders on the wheel arches and the right hand side has a storage cubby also. For easy cleaning there is a single removable mat that covers the third row floor.

To exit the third row you press the button on the shoulder of the seat in front and push that seat forward. If you were using the third row on a permanent basis then the second row seat that you move forward would not be able to have a car seat fitted to it because the seat would not move forward enough to get out of the third row.

The GV80 has a smart tailgate that is meant to open automatically when you approach the boot with the smart key, but it did not work for me. If you are looking for the button to open the boot from the outside it is located on the rear windscreen wiper. You can also open and close the boot from the key fob and the button in the cabin. With the third row up there is just enough room in the boot to squeeze in five school bags in the boot and when they are down using the 50:50 split folding mechanism there is ample room for the pram and a weekly shop.

I really liked that under the small part of the boot floor there was a neatly packaged cargo cover, cargo net, tyre mobility kit, first aid kit and a roadside assistance kit. The GV80 boot also features a fold up carpet mat that either covers the small boot or extends out to cover the third row seats as well when they are laid down. There are four tie down points, one 12V outlet and two hooks in the boot plus buttons to raise and lower both the third and second row seats. If all seats are laid flat there are also hooks to keep the seat belts out of the way as well.

The GV80 3.0D comes with the Genesis Active Safety Control suite of technologies, including multi-function Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist and Monitoring, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Machine Learning functions, Lane Keeping Assist – Line/Road-Edge, Lane Following Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist. I felt the Lane Keep technology didn’t follow lanes as well as some European car manufacturers do.

In addition, there are ten airbags including a front centre side airbag, plus a 360o View Monitor with 3D function that offers two rear camera views combined with front and rear sensors. At present the Genesis GV80 does not have an ANCAP safety rating.

All new Genesis vehicles come with five year/unlimited kilometre warranty (other than for vehicles used at any time during the warranty period for commercial application). In addition you also get five year’s Genesis-To-You, Valet Service and 24/7 Roadside Assistance. Complimentary Scheduled Servicing is included for 5 Year/50,000 km for petrol engines or 5 Year/75,000 km for diesel engines. Your Valet Service means a Genesis Concierge Service will arrange for the pickup and delivery of your GV80 when it is due for scheduled maintenance or warranty services. Simply contact the Genesis Service Concierge they’ll come to your location of choice to pick up your vehicle if you live within 70km driving distance to a Genesis Studio. While your vehicle is serviced, a Genesis courtesy vehicle is left at your disposal.

The Genesis GV80 3.0D starts at $103,600 plus dealer delivery and on-road costs and as tested with the Luxury Package and Matte Paint the GV80 I drove was $115,600 plus the above costs. Contact Genesis Australia to arrange a test drive the grandiose GV80 SUV for yourself.

Many impressive technological featuresRear climate air speed control also adjusts front climate air speed
Striking interior and exterior designVoice control needs to be connected to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto to operate
Level of customer service offered by Genesis AustraliaTaco goes in an anti-clockwise direction

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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