Hyundai is one of many manufacturers trying to piss off the German establishment by creating their own luxury brand.
We’re trying out the top-of-the-line Genesis GV80 SUV packed with luxury features.
There’s a different level of customer service
Genesis is in its infancy as a brand. Hyundai’s luxury division can’t match the appeal of BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz, so it’s different in that it offers more perks of ownership.
The first five scheduled services are free and Genesis will pick up and drop off your car when service is due, provided you live within 70 miles of the Genesis studio.
They will also keep a free car for you while the service is completed.
The icing on the cake will be a free five-year roadside assistance program.
Cabin looks great
Our test car had an optional six-seat luxury package that costs $13,000 more than the GV80’s $92,000-plus starting price on the road. More seats cost less – the seven-seat version’s deluxe package costs just $10,000.
At an additional cost, quality Nappa leather is everywhere, a large 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver, suede trim for the roof and pillars, heated and ventilated seats in the first and second rows, as well as power adjustable seats and sun shades in the cabin. back.
An extra $3,000 in the six-seat version buys separate, reclining second-row seats with airliner-style winged headrests, a center console with wireless charger, and two 9.2-inch rear entertainment screens.
It feels like business class.
Some technologies seem redundant
The Genesis isn’t the only one with electric adjustment for all three rows of seats, but you’re wondering if a simple manual lever to fold the seats would be the best solution.
Of course it would be faster.
The auto-parking feature is something you usually only use once to show off to your neighbors. The massage seats turn on automatically after a certain amount of time, which can be confusing if you don’t expect it.
This is a true luxury brand.
The attention to detail and quality of materials in the cabin is on par with German rivals, and the gadgets and luxury items offer more value for the money.
Highlights include Blind Spot Alert, which shows you a video feed of the road behind you when you flick the indicator. Ambient lighting adds a sense of sophistication after dark, as do puddle lamps that light up the road when you open the door at night.
Genesis was ranked #1 among all luxury brands in JD Power’s respected quality and reliability study.
However, the driving experience lags a little behind.
There are three engine options for the GV80. It starts with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 224 kW and 422 Nm, followed by a 3.0-liter diesel with 204 kW and 588 Nm and a 3.5-liter V6 turbo engine with 279 kW and 530 Nm.
We had the diesel, which delivers an impressive combination of grunt and refinement. The silky 8-speed automatic transmission lets you select the right gear for maximum traction and is reasonably efficient for its size.
However, the driving experience is let down by the suspension, which struggles for composure on rough roads. It tends to float a little on big bumps, while the big 22-inch wheels with low-profile tires get twitchy on pockmarked tar.
The steering feels sharp, but in corners you can feel the car’s weight as it rocks and leans. It’s good for family driving on the freeway, but it lacks the poise of a BMW X5 or Audi Q8.
Originally published as 2022 Genesis GV80 Luxury Review