7f6S9hOB 2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 1
2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 1

Genesis GV80: The stylish alternative

Riley Riley

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 9

What is it?

Launched here in 2020, GV80 is Genesis’ first and largest SUV in a lineup that now boasts three of them.

At just under five metres in length and with a kerb weight of about 2300kg, it’s a large, impressive-looking vehicle.

The styling is tasteful, chiselled and eye-catching, highlighted by an imposing, almost heraldic, crest-shaped grille that is flanked by quad, twin-bar LED headlights — motifs that are repeated at the rear of the car.

Competitors include Lexus, Volvo and of course the German contingent.

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 10

What’s it cost?

In the context of recent offerings from Kia and Hyundai, the styling of GV80 is fairly conservative and starting to age already.

Despite being the range topper, there’s no electrified version of this wagon either — not yet anyway.

GV80 is offered in four flavours, with a choice of three powertrains, rear- or all-wheel drive, five, six or seven seats, as well as an optional Luxury Pack.

It’s priced from $92,200 for the 2.5-litre turbocharged four cylinder rear-wheel drive 2.5T.

The same model with all-wheel drive costs $5000 more.

Next comes the diesel 3.0D AWD, priced from $105,200 followed by top of the line twin turbo petrol 3.5T AWD at $109,700 — all prices are before on-road costs.

Our test vehicle, the 3.0D AWD, was spec’d up with the 6-seat Lux pack, bringing the total price to $118,700.

GV80 was the subject of some minor modifications towards the end of last year, including the switch to a raised, easier to use infotainment control dial.

We appear to have received the older model as this feature was missing from our vehicle.

There’s 10 colours from which to choose, seven gloss and three matte colours, each with matte chrome exterior trim and a chrome grille.

Standard luxury includes 21-inch alloys and a mood-lit cabin with dual zone climate air, leather and real wood trim, along with power-adjust steering wheel, and power adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with independent temperature control for the second row – plus a power operated tailgate with hands free opening.

There’s also a dual-pane sunroof, LED front and rear lights, DRLs and positioning-style turn indicators, 12.0-inch head-up display, machine learning smart cruise control, road preview adaptive suspension, navigation with augmented reality and 21-speaker 1050 watt Lexicon audio.

Augmented reality draws on a front camera to add real views of the road ahead to the navigation when you’re following a route.

Believe it or not, the Luxury Pack takes things a step further, with nappa leather, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, three-zone climate, remote control parking, soft close doors, plus a 18-way power adjustable driver’s seat with ‘Ergo Motion’ massage function, along with heating and ventilation for second row passengers.

Infotainment consists of a long, thin 14.5-inch touchscreen, operated by touch or via a console-mounted controller.

The system features an integrated controller with handwriting shortcut, ‘Sounds of Nature’ background audio, the ability to record up to 70 minutes of voice memo, AM/FM/DAB+ w/ RDS, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless Qi smartphone charging plus active sound design (ASD).

With the Lux pack, as well as two, individual second row seats, you also get an independent rear entertainment system with two 9.2-inch touch screens fixed to the back of the front seats.

Five-star safety comprises 10 airbags, including a front centre side airbag, and an extensive Genesis Active Safety Control suite of technologies.

These include a multi-function Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system, Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist (BCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go and Machine Learning functions, and a Surround View Monitor (SVM) with 3D function.

GV80 is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and extensive after sales program.

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 7

What’s it go like?

The cabin is light, bright and airy, and a comfortable environment to spend an extended period.

It’s all there, but presented in a way that is not overwhelming like some German cars tend to be.

The vibe is a cross between Lexus and Volvo, with a deep, wide sweeping dash that provides the platform for the large, low profile touchscreen.

It’s underpinned by an unusually long, thin air vent that extends across the dash from one side of the car to the other.

The broad centre console has been de-cluttered, with a tempered glass rotary knob replacing the usual transmission lever.

Another circular control supplements the touchscreen, along with handwriting recognition.

In theory the latter means the driver or passenger can enter an address for navigation simply by writing on the central touchpad.

Nice idea, but does anyone actually use this stuff. As far as we’re concerned, it can join talking to Google as a generally frustrating, unproductive experience. No thanks.

The 18-way power-adjustable leather front seats are wide and comfortable, with heating, cooling and massage available.

The second row in our test vehicle was split into two individual seats, separated by a console, with third row seats that are best suited to occasional use. 

The second row can be flipped or raised at the touch of a button.

The BMW-esque 3.0-litre, all-aluminium ‘straight’ six diesel produces 204kW of power at 3800 rpm and 588Nm of torque from 1500-3000 rpm.

It’s exclusive to the Genesis range and we’re informed will not be used in any other Kia or Hyundai — but never say never.

It’s paired with an eight-speed traditional auto, with paddle shifts for finer control.

The part-time all-wheel drive system distributes torque to all four wheels as required and it also comes with an electro-mechanical limited slip rear diff.

Our test vehicle sat on 22-inch wheels with chunky 265/40 series Michelin rubber.

The well-insulated diesel provides quiet, effortless linear performance, with maximum torque available over a wide band, from 1500 to 3000 revs.

The eight-speed auto is smooth and refined, with only the occasional glitch.

There’s four drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom — along with fairly superfluous multi-terrain settings (I mean, who in their right mind is going to take one of these things to Fraser Island).

Like a Ferrari, Custom enables the driver to separate throttle and suspension settings, allowing the driver to set a more responsive throttle, but keep a softer ride for the comfort of passengers — as opposed to often jarring sport settings.

Punch the accelerator and the GV80 gets moving, more quickly than it actually feels, with effortless roll-on acceleration.

But it lacks the heavy hand of its German rivals which push you back in the seat, and customers entertaining the idea of a change might be a little disappointed.

Genesis quotes 6.8 seconds for the dash from 0 to 100km/h, with an overtaking-friendly 80-120km/h taking 5.1 seconds. 

To help achieve these figures (and reduce fuel consumption), the doors, hood, and tailgate are all made of weight-saving aluminium.

Widely spaced wheels and big meaty tyres, reduce body roll and supply plenty of grip in corners.

The Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview actively adjusts the GV80’s performance characteristics to deliver the smoothest possible drive.

Using a front camera to detect potential potholes or speed bumps, the system adapts damping to accommodate obstacles and reduce wheel impact from aftershocks.

In the latest update, it has been refined to provide an even more refined and comfortable experience.

Again, while it’s perhaps not quite as sharp or agile as a Beemer or Audi when driven with zest, it remains far from disappointing.

Active noise cancelling, like the tech found in headphones, and a well insulated cabin, keep engine and road noise to a minimum.

In fact, unless you’re getting up it — you wouldn’t know it’s a diesel.

The diesel model can tow a 2722kg braked load, with a maximum towball weight of 182kg.

Fuel consumption from the 80-litre tank is a claimed 8.8L/100km.

Surprisingly, we managed to better this figure, with 8.2L/100km showing after some 612km of mixed driving.

A tyre repair kit is supplied in case you have a flat, with a pressurised cylinder of goo to get you going again.

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 6

What we like?

  • It’s different
  • Finished to high standard
  • Lots of things to play with
  • Dash not overwhelming in complexity

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 8 1

What we don’t like?

  • Tow rating a little low
  • Touchscreen sits too far back
  • No USB-C style data/charge ports
  • Could do with some more legroom for third row

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 4

The bottom line?

It’s not electric, but it will do for now.

You get plenty of bang for your buck with the GV80 including a comprehensive after sales perks program.

Genesis offers guaranteed buy-back too.

2023 Genesis GV80 30D AWD 5


CHECKOUT: Genesis coupe steps up a gear

CHECKOUT: Genesis GV70 Electrified: The power and the glory


Genesis GV80 30D AWD, priced from $105,200
  • Looks - 8/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 8.5/10
  • Thirst - 7.5/10
  • Practicality - 7.5/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
  • Tech - 8.5/10
  • Value - 8/10

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