Genesis GV80 review (2023): more of the same from Genesis

Published: 23 October 2023 Updated: 23 October 2023
Genesis GV80 front cornering
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.

► SUV tops the Genesis UK range
► Five, six or seven seats
► But sadly only one engine choice

Sitting at the top of the UK range, the Genesis GV80 is a chunky five, six or seven seat luxury SUV. Unlike the smaller GV70 there’s no electric option, just a single 2.5-litre petrol lump. A six-pot turbodiesel was available for a short time, but sadly this has gone the way of the dodo over here.

It goes toe-to-toe with other big premium SUVs such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE, not to mention various Land and Range Rover products. Base GV80s are a bit cheaper than the aforementioned rivals, although the gap isn’t huge.

Pros: Luxurious interior, practicality, high-speed ride
Cons: Breathless engine, poor efficiency, low-speed ride

What are the specs? 

If you’re hoping a capacity over 2.0-litres means a creamy six-cylinder, think again. Instead, it’s a big four-cylinder that counts on a turbocharger to make reasonable power. With bang on 300bhp it’ll get from 0-62mph in 6.9-seconds. It’s by no means slow, but some way off what’s available in rivals.

Genesis GV80 driving profile

With not even a whiff of electrification, CO2 emissions are in the 240g/km range and the official figures suggest mid-twenties fuel economy. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re a business user or private buyer, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to run.

How does the Genesis GV80 drive? 

While the four-cylinder is fairly inoffensive when you’re pottering about, you’ll need to poke it with a stick before it feels as quick as the numbers suggest. This comes with a thrashy soundtrack that’s more family hatchback than luxury SUV. Disappointing.

Performance is brisk enough, but you shouldn’t have to work so hard for it in something like this. At the end of the day, a big diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrain and the low-down torque these provide better suit a hefty SUV. Similarly, the mid—20s economy is soundly beaten by the 3.0-litre petrol BMW X7.

Genesis GV80 rear cornering

Ride comfort is also a bit of a mixed bag. At speed the camera controlled adaptive dampers do a good job of dealing with undulating roads, but they don’t like scabby urban roads. Admittedly our test cars have all come on giant 22-inch wheels, but what luxury SUV doesn’t these days?

In terms of the handling, it’s fine. Light steering never really keys you into the road’s surface, and while it rolls less than a Land Rover Discovery for instance, it’s not what you’d call fun. A BMW X5 let alone a Porsche Cayenne has nothing to fear.

What about the interior? 

Properly luxurious. Everything is bolted together exceptionally well together and the materials used are first rate. Plastics are dense and squishy, leather supple and the wood trim is actually wood. Even the dial to control the infotainment system feels like it’s attached to some precision machinery.

Genesis GV80 dash

There’s a large 14.5-inch touchscreen to display the infotainment which proves logically laid out and responsive, as does the driver’s digital display. Unlike so many other manufacturers, Genesis has avoided the temptation to stick all the controls in the screen. Even the climate controls get welcome buttons that make changing temperature so much easier.

Space is impressive, with plentiful head and legroom for passengers in rows one and two. There’s plenty of width to the cabin too, so getting three across the back shouldn’t be too taxing. The third row isn’t as spacious as what you’d find in a BMW X7, but it’s comparable to an Audi Q7.

Before you buy: trims and rivals

There are three trims to pick from; Premium, Sport, Luxury and Luxury Plus. Even base Premium is well equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels, electric heated front seats, adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, an electric tailgate and keyless entry. The only real disappointment is that the seats aren’t real leather.

Genesis GV80 rear seats

Sport and Luxury are the same price and share much the same equipment, with 22-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, three-zone climate control and rear blinds. Where Sport gets dark chrome, black wheels and copper brake calipers, Luxury has silver wheels, regular chrome and plain calipers.

At the top of the tree is Luxury Plus. It gets loads of kit but at over £75k feels very under engined. We’d stick to a BMW X5, thanks.

Verdict: Genesis GV80

Like other combustion powered Genesis models, the GV80 is a good car looking for a decent powertrain. A smooth and muscular six-cylinder engine would make a huge difference to the drivability and perceived luxury, closing the gap on more mainstream rivals.

Even then, the low-speed ride could do with being cushier or it needs to be a bit more involving to drive. If our experiences of the Genesis GV60 and G80 Electrified are anything to go by, we’d wait for electric power to be available in the GV80.


Price when new: £61,275
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 2497cc four-cylinder petrol, turbo, 300bhp @ 5800rpm, 311lb ft @ 1650-4000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Performance: 6.9sec 0-62mph, 147mph, 26.1mpg, 241g/km
Weight / material: 2155kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4945/1975/1715

Photo Gallery

  • Genesis GV80 front cornering
  • Genesis GV80 rear cornering
  • Genesis GV80 front cornering
  • Genesis GV80 driving profile
  • Genesis GV80 dash
  • Genesis GV80 heating controls
  • Genesis GV80 rear seats
  • Genesis GV80 rear seats
  • Genesis GV80 boot

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.