Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2021 nominee

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The first crossover SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis is serious about taking on the established luxury market. The 2020 Genesis GV80 is a mid-size SUV with a gorgeous design, a luxurious interior, and strong turbocharged powertrains.

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

The GV80 looks a lot more expensive than it is. Its base price is $49,925, but it would be easy to believe this is a $90,000 vehicle. The distinctive design features quad LED headlights separated by the brand’s massive crest grille. The flowing front fenders are adorned with chromed LED turn indicators that mimic the headlights. The long hood and fenders give the luxury SUV presence. Four horizontal taillights play off the headlight design, and dual exhaust suggest power under the hood.

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

Inside, the GV80’s focal point is a 14.5-inch split-screen infotainment system. While the touchscreen it’s perched too far away for easy use while driving, the system can also be controlled with voice commands or a touch puck and rotary dial mounted on the center console. It’s like a more complicated version of Audi’s outgoing MMI system, and it’s could use a few tweaks before we name it one of the better infotainment systems on the market. That’s one of our few complaints about the GV80. Thankfully, Genesis supplies hard knobs and buttons for the climate control system and scroll controls for radio tuning and volume control.

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

The GV80 is based on the unibody structure from the G80 mid-size sedan. That gives it a rear-wheel-drive platform with optional all-wheel drive. Base models are powered by a 2.5-liter turbo-4 with 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. While the turbo-4 provides plenty of power once underway, the GV80’s 4,850-pound curb weight can make it sluggish off the line. The twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 makes 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, and it offers a more potent, quieter, more refined experience. No matter the engine choice, shifting duties are handled by a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.

Unlike most competitors, the GV80 forgoes an air suspension. Instead, buyers can opt for an adjustable damper system that uses cabin-mounted sensors to read the road through the windshield and electronically adjust the dampers to handle bumps. The result is a smooth, controlled, refined ride. It’s a pleasure to drive, but it’s not sporty.

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

Luxury SUVs rarely make it far in Motor Authority‘s Best Car To Buy competition as we’ve named sports cars and muscle cars as our winner. The GV80 is in rarefied air as a finalist nominee this year. That alone is an accomplishment that should be acknowledged.

Will the Genesis GV80‘s combination of beauty, cabin quality, strong engines, and refined road manners be enough for it to win Motor Authority‘s Best Car To Buy 2021 competition? Check back on Jan. 4 when we announce the winner, along with the winners from our sister sites, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports.



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