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Auto review: The 2025 Genesis GV80: Making a good thing even better

Larry Printz, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

Maybe it’s taken you some time to notice Genesis, the luxury vehicle brand manufactured by Hyundai Motor Group. But that’s OK. It’s a luxury brand that’s still finding new customers, with many trading in their Lexus RXs, Acura RDXs, BMW X5s and Mercedes-Benz MLs.

In 2023, the Korean luxury brand outsold longtime luxury stalwart Cadillac, as well as any number of boutique luxury brands. Genesis’ popularity stems from something Cadillac design forgot a long time ago: beauty. What’s even more remarkable is that the refreshed 2025 Genesis GV80, is distinctive and incredibly handsome, competing in a class filled with awkwardly-designed vehicles meant to fit some pre-existing brand design maxim. Its looks quietly ooze wealth, looking as if it should cost a lot more than its $57,700 base price. Credit Hyundai Group’s design chief Luc Donckerwolke, who handled the same chores for Bentley. So, it’s little wonder that the GV80 looks appropriate crawling along Ocean Drive, Rodeo Drive or your local pokey parkway.

And it gets even better for the 2025 model year as the Genesis GV80 receives a refresh. Certainly, Genesis has a lot riding on it, as this midsize luxury SUV accounts for half of Genesis SUV sales.

For 2025, designers have endowed the GV80 with a new double mesh radiator grille and a fresh front fascia with larger front air vents. It’s bookended by new headlamps and a redesigned logo. It wears fresh 20- and 22-inch wheel designs and sports rear styling has been revised with a simplified design that accentuates its width, along with a muffler that’s been hidden.

Inside, there’s a new two-tone steering wheel, along with a massive 27-inch OLED display that incorporates both the driver’s instrument cluster and infotainment system. Climate controls are housed in a separate touch panel lower down on the instrument panel. On the center console, you’ll find a new screen controller as well as a new shifter design. And you can start the car using fingerprint recognition.

You have to experience it, as it’s positively lux.

Genesis offers the GV80 with one of two drivelines. The base engine is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission rated at 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard. It’s EPA-rated at 21 mpg in combined city/highway. This driveline is offered in ascending Standard, 2.5T, Select, Advanced and Prestige trims.

The better choice, and the most popular, is the larger 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, which Is good for 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. It’s also mated to an eight-speed gearbox with all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is slightly lower, with an EPA-rating of 19 mpg in combined driving, but not enough to make much of a difference. Available in Advanced and Prestige trims, prices start at $73,800. That’s quite a jump from the base model, but the difference in feel and additional standard equipment is worth it.

Neither a hybrid nor battery electric driveline are offered.

Aiding and abetting both drivelines is an electronically-controlled suspension, which uses the vehicle’s cameras to read the road surface ahead and appropriately prepare the suspension. It optimizes ride comfort and high-speed stability, which lends this SUV an amazing feel. Yet it delivers the precise, quick steering and braking that you want, but not at the expense of comfort. It remains well-behaved in corners, with little body lean. It’s remarkably refined, with steering, braking and throttle mapping that allow the car to be driven very smoothly. Its demeanor is positively carlike. And when the road turns treacherous, the GV80 can split the power 50/50 between front and rear axles.

Nonetheless, the cabin remains quiet and cosseting, with comfortable seats and the features you crave. Oh sure, there’s wireless device charging along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But there’s also a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, head-up display, heated front console armrest, four-zone climate control, two rows of seats (three rows on Advanced models), power folding second and third rows, and more.

It’s an amazingly satisfying ride, an everyday escape machine that coddles, comforts and transports you with a refinement that should cost more, but doesn’t.

It’s a very rewarding car, one that’s worth looking at if you’re considering any other midsize luxury SUV in its class.


2025 Genesis GV80

Base price: $57,700-$79,300

Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC twin-turbocharged V6

Horsepower/Torque: 375/391 pound-feet

EPA rating (combined city/highway): 19 mpg

Fuel required: Premium unleaded

Length/Width/Height: 195/78/68 inches

Ground clearance: 8 inches

Payload: 1,025-1,381 pounds

Cargo capacity: 12 - 84 cubic feet

Towing capacity: 6,000 pounds (with trailer brakes)

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