Genesis GV80: Best Luxury Car To Buy 2021

The 2021 Genesis GV80 may be a luxury crossover SUV, but that doesn't mean value isn't important. With its beautiful design, luxurious cabin, insulating road manners, and strong turbocharged engines, it looks and feels like an SUV that could cost nearly double its base starting price of $49,925. Within that gap of perceived price and sticker price lies value, which is one of the main reasons we are naming the GV80 The Car Connection's Best Luxury Car To Buy 2021.

The surprise and delight starts when you first spot this stately mid-size SUV. The chrome shield grille works well on the tall nose and is complemented by chrome trim on the window surrounds, lower rear bumper, lighting elements, wheels, and gills in the front fenders. The long hood adds a sporty touch, as do the wide dual exhaust outlets and the smartly tapered side window lines.

The look is even better inside where available open-pore wood, diamond-pleated leather, and knurled metal dials create the feel of a relaxing lounge. A wide 14.5-inch touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster add a techie flavor as well.

Genesis offers the GV80 in three trims, with rear- or all-wheel drive and a choice of two turbocharged engines. The standard GV80 comes well equipped with a 300-horsepower engine and amenities like synthetic leather upholstery, heated power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and 19-inch alloy wheels. The GV80 costs about $60,000 with the twin-turbo V-6 and all-wheel drive, and it tops out at around $70,000 in a class with competitors that can reach six figures.

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

2021 Genesis GV80

The GV80 comes standard with adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors with rear emergency braking, parking sensors, and a driver-attention monitor. Buyers can also get a surround-view camera system, a blind-spot camera system, and automatic parking.

Built on the same unibody platform as the G80 sedan, the GV80 drives as stately as it looks. The ride is always smooth, and an available adjustable damper system makes it even more comfortable by reading the road ahead and preparing the dampers to handle road imperfections. The GV80 isn't sporty. Instead, it feels controlled, like an Audi or Mercedes.

The base engine is no penalty. It struggles slightly off the line due to the GV80's almost 2.5-ton curb weight, but it has good passing punch. The 375-hp twin-turbo V-6 offers greater power and refinement, and has a deeper, richer, quieter engine note. The 8-speed automatic transmission plays nice with either engine.

We have a couple of nits to pick. The infotainment system's rotary control dial isn't easy to use and the GV80 doesn't get great fuel economy or offer a hybrid powertrain. However, the first SUV from Genesis knocks it out of the park for luxury and value and that's why we named it The Car Connection's Best Luxury Car To Buy 2021.

Read all about the winners of The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2021 awards—and find out which vehicles took home our annual Driver’s Choice awards as well as top honors from our sister sites, Motor Authority and Green Car Reports.  

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