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Yet Another Layer of Luxury: 2025 Genesis GV80 Review

Genesis tweaked the exterior and transformed the interior for the 2025 GV80, including, of course, larger screens and new tech. How does it compare in the competitive class?

2025 Genesis GV80(Photo/Genesis)
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Pressing against my backside, one cheek at a time, the air bladders of the ergo motion seat keep me fresh while cruising down the road. Genesis offers a bit of massaging for the driver in the GV80.

You also get quite a bit of lumbar and bolster adjustment, as well as a slew of other movements to make the seat fit just so. That’s in addition to heat and ventilation, obviously. And that last bit applies to the passenger front and two of the three seats in back, as well.

As you drive, the GV80 provides all pertinent information over a digital instrument cluster — common these days. You also get a long list of entertainment options on a large display atop the center console. What’s new? It’s all one screen. Genesis installed a single, skinny, OLED screen that measures 27 inches diagonally, providing one smooth, continuous view of all the GV80 happenings.

Under the hood, Genesis kept choices between the turbocharged 2.5L inline-four and twin-turbocharged 3.5L V-6. And, both still use an eight-speed automatic transmission before passing power on to all four wheels. Every GV80 sold in the U.S. is all-wheel-drive (AWD).

Moreover, the Genesis left the third-generation rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the GV80 alone. That means dimensions — other than a length of 0.2 inches — and space doesn’t change, either. Genesis did tweak the look outside, more comprehensively changed things inside, and made efforts to further quiet the cabin from all of the outside’s chaos.

All that combined to pique my curiosity about just how big of a difference the changes make. So, why not travel to the place where everything is bigger, Texas? More specifically, to Fort Worth and surrounding areas to feel out this Genesis mainstay.

In short: In its less-than-10-year history of existence, Genesis grew to a respected player in the premium market. And this GV80, which first arrived for the 2021 model year, led the charge. This update plays on the midsize SUV’s strengths with smart tech, striking looks, and gobs of luxury for the price. But, it’s still a half step behind Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and certainly BMW in the fun-to-drive department.

2025 Genesis GV80 3.5T Prestige

Specs

  • Vehicle 5-door, 5-7-seat, Crossover SUV
  • Dimensions 194.5" L x 77.8" W x 67.5" H and 116.3" wheelbase
  • Cargo (3rd/2nd/1st rows up) 12/35/84 cu.-ft.
  • Engine Twin-turbocharged 3.5L V-6
  • HP/Torque 375 hp at 5,800 rpm/391 lb.-ft. between 1,300-4,500 rpm
  • Transmission/Driven wheels Eight-speed automatic transmission/all-wheel-drive
  • MPG 16 city, 22 hwy, 19 cmb
  • MSRP (as tested) $80,650

Pros

  • Very comfortable first and second row
  • Heated and ventilated seats for all
  • Lots of space
  • Climate control zones for all three rows in the 3.5T Advanced trim
  • Stout power throughout the rev range from the turbo V-6 
  • Suspension soaks up bumps on the road with ease

Cons

  • Fuel economy, especially with the base powertrain is a touch behind its competitors
  • Genesis still leans too much on the ride side of the ride and handling spectrum

2025 Genesis GV80 Review

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

What’s New Outside?

From a structural and powertrain standpoint, Genesis put a quick spit shine on the GV80, but otherwise left it alone. The experience of driving it, however, changed due to what’s offered inside the cabin. Not to mention the feeling evoked as you walk up to it.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

In front, the GV80 now sports a new grille pattern, as several parallel bars diagonally swoop across, forming diamond shapes throughout. It looks simultaneously elegant and a nightmare to deep clean — avoid the bugs!

Genesis also increased the air intake size on either side, smoothed out the corners, and remade the emblem (resting above the grille) into a completely metal piece.

Narrow headlight beams bifurcated by bodywork now house a multitude of smaller lamps, which Genesis named micro lens array. Finally, down low, you see more chrome on the bumper. And, it wraps around the sides and extends all the way to the front of the wheel wells.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

Those wheels, by the way, remain either 19, 20, or 22 inches depending on trim, but with new designs.

Chrome continues through the front and rear doors. And, after passing the rear axle carries on to the rear bumper, which itself changed shape.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Most critically, designers axed the gaudy, large exhaust tips and simply tucked them behind the bumper, pointing to the ground. Simple and a big improvement, in my book. 

All the Screens!

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Tucked neatly behind the steering wheel stands a thin, flat screen spanning 27 inches. It stretches above the HVAC vents, climate controls, and radio knobs.

This organic light-emitting diode, or OLED screen, provides bright, clear, and abundant space for all of your information and entertainment needs. It’s standard across the GV80 lineup.

You choose between a wide variety of ways to look at the display — lovely. Genesis also included a “mood curator,” featuring scent pods, music, and ambient light to help you find calm or get energized.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Just beneath it, on the center console, lies another screen to show your settings for your seats and climate control. You use haptic touch to adjust seat heat or ventilation, set temperature, or set the specifics of your desired fan speed and angle.

To the far left and right, you’ll find physical knobs to adjust the temperature as well — and volume and tuning for the sound system, which is a Bang & Olufsen system on 2.5T Advanced and higher trims.

On the 2.5T Prestige and higher trims, Genesis includes a 12-inch head-up display to view needed information with minimal head movement.

Finally, the 3.5T Prestige transforms the rearview mirror into a screen for the camera mounted in back with a pull of a lever, just in case luggage or anything else blocks your view.

Take a Look Inside

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Other than screens, designers also reconfigured the center console. For example, behind a door, underneath the HVAC controls, lies a now-flat wireless smartphone charger, complete with three LED light bars to indicate charge status.

That same compartment contains two USB type-C charge ports and a 12V cigarette-style port. One of those two ports connects your smartphone to either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Yes, Genesis only offers wired access at the moment. However, a representative assured us that the GV80 is mere weeks away from including standard wireless connections. And, all 2025 Genesis GV80s sold without this tech are just waiting for an over-the-air update, which is coming soon.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

In another common-sense change, Genesis ditched the door to hide the cupholders, which freed up space to increase their size and swallow bigger cups.

To control the center display and shifter, you still use two dials, one in front of the other, to the left of the cupholders. But, the haptic feel while using them feels better than before. Oh, and there’s a third dial tucked in the corner for drive mode adjustment, just as before.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

Every turn comes courtesy of a new steering wheel design, which is also heated on all but the base trim.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

Speaking of heat, on the top 3.5T Prestige trim, you get heated armrests to go along with the rest.

Finally, the GV80 gets updated materials and colors for paneling and trim. It looks and feels one level more luxurious than the outgoing model.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Proven Powertrain

Genesis left the powertrain alone. Frankly, no need to change. You choose between a turbocharged 2.5L inline-four-cylinder, putting out 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, or a twin-turbocharged V-6, cranking out 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque.

The latter rested in my 3.5T Prestige test car. I saw Texas in the top of seven levels offered for the 2025 model year. The 3.5T Prestige lies above the 2.5T Standard, 2.5T AWD, 2.5T Select, 2.5T Advanced, 2.5T Prestige, and 3.5T Advanced trims.

By the way, every trim — even the 2.5T Standard — includes all-wheel-drive. And every trim uses the same, smooth shifting eight-speed automatic transmission as well.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

The V-6 delivers power smoothly and linearly with a nice progressive throttle and shifts that take an extra 50 milliseconds to keep gear changes seamless. Moreover, torque peak starts at a nice and low 1,300 rpm and holds all the way to 4,500 rpm. That results in a strong pull throughout the rev range. Even if you stab the throttle, the GV80 takes a half breath to roll the power on. You feel a surge forward, not a jerk back.

One small nit to pick, larger displacement turbocharged engines get pretty thirsty. The base engine manages to squeeze 19 mpg in the city, 24 on the highway, 21 combined. That’s a bit less efficient than the German SUV’s standard engines.

The V-6 GV80 I drove performs relatively better, getting 16 mpg in the city, 22 on the highway, 19 combined. That’s closer to the optional engine-equipped German competitors, but still a skosh behind.

Classy Chassis

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

Engineers largely left the platform, chassis, and body alone as well. But not entirely.

The 2025 GV80 received additional insulation around the C and D pillars toward the back of the vehicle to work with the acoustic glass in the front windshield and front door glass to keep the cabin nice and quiet while rolling down the road.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

The Bang & Olufsen sound system also plays a role, using the speakers behind those nifty aluminum grilles to send specific frequencies and neutralize your typical road and wind noise tones. Altogether, the GV80 cabin keeps quiet even at highway speeds. And, the noise penetrating your multifaceted barrier, tend toward the lower, easier-to-tolerate pitches. It’s pleasant inside.

And, the ride follows suit. Despite rolling on 22-inch wheels. The suspension damps out all the bumps, lumps, and fissures in the road.

In fact, it felt too soft for me. I like the ride to feel firm, so I know it will respond quickly to my inputs should something need avoiding. Fortunately, you can just roll the drive mode dial to sport and tighten up the adjustable shocks.

It certainly helps, but chuck the GV80 into a corner and the body still rolls more than ideal and the front end needs a moment to feel settled at corner entry. It all feels competent and safe, even a little fun. But, it’s not the same lively response as the BMW X5. Folks who lean toward ride over handling will get more out of the GV80.

2025 Genesis GV80 Review: Summary

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Genesis)

The 2025 Genesis GV80 offers two new color choices: Storr green and Storr green matte. You also choose between a few different two-tone interior colors ranging from glacier white to obsidian black.

Additionally, engineers updated driving aids to work better. Furthermore, new tech on all but the base trim is what Genesis calls Digital Key 2, which now allows Apple, Samsung, and Google smartphones to work as a key. And, as a nice cherry on top, all newly purchased GV80s include a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, free for the first 3 months.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

The point is you get a lot. And, much of it comes standard in the 2.5T AWD trim. It costs $60,050, or $1,000 more than the 2024 Genesis GV80. Considering the nice screens inside and the rest, that feels reasonable.

And, for folks who see no need for manual rear sunshades, a heated steering wheel, and the digital key tech, the price comes back to $59,050 for the base trim — the same as the 2024 GV80s, to the penny.

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Of course, getting V-6 power adds more than $15k to the price, starting at $75,150. And, my top-trimmed test car requires at least $80,650 to leave the dealer lot. Pay that price and you sit on Nappa leather seats, roll on 22-inch wheels, and get power rear door shades. Fancy stuff!

2025 Genesis GV80
(Photo/Robin Warner)

No matter the choice, it’s not cheap. But it is noticeably less expensive than the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE models. And, for the money, you get the same high-quality materials, fantastic fit and finish, a comfortable ride, a quiet interior, smooth and ample power, and generally a classy-looking rig.

Diehard driving enthusiasts will feel underwhelmed in the GV80. Everyone else will feel comfortable and a bit wealthier too.

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Robin Warner

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