Expert Reviews

2025 Genesis GV80 First Drive Review

As Hyundai’s premium division, Genesis has worked hard to differentiate itself from its corporate sibling – and competition.

Case in point: the 2025 Genesis GV80 – an updated version of the midsize SUV that has managed to turn heads and change minds since its introduction. With the rest of the Genesis lineup on the receiving end of improvements of their own in recent years, this sport utility has been tweaked in all the right ways.

Touched Up Styling

The GV80 maintains its familiar silhouette and bold styling, but the updated front end has new microlens array LED headlights and a new double-mesh grille. There are also new 20- and 22-inch wheel designs, standard fixed-type front brake calipers, and the tailpipes are now hidden behind the bumper. Trim levels range from the 2.5T Advanced (with available Technology Package), 3.5T Advanced Technology Package, and 3.5T Prestige. The GV80 is set up with a two-row seating configuration with the 2.5T designation, while 3.5T models get a third row for a total of seven seats inside.

The instrument and infotainment screens are now housed under a massive 27-inch organic LED (OLED) screen. The awkward-looking oval steering wheel is now a much more elegant design. There are new dial-style gear and infotainment controllers, and the climate controls have more touch-based buttons than before.

Innovative Finishes

For 2025, two new interior garnishes are available that set the GV80 apart from its peers. Newspaper Wood is made up of old newspapers sandwiched between layers of wood to create a beautiful effect where the paper’s colours and letters are visible at close inspection. The Basalt finish pairs cross-hatched yarn with very thinly sliced layers of igneous rock in a nod to classic art deco style. When these new accents are combined with the rest of the interior, the Genesis GV80 makes most other luxury interiors seem relatively sterile by comparison.

Under the Hood

While other parts of the GV80 received a glow-up, the powertrains remain unchanged. A turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder puts out a healthy 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. An optional 3.5 L twin-turbo V6 ups the ante with 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains get standard all-wheel drive coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. An electronic rear limited-slip differential is standard on the flagship 3.5T Prestige trim.

While performance and refinement are strong suits, fuel economy numbers could be better. The 2.5L engine's consumption is rated at 12.5 L/100 km in the city, 9.8 on the highway, and 11.3 combined. The larger 3.5L is even thirstier, coming in at 14.4 around town, 10.6 on the highway, and 12.7 combined. Premium-grade gas is required for both engines.

On the Road

With the addition of acoustic insulating glass to the rear doors, the GV80’s cabin is quieter than ever, especially when combined with the available active noise cancellation. Highway cruising is serene, with excellent ride quality that makes short work of even the roughest roads. During our test of the 3.5L model, acceleration proved to be more than adequate. However, it felt less brisk than the output numbers suggest due to a husky curb weight north of 2,300 kg (5,071 lb). Aside from all that mass, overall refinement is excellent, and both powertrains provide quiet, luxurious motoring.

With the relatively soft suspension tuning, handling takes more of a back seat, but the GV80 still tackles corners with reasonable confidence. For the most part, it did well on highway ramps and curvy backroads, but the high curb weight made itself known with a bit of bobbing and pitching when turning sharp corners on uneven roads.

Safety First

Regardless of engine or trim level, all of the GV80’s advanced driver-assistance features are standard across the board. For 2025, several subsystems have been updated, including lane-following assist, forward collision warning, blind-spot collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, and highway driving assist.

The Latest Tech

Using the forward-facing driver-assistance camera, the Genesis GV80 can read the road conditions ahead and, based on what it sees, adjust the suspension to brace for impact, thereby increasing ride comfort. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also new for mid-2025; units produced earlier in the year will receive an over-the-air update later on. For the driver, Genesis’ available Ergo Motion seat uses weight sensors to detect potential poor posture. On long drives, it can use this information to activate the seat massager and give recommendations for seating and steering wheel positions that reduce fatigue.

Final Thoughts

The refreshed 2025 Genesis GV80 is a strong candidate to return to the winner's circle in next year’s AutoTrader Awards. Revisions to refinement, design, and technology keep the premium sport utility at the forefront of its class. Conversely, electrification or other improvements to the powertrain could have improved fuel economy, which must still catch up to the competition.

Canadian pricing wasn’t announced at the time of this writing.