[MUSIC] If you’re gonna be late to the party and you wanna make a splash you’ve got to have swag and substance. A nice outfit make it you notice walking in the door, but if you can’t carry conversation or help make a memory your soon forgotten Genesis friends is late to the SUV Vol. But this 2021 gvt is no wallflower and my first drive in it suggests it’s got the goods to be the life of the party. Let’s dig in. By now you’ve probably already read up on this mid size, luxury crossover. And likewise, you’ve probably already decided how you feel about the way it looks. With its truly massive Superman shield grill, striking double hash lights and oversized wheels, the GV80 won’t be mistaken for any Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Lexus or any SUV this side of a Bentley bentayga. This is unsettled design and whether you like that assertiveness is up to you, but this Genesis has got presence and it looks expensive. Naturally it’s important not to break the luxury spell once inside, and especially with this loaded prestige model. The gv80 does nothing to dissuade you that this is anything but a very premium, very fancy SUV. Up until this model year there were always some asterisks around the cabin quality of Genesis models, little deficiencies around some of the switchgear or the feel of out of the way plastics That is not a problem here. The GVS interior is comfortable well **** together and most importantly it feels special. That’s thanks to its rich multitone quilted leather upholstery precise and hefty feeling neural dials and switches In that easy to use billboard sized 14 and a half inch infotainment system with its vivid graphics, speedy operations and clear camera views. Did I mention the cool 3D gauge cluster that you have to see in person to appreciate? There’s plenty of head shoulder and leg room in both rows of seats. Yes, you can get a powerful third row in a single mid range v six trim, but there won’t be much room back there for anybody. So I pass, unless you really want that flexibility. If you do go for that third row, you’re also going to miss out on my pick of the trim range prestige. While I rarely recommend going for a vehicles top model, I’m going to do exactly that with his GVHD. Because features like that all digital gauge cluster I mentioned come as part of it, as does nicer quality Nappa leather and a wonderfully high fidelity 21 speaker lexicon surround sound system. I think features like this help the GVA feel exceptional and actually more luxurious than what we’ve seen out of comparable German and Japanese competitors lately About the only luxury tricks this thing is missing is a Wi Fi hotspot and wireless Apple CarPlay. Although you still have the corded kind along with Android Auto, one other thing about the prestige, those 22 inch wheels somehow don’t require having a chiropractor on retainer even on Michigan’s apocalyptic road surface finally i feel unusually confident recommending the top trim because the gv80 is such a good value in its class. More on that in a minute,of course if you want to save some money you could probably live with the smaller 2.5 litre turbo charge four cylinder With 300 horsepower and 311 pound feet of torque paired to an eight speed automatic, this powertrain certainly gets the job done. And you can even get a rear wheel drive model if that’s your thing that said and you can call me shallow, but in a 5000 pound vehicle with a design that’s this in your face and this luxurious, I want the brass and the soundtrack to To back it up. Now the 3.5 liter turbo is still super quiet on the inside. There’s active noise cancellation, laminated glass and all kinds of dense depressing materials at work, but the engine sounds better on the outside and more importantly, it’s got the power to underscore those looks. In fact, it’s got 375 horsepower and 391 pound feet of torque, plus that torque peak kicks in earlier and hangs around longer in the rev range than the 2.5t. All of this adds up to a 5.7 seconds 0 to 60 time that won’t frighten off anybody in a BMW. Five S Drive 40 I let alone the X five M but let’s be clear, while the GV 80 handles very well it’s definitely a calmly first thrill me second SUV. This is not a steroidal sports luxury Utility Vehicle like an AMG tuned Mercedes GLA there’s no rough edges to the GVS ride or handling to make you feel like you could hunt down a sports car. With its comfortable cabin supple steering and easy demodulate breaks. The gvhd is something of a Zen cocoon. It’s more about balanced total luxury. This is a vehicle that knows and embraces exactly what it is and it’s excellent because of that. Speaking of embracing the gvhd holds its occupants near and dear with a comprehensive suite of standard active safety features. Forward Collision with auto brake lane departure warning and blind spot assist are included as as a driver monitor. impressively so is adaptive cruise with lane centering sign recognition and automated lane changes. If there’s an Achilles heel with the GVT its fuel economy and that is a problem shared by every model in this class, at least those without some sort of hybrid assist. In the case of the GV80, a base rear drive four cylinder brings up at 21 City 25 miles per gallon highway or 23 combined on premium fuel. A loaded six cylinder all wheel drive model like this prestige is rated at 23 mpg city, 18 Highway and 20 combined. These are unimpressive but wholly competitive figures among this vehicles rivals. If you’re looking for more impressive numbers, I suggest checking out pricing. The gV 80 starts at right around $50,000 delivered. Yes, the Lexus RX is slightly cheaper for starters, but it’s also smaller, less powerful and less luxurious. The Germans they’re all more expensive. At the other end of the range my pick the loaded up prestige with all wheel drive and the big engine rings up at 72 grand to be sure that’s a lot of money but it’s far far cheaper than a comparable European. And even then I think I prefer the way the gvhd drives and feels inside Listen, Genesis may have miscalculated by launching with a bunch of sedans, just as consumers were abandoning the passenger car party in favor of the call the cops SUV Ranger down the street. But now that the gvd is finally here, I gotta say all is forgiven. This isn’t just one of the best new luxury SUVs of the year. It’s one of the most impressive new models of the year period.