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2025 Genesis GV80 First Drive: An Honourable Mid-Cycle Update

Genesis GV80 2025 | Photo: K.Soltani
  • EPA Category: Luxury midsize SUV
  • Warranty: 5 years / 100000 km

strong / weak points

  • Spacious
  • On-board comfort
  • On-board technology

  • Still lacks a few luxury details
  • Engine a little noisy when pushed
  • No hybrid or electric version
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Khatir Soltani
The mid-cycle update of the Genesis GV80 seeks to revitalize the Korean brand’s flagship model.

•    Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2025 Genesis GV80

Fort Worth, Texas - SON-NIM! That was Genesis' motto during our Texas escapade last week. The Korean term translates as "guest of honor", and for three days, Genesis insisted on this notion; indeed, we journalists were treated with remarkable care by Genesis. This word, Son-Nim, reveals Genesis' desire to prioritize hospitality, to make every customer feel privileged.

In Texas, we had the opportunity to drive the SUV and talk to the product engineers and brand representatives. Introduced in Canada in 2021, the GV80 gets a subtle but effective update for 2025, so there was stuff to talk about.

The vehicle was already a strong performer, which meant there weren’t going to be any major modifications for the 2025 model-year. Nevertheless, a few cosmetic tweaks were made to the exterior, while the interior and on-board technologies have undergone more substantial and less visible improvements.

Genesis GV80 2025, avant
Genesis GV80 2025, avant | Photo: K.Soltani

2025 Genesis GV80 - What's new?

The mid-cycle update of the Genesis GV80 seeks to give fresh momentum to the brand's flagship model, which is after all responsible for a third of domestic Genesis sales in Canada, with nearly 7,000 units sold in 2023.

Modifications include cosmetic tweaks to the front and rear of the vehicle, reinforcing its already classic look.

Inside, the changes are more marked: the dashboard and centre console have been completely redesigned to offer improved ergonomics and aesthetics.

On the technological side, the GV80 benefits from significant updates, with advanced on-board instrumentation, increased comfort features and enhanced safety elements.

Genesis GV80 2025, de profil
Genesis GV80 2025, de profil | Photo: K.Soltani

Design of the 2025 Genesis GV80 - 8.0/10

At the front, the huge, double-structured grille catches the eye, and it’s topped by a metallic logo that accentuates the vehicle's luxury. The headlamps feature small twinkling lights, adding a spectacular glow as the vehicle approaches.

In addition, large air vents have been added to the bottom of the front bumper, reinforcing the GV80's rugged appearance.

At the rear, the changes are more discreet. The exhaust is now concealed, the lights are fitted with LED bulbs, and magnificent 22-inch wheels complete the package.

The GV80 2025 is available in nine colours, including three matte shades exclusive to Canada.

Genesis GV80 2025, intérieur
Genesis GV80 2025, intérieur | Photo: Genesis

The most significant changes to the Genesis GV80 are found inside. The cockpit now boasts an impressive 27-inch screen, merging the driver's screen with the multimedia display.

As soon as you sit in the driver’s seat, the new design of the steering wheel and the changes to the buttons immediately grab your attention. Genesis has made everything even more harmonious.

Just below the huge screen, the centre console has been enlarged and retains its climate-control system independent of the other controls, a delicate touch on Genesis' part. And the improvements don't stop there: top models in the range feature a new Bang & Olufsen audio system. To control everything, the two rotary knobs have been updated and are now easy to grip.

The interior also boasts new finishes, with five colour options for seats and trim.

Genesis GV80 2025, console centrale
Genesis GV80 2025, console centrale | Photo: Genesis

Technology in the 2025 Genesis GV80 - 7.5/10

The most striking and visible feature inside the Genesis GV80 is undoubtedly the 27-inch OLED screen, which centralizes all essential driver information and multimedia functions. You can like it or not (me, not so much), but according to brand representatives, the demand for a large screen exists, and customers appreciate this feature.

The screen could be better integrated into the dashboard for a more streamlined look, following the example of Mercedes and Porsche, whose integrations are more successful.

Despite the screen's imposing size, its operation remains intuitive, either with the fingertips or via the control wheel on the centre console.

Genesis GV80 2025, roue
Genesis GV80 2025, roue | Photo: K.Soltani

In terms of comfort, the GV80 has benefited from significant improvements. A new electronically controlled suspension management system uses the front ADAS camera to read the road surface and optimize driving comfort. What's more, the vehicle also minimizes external noise thanks to an active noise suppression system, helping to create a hushed atmosphere, enhanced by different scents depending on the desired level of comfort.

Safety technology is also enhanced, with significant updates such as Collision Prevention Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist and a new Genesis digital key that enables key sharing via iMessage.

Other features include a state-of-the-art multimedia system integrating cloud-connected capabilities, dynamic voice recognition and over-the-air software updates.

With this last addition, the 2025 GV80 will continue to receive updates in the future. Among the new features, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available wirelessly from mid-2025. This update will also include lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning, parking distance warning, anti-collision parking assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist, remote parking assist, and adaptive cruise control management.

Genesis GV80 2025, trois quarts avant
Genesis GV80 2025, trois quarts avant | Photo: K.Soltani

2025 Genesis GV80 powertrain - 7.5/10

The Genesis GV80 retains the two powertrains of the previous version. A 2.5L 4-cylinder engine producing 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5L V6 producing 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque remain available in the catalog. These engines blend perfectly with the vehicle's structural advances.

These engines offer fuel economy figures of 9.8L/8.1L/8.9L/100 km and 14.7L/10.7L/12.4L/100 km respectively (city, highway and combined).

The vehicle is based on the third-generation Genesis rear-wheel-drive platform, with extensive use of hot-stamped parts and high-strength steel for enhanced crash safety. Thanks to the use of aluminum for the doors, hood and tailgate, and the adoption of lightweight technologies, the SUV's body structure has been optimized to reduce weight while maintaining safety levels.

Genesis GV80 2025, trois quarts arrière
Genesis GV80 2025, trois quarts arrière | Photo: K.Soltani

Driving the 2025 Genesis GV80 - 8.5/10

Equipped with the V6 engine, the SUV proves very competent in a variety of driving situations. Although the engine is not extremely powerful, it responds adequately to demands without complaint – though when you suddenly increase the pace, the engine noise doesn't necessarily encourage you to continue pushing things. However, at steady speed, the GV80 offers a limousine-like experience.

Overall, its handling is impeccable, and the way it moves on the road rivals those of the models belonging of the biggest luxury car brands. Compared with its direct rivals, the GV80 has nothing to be ashamed of, and is even superior in some respects.

The official fuel consumption figure for the Genesis GV80 is 12.4L/ 00 km combined cycle. During our test drive, mainly on country roads, we recorded an average fuel consumption of 11.2L/100 km combined cycle.

Genesis GV80 2025, écusson sur capot
Genesis GV80 2025, écusson sur capot | Photo: K.Soltani

2025 Genesis GV80 pricing in Canada

Prices for Canada have not yet been announced. They will be made known in the coming weeks.

Some of your questions about the 2025 Genesis GV80

Can the GV80 be considered a luxury vehicle?
In terms of substance, yes. Even if Genesis isn't as well known as Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW, the brand can boast that it's starting to overshadow its competitors in terms of quality, but especially bang for buck. Folks I know who have switched from Audi to Genesis, in particular by buying the GV80, are delighted and don't regret their decision.

Is the GV80 available with three rows of seats?
Yes, in fact in Canada it’ the only way to get the SUV (in the U.S. consumers can opt for a two-row configuration). And, all seats are power-adjustable.

Genesis GV80 2025, phare
Genesis GV80 2025, phare | Photo: K.Soltani

The final word
Improving an already successful vehicle is a relatively easy exercise. Genesis has made its flagship SUV more luxurious, comfortable and fun to drive.

There are still a few gaps that need to be filled if this vehicle is to be considered a leading luxury choice in the segment. For example, while the driver benefits from a massaging seat, the front passenger has no access to this option, even in the best-equipped version. Similarly, although the vehicle can control up to four climate-control zones, it curiously lacks the automatic heating and cooling function for the front seats, a feature that comes standard with several competitors. These are details, to be sure, but they are crucial for customers in search of comfort and absolute luxury.

Despite these minor shortcomings, the Genesis GV80 remains an excellent vehicle that richly deserves its place in our market, not least thanks to its exceptional ride quality.

2025 Genesis GV80 competitors

  • - Acura MDX
  • - Audi Q7
  • - BMW X7
  • - Lexus GX
  • - Mercedes-Benz GLE
Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada