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The Best of 2021 Genesis

What Does the Genesis Lineup for 2021 Look Like so Far?

2021 Genesis GV80

Hyundai’s premium division has returned on a path of success after its 2018 U.S. sales plummeted by around 50 percent. After selling only 10,312 vehicles that year, 2019 sales have rebounded as 21,233 new Genesis models managed to find their new owners. That’s the South Korean company’s best result to date as their 2017 sales amounted to 20,612 units. Needless to say, Genesis is expected to showcase a steady growth in 2020 and 2021 as well, only this time, thanks to its all-new models. The all-new 2021 Genesis GV80 has already been revealed and the smaller GV70 is on its way as well. With a couple of high-end crossover SUVs, the Genesis lineup will have finally been rounded off by the time MY 2021 is upon us.

However, not all is going according to plan for the Koreans. A while back, Genesis still contemplated a six-model lineup with three sedans, two crossovers, and one “more exciting” body style (read coupe). The latter never materialized, however; at least not yet. Sedans have been available for a while now, on the other hand, and soon the two all-new crossovers will be too. By following the established trend and going for maximized profits (by offering two new crossovers, of course), Genesis has all but given up on the rumored G70 sports coupe, it would seem. The two-door might still arrive sometime in 2021 but chances of that happening are growing weaker with each passing day. A fully-fledged EV looks like a more viable option at this particular moment but even that’s still some ways off.

Let’s now take a closer look at how the Genesis lineup is turning up for 2021.

2021 GV80

The first of two all-new crossovers from Genesis is everything we hoped it would be. It’s a stylish mid-size luxury three-row with plenty of bang for your buck and some interesting choices in the powertrain department. Sadly, we won’t be getting the surprisingly smooth and quiet turbo-diesel inline-six here in the states, but the Koreans will still provide us with a choice. More on that later, however.

Although a reworked Hyundai Palisade platform was considered as a possibility by the journalist public, Genesis obviously disagreed. They weren’t prepared to dilute their identity which is still in a building process, hence they decided on a G80-derived rear-wheel drive platform. Rich in steel, the GV80 still utilizes lightweight aluminum panels in doors, hood, and liftgate. However, it’s far from being a lightweight which is exactly what we’ve expected from it.

Although heavy, the 2021 Genesis GV80 doesn’t feel like it. Exceptional athleticism and responsiveness render it a more enjoyable affair than we ever could have imagined. What’s more, its coil-spring suspension with adaptive dampers provides excellent control while reducing the impact from uneven terrain and body roll alike. Suspension adjustment is being carried out by several forward-facing cameras that read and process the oncoming terrain info.

Inside, the GV80 offers top-class materials including wood panels, quilted leather, and contrasting stitching. Seats are firm but comfy and come with everything including a massage function. But one of the GV80’s most prominent interior features has to be its noise cancellation system which all but eliminates the tire noise. Infotainment duties have been given to an ultra-wide 14.5-inch touchscreen display mounted on top of the dashboard. It’s a bit farther than we’d have liked but it can also be operated via a dial touch-pad controller. A list of standard active-safety gear includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking. blind spot warnings, and rear cross-traffic warnings.

As mentioned above, the U.S. market will be devoid of a 274-horsepower 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel option but still gets two capable gasoline powertrains. The smaller of the two is a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 290 horsepower, while a larger 3.5L turbocharged V6 has been rated at 375 ponies. Both engines pair with a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is expected to be mandatory across most of the range. Interestingly enough, the rear-wheel drive will serve as an option here.

The all-new Genesis GV80 is finally here and immediately represents one of the best luxury cars 2021 will have to offer. It’s expected to start from just below the $50,000 mark and work its way up from there. Initial range-topping models probably won’t be much more expensive than $60,000, but Genesis should find a way to squeeze more out of its customers as time progresses.

2021 GV70

Much like the larger GV80 relies on the G80 sedan’s platform, the forthcoming smaller GV70 rests on modified G70 sport sedan’s underpinnings. It’s expected to become the best-selling Genesis model the instant it arrives to the market, and arrive it will in late 2020 as a 2021 model. The smallest of Genesis crossovers will have a lot in common with its larger sibling in terms of design, but as already mentioned, its engines and platform will be sourced from the G70 sedan.

Being a scaled-down version of its bigger sibling, the Genesis GV70 sports the same large grille flanked by two-stripe headlamps and very similar overall shape to that of GV80. The Interior will be more generous in terms of both passenger and cargo space compared to the sedan donor car, but the larger GV80 still remains the undisputed champion in that category as far as Genesis models go. Expect a blend of G70 sedan and GV80 SUV interior design cues and corresponding materials to boot. The GV70 should be fitted with many standard advanced safety goodies from the get-go, but the most advanced gear will have to be ordered separately.

Being based on the G70 sedan, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the 2021 Genesis GV70 shares its powertrains with it. A smaller 252-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder will be standard, while a 365-horsepower 3.3L twin-turbo V6 serves as a more powerful option. Both engines are peppy and well within all the parameters, the GV70’s class intends for them to be. This includes power, acceleration, and fuel economy alike. Interestingly enough, all-wheel drive is projected as a standard configuration although a rear-wheel drive should be available as an option on select models. As far as transmission goes, only an 8-speed auto has been confirmed for the initial launch.

The Genesis GV70 probably won’t be able to compete with established players in the field – at least not at a level, Genesis would like it to. Badge snobbery is, sadly, something that won’t simply take care of itself and it’ll take time before the premium Hyundai division gets the credit it’s due. Regardless, their latest crossover offers everything a premium model in its class should, and at a lower price to boot. Once it finally makes its way to dealerships, the GV70 should start from somewhere between $40,000 and $45,000 with premium models requiring up to $10,000 atop of that.


2021 G90

The larger of two original Genesis sedans that spun off from the main Hyundai range back in 2016 has been fully remodeled for 2020 and carries over into 2021 mostly unchanged. We won’t hold that against it since the G90 is arguably one of the most beautiful large luxury sedans out there. Although it isn’t as well-equipped, well-appointed, or customization friendly as its Mercedes-Benz S Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8 competitors, one mustn’t forget the fact it’s around $20,000 or thereabouts less expensive than the German trio. And if you’re willing to look past its upstart badge, the G90 doesn’t really trail behind them either.

The Interior hasn’t undergone the same level of revisions as it mostly carries over from 2018 when the G90 first received an overhaul. The new models do get a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display which can also be operated via a center stack-mounted control knob. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range, needless to say, and so are forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and even adaptive cruise control.

As mentioned above, Genesis G90 costs some $20,000 less than its German rivals which puts its starting sticker at $73,000 including delivery fees. Being basically fully stacked from the get-go, the G90 doesn’t have any trim levels to talk about, but some equipment is still optional. There is a $3,500 upgrade for the V8 engine though.

Speaking of which, the 5.0L V8 in question is more than capable of moving the full-size luxury car around thanks to its 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Most people opt for a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 with 365 hp and 379 lb-ft of torque, however. Given it’s more affordable, more fuel-efficient, and almost equally capable, that doesn’t come as a surprise, really. Both engines pair with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, and while the rear-wheel drive is standard, Genesis still provides an all-wheel drive system for extra $2,500.

Genesis G90 is arguably one of the best full-size luxury sedans out there and the fact it comes with the longest warranty in its class (5 years or 60,000 miles plus 10 years 100,000 miles for powertrain) is only icing on the cake. Furthermore, Genesis provides its faithful with a complimentary service which means dealership staff will take your G90 in for a service so you don’t have to.

2021 G80

The smaller of two original Genesis sedans is following in its larger sibling’s footsteps and will be receiving a substantial amount of updates all over come MY 2021’s time. However, in the wake of the segment’s downfall and the onset of the crossover craze, the next-gen G80 fails to attract any sort of meaningful attention – especially since everyone is talking about the all-new Genesis GV80 which is, incidentally, based on our sedan.

The 2021 Genesis G80 embodies all the styling cues of the next-gen Genesis sedans and their new crossovers alike. Split headlights and tail-lights are only one of new trademark Genesis details found on the new luxury mid-sizer, while the larger grille and revised bumpers are another. The new car is also lower and wider than the outgoing models, giving it a sportier appearance overall. The Interior will be radically changed as well, with most materials and design cues taken from the GV80 crossover. G80’s convenience and safety gear list will also be similar to that of the corresponding crossover.

Powertrain lineup won’t be changed dramatically; at least not from 2020’s perspective when Genesis decided to boot the large 5.0L V8 to the curb. This leaves a 3.8L naturally aspirated V6 and a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 as the only viable options. The former generates an underwhelming 311 ponies and is likely going into a retirement of its own as well, while the latter cranks up 365 ponies. An 8-speed automatic transmission is mandatory, but a choice between the rear and all-wheel drive is still there.

The next-gen Genesis G80, as expected, won’t grab all the attention intended for prospective Genesis buyers, but it’s still expected to perform better than its predecessor. The Koreans have delivered only a little over 7,000 of their intermediate sedans in the U.S. during 2019 which is almost a 60 percent drop compared to 2017 when they had marketed more than 16,000 G80’s. However, due to constant decline sedans have been a subject off, don’t expect the new model to replicate 2017 figures or even come near them for that matter.

2021 G70

Being younger and smaller than both the G80 and G90, the Genesis G70 doesn’t really warrant a change. It’s also the Korean company’s best-selling vehicle which accounts for more than half of their U.S. sales from 2019. However, Genesis is still expected to run a small styling update to bring the G70 in line with the already restyled G90 and the upcoming next-gen G80. Will that happen in time for MY 2021, remains to be seen.

If it does, expect a split-headlight pattern to migrate here as well, much as it has across most of the Genesis range already. The same goes for the rear end of the car. Likewise, expect a larger grille and revised bumpers, but not much more than that. Interior, on the other hand, is expected to remain largely intact. Genesis might broaden the G70’s list of standard and available gear, however.

Performance-wise, the G70 is expected to carry over unchanged into 2021. The compact luxury car offers two engine choices, and both have their pros and cons as you might have imagined. The smaller 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 252 horsepower will save you some money, both initially and on fuel, but isn’t as exciting as the optional 3.3L twin-turbo V6 with 365 ponies.

It’s worth noting though, that the base engine also comes with a 6-speed manual transmission (raises the output to 255 hp) whereas the optional V6 is exclusively paired with an 8-speed auto. Also, the stick can only be configured in a rear-wheel drive configuration, while all other options can be ordered with all-wheel drive.

The Genesis G70 starts from a little over $35,000 before destination charges and works its way from there. The optional Sport package (with a manual gearbox) requires another $3,000 atop of that, while the 3.3T engine costs over $9,000 more than the base version. A sporty compact sedan is a fine option regardless of chosen powertrain since both engines, as established, have some strong suits of their own.

Genesis Electric Sedan

Revealed at the 2019 New York auto show, the Genesis Mint concept car represents the first foray into the electrified future on South Korean automaker’s part. It’s not the first Genesis EV concept car, mind you, as they’ve first unveiled the Essentia performance coupe a year earlier, but it is their first production-viable EV considering how the Essentia doesn’t exactly fit company’s culture. The Mint EV might be far from a production-ready vehicle as well, but at least it’s subdued and practical compared to the oddball high-performance butterfly two-door.

Although there are no plans to put the electric city car on the market anytime soon (if at all), a statement of intent has been made regardless. EVs are obviously the future of the auto industry and Genesis is unmistakably exercising its options with mentioned concepts.

From design’s standpoint, the petite Genesis Mint clearly looks and feels like a concept – one that certainly won’t make it into production. It’s a spin-off in every sense of word thanks to its small hatchback frame. Moreover, it’s a two-seater with a truly concept-worthy futuristic interior.

The big news here is the fact that Genesis has all but confirmed it’s working on an all-new electric platform set to underpin both sedans and crossovers in the future. This was confirmed to the Australian Drive by Genesis’ global executive vice president Manfred Fitzgerald. Mr. Fitzgerald also said that Genesis engineers are working around the clock and first palpable results can be expected as early as in 2021.

Will the first Genesis EV reach us in time for MY 2021? It’s highly unlikely. However, pre-production or even a production model might be ready sometime in 2021. The second question is whether the end-product will make it to the U.S. market? Nothing has been confirmed thus far but being the most important single market in the world, the U.S. market clearly shouldn’t be left out when Genesis’ very first EV finally arrives.

The first Genesis EV is still a relative unknown, but at least we’ve received confirmation that it’s well underway. That’s all we can say with certainty at the moment so let’s skip the speculation while awaiting official info somewhere down the line.

About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!