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Here's a review of the GV80 for us Canucks on the forum from Driving.ca.

What was interesting for me reading it was that they think the turn signal repeater moving from the side mirrors to the front quarter panel is the "most polarizing". Personally that doesn't bother me at all.

MIAMI — The Genesis GV80 has taken a bow outside of Korea for the first time at a reveal event in Miami, Florida.

Why Miami? Super Bowl 54 will be played here this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, and there’s a tie-in: John Legend and Chrissy Teigen will appear in ads for the GV80 during the broadcast.

But enough about that. There may be famous people involved, but in automotive circles this car is a big enough deal on its own. Genesis – the relatively new, three-year-old luxury arm of Hyundai Motor Group – has produced some very interesting concept cars and competitive sedans in its brief history. But with the market swinging ever more heavily toward SUVs, the wait for Genesis to throw its inevitable hat into the ring seemed like it was edging toward untenable.

Evidently, they took their time because they wanted to create something different. And it’s certainly that.

This is the first Genesis vehicle that’s been influenced from day one by the brand’s new design and engineering leadership: head of the Hyundai Global Design Centre SangYup Lee, Chief Design Officer Luc Donckerwolke, and head of Hyundai Group R&D Albert Biermann.

If you took a peek at the photos from the Korean launch a couple of weeks ago, you may notice some minor differences. The most significant one is in the tailpipes: the car shown here has a twin-tailpipe setup with a shape that mimics the crest outline on the front grille.

This is because the Korean car launched with a diesel powerplant that we won’t see here in North America. Instead, GV80 will sell here with two gas-powered engines: a 2.5-litre single-turbocharged four-cylinder and a new V6, a 3.5-litre twin-turbo. Horsepower and torque figures haven’t yet been released, nor has any information about transmissions. What we do know is that, regardless of the engine equipped, all-wheel drive will be standard on the GV80 in Canada, and the V6 engine will be matched with 22-inch wheels as opposed to the 19- or 20-inch wheels on the four-cylinder.

The element of the exterior that’s likely to be the most polarizing is the turn signal repeater, which has been moved off the side mirrors and onto the front quarter panel. The two lights carry the lines of the forward quad-layout headlamps around the side of the car and into the taillights. This is, we’re told, the future of Genesis design and a theme that will carry into other vehicles. I’m not immediately drawn to this element. Thinking that perhaps my advancing age means I no longer qualify for what Genesis bills as “young luxury,” I polled some of my younger colleagues; they don’t seem especially enamoured by it, either. But it’s certainly distinctive, and it’s a make-or-break design element that might need to grow on people over time.

There are a few aspects of the exterior that demonstrate clear attention to detail such as the meticulous alignment of the logo’s wingtips with the hood accents and the chrome rear window trim with the spoiler.

The interior is uncluttered, with clean lines and a minimum of buttons and controls. Since this is the biggest a Genesis SUV is going to get, at least in the short term – they’ve announced this and a compact SUV, and that’s it – the GV80 will be available in two- and three-row configurations. No one is trying to hide the fact that the third row is going to be tight: we’re told it will be suitable for children and smaller adults, although the finishes back there will be on the same plane as the rest of the cabin.

Storage space is, according to figures supplied by Genesis, 727 litres behind the second row and 2,144 litres behind the first row, both of which are higher than the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

The 14.5-inch infotainment screen is standard equipment and is the largest in the GV80’s segment. It’s manipulated either through touch or what Genesis calls its captive control pad, a dial on the centre stack that spins to rotate through the screen’s functions and also accepts fingertip handwriting input. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, but whether these will be wireless or connected via USB has not yet been announced.

There are some safety and comfort features that come across on a first pass as being innovative:

– The standard suite of 10 airbags includes Hyundai Group’s new centre side airbag that inflates between the front-row passengers to prevent them from hitting one another in a side impact.

– New scenarios have been added to the standard forward collision warning system including automatic emergency braking to mitigate impacts with oncoming vehicles while making a left turn or cross-traffic while going through an intersection, plus evasive steering assistance to avoid crossing the centre line, merging into a lane at the same time as another vehicle, or rear-ending a rapidly slowing vehicle. Some of these situations will need to be very well-executed to avoid scaring drivers into making additional mistakes, so it will be interesting to see how they play out in real-world situations.

– The GV80’s standard adaptive cruise control system has an artificial intelligence component that learns how you prefer to drive and adjusts its own driving habits to match yours. In other words, if you feather the pedals when you drive around the city, then that’s how the cruise control will behave on the highway. But if you surge on the throttle and slam on the brakes, then you’ll get that back, too. This is all intended to make the car’s reactions feel more like your own habits and, in theory, therefore more natural.

– An 18-speaker sound system with subwoofers mounted under the rear seats is optional, as is a lightly massaging front seat with stretching functions for the legs and lumbar spine.

– An active noise control system that Genesis says is a world first has exterior-mounted sensors to detect the frequency of road noise and counter it by piping opposing frequencies into the cabin, which purportedly will make the interior near-silent.

And as with all Genesis vehicles sold in Canada, the GV80 will be sold exclusively online through the Genesis At Home platform with all-in transparent pricing, complimentary scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance for five years, and valet service for test drives and service appointments.

There’s much more information still to come on the GV80 – including pricing and equipment details – in the months before it arrives in Canadian dealerships early in the second half of 2020. Pre-orders are open now and cost $1,000, which also secures an introductory financing or leasing rate of 2.9 percent.

Expect to hear more about the GV80 as it makes its national debut next month at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto.
 
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