A newcomer to the luxury midsize SUV segment, the 2021 Genesis GV80 impresses with sharp looks, a choice of strong engines, and a class-leading warranty. Let’s see how it compares to a seasoned veteran, the redesigned 7-passenger 2022 Acura MDX.
2021 Genesis GV80
Above Average: Plenty of standard and optional features; excellent safety technology; class-leading warranty; rear- or all-wheel drive.
Below Average: Optional third row is tight; no V8 or hybrid; lacks brand recognition.
Consensus: The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the very first crossover SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand. Not surprisingly, it offers value, great safety features, and excellent driving manners at a very competitive starting price. In its first year on the market, it’s the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy among midsize luxury SUVs.
2022 Acura MDX
Above Average: Roomy interior; wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto; high-performance Type S variant; resale value.
Below Average: Tire noise; not particularly fuel-efficient; touchpad can be irritating.
Consensus: A complete overhaul for 2022 gives the Acura MDX a slightly roomier and elegant interior and a more robust chassis. Build quality is excellent as expected, although it exhibits some tire noise and the touchpad can be frustrating to use while driving.
GV80 vs. MDX: Style and Power
Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis has so far offered a trio of luxury sport sedans, but the 2021 Genesis GV80 marks the company’s first foray into the crossover/SUV segment. Being the new kid on the block, Genesis knew it had to bring its “A” game, so the GV80 comes extremely well-equipped in all trim levels, with either rear- or all-wheel drive. We’ve recently named it a KBB Best Buy in the midsize luxury SUV category.
A choice of engines includes a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to an 8-speed automatic with a drive mode selector. Also available (and with standard all-wheel drive) is a 375-hp twin-turbo V6 that really keeps things moving.
The trend seems to be toward large grilles these days, and the GV80 is no exception, but its looks are distinct and modern.
Standard equipment is plentiful, including a 14.5-inch dial-operated screen with both handwriting recognition and redundant controls, a 12-speaker premium audio system, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration.
Driver-assist and safety features are numerous as well, and also include valet service and an optional self-parking feature. Clearly, the GV80 is designed for five passengers only. One trim offers a third row, but it’s extremely tight and provides virtually no cargo space behind it. If you need a seven-passenger SUV, it’s best to look elsewhere.
As with all Genesis products, the 2021 GV80 is backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and comes with free maintenance and concierge services.
In production since 2001, the MDX has been a strong seller for Acura. But the company took 2021 off, and the 2022 Acura MDX is back after a full redesign that gave it a slightly longer and wider body and a sophisticated suspension.
While many of its competitors use turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, the base in the MDX is a 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 that provides smooth power sent to either the front or all four wheels. Coming soon is the Type S, powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, Brembo brakes, and torque vectoring.
We like the angular exterior look of the 2022 MDX, which is complemented by a flexible interior with an optional removable center seat in the second row. The cabin is full of high-quality materials, with Acura’s impeccable build quality. We like the dash and its impressive infotainment screen, although the touchpad is a bit of a challenge to use while driving.
Standard features are generous and include a 9-speaker audio system, USB charging ports, tri-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, and two 12.3-inch screens. Every 2022 MDX also comes with the AcuraWatch suite of safety systems including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and a blind-spot monitor. Given Acura’s reputation for reliability, resale values are expected to be strong.
Optional all-wheel drive; optional twin-turbo V6 engines; NHTSA 5-star safety.
2021 Genesis GV80 Advantages
Cargo space; long warranty; handsome looks; standard rear-wheel drive.
2022 Acura MDX Advantages
Standard third row; high-performance Type S variant; excellent build quality.
Which One is Right for Me?
The new kid on the block, the 2021 Genesis GV80 is a great choice if you like its dynamic style, great standard equipment, and driving manners, but don’t necessarily need third-row seating.
The 2022 Acura MDX is a good choice for larger families without the sacrifice of driving fun. Acura also has a solid reputation for delivering good resale value.
Ready to buy a Genesis GV80 or Acura MDX? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2021 Genesis GV80||2022 Acura MDX|
|Engine||2.5-liter turbo I4||3.5-liter V6|
|Horsepower||300 hp @ 5,800 rpm||290 hp @ 6,200 rpm|
|Torque||311 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm||267 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd automatic||10-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg (21 city/25 hwy)||22 mpg (19 city/26 hwy)|
|Also Available||3.5-liter turbo V6; AWD||3.0-liter turbo V6; AWD|
|Basic warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||7||7|
|Wheelbase||116.3 inches||113.8 inches|
|Overall Length||194.7 inches||198.4 inches|
|Width||77.8 inches||78.7 inches|
|Height||67.5 inches||67.1 inches|
|Turning Diameter||39.3 feet||40.5 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.2 inches||38.5 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.4 inches||38.1 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.6 inches||41.6 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.7 inches||38.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||60.2 inches||61.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||58.2 inches||60.3 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||108.7 cubic feet||139.1 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||84.0 cubic feet||71.4 cubic feet|
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