New Model News

Genesis introduces its first SUV, the three-row 2021 Genesis GV80

Genesis has debuted its new SUV. Another is soon on the way.

Photo courtesy of Genesis

An SUV is finally joining the Genesis lineup. This week the Korean automaker unveiled the GV80, its flagship model, showing that the design, engineering, and value proposition of Genesis sedans can carry over into a SUV.

Designed in collaboration between studios in South Korea, the United States, and Germany, the 2021 GV80 features many similar design elements to the recently redesigned 2020 Genesis G90. The Crest Grille sits on the face of the SUV while lines run from the grille and headlights back onto the body of the model.

2021 Genesis GV80 The GV80 has the Genesis Crest Grille at its front.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The GV80 has a commanding stance and looks like a luxury model even at first glance. The Quad Lamp headlights are a signature of the model, the same way they are the G90. The two models also share a G-Matrix pattern in light fixtures throughout the interior, which are inspired by orchids. The GV80 also has the pattern on its 22-inch wheels.

Genesis vehicles are known for being spacious and the GV80 appears to be no exception. The automaker says that the GV80, "focuses on 'the beauty of white space,' characteristic of the elegant South Korean architectural philosophy. The concept of 'luxury in space' defines the open feeling of the cabin of GV80, with the G-Matrix pattern as a motif."

The dashboard of the GV80 is centered by a 14.5-inch infotainment screen. Simplicity has reigned supreme in the cabin design with a special focus on keeping the number of buttons and switches to a minimum.


2021 Genesis GV80 The GV80 has many of the design characteristics of the Genesis G90.Photo courtesy of Genesis

At the center of the console is a dial-style shifter and a controller that features handwriting recognition, a technology used in Mercedes-Benz and BMW vehicles, among others.

2021 Genesis GV80 The interior of the GV80 is suitably plush.Photo courtesy of Genesis

Genesis has made augmented reality navigation which is described by Genesis as utilizing, "virtual driving guidelines over actual driving images to help drivers recognize roads. Video taken by the front-mounted camera will be displayed on the infotainment screen, and the optimal driving path will be displayed in a virtual graphic so that the driver can drive along the route easily and accurately."

The automaker is set on making the GV80 an "oasis." That includes covering the cabin with soft-touch materials from quilted knee pads to the center and installing the first application of the company's Road Active Noise Cancellation, which takes traditional noise cancellation technology a big step forward. The driver's seat has seven air cells to help drivers achieve maximum comfort. Heated and ventilated seats are available in the first two rows.

The GV80 comes standard with rear-wheel drive and has available all-wheel drive. GV80 AWD models will come standard with an electronically controlled limited slip differential at the rear.

2021 Genesis GV80 Genesis has specifically engineered the cabin of the model to be spacious.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The SUV's suspension is electronically controlled and features road preview, which recognizes the road ahead and optimizes the suspension for optimal comfort, similar to what the Lincoln Aviator's system does.

Genesis has plans to sell the GV80 with the buyer's choice between two turbocharged engines in the U.S.

Electronically controlled suspension with road preview, another Genesis first, helps provide passengers with optimal ride comfort by recognizing information on the road ahead in advance via the front camera.

2021 Genesis GV80 Each new GV80 comes with a long list of safety technology.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The new SUV features a number of new technologies for the Genesis brand including:

  • Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning: A world first, SCC-ML advances the science and engineering behind smart cruise control. It is an artificial intelligence-based intelligent navigation technology that helps enable GV80 to independently learn the driving characteristics of its drivers and implement autonomous driving similar to that of human drivers.
  • Highway Driving Assist II: This system helps assist the driver in a wider variety of situations than before, including lane change when the turn signal is used, and helping to merge in congested situations.
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist: This system is able to help automatically bring GV80 to a stop in certain situations where there is a risk of collision with an approaching vehicle on the left or right side of the intersection. GV80 is also able to help detect potential collision risks, if a pedestrian is in close proximity to the vehicle while in motion.
  • Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist: BCA is essentially a Blind Spot Monitor with active capabilities. BCA helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle, upon departing a parallel parking spot as one example.
  • Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist: This system uses rear side radar to help detect and prevent impact with obstacles.
  • Driver Attention Alert Warning: This system monitors the driver's attention when driving, by analyzing driving patterns and behaviors, including intermittent steering and unnatural deceleration, through vehicle signals, such as steering angle and steering torque and vehicle position in traffic lane. A forward-looking camera monitors the driver and will generate pop-up messages and warning tones when fatigue or forward-looking neglect is detected.

The 2020 Genesis GV80 will go on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

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The AWD ID.4 model is on its way.

Volkswagen

There was a lot of buzz when VW introduced its 2021 ID.4 all-electric crossover with rear-wheel drive earlier this year, but there's plenty more now that the Wolfsburg automaker has added an all-wheel-drive version. The 2021 VW ID.4 AWD gets another motor onboard this compact SUV that brings all-wheel-drive traction. The SUV appeals to buyers in the snow belt states but will also tickle the fancy of performance enthusiasts. Now with motors on both the front and rear axle, there is nearly fifty percent more power, with impressive gains to horsepower and torque as well as the added battery-electric boost to that scoots the 5-seater from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds (the RWD model took 7.5 seconds to achieve the same).

2021 VW ID.4 AWD An extra motor brings AWD to the ID.4.Volkswagen

On sale now, the 2021 VW ID.4 AWD Pro starts at $44,870, before federal or other incentives; this is a $3,680 premium over the rear-drive model. The AWD Pro S starts at $49,370; both models are eligible for $7,500 income-tax credits. It's worth noting that current delivery estimates for the AWD Pro are running into 2022. The AWD Pro trim has been rated by the EPA at 249 miles (only 11 miles less than the Pro RWD) while the AWD Pro S has been validated at 240 miles (as compared to 250 miles). The AWD Pro has been rated at 102 MPGe for city driving/90 highway/97 combined; the Pro S gets 93/98/88. Both are rated at 2,700 towing. Competitors include the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

While the AWD and RWD look the same outside, one exterior badge designates the newest variant with an "AWD" badge, plus it gets 0.6 inches of added ground clearance, slightly bigger brakes and sway bars. From the front, the electric SUV has smoothed jelly-bean styling that is highlighted by standard LED headlights and standard black roof rails that sit atop the body-colored roof. From the rear, it wears hatchback-like looks.

2021 VW ID.4 AWD The ID.4's cabin is tidy and upscale, no matter the model.Volkswagen

We drove both the Pro and Pro S versions, with different premium interior trims and found the Gradient Package ($1500) visually upscale and appealing. It brings a black roof with silver rails, along with 20-inch wheels and the availability of King's Red Metallic paint, as a $395 option. The Pro is well-equipped with attractive trim elements and an impressive collection of communication and infotainment technologies. Pro S comes with a glass roof with an electrically-retractable shade and front seats with leatherette upholstery and 12-way power adjustments (including four-way lumbar support and a massage system).

We drove the new ID.4 AWD over a course of 160 miles along a variety of roads to sample its handling and ergonomics. The interior has a clean and open feel with good visibility. Controls and gauges are well-placed and the seatbelts are height-adjustable, while a configurable console holds different drink sizes and has removable cupholders. A futuristic LED "Light" strip with 10 different ambient lighting selections extends across the dashboard and pulses with directional signals, incoming phone calls, navigation prompts and other in-cabin inputs (optional is 30-color lighting selection on the Pro S). Driving is also a bit futuristic with no stop/start button; the vehicle senses the approaching key and can start climate control, unfold side mirrors, unlock doors and illuminate door handles at night, among a number of other high-tech features. There is 30.3 cubic feet of stowage behind the rear seats and up to 64.2 cubic feet with the second row folded. Under the floor storage holds the charging cable and small items. Pro S has an adjustable trunk floor that can be raised and lowered and a ski passthrough.

Pushing the brake pedal triggers the ID.4 to begin motoring, with the option of a "D" mode for typical driving or "B" for a more regenerative driving experience. Travel Assist brings semi-autonomous driving. Notable is the fun and responsive torque-on-tap, well-balanced direct steering and a suspension system that allows the small compact to maneuver well through traffic and along twisty roadways, as well as an impressive turning radius. The vehicle dynamics control system is integrated with the stability control system and an electronic differential to seamlessly engage the front axle, when needed. Volkswagen has added a different asynchronous motor to the front with a permanent-magnetic synchronous motor at the back for a combined 295 hp. and 339 lb.-ft. of torque.

2021 VW ID.4 AWD The ID.4 AWD will start shipping in early 2022.Volkswagen

Carried over are 82-kWh battery packs and the 5 to 80 percent fast-charging time of 38 minutes, when using 125kW fast-charging. VW says it can add 62 miles of range in 10 minutes; home charging on a Level 2 charger is projected to take approximately 7.5 hours for a full charge.

Of note: VW includes three years of complimentary charging up to 125 kW, with any ID.4 purchase or lease; VW Group's Electrify America charging network has over 650 stations and more than 2,700 fast chargers.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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