In the last 18months or so, there’ve been significant new entries or heavily revised vehicles in the luxury three-row SUV segment. Namely, the Audi Q7, Caddy XT6, Lincoln Aviator and a few more are on the way in the form of a new Acura MDX and an all-new Infiniti QX60. For this brief spec comparison, we’ll compare the Lincoln Aviator to the novelty of the moment, the all-new Genesis GV80.
Now, although we’ve driven the Lincoln Aviator already and have all the information on hand, the scenario is quite different with the Genesis GV80. It’s just now been introduced in North America and we only have a basic level of specs but it’s enough to mount this duel. What brings these two SUVs together are RWD monocoque platforms with AWD, and the singular use of turbocharged mills.
Essentially, the question here is whether or not you should wait a little longer for the 2021 Genesis GV80 or head straight to your local Lincoln dealership for an Aviator. Let’s see what we come up with.
What is the pricing and when will they be available?
These two SUVs will speak to the same clientele however the manner of communication will be very different.
For the moment, the base model is the Reserve, which starts at $75,000 premium. A “standard” iteration of the Aviator is expected before long and should be priced in the mid $60k range. With options, and using the Grand Touring as a starting point, pricing can surpass the $90,000 mark.
The 2021 Genesis GV80 will start at a lower price point. It is expected that a base unit will begin in the mid $50,000 range and, with options, reach into the mid $70k. Kit-wise, it should match the Aviator and at a lower price point, deliver more value.
The Lincoln is already up for grabs while the Genesis won’t hit the streets before summer this year.
Which Has The Better Powertrain?
The Lincoln Aviator comes with one of two versions of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. The Reserve versions get 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. The highlight Grand Touring earns plug-in hybrid technology mated to the 3.0-litre V6. All told, output is an incredible 494-horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission shuffles power to a standard AWD system.
As for the Genesis GV80, powertrain selection will vary between a turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder (derived from the Hyundai Sonata) and another boosted mill, a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6. Output numbers are not yet known however, for the 4-pot, should resemble the Sonata’s proposed 290-horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. As for the 3.5TT, we think the number could rise to 400-horsepower, or very close.
Which is more spacious?
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is delivered with a standard 3row with seating for seven. The 2021 Genesis GV80 offers seating for five and can optionally be fitted with a third row for two extra occupants. Unlike the Aviator, the GV80’s last row is absolutely limited to small children.
The Genesis GV80 provides 727 litres of boot space behind the 2nd row. Volume behind the third row has not been shared. The Lincoln Aviator delivers 1,184 and 518 respectively.
What About Style?
Both of these luxury SUVs emphasize proportions. They feature long bonnets, short overhangs, proportionally long wheelbases and a rearward slopping roofline. This design shape came into prominence with the Range Rover Velar which perfectly captured this highly attractive profile.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is very attractive. The front end is ideally matched, visually and size-wise, with the remainder of the SUV. The Genesis GV80 is not quite as conventional up front because of its oversized Crest Grille. The headlights are equally unique but mildly disturb – the volume they occupy on the fascia is minute compared to the grille’s massive real estate.
The Lincoln and Genesis both sport fancy and welcoming cabins. Design and configurations are upscale and evolved. In truth, the GV80’s presentation and attention to detail surpasses the more expensive Aviator.
How important are these vehicles for their respective brands?
In practice and reality, both of these SUVs are crucial for their makes. Lincoln continues to struggle to find its rightful place in the numerous luxury SUV segments in which it competes. Arguably, the midsize category should generate serious volume however the Aviator is failing in Canada if mostly because of its nearly outrageous pricing structure. Luckily for Lincoln, they also have the Nautilus to help out.
As for Genesis, the GV80 can make or nearly break the company. Despite the coming of a compact GV70 in the following year, the GV80 will serve as the brand’s flagship vehicle and signal that Genesis is officially ready to step up to the plate and play luxury-ball. Genesis has poured everything they have into it, from tech to design, DNA and a bespoke platform in order to make sure it does not fail.
The GV80 has the potential to double Genesis’ sales volume quickly. Having said that, it may take a while for the Genesis SUV to reach significant sales numbers if mostly because buyers still need to learn about Hyundai’s luxury brand. From where we stand, we think the GV80 is, on paper and in the steel, a hit. We look forward to driving it.