Back at the beginning of this century, Mercedes released the Mercedes ML-Class which was one of, if not the very first luxury mid-size SUVs at the time. Fast forward 25 years and the GLE-Class (the new ML-Class) is still one of the, if not the best mid-size luxury SUV on the market.
Mercedes has decades worth of experience when it comes to designing and making some of the most luxurious cars the world has ever seen. All current Mercedes SUVs are built on a legacy of superior product engineering, placement, and philosophy, and that is why the GLE is at the very top of this segment.
However, a few years ago Genesis emerged as a newcome luxury brand focused on making cars that ought to rival the likes of Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Volvo, and Jaguar. The GV80 is a Genesis mid-size SUV that is designed to compete with the GLE while also being more affordable.
Although the GV80 looks promising, Genesis is likely going to need decades-worth of making luxury cars in order to rival the GLE. The GLE is more desirable, more luxurious, more technologically advanced, more spacious, and is available with smoother, more efficient, and more powerful engines.
2022 Genesis GV80 – The newcomer mid-size luxury SUV
The Genesis GV80 starts at $50,200 for the RWD 2.5T model which offers a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine rated at 300hp. If you pay an additional $6,000 you can upgrade to the AWD versions which also comes with a slightly better equipment list which includes stuff like ventilated seats, wireless chargers, and a heated steering wheel.
The range-topping Genesis $60,800 GV80 3.5T offers a 3.5L V6 with 375hp, but for $8,000 more you can get the top of the top 3.5T Advanced model that comes with a 3rd of seats and almost everything Genesis has to offer. Design-wise, the GV80 looks authentic and is a breath of a fresh air when compared to the existing brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, and Audi.
This theme continues on the inside, but the GV80 is not nearly as lavish as the GLE even though it does offer a really nice interior. The base model GV80 is cheaper and more powerful when compared to the base model GLE while the GLE takes the cake with more powerful performance models, a more appealing badge, and more passenger space.
It’s safe to say that the GV80 is an impressive package as it does offer quite a lot of value for the money. However, going head-to-head with a brand such as Mercedes is a difficult task, especially for a newcomer brand that has only begun its luxury car journey.
2022 Mercedes GLE-Class – The sweet spot of the Mercedes SUV range
The Mercedes GLE350 starts at $56,150 and it offers a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine with 255hp. The GLE350 also comes in RWD form as standard, and for $2,000 more you can upgrade to the 4MATIC system, but Mercedes does not require you to pay for additional equipment if you only want the 4MATIC system.
The GLE450 is powered by a 3.0L turbo V6 with 362hp with a price tag of $63,950. The GLE is also available as an AMG model where the significantly more expensive GLE45 AMG and the range-topping GLE 63 AMG S models come with 429hp and 600hp engines respectively, but they often sell for upwards of $120,000.
It’s also worth mentioning that the GLE is also available in a more sporty-looking Coupe form. The GLE looks more ordinary when compared to the GV80, but ordinary in Mercedes terms still means impressive. The interior of the GLE is more technologically advanced and it feels and looks more expensive and luxurious.
The 9G automatic in the GLE is better than the automatic found in the GV80 and the overall driving experience is a lot more refined with the GLE, especially if you go for the AIRMATIC air suspension. The GLE is better, but the GV80 is a worthy competitor.
Conclusion – The GLE takes it with ease, but the GV80 is a promising start
It is rather bold for a newcomer brand to suddenly pop out of nowhere and rival potentially the most impressive luxury brand of them all. We have seen countless attempts made by many other newcomer brands to rival the likes of Mercedes and it’s safe to say that hardly any of them manages to ruffle any Mercedes luxury feathers.
However, the GV80 is arguably one of the most promising newcomer luxury mid-size SUVs to date. Even though it can not match the GLE or any other premium German mid-size luxury SUV, it is still a promising start, and if Genesis continues to improve the GV80, the GLE will get a worthy competitor.
Is the 2020 Genesis GV80 more efficient than the Mercedes GLE?
Both the entry-level 2.5T RWD GV80 and the GLE350 non-4MATIC version offer a combined MPG result of 23MPG. The GLE350 seems to offer a more efficient experience on the highway while the GV80 is more at home in the city.
When you move up the range, the GLE450 manages to offer more efficient engines thanks to a combined MPG output of 23MPG while the GV80 is closer to 20MPG. All in all, both of these are similar when it comes to efficiency at the entry-level point while the GLE does seem more efficient with a 6-cylinder engine.
Is the 2022 Genesis GV80 more reliable than the Mercedes GLE?
On a brand level, Genesis ranks among the very best luxury car brands when it comes to reliability while Mercedes is somewhere in the middle. This means that the GV80 also comes with a better-predicted value when compared to the GLE, but if you do your maintenance properly, the differences are not all that big.
As such, the GLE also costs more money to maintain which is rather to be expected because it is a Mercedes after all.
Is Genesis as good as Mercedes?
As previously mentioned, Genesis is off to a good start when it comes to their very first luxury cars but they have a long way ahead of them before they are able to really threaten brands such as Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.
These three German luxury brands are in the business of making luxury cars for a while now while Hyundai/Kia (owners of Genesis) are not all that experienced when it comes to making luxury cars. As such, Genesis is not nearly as good as Mercedes, but only time will tell if this is going to change or not.