Blame the SUV's heavy curb weight.
The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the luxury automaker's first SUV model and is already set to become the brand's best-seller. Both the GV80 and its G80 sedan counterpart will arrive later in 2020 following some Covid-related delays, boasting highly attractive starting prices that undercut German options like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. But while the pricing may reel in buyers from competing luxury marques, the fuel economy doesn't look like the GV80's strong suit.
The EPA just posted fuel economy figures for the 2021 GV80 on its fueleconomy.gov website, and the results are not spectacular. In its most efficient form utilizing the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with rear-wheel-drive, the GV80 achieves 21/25/23 mpg city/highway/combined. These figures are not terrible for a mid-size luxury SUV, but they are also far from class-leading. The four-cylinder Mercedes GLE350 in RWD form, while less potent than the GV80, achieves 20/27/22 mpg city/highway/combined while the BMW X5 sDrive with a larger inline-six engine achieves 21/26/23 mpg.
The GV80's fuel economy deficit gap narrows with the introduction of all-wheel-drive, with EPA ratings of 21/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined compared to the GLE's 19/26/22 mpg. Getting into the six-cylinder engines, the gap increases compared to the German rivals. The EPA rates the 3.5-liter V6 GV80 with AWD at 18/23/20 mpg city/highway/combined. A comparable inline-six-powered GLE450 fairs better with 19/24/21 mpg while the BMW X5 with xDrive outmatches the both competitors with fuel economy ratings of 20/26/22 mpg.
We assume the GV80 is less efficient than the X5 and GLE due to its hefty curb weight because the G80 sedan, which shares engines with the GV80, boasts substantially higher fuel economy ratings. MPG ratings are not the only factor to consider here. The GV80's base four-cylinder engine produces 304 horsepower, which is far more than the four-cylinder GLE. With the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, the GV80's 380 hp outmatched the inline-six engines found in both the X5 and GLE. So if power is more important than fuel economy to you, the GV80 still seems like a great option.