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2021 Genesis GV80. Photo by Genesis

Hyundai's emerging luxury division, Genesis, is out with its first SUV, the GV80, and like the brand's first three sedans, it's a worthy contender against better-known Japanese and European rivals — and a relative bargain, too.

The big picture: Even before the SUV's arrival, the 4-year-old Genesis brand was punching above its weight, pushing brands like Lexus out of the way to snag top industry ratings on quality, dependability and safety.

As a midsized luxury SUV, the GV80 enters a fiercely competitive segment dominated by models like the BMW X-5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

  • It's more affordable, though, with prices ranging from $49,925 to $71,795.
  • The uncluttered interior is plush and comfortable, but it's offset by some unnecessary bling like the shiny metal click-wheel controller on the center console.
  • And the front end's huge mesh grille "looks like a chain-link fence separating you from a growling Rottweiler," a friend said.

The GV80 has all of the driver-assistance systems you'd expect in a luxury SUV, including lane-changing help and a driver monitoring system that alerts tired or distracted drivers to pay attention.

  • A smart cruise control system can even use machine learning to mimic the operator's driving style while in use.

Other cool innovations include an active noise cancellation system, which dramatically reduces road noise, and an electronically controlled suspension which sees bumps ahead and adjusts the ride accordingly.

The bottom line: Genesis should be on every luxury car buyer's shopping list.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.