11 JULY 2022
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The car name Genesis may not be familiar to you even if a ‘petrol-head’. It was not known to your Editor-in-Chief who likes to keep an eye on motoring things having started his career at Autosport many years ago. This is his review of a brand-new challenger to Audi, BMW, Jaguar/Land Rover and Mercedes.
“It was something of a surprise when Genesis appeared at the 2021 SMMT Millbrook extravaganza with the GV80 and a unique selling style with no showrooms except a studio at London’s Westfield shopping centre. The sales pitch is via a ‘butler-style’ service where demonstration cars are brought to you. At the present time sales and marketing are concentrated in South East England.
This is the same model in which Tiger Woods had his monumental accident back in February 2021. Built for strength and safety, as proven, it has an academic top speed of 149mph and a very practical 0-60mph of 7.5sec. But don’t expect economy in this age of high fuel prices. Driven in a fairly robust manner the low 30s was the best I achieved.
If you buy a Genesis, you are also assigned a ‘personal assistant’, who can help with any enquiries and who will arrange home vehicle collections for servicing, which is free for five years or 50,000 miles. The warranty also lasts for five years but is not limited by mileage. This includes labour and parts – for five years.
Millbrook is tantalising in what it offers. A visit to the splendid hill course, and several laps of the high-speed bowl was BTN’s introduction to the GV 80 saloon in 3ltr diesel form. Nothing sensational but a steady performer with a quiet and torquey power unit. £69,685 on the road. There was no time to look at the 'toys' on board.
It’s taken 12 months but a Genesis G80 saloon press car has now arrived, a 2.5 four-cylinder petrol driven behemoth sitting on 19inch front wheels and 20inch rear, something of a scaled down version of the ever larger Bentley Bentayga with a not dissimilar front grill. The whole car is nicely styled in keeping with today’s trends. If you ever have a puncture, call the road service people out.
BTN has complained previously about the press handover and the way this is achieved. The car is so comprehensibly equipped that it is impossible to learn one’s way around the machine in a week! The delivery driver should really know the product and be prepared to show the scribe around and let all the gadgets be put on trial. I was left to try the remote parking controls by myself, a driverless car finding its own home on the public highway. Was it legal? I am not sure. But it worked.
Genesis was officially created in December 2015, no longer a spin-off from Hyundai, but a stand-alone car manufacture with ambitions to be a real force in the luxury market, in many ways a Korean version of the very successful, single ownership Lexus and Toyota brands.
It all started back in 2005 with the Hyundai decision to build what turned out to be the G90 saloon, not setting the world alight but a steady performer. It already had a controlling interest in Kia, which it retains to this day. The G70 was introduced to the United States market during the March 2018 New York Auto Show. [
Gaining entry into the G80 could not be easier. There is an air of superiority as one sits looking down on the lesser lights in their “little cars”.
Quality abounds. The display is a 14.5inch touchscreen and works very quickly and logically once you have got used to it. It is set fairly high and far away, so you need to reach to use it. I am a fan of rotary controllers, but you need a little while to remember where is what whilst driving. There is a ‘head-up’ display, one of the best around, but most infuriating is a rev counter that goes the wrong way. Electronic wing mirrors too within the ront display. Surely for European roads the system should be able to work in reverse. Also, and a personal niggle, is the radio settings that include football, but only the Premier League. For Luton Town I had to go to BBC Three Counties.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and very well integrated, with the media and map shortcut buttons taking you to whichever system you have been using.
The G80 handles tidily for a large car. Although the body rolls quite a bit on the soft suspension, it hangs on very well in corners with its meaty 265-section Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyres. The steering suited me fine as did the paddle controls for the exceptionally smooth eight-speed auto box. Not much body roll making this substantial vehicle relatively easy to set up for roundabouts and sharp bends. It did not rain for a week but I am sure I would feel comfortable under most conditions and one is so high up spray would not be a problem.
The list of standard accessories and built-in features that on some of its rivals are an extra is too long to list here but worth noting is what is claimed to be the world’s first Road Active Noise Cancellation. In fact it is needed as under acceleration the beast is raucous although very quiet on the Motorway. The drive and terrain mode allows drivers to fine tune the powertrain for any surface and situation. It is also has what is described as another world-first, an Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS) enhancement to suit the driver’s style. This was not tried and is for long-term ownership. With the electronics the car comes inclusive of over-the-air updates and smartphone integration.
If you want something different, perhaps a car to talk about with your motoring friends, the Genesis might fit the bill. It is good value for money (Genesis has some deals) and will not let you down.
The test car was priced at £47.950 with the innovation and comfort packs bringing it up to £54,280.
Ride and Comfort 8
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Oz Anonymously , Australia
The Genesis has been on sale in Sydney for some years. They are also advertising the EV model here in Sydney.