Luxurious newcomer

from Korea

Genesis G80, 2021, front
Genesis G80, 2021, side, action
Genesis G80, 2021, side
Genesis G80, 2021, interior
Genesis G80, 2021, rear
Genesis G80, 2021, rear seats

GENESIS is Hyundai's luxury brand and it has launched in the UK and Europe in a bid to snatch sales from the three German premium offerings as well as from Jaguar.

It will have to overcome brand snobbery as well as the quality of the opposition but the Korean manufacturer is certain it can lock swords with the big players in the same way Lexus has taken on the big boys for Toyota.

Genesis has already made an impact on its home market and in the US where they demand a lot for their buck.

Last year the company sold over 130,000 units and it has the ambition to do many more.

And the Korean car maker plans to tempt buyers to the brand without having a single showroom. Genesis has dispensed with the usual retail model and will market its cars on the Internet and via retail studios manned by personal assistants rather than sales people. The assistants will offer advice but will not be on commission.

Every car will have a full five-year warranty, five years of servicing and five-year roadside assistance included in the package and if that is not enough the cars will be collected and returned to your door on covered transport. No other manufacturer offers that kind of complete service and it is sure to attract attention.

There are currently four cars in the range, two SUVs and two saloons and recently I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the G80 - the large saloon that targets Jaguar's XF, the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class as well as the Lexus ES.

The G80 is a striking looking machine and it is large - just 5mm short of 5metres - and from some angles it looks like a Sportback. It has lots of presence thanks to its huge grille, sloping roof-line and cut-off tail as well as it sheer size.

Prices start at £37,460 and rise to £50,650 but tailored packages can add considerably to that if you go for even more luxury. In any event you get a lot of metal for your cash.

The G80 is currently offered with the choice of one diesel and one petrol engine and my car came with the 2.5-litre, 300bhp petrol unit which gains all-wheel drive. It is good for the sprint to 62mph in six seconds and a top speed of 155mph.

More engines will arrive later including hybrid , full electric and hydrogen-powered choices.

The G80 delivers its power smoothly through an eight-speed automatic box. The chassis has poise and although it is not as sporty as a 5 Series it does handle well.

It provides a refined and quiet drive and the suspension deals nicely with all road surfaces while the all-wheel drive makes it feel very secure in very wet conditions.

The G80's cabin is simply superb and very tasteful. It delivers a perfect blend of the old and new with lots of tech and digital dials and screens combined with lots of nice wood and top quality leather.

Every control feels great to the touch and the spacious interior is a more than a match for anything else in the sector and is superbly screwed together. The rear seat occupants have their own controls to adjust things to their taste and they also enjoy stacks of room.

The large central screen is navigated via a rotary touchpad or directly by touch and the graphics are as good as anything I have seen in a car. A front facing camera provides excellent detail and when you indicate it enables you to see things on your left or right on the main panel.

Thankfully the climate controls sit on their own and also feature rotary dials like the drive controller.

There is no end to the luxury on offer and you can even get massage seats included in one of the packs.

There is no doubt that the G80 is a worthy alternative to the class leaders in the sector and its overall package will be good enough to tempt some customers away from the big guns. It is a very capable luxurious executive saloon.

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