Genesis GV80 2.5T

Luxury Line

Genesis GV80, 2022, front
Genesis GV80, 2022, front, action
Genesis GV80, 2022, interior
Genesis GV80, 2022, side
Genesis GV80, 2022, tail
Genesis GV80, 2022, rear
Genesis GV80, 2022, boot

LET'S get the most obvious thing out of the way first - yes, it looks like a Bentley, especially with the winged logo on the front bonnet, and a number of people who asked me about it thought it was.

However, while it comes with everything you could want as standard, a high-quality interior and superb refinement, it's not a Bentley, it's about a third of the price for a start. It is a Genesis, the newest car brand available in the UK. If you haven't caught on yet, Genesis is to Hyundai as Lexus is to Toyota, Genesis is to Hyundai.

The GV80 comes with a straight-six 278ps diesel - expected to be the biggest seller in the UK - or the 304ps 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol unit driven here. Both are mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Both engines provide high levels of drive refinement, aided by special ‘world first' noise cancelling technology. Damping is aided by a camera that monitors the road surface and adjusts the suspension to suit the road surface. It certainly works at higher speeds but a lower speed you do tend to feel every bump in the road.

Measuring 4,945mm long, it's a lot smaller than Bentley's Bentayga, coming somewhere between a BMW X5 and an Audi Q7 in length. There's a choice of either Premium Line or Luxury Line trim levels though both come with plenty of gadgets, including a self-parking system that will parallel park for you without you even having to be in the car. Ideal if you're trying to get into a really tight supermarket or public car park space.

Luxurious touches abound throughout the beautifully finished cabin, not least in the finish of its comfortable and supportive seats, which are large, heated and electrically-powered and come with inflatable side bolsters which pump up when you select Sport mode. A surprise when you're not expecting it! Soft materials cover every surface, from the inside of the door handles to the quilted knee pads that line the lower sides of the console, and with the knurled switchgear, it's a truly tactile and enjoyable place to be.

There's an excellent infotainment system with a huge 14.5-inch touchscreen, which can also be operated via a sparkly capstan on the centre console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard but there's also lots of other software bits and pieces such as Valet mode, which hides your phone and satnav data from prying eye.

My favourite is the system which, when you flick on the indicator, the dial on the respective side of the 12.5-inch digital instrument cluster is replaced with a camera view down the side of the vehicle.

There's ample space for five adults and a power folding third-row seating is optional. As a five-seater, the boot is a spacious 735 litres and the electrically-powered rear seats can be folded to release that to 2,152 litres.

An electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is standard on the GV80. In normal driving conditions, power distribution continuously varies from 100 per cent to the rear wheels, up to an even 50/50 split front to rear.

At the heart of the all-wheel drive system is an advanced electronically controlled limited slip differential, which distributes power between left and right rear wheels according to the driving environment and the level of traction. A Terrain Mode System allows drivers to tune the 4WD system, the E-LSD, the traction control, the engine, and the transmission to deal with mud, sand, and snow.

On the road, Genesis is obviously aiming for comfort over agility, after all, this is a large 2,300kg SUV. It is a lovely car to cruise in but, if you decide to hit twists and turns at speed you will feel that size and weight, especially as the steering is a little light and lacks feedback. Worth remembering here this is an SUV, not a sports car. I loved being behind the wheel because, aged 55, that's the level of comfort I would enjoy.

Safety-wise, here are a host of camera- and radar-based safety systems, so it has earned Five Stars from Euro NCAP. Judges were impressed by its first-in-class front centre airbag. Located in the driver's seat on the centre console side, it speedily deploys in the event of a side collision to help prevent the two front passengers from colliding with each other.

FAST FACTS

Genesis GV80 2.5T Luxury Line

Price:£59,600

Mechanical:300bhp, 2,497cc, four-cylinder engine driving all-four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:147mph

0-62mph: 7.7seconds

Combined MPG:31.4mpg

Insurance Group:47

C02 emissions:241g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty:5yrs/unlimited miles

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