Genesis G80

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

IT'S hard not to be impressed by the G80, the flagship saloon of the new-to-this-country premium brand Genesis.

At nearly five metres long and with styling to put many of its German rivals in the shade it's a car that now offers a credible alternative to executive car buyers looking for something different.

With its sleek lines, Bentley-like honeycomb grille, dramatic winged Genesis badge on the bonnet, concave boot lid and quad side indicators and front and rear lights it's a masterclass of the car designer's art.

And if the exterior impresses there's even more to get excited about when you take a look at the luxurious cabin, particularly if you add some of the optional packs available.

The car driven here was resplendent in red embossed Nappa leather upholstery with dramatic black inserts on the dashboard, centre console and doors mirroring the diamond pattern of the grille.

The electrically adjustable seats came with both heated and cooling functions not to mention a massaging function for long journeys.

And after a journey of 50 miles or so I was surprised to find the massage system cutting in automatically as it seemed to sense the stiffing up of my back muscles. Clever stuff.

There's plenty of room for three people in the rear and while folding down the centre armrest takes out one seat it contains controls to operate a multiplicity of functions on the car - including those to the rear video screens - to keep young passengers in the back happy.

In fact there is so much hi-tech equipment on this car it's difficult to list it all. Among the main features are a head-up display, soft close doors, a Lexicon 18-speaker surround sound system, soundproof glass and a vast 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen.

And if you don't want to key in any information by touching the screen you can do it simply by writing on the main controller.

Extensive work on door sealing, engine compartment sound insulation and even the fitting of sound reducing wheels has made the G80 one of the quietest cars I've driven.

The ride too is impressive, thanks in part to a front facing camera which supplies information about the road ahead to the electronically controlled suspension so it can adjust in advance. A similar type of system is used by Rolls-Royce.

And not only will this car park itself you can also start it from outside using the key fob and move it forwards or backwards, perfect for when someone parks too close to you in a multi-storey car park and you can't open the door enough to get inside.

A dial on the leather covered transmission tunnel falls easily to hand for gear selection and most of the onboard kit is impressively intuitive.

On the road the eight-speed, 2.5-litre G80 is refined and quick but with brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW to compete against in this sector of the market it needs to be good.

There are three driving modes to select from, eco, comfort and sport with comfort seeming to be more appropriate for a car of this elegance.

Slip it into sport, however, and the G80 will hit 62 miles per from rest in an impressive 6.0 seconds and always feels quicker when you drive it using the paddles behind the steering wheel.

The ride is first class but there is some body roll on bends - as you would probably expect from a car designed more for comfort - but it's all easily controllable.

Like all Genesis models the G80 comes with a five-year warranty, five years servicing and courtesy cars, five years roadside assistance and five years navigation and software updates all in with the price.

FAST FACTS

Genesis G80

Price:£47,950

Mechanical: 304 bhp, 2,497cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via eight speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155 mph

0-62mph: 6.0 secs

Combined MPG: 33

Insurance Group: 43

C02 emissions: 205 g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 5yrs/50,000 miles

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