Road Test by Mark Slack: Genesis GV80

Road Test by Mark Slack: Genesis GV80

Genesis GV80 – style, presence and continent crossing comfort.

Earlier this year I sampled the then-new Genesis G70 saloon, closely followed by the GV80 SUV. The GV80 has the same styling cues as the sleek saloon models but just in larger, bolder form. Genesis is the luxury arm of Hyundai which in turn, of course, owns Kia. Hyundai has managed to successfully build separation between Hyundai and Kia but with Genesis it’s a luxury brand and is a distinctly separate brand.

With more than a touch of the Bentleyesque about Genesis styling they have the ability to immediately make you feel that you are in something rather upmarket and special. There is a real feeling of quality in everything you can see and touch with some splendid detail touches from quilted stitched seating to slim linear air vents.

The GV80 range is priced from €67,237/£58,320 and there are three trim levels and power from a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol 4-cylinder that develops 300 bhp and mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive. Multi-seat options are available between five and seven seats. On the road it’s a quiet and refined performer with more than sufficient pull when required. It’s no Range Rover Sport so don’t expect agile handling, that said for such a large machine it is surprisingly accomplished.

Standard equipment levels are good with a basic spread that encompasses such items as LED lighting, intelligent cruise control, power-adjustable steering wheel, navigation with a premium sound system and connection for Apple Car Play and Android Auto, auto-dimming mirrors and a host of other items including comprehensive safety technology. As you might expect with such a large vehicle there is plenty of leg and headroom in both front and rear with extremely comfortable, multi-adjustable seats.

Depending on what you’re driving it’s not unusual for people to engage you in conversation, but it’s rare when you’re asked what the car is because it’s so new. It also draws the eye because it has an impressive look and stance and as mentioned earlier some people did mistake it for a Bentley. Praise indeed!

For a manufacturer to establish itself in the premium sector, when they are known for vehicles of a lower price point, is far from easy as history has shown. I think Genesis stands a real chance of being with us for the long term. The GV80 may not rewrite the automotive rule book but it’s got style, presence and enough creature comforts for continent-crossing relaxation.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Genesis GV80
  • Engine: 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol developing 300 bhp
  • Gears: 8-Speed automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 7.7 seconds
  • Economy: 10.8l/100km (26.1mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)
  • Emissions: 241 g/km (WLTP)
  • Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Mark Slack

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