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Car Review

Genesis G80 review

£36,850 - £50,650
Published: 21 Jun 2021


What is it like to drive?

There is differentiation here, too, and it’s a refreshing one depending on how keen you are on driving your executive saloon on its slickly engineered doorhandles. Because, like the recently revealed and impressive DS 9, Genesis has gone all-out on comfort and refinement, with safety and technology also front and centre.

The entire offer is pleasingly streamlined, the G80 available with the choice of a 2.2-litre, 207bhp four-cylinder diesel in rear-drive only form, or a 2.5-litre, 300bhp turbocharged four-cylinder which gains all-wheel drive. That’s the one we tried, £45,800 before options, £57,370 as tested. It may seem nuts coming to market with only two ICE options while everyone else falls over themselves to embrace electrification, but the truth is that these cars are here to establish a bridgehead for the brand and the Genesis modus operandi. Hybrids, fully electric and hydrogen-powered models are all coming down the pipe. And we know how good the Hyundai mothership has become at this stuff.

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Interesting, isn’t it, how quickly we’ve got used to driving cars with downsized engines. Not so long ago a car this size and weight with a mere four cylinders would have been laughed out of town. As it happens, the G80’s engine isn’t its best feature. It’s vocal when stretched and expresses only modest enthusiasm for high revs or spirited acceleration, should you decide to energise its two-tonne mass. Which isn’t to say the chassis lacks poise or that there isn’t a decent amount of grip when you’re on the limit. The issue is that every other aspect of the car is wondering why the hell you’d want to go there in the first place. It just doesn’t handle or hustle as well as its BMW, Jaguar or Mercedes competition.

Then again, who cares? Better to wind it all in and enjoy its terrific rolling refinement. Double glazing is standard on the front windows, an option on the rear, while the G80 also has a system that’s similar to the technology you’d find in noise-cancelling headphones. The upshot is a car of phenomenal decorum, although we suspect its ride is probably at its most civilised on the 19 rather than 20in wheels. It can feel a little unsettled on the bigger wheels, although its ‘ride preview’ tech scans the road ahead and adjusts the suspension to prepare the car for surface nasties before they intrude on the occupant’s well-being. It’s a generally very mindful sort of car. That’s a very 2021 USP. Genesis claims 26.1mpg which is exactly what we achieved.

All the major controls have a well-oiled feel to them, the auto ’box slides imperceptibly through its eight ratios, and your inputs are dealt with in a generally polished manner. There’s a fighting chance this is one of those rare cars where you get out after a three-hour motorway schlep feeling better than you did when you got in. Especially when you familiarise yourself with the interior...

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Highlights from the range

the fastest

Genesis G80 2.5T Premium Line 4dr Auto RWD
  • 0-626s
  • CO2
  • BHP304
  • MPG
  • Price£40,650

the cheapest

Genesis G80 2.2D Premium Line 4dr Auto
  • 0-628s
  • CO2
  • BHP210
  • MPG
  • Price£36,850

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