Genesis GV80 Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Wednesday 29th March


What is it like to drive?

How does it perform?

The diesel is a brand-new engine. Which itself is an indicator of Genesis's sheer determination. It could have skipped a diesel as a costly investment in a fuel that's on the wane. But having one will improve the chances for a big non-sporty SUV.

Its numbers are 278bhp and 434lb ft. They're delivered progressively, aided by a well-calibrated and smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission. So you never get caught out by lag, or an unexpected downshift and boosty surge. It's also decently quiet and smooth.

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Which is just as well because sometimes you have to work it hard because outright performance isn't that great. A BMW X5 30d has hugely more torque and gets to 62mph nearly a second-and-a-half sooner. It simply feels a whole lot more urgent. Yet its economy and CO2 are better than the Genesis.

Over-assisted yet slightly soggy brakes might catch you out at first, but at least you'll stop too soon rather than too late.

But I'm not bothered about drag-racing in my SUV. I'm looking for comfort and relaxation.

It's a well-chilled car on smooth motorways. Quiet, for a start. Also stable: holds its lane well, and the driver assist systems work a treat.

The lane centring and active cruise system has an AI component. Even when it's turned off it watches how sharply you make steering and speed corrections, and then aims to mimic you when you next turn it on.

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But get onto regular roads and the civilised act falls apart. The spec makes big promises. It's an all-new platform for a start. As for tech, a camera system scans the road ahead and adjusts the electronically controlled dampers to prepare for each bump or pothole. (We've seen similar from Mercedes and DS.) In practice any positive effect is perplexingly hard to discern.

It's shuddery and turbulent, the body wriggles from side to side, so you sometimes have to make steering corrections just to stay straight. Yet on bigger undulations it floats.

The steering itself is a bit gluey, but at least it's accurate and gets a nicely proportional return on your hand movements, and there's not a lot of roll.

A terrain mode adjusts the 4WD and traction systems to help in an un-sticky situation.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Genesis GV80 2.5T Luxury Plus Line 5dr Auto AWD [6 Seat]
  • 0-626.9s
  • CO2
  • BHP304
  • MPG
  • Price£71,550

the cheapest

Genesis GV80 2.5T Premium Line 5dr Auto AWD
  • 0-627.7s
  • CO2
  • BHP304
  • MPG
  • Price£54,750
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