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Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
@ytimesmotoring
2:33 PM 24th November 2021
cars

The Range Topping Genesis GV80 On Test

Genesis has now brought its range of Korean premium luxury cars to the UK. The company was established some five years ago and is the luxury arm of Hyundai. It has to be said that the concept is not new. Most will be familiar with Lexus from Toyota, some less so with Infiniti, owned by Nissan and which abandoned the UK market last year, with little sign of any success.

Genesis intends to do things differently. How this will be done is by selling direct to the public both online and through Genesis Studios in coveted locations. For the time being, those in the southeast can visit the Westfield Shopping Centre. In the north, we will have to wait a little longer…

Perhaps this does not matter as key to the brand’s buying experience is the appointment of a personal assistant. These individuals come from a customer service background and do not work on commission as is usually the case in the motor industry.

Instead, looking after the customer is their sole priority and this begins by bringing a test car to the customer’s home or office at a time to suit.

Assuming they like what they see, the cars are sold at a fixed price, so no haggling required. That price will include a bespoke 5-year Care Plan. This includes a comprehensive warranty, all servicing, roadside assistance, mapping and software updates and a courtesy car the same as your own.

It aims to make the ownership experience as stress free as the purchase, with the only effort being a quick phone call to your Genesis PA, who will take care of everything else.

Last year, 130,000 cars were sold around the world, so clearly the concept has some appeal.

Of interest is the fact that Genesis has set no targets for UK sales, preferring instead to emphasise its seamless customer buying and ownership experience.

On test here is the GV80 luxury SUV. At present power is provided by either petrol or diesel engines, but before the year is out, we can expect all-electric models to put in an appearance.

Starting with a clean sheet, allowed the Genesis designers a free hand and the cars are quite striking. The GV80 attracted plenty of attention during my week behind the wheel. Idle curiosity or genuine interest, hard to tell.

The trademark design is the double-lined quad lamps and bold crest grille, the latter seeming to be de rigueur at the moment.

Genesis GV80 – 3.0D + AT8 AWD/5-Seater

Price £62,415 (£69,785 as tested)
Range from £56,815
Cardiff Green paint
278PS 3.0-litre diesel engine
8-speed automatic gearbox
0-62mph in 7.5 seconds
Top speed 143mph
Combined economy 31.5-33.1mpg
Max. trailer load 2,722kg (braked)

The GV80 is a large car, imposing even. There’s ample space in its plush interior for five adults to spread out and there is the option to add an extra row of seats. Do so, and luggage space disappears and realistically only children will fit.

Genesis aims to be a comfort orientated brand, one that eschews lap times for luxury. Extensive testing of its cars on European roads has been carried out. The GV80 also features a forward-facing camera which scans the road ahead in order to ready the suspension.

Sadly, the low-speed ride is on the harsh side, the large alloy wheels and low profile tyres doubtless to blame. I hoped for better.

At higher speeds things improve and motorway cruising is undoubtedly a refined and serene affair. The car has been fitted with a noise control system, designed to filter out unwanted sounds. Two long trips south were accomplished with ease, the lofty driving position aiding smooth progress.

Away from the high-speed cruise, the GV80 can be hustled along a twisty B-road with some alacrity, only the car’s considerable girth threatening to spoil the drive.

Build quality is exemplary and the interior majors on comfort and luxury. The level of standard equipment is suitably high and there is a range of simple option packs for that bespoke touch. The sunroof is worth having.

The diesel engine is quiet and powerful, propelling what is a big and heavy car towards to the horizon with gusto. And driven thus, I was able to record a tad under 30mpg over 800 miles or so.

I cannot fault the quality or integrity of the GV80, but that comes as no surprise as the existing Hyundai cars excel in those areas too.

The luxury interior is hard to fault too and can compete well with the competition. Driving dynamics however seem to be a mixed bag, but that may not be a deal breaker.

I suspect some buyers may well be drawn to the concierge service and simple buying and ownership experience. It is a business model that undoubtedly will be copied as car sales increasingly move online.

A raft of new Genesis models will reach our shores in the next twelve months, and I will get behind the wheel of each one as soon as possible.

In the meantime, more information can be found at www.genesisnewseurope.com