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Genesis GV80 offers the complete package

The Genesis GV80.
The Genesis GV80.

The Genesis GV80 is a large luxury SUV. A newcomer to the market, it aims to snatch sales from the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Range Rover Sport.

The luxury car maker’s parent company is Hyundai (in much the same setup as Lexus and Toyota).

Last year saw Genesis launch four cars – the mid-size G70 and GV70 saloon and SUV, and their larger counterparts the G80 and GV80.

A fully electric SUV, the GV60, is set to join the range soon, and more electrified models with be added to the Genesis line up over the next couple of years.

With prices starting at £56,715, the GV80 is the flagship Genesis model.

A huge, handsome SUV, its styling has drawn parallels with Bentley and Aston Martin.
Size-wise, it’s a touch under five metres long – making it bigger than an X7 and slightly smaller than a Q7.

A deep, Bentley-inspired front grille, sharp headlights and nice contour details down the flanks ensure it has plenty of presence.

Power comes from a 3.0 litre six-cylinder diesel engine – though, as mentioned, expect this to be superseded by electric and hybrid powertrains over the next year or two.

With 278hp and 588Nm of torque it has plenty of power – 0-62mph takes 7.5 seconds. More importantly it’s a smooth and refined engine, as befits a luxury SUV.

The interior is outstanding. The dashboard is dominated by a large display screen. This can be used as a touchscreen or operated using a rotary bezel on the centre console, giving the best of both worlds.

There is virtually every extra you could name, from heated and cooled electric memory seats to a heated steering wheel, birds eye camera view, and a neat camera that displays what’s in your blind spot when you indicate to turn left or right.

Plenty of wood trim softens the impact of all the technology. Meanwhile, the quilted leather seats are among the most cosseting of any car I’ve driven. Even after long journeys to Edinburgh and Highland Perthshire I wasn’t in the least bit uncomfortable.

You can go for five or seven-seat versions of the GV80. I had the seven seat model, which has rear seats that fold flat to the boot floor when not in use and are fine for carting children about.

As a five-seater, the GV80 has a huge 727 litres of boot space – more than in a BMW X5 and on a par with the Audi Q7.

On the road the Genesis is an incredibly comfortable barge. Ride quality is excellent, and the cabin is virtually silent even at 70mph. Four-wheel drive means the GV80 is surefooted in even the worst weather.

It’s set up for comfort but the big Genesis can’t match the dynamic BMW X5 when it comes to hustling down some country lanes.

Genesis is pioneering a different way of buying cars. Instead of traditional dealerships, the range will be displayed in stores in upmarket shopping centres, much like Apple does with its phones and tablets.

Sales staff are on a flat salary with no commission, so they have no incentive to offer you the hard sell – the mantra is ‘service over sales’.

Cars come with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty and roadside assistance. When your Genesis needs servicing it will be picked up and you’ll be given a courtesy car.

It’s a quite phenomenal care package to come with a new car, and certainly puts the aftersales service of Audi, BMW and Mercedes to shame.

But then the luxury car market is the hardest for a new brand to break into so Genesis needs every edge it can get. The company has a huge budget and is throwing the kitchen sink into making its models a success.

Can it take a place alongside the established luxury car makers? I certainly hope so.

The Facts

Model: Genesis GV80

Price: £62,915

0-62mph: 7.5 seconds

Top speed: 143mph

Economy: 33.1mpg

CO2 emissions: 241g/km

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