By Bill McCarthy
No-one really has heard of Genesis, well not many people anwyay, unless it’s referring to the Bible or Star Trek, but the company describes itself as an exciting disrupter in the premium segment.
Like other brands, Korean giant Hyundai has developed its own luxury brand with Genesis, designed to make an impact in the executive sector.
How do they do that? One way is to make this particular model look like a Bentley Bentayga, with its muscular stance, huge grille and the ‘similar’ winged badge the similarity is obvious.
That really is where the comparison ends, unless you want to throw around £100k to make up the price difference, and the hand-crafted excellence of the Bentley.
That’s not to say this is not a fine car, but it is aimed more at the executive end of the market, dominated by German brands, and offers something a bit left field. There are a number of SUV and saloon models, with both petrol and diesel power units and all-electric models imminent.
At more than £59k for this model, this is no bargain-basement brand and offers eye-catching styling, interior luxury and a raft of high-end technological goodies and a permanent four-wheel drive to give it a unique flavour. All models also come with a five-year warranty.
It also features artificial intelligence that learns about the driver and builds on existing state-of-the-art advanced autonomous driver assistance systems (ADAS),
Some of the goodies could seem a little gimmicky, like the two main binnacle dials turning into cameras to show the road when the indicator is activated or the winged-style logo fading from view when the ignition is switched off, but otherwise, they are practical and enhance the driving experience.
It is a big car and in typical SUV style, sits high off the ground, with a muscular profile and featuring stylish alloy wheels and distinctive light clusters.
The interior matches anything in its segment with a raft of leather, aluminium with thin air vents that run across the passenger compartment, ambient lighting and high-quality materials.
Prominent are the 14.5-inch HD infotainment screen and 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster with 3D display, which are the brains of the car controlling connectivity, infotainment and navigation functions, while the Genesis Connect system offers live updates and smartphone integration
The centre console houses the slightly fiddly circular controller which allows selection of the same functions as the touchscreen, while the glass-topped rotary gear selector, mimics the Jaguar XF.
Inside there is plenty of space with excellent head and legroom, while a power-folding third-row seating is optional as is the huge panoramic roof. The powered and heated and cooled front seats feature top-grade Nappa leather and incorporate a massage function.
The new 278PS 3.0-litre diesel on this model delivers plenty of pace and reasonable economy for such a big car.
The six-cylinder layout is both exceptionally smooth and quiet in operation, and shifts this 2.5-tonne beast to 60mph in just 7.5 seconds. Gear changes via the eight-speed auto box are smooth, slick and barely perceptible. It also offers three drive modes for extra economy, or to sharpen up performance.
The ride and handling are excellent, leaning into corners with little wallow, while the brand’s ride preview technology and electronically controlled suspension soak up the worst of the potholes.
Safety kit is impressive with blind spot monitoring, evasive steering assist, smart cruise control, lane following assist, driver attention warning, forward collision alert with pedestrian and cyclist detection, plus advanced airbag technology. There are 10 airbags with front centre airbags that are deployed if there is a side impact and these prevent the front occupants colliding with each other.
The boot is huge, particularly in five-seater mode with the powered boot lid opening up a 735 litres of space, which expands to a huge 2,152 litres with the seats folded while the usual array of cubby holes, bins and holders are arranged throughout the cabin.
GENESIS GV80 Luxury line D AWD
Mechanical: 278ps, 2996cc, six-cylinder, diesel engine driving all four wheels via 8-speed automatic transmission
Max Speed: 143mph
0-62mph: 7.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 26
Insurance Group: 48
C02 emissions: 229g/km
Warranty: 5yrs/62,000 miles