GENESIS G80 Sport 2.5T
By Bill McCarthy
IT may be name that is largely unfamiliar to a significant number, but the GENESIS brand is beginning to capture the imagination of those looking for a premium alternative to the usual suspects.
Unusually, I had one park next two me recently on a car park, so it was a bit like buses. Nothing for ages and suddenly two come along at the same time.
This particular model is the saloon flagship of the range, a huge, vehicle that has the look of a coupe, and exudes an aura of exclusivity.
A full five seater with huge boot it has a huge road presence with its low-slung almost predatory look. Design-wise it has adopted the Korean firm’s brand’s bold “Athletic Elegance” design philosophy.
It looks expensive, but for just a smidge under £50k for this range-topper it offers exceptional value when compared like-for-like with the potential opposition.
There are two turbocharged engines available, a 2.2 litre diesel and a 2.5 litre unit driven here, delivering a stonking 305bhp and blistering acceleration.
Both are mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission that slips seamlessly through the gears with no fuss.
An electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is standard on all 2.5-litre petrol models. In normal driving conditions power distribution continuously varies from 100 per cent rear wheel drive, to 50-50 when prevailing conditions demand extra traction.
It is spacious and well equipped with a premium interior and a raft of high-end technological goodies. It also features artificial intelligence that learns about the driver and builds on existing state-of-the-art advanced autonomous driver assistance.
Clever touches include the two main binnacle dials turning into cameras to show the road it is turning into when the indicator is activated. This is a key safety aid for the driver and particularly useful when passing cyclists.
It is a roomy car with plenty of space to accommodate five adults and featuring a high-end leather interior with aluminium trim and inserts, customisable ambient lighting and 12-way power adjustable standard seats.
Dominant is a central 14.5 inch touchscreen which features a sophisticated array of graphics which can also be utilised through circular touchpad on the central console.
Most of the main functions are controlled from here including navigation, infotainment and smartphone connectivity. Another clever innovation allows this to be replicated from the rear with a similar console and smart tablet attached to the front seats.
On the road the a 305PS, 2.5-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and a 210PS 2.2-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel delivers exhilarating performance.
It races to 60mph in just six seconds and on to a top speed, where permitted, of 155mph.
The ride and handling are excellent, with tuned suspension and electronically controlled adaptive dampers soaking up the worst of the potholes, while delivering agile handling for such a big car.
As you would expect with a premium vehicle, safety kit is impressive
The latest ADAS technology includes 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 large, shallow, but long with 335 litres of space, the usual array of cubby holes bins and holders are arranged throughout the cabin.
Guess what, its not cheap to run. With economy of around 32mpg and emissions of 210g/km, it is thirsty and expensive to tax. It won’t be a cheap company car option either. But that’s not really the point with a car like this. It is designed to take a chunk out of the premium sector.
And, like its German rivals it comes with a full range of optional goodies, in this case around £12k worth, taking the overall price just short of £62k. A lot of money, but in its segment, it is brilliant value by comparison.
GENESIS G80 Sport 2.5T
Mechanical: 305PS, 2497cc, four-cylinder, turbo petrol engine driving all wheels via 8-speed automatic transmission
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 6 seconds
Combined MPG: 32
Insurance Group: 43
C02 emissions: 210g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 5yrs, unlimited