Genesis G80 Luxury review | NationalWorld

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Genesis’ rival to the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class offers plenty of high-end equipment and luxurious refinement at a competitive price

Much of the premium car market now revolves around SUVs, but to be anyone in the industry you still have to offer a sedan or two.

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They’ve been the bread and butter of Germany’s big three for decades, and even smaller brands like Jaguar and Lexus stock a range of low four-door options to keep traditionalists happy.

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Korean upstart Genesis, for example, has brought along the imaginatively named G70 and G80 alongside its hyped-up GV70 and GV80 to compete with Europe’s best.

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The G70 is the BMW 3 Series/Audi A4 rival, while the G80 tries to steal some attention from the 5 Series and A6 – not an easy task.

To help, Genesis spent a lot of time refining the G80 to meet European expectations, from the way it looks, how it drives and how it’s equipped.

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This included extensive road testing and even a trip to the infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife, presumably to see how the G80 could cope with its vast range of surfaces and conditions rather than chasing lap times.

Visually, it aligns well with the 5 Series, A6 and E-Class models, with their long, flat profiles and gaping grilles designed to intimidate little mortals on the Autobahn. The two-tier headlights and the feature line that runs from them along the flanks to the similarly split taillights give it a distinctive look without being overdone.

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Testing the times on the Nordschleife and the broken B-roads of the UK has clearly paid off to offer a luxurious ambience on the road. In terms of drivability, the G80 doesn’t quite match a 5 Series, but for most drivers edge handling probably isn’t too high on the priority list. Probably more important are ride comfort and refinement, both of which the G80 nails. The cabin is a subdued and soothing environment, and the adaptive air suspension does a great job of smoothing out the roughness of poor surfaces, using a Rolls-Royce-style ride preview camera system to detect road imperfections and prime the dampers accordingly .

Our test model featured all-wheel drive for added confidence in tough conditions, matched to its 2.5-litre petrol engine via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Like the GV80 SUV we recently reviewed, the powertrain ticks all the big premium boxes on paper, but falls short of its main rivals in the real world. The 2.5-liter turbo packs plenty of punch at 300 hp and 311 lb ft. It accelerates to 100 km/h in just six seconds, on par with a 5 Series or A6, but the four-cylinder petrol engine doesn’t quite have the refinement of those rivals or the economy. An all-electric version of the G80 is due later this year, offering hope for a powertrain to match its otherwise smooth demeanor.

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A smooth, quiet electric drive would certainly suit the interior ambience of the G80 better. The fit and finish around the cabin is impeccable and the choice of materials is as good as anything else in this segment, with a premium mix of metal and glass finishes. Touches like the open-grain ash wood paneling and leather finish on the dashboard are testament to the time and thought put into ensuring this car isn’t just a rider, but can rightfully compete with the big dogs of the industry.

Space is generous too, especially for those in the rear, who enjoy power-adjustable heated and cooled seats, dual infotainment screens and a dedicated climate control zone, depending on specification. But the front ones aren’t neglected either, and there’s enough room and adjustment options for riders of all shapes and sizes to get comfortable, as well as a massage function and an auto-adjust driver’s seat setting to improve posture and reduce fatigue reduce long journeys.

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One of Genesis’ unique selling points is its commitment to simplifying the car buying process by only offering a few incredibly well-appointed trim lines and very few customization options. In fact, there are only four individual options – 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, the high-end Lexicon sound system and a space-saving spare wheel. Everything else comes in three main packages – Innovation, Comfort and Executive – plus a Nappa leather package that offers the highest quality upholstery, suede headliner and leather dashboard.

Comfort focuses on the seats, supplemented by memory, electronic control, ventilation functions and electronic steering column adjustment. The innovation focuses on driver assistance technologies such as Remote Park Assist, Highway Assist and adaptive LED headlights, as well as a head-up display, 12.3-inch digital gauges and cell phone charging. Executive is all about rear seat passengers, the addition of heating and ventilation, a center armrest with control box for the two rear infotainment screens, blinds and soft-close doors.

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Our test car – base price £47,950 – had the lot fitted with every option to bring the final price to £61,340. As with other Genesis, this means you get top-of-the-line equipment – from a 14.5-inch infotainment system to semi-autonomous lane changing – for significantly less than the price of a German competitor, without sacrificing quality.

And that is the strength of the G80. It is on par with its competitors in all but a few areas, and it stands out in terms of specification and comfort. For those more interested in value than badges, this might be enough to close the deal.

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Price: £47,950 (£61,340 as tested); Engine: 2.5 liter, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol engine; Perfomance: 300 hp; Torque: 311 pounds foot; Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive; Top speed: 155km/h; 0-100km/h: 6 seconds; Business: 30.4-31.2mpg; CO2 emissions: 205-210g/km

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