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Article from TNU DECEMBER 2023

MOTORING DECEMBER: Genesis flagship luxury saloon, the G80.

Genesis G80 2.5 RWD Luxury - George Loveridge - Driving Around for Travel News Update


This month in TNU we’re looking at Genesis’ flagship Luxury saloon, the G80. It is a great deal cheaper than its German rivals in the sub-£100k luxury limousine market.

Genesis is to Hyundai what Infinity is to Nissan, and what Lexus is to Toyota.

Therefore, by default, every model line in the Genesis lineup has to be a luxury vehicle.

Spanning saloons, SUVs and EVs, Genesis has covered a much ground in very little time. However, this G80 is just a bit more luxurious than their other models. You just need to look at the options list to know that this G80 is needs little extra, perhaps the “executive pack” for an extra £4,200; the “comfort pack”, another £3,620 and a refined metallic Makalu grey paint job £750.

From the exterior, the G80 looks ready for business.

With a series of harsh creases that span the length of the car, whilst having some very clutter-free areas. Moreover, you get a very steep and low roof line, aiding a sporty look but hindering occupant headroom. Despite this, the general design is very smart and efficient.

At the back, you’ll find the usual badging and reversing camera. Along with a subtle boot spoiler that is integrated into the overall design. The result of this raised rear means that road grime and debris don’t find their way onto the back window. Of course, you can’t be seen to have a rear wiper on a luxury saloon.

The crested Genesis badge sits above a hulking radiator grille. Combined, the G80 is often mistaken for a Bentley. And so it should – because the Koreans deserve more credit for this piece of automotive bliss. It is 5 metres long, so not a small car.

We have mentioned some of the interior optional extras, although it is hard to notice them. I mean this as a compliment as the entire interior feels so smart and sophisticated, whilst also having Olive Ash real wood about the dash and door tops. Could this be a spiritual successor to the late Jaguar XJ? Potentially.

The leather seats and wood trim feel very Jaguar’ish’, and yet contradicted by the state-of-the-art facilities in the rest of the cabin.

From behind the wheel, you are treated to a heads up display, relaying the information from the 8-inch LCD digital driver’s cluster. Furthermore, you get a 12-way electronically adjustable memory driver seat with two-user profiles, allowing you to resume your optimum driving position. Easily achievable with an electronic steering column. Upon which you will find an oval-shaped wheel, wrapped in that sumptuous Nappa leather, with an array of switches and buttons for the audio and cruise control.

Despite having a 12-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash, there is also a BMW style IDRIVE control wheel that helps to utilise the car’s functions while on the road.

Sadly, there are no manual climate control buttons, so adjustment on the move is somewhat tricky unless you want to end up in the wrong lane. No bother though, as lane keep assist and smart cruise will keep you from bouncing off the barriers.

We will come back to the driver’s experience, as it is the passengers that really benefit from the G80. Rear passengers are able to recline, raise the rear privacy blind, electronically, and make use of their very own infotainment screen bolted onto the back of the front seats. From here, you can activate heated or ventilated seats, watch films, listen to your own radio station, adjust the ambient lighting in the car and check the weather.

Overall interior quality is sublime. Nothing moves, rattles or squeaks. Spending time in the back of the G80, especially with the Lexicon premium audio system, is fantastic.

The initial numbers look good. Very good. 300bhp and 420Nm of torque comes from a 2.5 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It is amazing how much power can come from such little displacement. To enhance the overall experience, Genesis have fitted the G80 with ‘active sound design’ which pumps engine sounds into the cabin when you select ‘Sport’ mode. It does fool you into feeling like you’re driving a beefy V8 in the lower rev range, but towards the red line there is no denying that this is just a 4-cylinder vehicle. The mid-range grunt is punchy and it certainly gets up to speed effortlessly.

An electronic steering rack disconnects you from the road somewhat, but a full set of active damper multi-link suspension helps to give the G80 a composed cornering feel. Unfortunately, in ‘comfort’ mode it gets very floaty, which is great on the motorway but not so good on a B road. Unlike its younger sibling, the G70, we do not have a limited slip differential. The lack of an LSD exposes the car’s kerb weight of 1930kgs.

You will find yourself coming to a stop very quickly thanks to a responsive 8-speed automatic paddle gearbox and 4-pot calliper front brakes sitting inside some Pilot Sport 4S tyres. Some sports car credentials then!

You can push the G80, but it tries to remind you that it is a serious car, and not one to be messed about.

Where the G80 does mess about is the fuel consumption. Thanks to ergo motion massage seats, quad-zone climate control, and a plethora of other fancy tech, the 2.5 litre engine has to do a lot more than just make the car go forwards and backwards. Even Genesis themselves agree that the G80 is unfortunately thirsty at around 24 miles per gallon.

The George Loveridge Verdict

I return to the question from the start, can you bag yourself a sub £100k luxury limousine? Yes. Without question. The used car market is booming. In all seriousness, the Korean’s have done a remarkable job here.

The toys, tech, performance and comfort rival vehicles that have been around for years, and charge a premium as a result. The G80 is the equivalent of BMW’s 7 Series. Having driven both, I can confirm that the 2023 7 Series is faster, more refined, and has more wow factor than the Genesis. But that is not the point. The G80 wins in the looks department, and for pure value, it is £55,000 cheaper than the BMW. Now, whoever you ask, is not exactly going to feel short-changed in the Genesis.

Sadly, the G80 loses a unique battle against itself, and it is target market. Yes, 424 litres of boot space is excellent. However, a high load height and a narrow boot opening compromises access when you have to bend over backwards to access every space. The sleek design makes getting in and out difficult.

You can have a petrol, diesel or fully electric G80.

Price as tested: £63,665
Lead in price: £48,425
Average fuel consumption: 24mpg
Range (fuel):  400 Miles
Engine size: 2497cc
0-60: 6 Seconds

Performance 9
Handling 8
Transmission 10
Noise 9
Economy 3
Ride and Comfort 8
Accommodation 7
Styling 9
Brakes 9
Finish 9
TOTAL = 81%

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