Cologne For most of them, “Genesis” is a rock combo of meanwhile older men that is back on tour. The more educated among us know that the name comes from ancient Greek and means something like “birth” or “creation” but only real Fans have already noticed that there is also a car brand behind it.
In short, Genesis is in the Hyundai Group what Lexus is to Toyota – nobler and more expensive vehicles with significantly higher profit potential are manufactured here. And just as Lexus once celebrated its first successes in the USA, which is more open to such vehicles, Genesis only dares to come over to Europe after a decade of experience there, if you disregard a brief appearance with a sedan ten years ago.
At the IAA in September, the brand could hardly be overlooked, because the effort made there – including an evening event in the old trade fair style – stood out clearly from the mostly thrifty appearances of other manufacturers. But can the vehicles also meet the requirements formulated there in practice?
After all, you are competing in the so-called premium class and thus against the German top dogs Mercedes, BMW and Audi. Lexus and Infiniti know how difficult this can be. Some do not even have five-digit registration numbers in Germany, others have long since left the market disaffected.
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So let’s start at the very top and test the G80, a sedan of the upper middle class, which therefore has to deal with the 5 Series or the E-Class.
Visually, the five-meter stretch is quite impressive. The mighty radiator grille dominates the front and is almost reminiscent of Bentley, at least we were addressed accordingly by passers-by. The self-confident design can also be found in a striking LED signature with horizontal light elements at the front, back and on the side.
Inside there is a lot of luxury, but despite the by no means low basic price of 51,700 euros for this variant, it does not include everything. Real wood, steering wheel heating, electric tailgate, head-up display, adaptive light or automatic air conditioning for the rear: all of this still has to be paid for separately and is hidden in various packages.
Anyone who wants the G80 fully equipped has quickly pushed the base price up by 20,000 euros. This means that it is still cheaper than a similarly equipped German counterpart, but the price does not always matter in this class, especially since we are talking about company cars in over 90 percent of the cases.
After all, Genesis gives a five-year guarantee and the price also includes all maintenance and inspection work for this period. Curious: there is no dealer network. The cars are picked up for an inspection or repair and serviced in an authorized workshop, of course there should be an adequate replacement car for this period. It remains to be seen whether potential buyers will see this as an advantage or disadvantage.
Back to the G80, which offers a lot of space in the interior thanks to its lush wheelbase of just over 3 meters. The driver naturally looks at digital instruments, the central monitor offers 3D graphics and a useful combination of rotary pushbutton and touch controls.
But all of this is embedded in a rather conservative environment and far from the sometimes very fashionable gimmicks that have now also found their way into German manufacturers. You can really like that. In line with this, the chassis is also clearly comfortably tuned and there are only four-cylinder engines for the drive.
We left the 2.2-liter diesel (210 PS) by the way for this time and chose the gasoline engine that generates 224 kW / 304 PS from a 2.5-liter displacement and also enables good performance thanks to its torque of 422 Newton meters: After just 6 seconds, 100 km / h is reached, up to 250 km / h are possible, whereby the G80 feels most comfortable at moderate motorway speeds of around 160 km / h.
He’s an American at heart. The eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly, but is not particularly responsive, and this does not necessarily tempt you to drive fast. The all-wheel drive is always on board, which contributes to the lush total weight of 1.93 tons and also to the high practical consumption of over 12 liters, which makes the Genesis too generous for the tank attendant.
All common assistants are on board, but the voice control is not at the MBUX Mercedes level, surprising with a fairly high communication rate.
Together with the large SUV GV80, the G80 is something like the luxurious spearhead of the brand. Just below that are the G70, GV 70 and the brand new G70 Shooting-Brake variant. There will also soon be an electric version of the G80, as well as the GV70.
So Genesis is serious about its plans and the Hyundai Group has the technical means and the financial means to implement it in the long term. In this context, the G80 can be seen as a not yet perfect, but already quite successful first appearance.
Genesis G80 Specifications
Four-door, five-seat sedan in the upper mid-range
- Length: 5.00 meters
- Width: 1.93 meters
- Height: 1.47 meters
- Wheelbase: 3.01 meters
- Boot space: 424 liters
- 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine
- 224 kW / 304 PS
- maximum torque: 422 Nm at 1,650 – 4,000 rpm
- all wheel drive
- Eight-speed automatic
- 0-100 km / h: 6.0 s
- Vmax: 250 km / h
- Standard consumption: 9.1 liters / 100 kilometers
- CO2 emissions: 205 g / km
- Emission standard: Euro 6d
- Efficiency class: A
- Test consumption: 12.2 liters / 100 kilometers
- Price: from 51,700 euros
More: With these models, Hyundai wants to challenge the German premium manufacturers