Genesis brings new cars and new ideas to UK premium car market

A new player has entered the UK’s premium car market, intending to do things very differently.

Genesis is Hyundai’s luxury division and, by all intents and purposes, is what Lexus is to Toyota.

While the concept may not be new, the way the Korean brand intends to sell its vehicles seems more revolutionary.

The plan revolves around selling directly to the public, either online or through Genesis “studios,” which act as storefronts in upscale malls rather than taking the form of traditional dealerships.

Each owner has a “Genesis Personal Assistant” who, with a single phone call, can deliver the new car directly to the owner’s door, then arrange for collection and delivery for regular maintenance as part of a “Five-Year Care Plan”.

So owning the experience certainly sounds like fun – but can the same be said for the vehicle?

To find out, I joined a select group of automotive journalists at the Middleton Hotel near Richmond for a special driving day to test the Genesis lineup on North Yorkshire roads.

Echoes of the North: Action on Genesis Drive Day in North Yorkshire

All three models tested that day had positive characteristics – a striking large shiny front grille, a luxurious interior and a refined ride.

My first thought was the GV70 – a city SUV that starts at £39,450 and aims to rival the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan.

You can choose between a 2.5-litre turbo petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel, the latter of which was tested here.

On the open road, the GV70 accelerates with smooth elegance, from 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds.

Echoes of the North:

At relaxed speeds, the eight-speed automatic transmission performs well, but can be a little slow to respond during the more urgent driving phases.

Steering and handling are trustworthy in fast cornering, though the vehicle isn’t quite as nimble in this situation as some of its German rivals.

The interior is luxurious, full of leather and tech.

Next up is the G70 Shooting Brake – a stylish station wagon from £39,450, designed for the European market and designed to steal sales from the likes of the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring.

Echoes of the North: Action on Genesis Drive Day in North Yorkshire, with the G70 firing brakes seen top left and right, the spectacular GV80 seen outside the Middleton Hotel (top left)

It brings extra practicality to the G70 sedan with increased trunk space.

RV versions of motorhomes sometimes look as if they were bolted on after the fact, but the opposite is the case with the G70 Shooting Brake.

Indeed, beyond the rear doors, it looks quite imposing, with the roofline gently curving down to meet the “floating” rear spoiler, mirroring the curves of the rear end.

Echoes of the North: Action on Genesis Drive Day in North Yorkshire

Behind the wheel, the Shooting Brake feels nice and balanced in corners, even in the slippery conditions of harsh winter weather.

Meanwhile, the turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol engine feels responsive and raspy. Rear-wheel drive enhances the car’s dynamic driving qualities.

It’s a car that should prove popular, combining unique looks with a dash of luxury and everyday practicality

Finally, I stepped into the brand’s flagship SUV, the GV80, which starts at £56,715.

The all-wheel-drive seven-seater features a 2.5-litre engine that propels this sizeable machine from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds.

Echoes of the North:

The large SUV feels fast, though that performance arguably comes at the expense of fuel economy, with official combined figures between 27.4 and 28.2mpg.

But there’s no question that it’s a vehicle that impresses with its road prowess, easy handling and luxurious interior.

Its quality matches class leaders, and the extensive standard kit is better than most. As far as the exterior is concerned, it has plenty of road presence, with its upright front end dominated by a protruding front grille.

Since arriving in the UK midway through 2021, Genesis hasn’t stopped halfway. It got off to a good start in the premium segment by launching an impressive lineup of vehicles.

Genesis GV80

Price: £59,600

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds

Top speed: 147mph

Engine: 2.5-liter gasoline turbo

Maximum torque: 422Nm

Fuel consumption: 27.4-28.2 combined

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake

Price: £59,600

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds

Top speed: 147mph

Engine: 2.5-liter gasoline turbo

Maximum torque: 422Nm

Fuel consumption: 27.4-28.2 combined

Transmission: 8-speed automatic



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