Road tests

New Genesis G80 2021 review

Is the new Genesis G80 a worthy competitor in the executive saloon segment?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Verdict

We’re surprised how close to the class-leading BMW 5 Series Genesis has got first time out. The G80 matches its German rival on quality and class, and offers a unique buying and owning experience and some tech that’s yet to filter through to BMW. Ultimately, the BMW is better to drive, not that the G80 is bad. We’d like a slightly more forgiving ride and a slightly bigger boot, but the G80 is already the best non-German model in the executive saloon sector.

Although SUVs are all the rage, if you really want to compete in the premium car market, you’ve still got to have an executive saloon in your line-up. BMW’s 5 Series has long been the standard others are measured by, so how close can newcomer Genesis get with its new G80?

To start with, the G80 looks premium – probably more so than another recent arrival in this class, the DS 9. A striking combination of the over-sized G-Matrix grille flanked by slim quad headlamps marks out the front, while in profile and at the back there are hints of Aston Martin Rapide. There’s just the right amount of chrome and a high-quality paint finish that make it look as posh as any rival.

In spite of the coupé look, it’s a saloon with a 424-litre boot – quite a bit smaller than a 5 Series, A6 or E-Class. Space inside is okay, though, although the £640 sunroof option left the header rail a bit too close to our six-foot tall driver’s head, and robbed a bit of headroom in the back, too.

As with the GV80 SUV, the G80’s cabin is a classy affair with a big 14.5-inch screen with excellent connectivity plus easy-to-find and nice-to-touch controls. Build quality is spot-on – in fact the best compliment we can pay the car is that it feels very Germanic.

That applies to the way it drives, too. Our car came with the 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, although there’s also a 2.2-litre diesel available now and an all-electric version good for over 310 miles coming later this year.

Performance is good and you can choose to dial up or down the engine noise – we’d suggest the latter with noise cancelling and double glazing making the G80 a hushed cruiser. The eight-speed auto is quick to respond, while handling is best described as tidy rather than spirited – the car feels quite big and heavy, which actually adds to the quality feel.

The G80 has been developed at the Nürburgring in Germany, but not with lap times in mind – this is a more comfort-orientated model than the 5 Series. However, in spite of Ride Preview tech – a camera that reads the road and adjusts the dampers – the ride was a little firm around town at lower speeds. The 19-inch wheels of the Premium Line models might make that a bit better rather than the 20s fitted to our Luxury Line car. However, the lesser car does without leather seats, instead offering a leather alternative Genesis bravely calls Leatherette – a nod to the 1970s, perhaps.

You can get into a G80 diesel from £36,100, which sounds very appealing. Our car costs either £41,000 or £45,800 depending on the trim level you opt for, which makes the car look like decent value, especially when the impressive tech spec is taken into account.

We’ll have to wait to see how the market sees resale values – we’d say they could be stronger than some rivals to the big three German saloons, but not yet up there with the likes of the 5 Series. However, we do like the sound of Genesis’ five-year care plan with warranty, servicing, roadside assistance and more to look after you for the full term. We also like the fact that you don’t have to visit a dealer to buy or for servicing – you can visit a Genesis Studio in a posh shopping mall, do it all online, or leave it all to your Genesis Personal Assistant.

Model:

Genesis G80 2.5T Luxury Line

Price:£47,950.00
Engine:2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power/torque:300bhp/422Nm
Transmission:Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:6.0 secs
Top speed:155mph
MPG:31.2mpg
CO2:205 g/km
On sale:Now

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review
Porsche Macan prototype - front
Porsche Macan

New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a prototype version of the facelifted Porsche Macan SUV
13 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland
Nissan Qashqai - front static
News

New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland

Nissan will offer every school child in the North East of England a place on the Nissan Skills Foundation course to mark 35 years of manufacturing in …
14 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development

The Land Rover Defender FCEV prototype will be assessed for off-road and long-range zero-emission motoring
14 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021