Genesis G80 2021 UK review

The G80 is a modern luxury saloon, like a Lexus ES, Volvo S90 or Mercedes E-Class, then; not a sporting executive option like a BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 or Jaguar XF. It’s spacious and feels lavish, particularly so if you’re travelling in the back seats of a high-end version with nappa leather and rear seat entertainment screens. It has really substantial tactile quality and material richness, and all of the very latest digital infotainment and display technology you’d expect of it. It’s gentle-riding and isolating on the move, with fairly light and moderately-paced controls.

Genesis offers double-glazing for the car’s frontal side windows as standard, and for the rear ones as an option (which our test car had). It’s a car with active noise-cancelling electronic refinement measures also; and in four-cylinder petrol-engined form it sets a very high standard indeed for mechanical isolation. Rolling refinement in our test car’s case, which rode on 20in alloy wheels, was generally good, if a little subject to the slightest coarseness and the faintest fidget over poorer surfaces around town. But overall, the sense of calm apparent within the G80’s cabin is genuinely striking. Few saloons in the mid-sized class feel quite as dedicated to a detached, relaxing, easy driving experience as this. 

The G80’s 2.5-litre petrol engine is flexible and smooth, making for a fairly strong outright performance level when called upon, and always for easy drivability. The eight-speed automatic gearbox it’s partnered with, meanwhile, matches it for smoothness; it can be managed on the paddles in manual mode, but the occasions you’d likely feel the need to do so ought to be few.

The G80’s handling is secure, contained and predictable; a little unexciting and lacking in sporting poise, with roll building quite markedly as you approach the chassis’ limits. It’s sufficiently grippy and composed, however, to allow you to use as much of the car’s gently potent performance level as you feel inclined most of the time. The car isn’t engaging to drive, but it certainly doesn’t suffer with body control so loose or unchecked that it seems encumbered by its apparent preference for a laid-back style of operation.


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