Hyundai Genesis G80 Competes In The Premium Class
The Hyundai subsidiary Genesis also wants to position itself in Europe: They want to bring their luxury sedan G80 on the market soon. However, this must expect a lot of competition from German manufacturers.
“Genesis,” for most of them, is a rock combo that is now back on tour among older men. 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 noticed that a car brand is hidden behind it.
In short, Genesis is in the Hyundai Group what Lexus is for 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 cars, Genesis only dares to come over to Europe after a decade of experience there if you disregard a brief appearance with a limousine ten years ago.
Competition From Mercedes, BMW, And Audi
The brand could hardly be overlooked at the IAA in September 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 top German dogs Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. Lexus and Infiniti know how difficult this can be. Some have not even reached five-digit registration numbers in Germany; others have long since left the market disaffected.
G80 Fully Equipped For Around 20,000 Euros More
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 unique LED signature with horizontal light elements at the front, back, and sides.
Inside there is a lot of luxury, but despite the by no means the low introductory price of 51,700 euros for this variant, it does not include everything. Natural 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 by 20,000 euros.
Pick-Up For Repairs Instead Of A Dealer Network
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.
Up To 250 km/h
Back to the G80, which offers plenty of space in the interior, including at the rear, thanks to its lush wheelbase of just over three meters. The driver naturally looks at digital instruments; the central monitor offers 3D graphics and a sensible combination of rotary push buttons and touch controls. But all of this is embedded in a relatively conservative environment and far from the sometimes fashionable gimmicks that have now also found their way into the German manufacturers. You can 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 six seconds, 100 km / h is reached, up to 250 km / h are possible, with the G80 feeling most comfortable at moderate motorway speeds of around 160 km / h. He’s an American at heart.
With All-Wheel Drive And Voice Control
The eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly but is not exceptionally responsive, and this does not necessarily tempt you to drive fast. The all-wheel drive is always on board, contributing to the lush total weight of 1.93 tonnes and the high practical consumption of over twelve liters, making the Genesis too generous to the tank attendants.
It should hardly be worth mentioning that all familiar assistants are on board, rather than the voice control is not ranked at MBUX-Mercedes level, but surprises with a pretty high communication rate.
Together with the large SUV GV80, the G80 is something like the luxurious spearhead of the brand. The G70, GV70, and the brand new G70 Shooting-Brake variant are below. There will also soon be an electric version of the G80 and the GV70. So Genesis is serious about its plans, and the Hyundai Group has the technical and financial means to implement them in the long term. The G80 can be seen as a not yet perfect but already quite successful first appearance in this context.
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