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Will the new Genesis brand succeed?

 
Created on 23/12/2021 @ 13:41


Genesis first drive by Steve Rogers

It’s the first book of the Bible and my favourite rock band, and now a spanking new car brand.

New to the UK that is, Genesis has been around the Far East and North America for five years and is the product of Hyundai which wants to break into the European premium car market.

So this is a posh Hyundai? Wrong. The Korean outfit, which also runs Kia, is bank rolling the operation and although the H word is rarely used the cars will use some common under the skin parts and the Kia Stinger platform.

The question you are asking is where are the grand motor mile showrooms? There aren’t any. Instead city centre Genesis studios will be set up but the buying operation will be online with the customer getting a virtual tour of the models, buys one and gets a personal assistant who looks after them in a cradle to grave operation.

The car is delivered on a covered transporter, has five years of warranty, roadside assist and servicing. Any problems call the buddy who will have the car collected and leave a courtesy car while yours is sorted.

This sort of operation is gaining popularity in the second-hand market and, perversely, could benefit from the effects of the pandemic with people reluctant to have too much face to face contact.

Since the beginning of the year the Genesis line-up has grown to five models, G70 saloon and shooting brake, GV70 SUV and the flagship G80 saloon and GV80 SUV.

If you need convincing that Genesis is a premium brand step inside the all-wheel drive GV80. Apart from looking good it has lashings of luxury, with bang up to date technology, the 14.5 inch centre screen is particularly impressive, and the car will park itself remotely from the key fob outside the vehicle.

Engine choice is 2.5 litre petrol or three litre diesel mated to an eight speed automatic gearbox, with prices starting at £56,715 and £56,815 respectively.

This is a big car with a big road presence and enough room for an optional third row of seating. As expected it glides along motorways and smooth A roads but is too twitchy on twisting B roads. Select sport mode and the ride is more settled.

Safety features right across the range are about as good as it gets and the one that impressed most is the cameras in the speedometer and rev counter dials. It reacts when indicating changing either the left- or right-hand dial to a camera giving a clear view for overtaking and returning to a lane.

There is also a heads-up display for speed, speed limit and navigation directions.

Genesis 70 models are more mainstream competing with Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar XE and BMW 3 Series. Saloon and shooting brake have elegant lines and will be offered with a 197bhp 2.2 litre turbo diesel, again with a lot of standard equipment. The shooting brake is just over 46 grand.

The new brand is clearly designed to scare the pants off the opposition with high levels of trim, equipment and ground-breaking technology.

Will it succeed? It is going to be a slow burn but at least its masters have not set unattainable targets for the UK operation.

Nissan’s premium Infinity brand failed here and DS, part of the new Stellantis empire, is only ticking along, but considering how Hyundai and Kia have become dominant forces in a relatively short time you would not bet against Genesis succeeding.

Fast facts

GV80 Luxury Line

AWD 7 seat

£59,600 £71,300 tested

2.5 litre turbo petrol 300bhp

8-speed automatic

0-62mph 7.7secs; 147mph

31.4mpg combined

Boot 727-2144 litres

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