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Genesis GV80 2021 UK review

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The SUV feels even more softly sprung and comfort-biased than the lower, leaner saloon. At a just-so pace on just the right surface, there’s a certain land-yacht glide to the way that it addresses the road, which can be quite pleasing to sample.

The steering is medium-paced but light and slightly woolly in feel, the brake pedal likewise big on power assistance. These are matching attempts to take the physical strain out of the act of driving the car, but which as often as not actually only makes it feel detached and a little vague.

On more testing roads taken more quickly, the GV80 can struggle to maintain good close body control and a settled-feeling primary ride, however. It joggles laterally on its axles over drains and other asymmetrical inputs, pitching and lolling in a way that certainly isn’t the last word in comfort. The long-wave compliance that might be the car’s greatest dynamic selling point on A-roads and motorways becomes unwelcome sloppiness on B-roads and at higher speeds, then; and while firming up the adaptive dampers using the Sport driving mode improves its lateral body control a little, it’s a somewhat tokenistic fix.

So too can the GV80’s optional 22in alloy wheels thump and fuss away over broken surfaces to the notable erosion of the ride isolation you might expect of it. Those bigger rims can be avoided if you order the alternative 20in rims, and buyers who want a big SUV that fulfils every last bit of its potential as a luxury car would be well advised not to look past that option. Without them, the GV80 is no light commercial vehicle: it’s generally very quiet and refined, easy enough to place, fluent through gentler bends and pliant and serene when the suspension is only fairly gently exercised. But it’s a car whose blanket of ride sophistication extends only so far.

Its diesel straight six is certainly a good advert for the Genesis brand, however. On this evidence, it’s as responsive, smooth, strong and ready to rev as any like-for-like six-pot diesel with which you might compare it from Mercedes or Land Rover, and it probably operates even more quietly than some of those rival options. Near inaudible at low revs, it drives the car effortlessly thanks to fast and intuitive automatic gear selection, and it can put on speed at a rate belied by the lack of apparent mechanical effort being made.

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2021-06-10 00:00:00

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