If you are after a mid-range executive car, the chances are you will end up with something German, probably a Mercedes, BMW or Audi. There’s also Lexus and Jaguar, but the majority of sales go to the big three brands from Germany.
So a bit more choice is welcome, and as Genesis, the posh arm of Hyundai which is new to this country this year, continues to roll out new models, people who are bored with the same old brands would be well advised to take a look.
The latest cars are the Genesis G70 saloon and GV70 SUV. Pitched a little cheaper than the first G80 and GV80 models, the new SUV is squaring up to cars such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5.
At the models’ UK launch I tried the GV70 with a 2.2-litre diesel engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, which starts at £41,800 and cost £49,640 as tested.
The first thing that hits you is that this is plainly not a European car. It was developed in Europe and tuned for European roads but it doesn’t feel or look European. This is not a criticism. It just means it is different.
It is well made and luxurious, but more in the way the Americans do luxury. The 2.2-litre diesel engine is almost inaudible at tickover, and as you set off things don’t get much noisier. It is only when you push on, especially up gradients, that the engine gets a bit more vocal.
The motor is so refined that you could be forgiven for thinking it was a petrol unit and there is a 2.5-litre petrol engine if you prefer. It feels lively considering it weighs more than two tons and it is very well equipped, with head-up display, remote smart parking assist and electronically controlled suspension.
Another useful feature is the digital 3D instrument cluster. When you indicate, the dials become screens showing the view down the flanks of the car to ensure there are no nasty surprises in your blind spot.
The styling cues which mark the models out as Genesis include parallel twin horizontal lines on the front and rear lamps. This works well on the GV70 (the V stands for Versatile) and the rounded lines of the rear quarters mark it out from just about every other SUV on the road.
The G70 saloon feels more dynamic, being lower, and the model I drove had a 2-litre petrol engine which felt very peppy and could reach 62mpph from rest in 7.4 seconds. It also rode better than the SUV, which can get a bit bouncy on poor surfaces, although it generally rides pretty well, with little body roll.
The saloon is also very well equipped with lane keep assist, highway drive assist, which helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead and helps centre the car within the lane. You can feel small tugs at the wheel for minor adjustments, which feels odd at first but you soon get used to it.
The G70 range starts at £40,480 (£46,330 as tested) and is an attractive package. Both models feel very well made and roomy.
The way Genesis does business is designed to make things easy for buyers, who are allocated a Genesis personal assistant to help guide them through the test drive(s), purchase, delivery and servicing of the car.
All models come with a five-year care plan which covers all servicing, roadside assistance, map updates and the use of a courtesy car, all included in the price of the vehicle, which is fixed for all customers, so there is no haggling.
The first four Genesis models have made a good impression and more are to follow, with the whole range becoming fully electric by 2025.
Genesis GV70 2.2 diesel
Price: from £40,480
Top speed: 133mph
Combined mpg: 42.3
CO2 emissions: 189g/km
Genesis G70 2.0T +8AT RWD
Price: from £33,400
Top speed: 149mph
Combined mpg: 44.5
CO2 emissions: 181-281g/km