Before we visit the Genesis and Kia stands, let’s pay a visit to Off-road Motors. In the big cities at least, South Korea’s roads are pretty smooth, but the Koreans are mad for a lifted off-roader. Jeep Wranglers are, if not exactly common, a fairly regular sight and most of them are modified in some way or another.
A lot of them have lift kits, aftermarket wheels and bodykits. It’s a pretty unusual sight amid a sea of grey Hyundais and Kias. Jeeps are the most common, but the stand also featured a Ssangyong Musso with a matching trailer tent, and a new Ford Bronco.
Genesis is a newcomer to the European market, but the Genesis brand has been available – and popular – in its home market for a while. Although it didn’t have any debuts at the show, its stand did showcase a couple of models we don’t (yet) get in Europe. The G80 and GV70 Electrified are coming over later, but there are no plans to offer the G90 limousine.
It’s unlikely it could compete for sales with the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 in this fairly conservative segment, but we’re a fan of its style. Having been ferried to and from the airport in one, we can attest that it’s pleasingly finished inside and a mostly serene experience, although it doesn’t quite have the whizz-bang gadgets of the latest Germans, and the ride could do with a bit more fine-tuning.
A Kia Ray of sunshine
Kia held a big, big press conference about its environmental commitments and brought out head of Kia design Karim Habib to talk about the new Seltos (a sub-Sportage SUV that we won’t be getting) and the 2021 EV9 concept. Frankly, we were more interested in this Kia Ray mobile library. The Ray is the Hyundai Casper’s more sensible Kia sibling.
This one’s an EV, but you can get it with the same 1.0-litre triple and four-speed auto and most of them have sliding rear doors rather than the conventional ones on this car. We’d still have a Casper, but we wouldn’t say no to the Ray, either. Not even for that terrible apostrophe placement.