NewCarTestDrive

2018 Genesis G80

The Genesis G80 is soft, comfortable and quiet, not intended to be a dynamic handler. Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota, as of 2017, and the G80 rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan shares the Genesis showroom with the larger, more luxurious G90.

For 2018, Genesis G80 gets a twin-turbo Sport model, although it’s still a long way from handling like a Lexus.

The 2018 Genesis G80 is revised with new front and rear fascia, tweaked headlamps, an updated eight-speed automatic transmission. Changes in the cabin include a restyled instrument cluster and revised infotainment system, and a rearview camera as standard equipment.

A 3.8-liter V6 comes standard, with a 5.0-liter V8 in the top model. The new G80 Sport gets a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6.

The 3.8-liter V6 makes a healthy 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. The V8 makes 420 hp and 383 lb-ft. The new twin-turbo V6 makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque.

The base V6 rates 22 miles per gallon EPA Combined city and highway, the V8 gets 19 mpg Combined, and the twin-turbo V6 rates 20 mpg.

The standard warranty is 10 years and 100,000 miles for the powertrain. A standard service agreement includes three years or 36,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance, with free pickup/dropoff and loaner.

Model Lineup

The 2018 Genesis G80 3.8 ($41,750) comes with the 3.8-liter V6, leather upholstery, 8-inch infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, a 7-speaker stereo, heated front seats with 12-way adjustability on the driver’s side, and bi-xenon headlights, and rearview camera.

Premium ($5,000) adds a 14-speaker Lexicon stereo, vented front seats, heated rear seats, a sunroof, LED foglights, a 7-inch display in the instrument cluster, a wireless charging pad, and front and rear parking sensors. Ultimate ($10,100) adds a 17-speaker Lexicon stereo, 9.2-inch touchscreen, upgraded leather upholstery with real wood and aluminum trim, surround-view camera system, LED headlamps, 16-way driver seat, head-up display, and power trunk.

The G80 Sport Ultimate ($55,250) features the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, 19-inch wheels, tuned suspension with continuous damping control, sport steering wheel and front seats, carbon-fiber interior trim, and copper bits in the exterior trim.

The G80 5.0 Ultimate ($57,000) brings the V8 engine with 19-inch wheels, a quad-tipped exhaust, and a suede headliner.

All-wheel drive is available for every model ($2500), and includes heated seats and steering wheel.

Exterior

The Genesis G80 is classic and handsome, with a stylish tall roofline. The new Sport looks fresh, with copper accents in the grille surround, on the center caps on the wheels, and around the LED headlamps.

Interior

The G80 cabin is lovely, packed with plush leather and real wood, and real carbon fiber and copper in the Sport. Fit and finish is excellent. Aluminum around the optional electronic shift lever looks fantastic. The shifter itself may be less fantastic to figure out.

The switchgear, too. Much of the cabin might be as luxurious as a Mercedes or Lexus, but the plastic buttons on the instrument panel say Hyundai.

The front seats are extremely comfortable, broad and widely adjustable. Options to the seat include heating, ventilation, and adjustable lumbar and bolsters. But no massage like the BMW 5-Series.

The tall roofline makes climbing into and out of the rear seats simple. There’s a decent 35 inches of legroom, but it’s less than BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The trunk holds 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space, less than average for a car this size.

The cabin is supremely quiet. Noise seems to vanish, from the engine, road, wind and tires. Bring on the 17-speaker Lexicon sound system.

Driving Impressions

We think the 3.8-liter V6 is the best and most practical all-around engine. It’s got plenty of power, with 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. It gets the best fuel mileage of the three engines, never mind that 22 mpg in a V6 sedan is nothing to write home about.

But mostly we prefer this engine because it’s lighter, so models with the V6 handle more sweetly. And we include the new Sport model with its active suspension, when we say that.

The ride in all models is relaxed and isolated. The suspension beautifully soaks up bumps, although it’s too soft for hard cornering. The G80 leans in turns and the steering lacks precision. Even in the Sport, with its continuous damping control. The steering on the Sport, though light and lacking feedback, manages to be precise.

The new eight-speed automatic transmission is quick and smooth.

What you feel in the new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is the torque. Almost all of its 376 pound-feet of torque is available from a very low 1300 rpm up to 4500 rpm, so it is eager and always ready to leap forward. The throttle response is quick and there’s no turbo lag. You can’t even tell it’s turbocharged, you just know it’s fast.

Final Word

The Genesis G80 is not inexpensive yet may not yet be perceived as true luxury. The G80 doesn’t handle as well as a Lexus and fuel efficiency is not a strong point.

Sam Moses contributed to this review, with staff reports.