2018 Genesis G80 Review

2018 Genesis G80 - Crashing the luxury party, Genesis G80 is a great value.


The Genesis G80 is a rear or all-wheel-drive mid-to-large luxury sedan. Competitors include the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S90. In 2016, the G80 was known as the Hyundai Genesis. In 2017, the G80 received a minor facelift that included a heavy dose of new standard features. For 2018, upgrades included wireless device charging, LED headlights and a new engine choice. The G80 is the middle entry in Genesis' sedan triumvirate, which also includes the G70 and G90.

Th Genesis G80 is offered with three engines. Returning from 2017 are the 311 horsepower 3.8-liter V6 and the 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. New for 2018 is a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 that makes 365 horsepower. All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic and are offered with either rear- or all-wheel drive.

Prices start at $41,750 and climb to nearly $60,000. The G80 with 3.8-liter engine is available with two option packages: Premium and Ultimate. Key features in the Premium Package include LED fog lights, front and rear parking sensors, sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, wireless device charging and Lexicon 14-speaker audio system. The Ultimate Package adds steering-linked headlights, upgraded leather upholstery and wood trim, head-up display and multiview rear camera. Opting for the turbo 3.3 brings 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension, sport seats, faux suede headliner and carbon-fiber trim. The 5.0-liter engine adds all of the features of the Premium and Ultimate packages.

While the 3.8-liter V6 provides adequate, drama-free acceleration and the 5.0-liter V8 jumps off the line, the new turbo 3.3-liter V6 allows for an interesting compromise between affordability, performance and economy. Step on the gas and the G80 will accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 5.5 seconds -- very quick for the class. More so, the engine is refined and smooth and works very well with the crisp-shifting eight-speed automatic to provide strong highway passing punch.

EPA numbers for the rear-drive 3.3-liter G80 come in at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Opt for all-wheel drive and the highway number drops by 1 mpg. While the 3.8-liter runs fine on regular-grade gasoline, the 3.3- and 5.0-liter engines require premium gasoline for best performance and economy. In routine suburban commuting, the 3.3 is likely to yield about 20 mpg overall. That's not very impressive, made worse by the request for premium fuel.

Like most luxury sedans, the G80 comes with rear- or all-wheel drive. Obviously, all-wheel drive makes more sense in northern climates. But honestly, all-season, or better yet, snow tires make much more sense for Chicago winters. Even when equipped with all-wheel drive any luxury sedan will slip and slide all over a snowy road if it has typical touring or sport tires.

Intended to be a sporty luxury sedan, the G80 mostly fits the bill -- especially with the 3.3T Sport package. However, at more than 4500 pounds, it is significantly heavier than the competition. Though that weight isn't felt in routine driving, it's a detriment when the road gets twisty as the G80 lacks the agility of its sport-minded competitors. The weight is not all bad though as it combines with a 112-inch wheelbase and sophisticated suspension to provide a surprisingly supple ride.

Driven quickly on around curves and bendy on-ramps, the G80 takes a solid set and holds the road well. There's only a hint of body lean and the suspension keeps the G80 from getting upset by bumps or expansion joints that might be encountered mid-turn. Brakes have great stopping power and the steering, though a trifle numb at speed, is delightfully quick and accurate.

On the whole, the G80 offers a good balance of ride comfort and handling prowess. In addition, interior noise levels are among the lowest of any car in the class.

Inside materials are beyond reproach, but the G80 is awash in buttons and knobs. This leads to a somewhat busy feeling that's passé in luxury sedans. Thankfully two large gauges face the driver and there's a handy information display for things like audio and fuel economy. The center stack boasts a large touchscreen that is also controlled by a console-mounted jog dial. Ancillary controls abound, but are placed fairly conveniently and are intuitive in operation. The infotainment system supports both Genesis' in-house system and Android Auto and Apple Car Play.

The Genesis G80 has a roomy cabin with plenty of front and rear room. The only shortcoming might be rear head room for taller folk. Front seats are well bolstered and extremely comfortable. Rear seats are also nicely padded, but really only offer room for two adults.

With more than 15 cubic feet of space, the G80 trunk is one of the roomiest in the class. In addition, the rear seatbacks fold and there's a power-operated trunk lid option. With just a few open and covered bins throughout, Interior storage isn't as good. There are two USB ports though, one for charging and one for media connection.

The Genesis G80 is all about more. More passenger and cargo space, more features and, most importantly, more value. The G80 undercuts comparably equipped rivals by thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. That being said, does it measure up to true luxury sedan standards? In a word, yes. Driving dynamics, features and refinement all match the best in the class. The only glaring stumbles are its portly weight and vast array of interior switchgear. If you are in the market for a mid-to-large luxury sedan, the Genesis G80 might be new name to consider.

Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and hardcover automotive titles.

In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on ABC TV, Fox News, and Speed Channel as an automotive consultant. Previously, he was a regular on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show and now fills in for Paul Brian on the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.

For additional information about me, visit my .