Genesis G80 ›› 2017 ›› 2017 Genesis G80
Overview (Final Score: B)
Once upon a time, Hyundai decided to build a luxury sedan that offered the appointments, refinements and a long list of equipment from higher-end automakers at a surprising price. That model would be the Genesis sedan. Fast forward to late 2015 when Hyundai announced the Genesis would be spun off into its own brand and the model boasting this name would be changed to G80. This and the flagship Hyundai G90 sedan would provide luxury buyers an alternative to the class leaders.
Almost two years after this change, how is the Hyundai Genesis G80 faring?
What We Love About the 2017 Genesis G80:
What We Don't Love About the 2017 Genesis G80:
Exterior View (9/10)
Aside from the name change, the Genesis G80 and Hyundai Genesis are the same in terms of design. That isn't a bad thing since the overall design is quite handsome and sleek with the classic rear-wheel drive proportions: long front and short rear.
A giant hexagonal grille with LED daytime running lights sitting on either side make up a uniquely styled front end. Around back are a set of twin exhaust pipes and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. Eighteen-inch wheels come standard on 3.8, while the 5.0 comes with 19's.
Interior Comfort, Quality and Ease of Use (9/10)
The Genesis G80 might be at the top of the class when it comes to its interior. Step inside for the first time and you'll feel an air of openness that very few competitors have. This is due to designers implementing a large glass area.
No matter where you lay a hand on the G80's interior, it has that premium feel that is expected from a vehicle of this class. Those details include matte wood trim and soft-touch materials used on the door panels. The Genesis also deserves props for having one of the easiest to understand center stacks in the class, with large buttons and a simple layout.
Our Genesis G80 tester featured premium leather upholstery that feels nice to the touch and comes as part of the Ultimate Package. Both driver and passenger get power adjustments to find that perfect position. It doesn't hurt the seats provide excellent long-distance comfort. The back seat provides plenty of legroom, while headroom is slightly tight for taller passengers, mostly due to the roofline. One downside is that G80 doesn't offer folding rear seats, meaning you cannot carry long items.
Trunk space is average for the class at 15.3 cubic feet, but the wide opening makes it easier to load cargo. A clever feature for the G80 is the Smart Trunk system. If your hands are full with grocery bags and you need to open the trunk, the Smart Trunk system can sense when the proximity key is in range and, in a few seconds, will open the trunk automatically.
Genesis offers two screen sizes for the G80's infotainment system. The 3.8 comes with an 8-inch screen, while the 5.0 and 3.8 with Ultimate Package come with a larger 9.2-inch screen. We had the latter in our tester and found it to be one of the easiest systems to use. The user interface is top notch with large touch points and a handsome, yet simple design. It doesn't hurt that Genesis offers two control methods for the system: either by using the touchscreen or a control knob in the center console.
There are some issues that may put some people off. First, whenever we had a USB device such an iPod plugged, the system would list tracks in alphabetical order, not track order. We're not sure if there is a setting in the system that changes this or not. Second, there is only one USB port in the vehicle, which means you'll need to make a choice of whose smartphone gets charged during a long trip. Finally, if you get the larger 9.2-inch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available. That's a bit odd since the smaller system gets this. Hopefully, Genesis adds CarPlay and Android Auto for the larger system for the 2018 model.
Fuel Economy (6/10)
If there is one big issue to the G80, it has to be fuel economy. The G80 3.8 AWD is rated at 16 City/25 Highway/19 Combined, putting it towards the bottom of the class. We recorded an average 20.4 mpg in a 60/40 mix of city and highway driving.
Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (8/10)
Both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power give the G80 an average rating when it comes to reliability. Data for initial quality is still being gathered but it should the same as the Hyundai Genesis, which earned an "Above Average" rating.
The Genesis G80's safety credentials are impressive for the class. All models feature a full set of airbags, traction control, stability control, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with stop/start fictionality.
A backup camera and parking sensors are standard on the 5.0 and optional on the 3.8 via the Premium Package. In crash tests, the G80 has earned the highest honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Top Safety Pick+) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (5-Star Overall Rating).
There are two engines available for the G80. Our tester came with the base 3.8L V6 with 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. A 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque is available as an option. Both engines come paired up with an 8-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. Genesis' H-TRAC all-wheel drive system is available on the 3.8.
For most folks, the 3.8 will suit their needs quite well, as it provides adequate power on tap and the engine doesn't feel like it is running out of breath. One item some people will notice is how the 3.8 doesn't feel as fast as the numbers suggest. This mostly comes down to a curb weight of 4,453 for 3.8 H-TRAC model. The 8-speed automatic delivers buttery-smooth shifts through the gears.
We like that Genesis didn't go the performance-oriented route when it comes to the G80's ride and handling. It provides something akin to a magic carpet with bumps being turned into mere ripples. Noise isolation is mostly good, with wind noise almost nonexistent. Road noise does creep in somewhat, but shouldn't be an issue for most buyers.
When taken in a corner, the G80 doesn't complain as body motions are kept in check. Steering will disappoint the most demanding of drivers as it lacks the weight and feel of some its competitors. For most people, this is a non-issue.
Pricing and Value (10/10)
The G80 begins at $41,400 for the base 3.8 RWD and climbs to $54,550 for the 5.0. Our 3.8 H-TRAC tester came with a base sticker of $43,900. With two option packages and destination, our as-tested price comes $53,800.
Considering what you get, the G80 nails the value proposition. For most buyers, we would recommend choosing the 3.8 and getting the Premium Package, as it gives you some excellent features such as ventilated front seats, a backup camera, 14-speaker Lexicon audio system and a panoramic sunroof.
Total Score and Competitive Comparison (69/80, 86.3%)
If you're willing to spend a bit more cash, there are some excellent alternatives to the Genesis G80. The Lexus GS 300 and similar models provide an excellent reliability history and smooth ride. Jump for the F-Sport package and you'll get one of the sharpest handling sedans on sale. The Cadillac CTS offers polarizing styling and handling that either equals or exceeds what may find in German sedans. If you something with the ultimate luxuries, the new Volvo S90 is worth a close look for the interior appointments on offer.
The 2017 Genesis G80 may not have the name recognition as the competition. But it does deliver one of the strongest value proportions for a midsize luxury sedan. It doesn't hurt that the G80 is well appointed, provides a quiet and smooth ride, and comes with a number of safety features that you would need to pay extra for in other models. For some people, that's all they'll need and want.
|Sedan - AWD|
|Sedan - RWD|
|5.0L Ultimate||5.0L Ultimate RWD||8 Cylinder||RWD||54550|
|2017 Genesis G80|
|2017 Genesis G80|
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