I give Genesis high marks on their overall design. The long, swooping hood, the winged logo and smiling grille capture your attention in a positive way. It’s an elegant look by anyone’s standards. 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires are featured on the G80.
Inside you’ll find some attractive wood trim, comfy leather seating and a roomy second row. Five sit comfortable in this vehicle. The second row does not fold down, though, limiting cargo capacity.
The G80 also feature: Bi-xenon HID headlights, auto headlights and LED daytime running lights. You get power folding auto dimming side mirrors, and “approach lights” with the Genesis logo projected on the ground -- sort of like a grounded “bat signal”.
You also get an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass, dual automatic temperature control, power front seats with memory, heated front seats and heated steering wheel, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Controls up front are among the most straightforward you’ll find in a luxury vehicle.
HOW’S THE RIDE?
The G80 I tested featured a 3.8-liter, V6 engine; paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters are included for those who want to do the work themselves to enhance the ride.
Numbers on the powerplant were 311 horsepower and 293 lb.-ft. of torque. You can also opt for a 5.0-liter V8 (420 hp) and a 3.3-liter V6 turbo (365 hp)
My test vehicle was an AWD model, but rear-wheel drive is the standard offering on the G80 if you don’t choose to upgrade.
Driving the G80 is a great case of best of both worlds. It’s very fun when you want it to be, but also serves as a nice calm family ride if you play it cool.
On the fun side, the get-up and go is very responsive in the G80. And it does well in the turns, especially considering its size.
But at the same time, it’s a quiet overall ride and smooth in every way. The G80 can be the family car and also be used for a fun weekend getaway on the open road.
Genesis doesn’t skimp on the tech, providing almost all the features top luxury models can have.
You’ll find it equipped with Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control and anti-lock brakes. Nine airbags are included, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is offered.
There are other helpful features available like: Driver attention alert (a potential life-saver), blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
You’ll get pre-active seat belts, and in-car WiFi is offered.
The 8-inch touchscreen navigation system worked as well as the best in the business. It was simple to use both by touch and voice, and incredibly accurate. Overall use of the infotainment system via center dial and buttons is a breeze, and it’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible for smartphone mirroring.
There is a 4.3-inch color lcd info display on the dash with lots of important information, and the heads-up display also helps you keep your eyes on the road.
Music sources are: Bluetooth, AM, FM, HD Radio, CD, Satellite (90-day trial), USB ports. The 7-speaker sound system was pretty strong, but not the best you can get in a luxury ride.
Wireless phone charging is also offered in the G80.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the G80 are 18 city/25 highway/20 combined. I averaged 17 mpg in my time in the G80.
This is unfortunately a low number for the class, with competitors like the Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Cadillac CTS topping the G80 in this regard.
My G80 tester came in at just over $55,000; base price starts about $42K.
The good news for Genesis, and the reason they may be able to disrupt the market, is all the competition comes in between $5K and $10K higher at the starting bell. And while prices even out more as the options are added, getting newer and younger people into luxury rides is more likely with a lower starting price. It’s quite an enticement, and I’m curious to see how Genesis climbs up the luxury ladder in coming years in terms of sales.
The 2018 Genesis G80 is an upstart luxury ride that’s a blast to drive, combining fun with practicality and providing lots of great tech and safety features. Due to its lower price it has potential to shake up the luxury market. The best thing I can say about the 2018 Genesis G80 is that you'll quickly forget any connection to standard Hyundai offerings and accept as a true luxury competitor.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.