Genesis has been on a roll lately with its latest models, like the G80, which is a stylish and luxurious sedan that can hold its own against the best from Germany. Now that the Hyundai badge is long behind it, the Genesis G80 is finally coming into its own as a worthy competitor to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Compared to the last G80, the new G80 looks sportier and more modern with its sleek sweptback roofline, which almost makes it look like a five-door hatchback. We like the new take on the traditional sedan body style, which looks far more upscale than the last generation G80. Other stand outs are the massive grille and the lighting theme that continues from the headlights to the fenders turn signals and then at the rear. Everything is cohesive and clean.
Inside the G80’s interior has received a big upgrade, which again puts it on par with the best from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The interior has a minimalistic layout with a full leather dashboard, matte wood trim and top notch materials throughout. The interior has moved up to first class with every detail not being overlooked.
At the top of the dash there’s a standard 8-inch screen, but on upper trim levels you get a much larger and nicer 14.5-inch screen. The infotainment system is easily one of the best in the segment with great graphics and it can be operated either via the touchscreen or a dial on the center console. It’s great that there are two options to access the system, instead of some other rivals that only give you one option. The system also has a cool Sounds of Nature feature for when you want to feel like you’re outside in nature. Naturally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included and the Lexicon audio system fills the interior with concert quality tunes.
In front of the driver there’s also an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, which is configurable. The system is a stand out since it’s a 3D digital cluster with depth.
There’s plenty of room for five passengers and if you’re in the front you’ll love the available massaging seats. In the rear the center armrest also features controls for the infotainment system and seats, which is perfect if you like to be driven in rather than driving yourself.
On the safety front, the G80 comes standard with several driver assistance tech features, like adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, and lane keeping assist.
Under the hood there are two options to choose from, a 300 hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a more fun 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6. Sadly the old 5.0-liter V8 from the last G80 didn’t make the cut. The V6 generates a healthy 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The V6 in our 3.5T tester packs a nice punch and gets the G80 up to speed with ease. If you punch the throttle the engine wakes up immediately and its eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and fast.
The V6 is rated at 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg with rear-wheel drive and 18/26/21 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Drivers can select from different drive modes as well, like Comfort and Sport. In Comfort mode the G80 rides so smoothly that you won’t feel most of the road’s imperfections. If you want to tighten things up a bit there’s the Sport mode to make the overall driving experience more fun. Even with the Sport mode it’s easy to see and feel that the G80 still prioritizes comfort over a sporty experience. There could be more steering feedback and the suspension doesn’t really want to help you carve up a back country road.In some ways it feels more like a comfortable cruiser than an outright sport sedan, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Our tester was the 3.5T AWD Prestige, which is the top trim level. It comes standard with nice Nappa leather seats, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 20-inch wheels, a head-up display and microfiber suede headliner and pillars. It’s priced at $69,195.
If you love the style of the new G80, but you don’t need the V6, the four-cylinder G80 starts at $48,745. That means that the G80 starts at a lower price than the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The Genesis brand was a little forgettable when it made the transition away from Hyundai, but now the brand is a stand out. The G80 is a stylish midsize sedan that can easily go head-to-head with the Germans. Inside G80’s interior makes you feel like you’re being coddled in luxury, plus its incredibly quiet – making it the perfect place to de-stress. At the end of the day, the 2021 Genesis G80 is an impressive luxury sedan that can easily convince you to leave the Germans behind.