Genesis is the premium luxury sport auto brand that has been spun off from Hyundai as its own standalone entity. Genesis plan to have six vehicles by 2021, including luxury coupes and sedans. For now, there are three models available, the G70, G80 and G90 sedans. The looks of the Genesis sedan range are more skewed towards the European premium style, hard to describe, but you know straight away, the G80 as tested with its sleek sculptured curves, but conservative side and front profile are obviously, well made, fast, upper class cars. But the main attraction is even though they are super luxurious with a fully comprehensive list of equipment, they cost many thousands of dollars less than the more expensive German competition they are obviously gunning for. For 2018, the G80 sedan arrives in a new Sport model with unique exterior and interior trim, dark finish wheels, and aggressive front and rear fascias. Interior changes, include revised gauges, new speaker grilles, new shift knob, genuine-wood trim options, and a new analog clock. On the technology front, there’s an additional USB port, making two in total. Hallmarks of the Genesis brand include premium interiors, equipment, and performance orientated drivetrains. The smart looking mid-size G80 we tested was powered by a 3.3 Litre V6 direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine outputting 365 hp and 376 lb/ft of torque, teamed with a performance-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive. There is also a 3.8-liter version and the big dog G80 Ultimate that offers a full on 420 HP, 5.0L V8. There are very few option on the G80, such is the high base spec of these cars.
The new for 2018 G80 Sport, features an all-new 3.3-litre twin turbocharged 365 hp V6, with performance accoutrements. There are special 19-inch alloy wheels, real – not faux genuine carbon-fibre interior trim, leather sport seats and a unique steering wheel. The G80 Sport also offers an upgraded adaptive suspension system, larger brakes and the driver-selectable Intelligent Drive Mode that offers three modes — Eco, Normal or Sport.
On the interior, Hyundai have done a first class job, there is a surplus of premium quality materials and equipment: 16-way power driver’s seat, a 12-way power front passenger seats, aluminum pedals, and carbon-fiber accents and high quality switchgears are much in evidence. The seats are both heated and ventilated front seats, with very opulent leather surfaces. The roof has a suede headliner for extra class. There is a head-up display, and a large 9.2-inch touchscreen with navigation. Other highlights include: a wireless device charger, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, hands-free smart power trunk lid, and a power tilt-and-slide panoramic sunroof. Safety is also high with: automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention alert and a multi-view camera system, adaptive cruise control with start/stop capability, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights with adaptive cornering, rain-sensing, and auto-defogger windshield. Safety is equally well covered — all 2018 G80’s come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Overall, I like the pleasing heft and stable, solid feel of the G80. It is a very competent, well equipped sedan with comfort and sport attributes. The HTRAC All-Wheel Drive system offers tremendous traction and control in the slippery road we encountered. Fuel economy is rated at 11.9L/100km combined for the 3.3T motor.
Although the Genesis nameplate is new in terms of value, build quality, equipment and reliability it offers first class all the way. The performance of the G80 is high, but veers more to comfort than sport I would say. In fact the G80 Sport is probably the model to get if you want more thrills. The Sport’s more powerful new twin turbo 365-hp V6 and an adaptive suspension giving it the performance edge. Need the bragging rights of a V8? Well step this way, as the 5.0 liter G80 Ultimate offers 420 hp! Also note, the Genesis concierge system, dedicated personal dealership experience and an impressive warrantee will make the ownership of any G80 experience very pleasant indeed. A car that simply must be test driven.
2018 Genesis G80 Priced from $55,000 – $65,000.