When the Genesis brand was born in 2016, the Hyundai Genesis was renamed the G80, which essentially amounted to nothing more than a badge change over its Hyundai-stamped predecessor. But for 2018, this premium sedan has upped the ante with significant enhancements to become a standout in the realm of luxury-performance 4-doors.
Our time was spent with the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport 3.3 Turbo, which enjoys its own special interior and exterior design cues, unique 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension and upgraded brakes, among other goodies. After some real-world driving for about a week, here’s what we thought …
From pretty much every angle, the G80 is easy on the eyes. It’s equal parts beautiful and aggressive. In Sevilla Red, the car is a show stopper, and the smoked black wheels complement its overall appearance even further. We noticed people checking out the car when it drove by or was stopped at a red light. The G80 had no trouble grabbing its share of attention.
Power, Performance, Platform
The 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 in our test car is an amazing engine and a good second choice to the G80’s larger V8, which we drove a while back. That said, the V6 exhibited more than ample power in a smooth and refined way. But as expected, it’s pretty thirsty. With an even mix of highway and surface streets, this engine yielded just 18.1 miles per gallon.
The G80 is still using the previous Hyundai Genesis platform, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For what this car does, it does well. It’s extremely quiet out on the road and delivers an excellent balance of ride and handling prowess. We call this "The Genesis Experience."
Premium Cabin with Bells and Whistles
Everything feels premium with this vehicle. The cabin quality and craftsmanship are on par with virtually any major luxury carmaker. In addition, you get great standard features, such as a 16-way driver’s seat (heated and cooled), a 17-speaker Lexicon sound system and smart cruise control with start/stop.
The seats are extremely comfortable. With 16-way power and knee extenders (which is a must for people with long legs), it’s easy to find your perfect driving position.
We were also impressed by some of the more subtle flourishes, such as the inclusion of a blind spot monitoring indicator in the head up display, as well as the mirrors. Small, mindful touches like that can make the driving experience so much more sophisticated and enjoyable.
Big Bang for the Buck
Value! The Genesis continues to impress us on how solid of a vehicle you get at this price point. Plus, you get a truly wide array of standard features without the sticker shock. And at $56,225, that price tag includes 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary maintenance and service valet, three years of Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link, and 24/7 roadside assistance. We feel the closest competitor to this vehicle is the Infiniti Q70L 5.6, and that starts at $64,850.
When it came to the powertrain options, the new 3.3-liter turbo engine is great for the money. But seeing that the V8 is less than $2,000 of an option, we think it’s a better choice for those feeling the urge for an extra dose of horsepower and acceleration.
Sport sedans seem to be making a comeback lately, and the G80 is serious contender in that wave. From a luxury-performance standpoint, it falls somewhere between the Acura TLX A-Spec and the BMW M550i xDrive, which we would say is pretty good company for a car that used to be badged a Hyundai. All that said, we think the 2018 Genesis G80 is one of the best premium-level sedan bargains out there, and certainly worth checking out.