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2019 Genesis G80: New Car Review

Although it started life as the Hyundai Genesis, the 2019 Genesis G80 surrenders its old name to the new brand, while retaining its status as the mild child of the Genesis lineup. Given a thorough freshening last year, the G80 hopes to lure luxury buyers tired of paying high prices for luxury sedans that don’t hold their value over time. While the G80 isn’t quite up to the performance standards of BMW or Audi, it’s ample standard and optional equipment list, powerful engine options and unbeatable standard warranty make it a tempting prospect for those shopping Lexus, Cadillac or Lincoln.

The G80 stands out from the crowd with its large size and staggering amount of equipment for the money, while the new G80 Sport goes further with some unique styling cues (note the bronze and copper trim accents throughout). There are also exceptional ownership services that include three years of complementary maintenance and a service valet that picks up the car from your house and drops it off later. However, while Hyundai is pushing to make each Genesis dealer a standalone entity, for the time being, buyers will have to shop at the same store selling Sonatas and Elantras.

In the end, there’s a lot to like about the Genesis G80. It’s not engineered to the same extent as luxury sedans of similar size and even price, and there are some interior elements that could be of a higher quality (say, of the level displayed in its G90 big brother), but on the whole, it’s a great luxury sedan for smart professionals.

What’s New for 2019?

The Genesis G80 receives a few upgrades for 2019, including a revised infotainment setup and a new Sport package for the 3.8 model.

What We Like

Huge car with a huge features list for a not-so-huge price; a relaxing and quiet interior; superior safety credentials; well-executed technology

What We Don’t

Some interior bits aren’t as high-class as those of competitors or the Genesis G90; Sport model’s brittle ride

How Much?

$43,045-$60,495

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Genesis G80 is available with three different engines, although all come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive (RWD). An all-wheel-drive system called H-Trac is optional on all.

The standard 3.8-liter V6 produces 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque. It returns 18 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving with RWD. H-Trac drops those figures to 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.

The G80 Sport has a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine good for 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. It returns 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined with RWD. H-Trac drops the highway figure to 24 mpg

The 5.0-liter V8 produces 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Its fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined with RWD. H-Trac lowers each by 1 mpg.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 G80 starts off with the base 3.8 trim level ($43,045), which, as the name suggests, comes with the 3.8-liter V6. Standard equipment is plentiful, including 18-in wheels, forward-collision warning and automatic braking, a driver-inattention monitor, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, bi-xenon headlights, LED running/accent lights, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, a hands-free-opening trunk lid and passive keyless entry with push-button start. Inside, you get dual-zone automatic climate control, heated 8-way power front seats with driver memory functions and 4-way lumbar adjustment, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, leather upholstery, an 8-in touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, Bluetooth, Genesis Connected emergency communications services and a 7-speaker sound system that includes satellite radio, HD Radio, a CD player and a media-player interface. Adding H-Trac AWD also brings with it heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and heated washer jets (bi-xenons only).

The G80 3.3T Sport ($56,245) includes the 3.8’s package content plus a turbo V6, unique 19-in wheels, special exterior and interior design elements, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes, a 3-spoke sport steering wheel, a black microfiber suedecloth headliner and carbon-fiber interior trim. With H-Trac, the Sport adds a heated steering wheel.

The G80 5.0 Ultimate ($57,995) includes all of the 3.8’s package content plus its V8 engine, 19-in wheels and a microfiber suedecloth headliner.

Option packages for the 3.8 include the Ultimate package that brings adaptive LED headlights, an electronic shifter, a power trunk lid, a multiview parking camera, a color head-up display, upgraded leather upholstery, an upgraded driver’s seat with a cushion extender and adjustable side bolsters, matte-finish wood trim, a 9.2-in touchscreen interface with a redundant center console controller and a 17-speaker Lexicon sound system.

The 3.8 Sport package adds Sport exterior styling treatment, 19-in wheels, front and rear parking sensors, Lexicon audio, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a panoramic power moonroof, a power rear sun shade, manual side sun shades and a wireless charging pad

Safety

The G80 comes standard with stability control, anti-lock brakes, front and rear side airbags, side-curtain airbags and a driver-knee airbag. It also includes a standard forward-collision warning and automatic braking system that can also detect pedestrians, along with lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, a driver-inattention monitor and a 3-year subscription to Genesis Connected Services (which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency-assistance button and stolen-vehicle location, among other services).

The G80’s crash ratings are also superior. The government gave it a perfect five stars in every crash category — a rare feat. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+ for its best-possible performance in all crash tests and for its Superior front-crash prevention system.

Behind the Wheel

Driving the G80 3.8 and 5.0 models is a smooth, relaxing experience. The ride is supple, the cabin is whisper-quiet and the engines dole out their power like a gentle wave shoving you forward. It’s not a barge, though, as the steering delivers linear responses and an appropriate amount of effort. Unfortunately, the body structure doesn’t feel as robust as those of competitors, as big bumps tend to send shivers through the car and sully its composure (note that this doesn’t affect its crash performance, which is exemplary). This is further exacerbated in the Sport model, which has a firmer suspension that delivers nervous responses over less-than-perfect pavement despite improving handling and absorbing larger road undulations.

There are no complaints under the hood. The new 3.3-liter turbo V6 is a smooth, vigorous power plant that even emits an appropriate amount of snarl when setting off from a stop. The base V6 is still more than capable, however, and for those more interested in all-out thrust than any semblance of corner-taking ability, there’s the mighty 5.0-liter V8.

Inside, you’ll be treated to just about every luxury convenience and tech feature available these days. The look is attractive, but some buttons look a bit too Hyundai in origin — the pricier G90 has more premium-looking switchgear. In terms of space, it’s almost impossible to beat the G80 at this price range.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Lincoln Continental — With a similar emphasis on comfort and power, there are many comparisons to be made to the G80. The Lincoln certainly has the name recognition and perhaps a greater amount of road poise, but we suspect the Genesis is constructed with finer precision.

2019 Lexus GS — The GS is pricier despite less standard power and far less standard equipment, but there’s no denying the engineering sophistication and interior craftsmanship that go into this midsize Lexus sedan.

2019 Volvo S90 — Again, the S90 costs more than the G80, but Volvo’s smart and sophisticated S90 luxury sedan provides style in droves, truly impressive safety credentials and fuel-efficient engines.

Used Audi A6 — If you’re looking for the same type of size and feature content as the G80 from one of the German luxury brands but balk at the as-new price, why not consider a used or certified-pre owned model like an A6?

Autotrader’s Advice

We’d be tempted to just say get the base model and call it a day, as no other luxury sedan comes close to matching its feature content for the price. Yet the 3.8 Ultimate package and its myriad luxurious indulgences only increase the price to about what virtually all of its midsize luxury competitors start at. That seems like the shrewd buy.

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