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2021 Genesis G80 Review

The 2021 Genesis G80 is a complete makeover of the division’s midsize luxury sedan. It fills the space between the compact G70 sport sedan and the G90 flagship. While Genesis is still building its luxury bona fides to compete with more established competition, such as BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, the Korean automaker delivers a solid sedan in the G80 for thousands less. The new model features sleek styling. It’s slightly wider and has undergone a major change in its powertrain lineup. The G80 is still available in rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, but it’s dropped the range-topping 420 horsepower V8 engine, as well as the entry-level normally aspirated 3.8-liter V8. The new lineup features a base turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a step-up twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 in place of the previous 3.3-liter unit.

What’s New?

All-new exterior and interior styling with a revised powertrain lineup. See the 2021 Genesis G80 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • All-new styling
  • Retains rear-drive bias
  • Available AWD
  • Full suite of driver assists

What We Don’t

  • No V8 offered
  • 4-cylinder replaces base V6
  • No hybrid alternative

How Much?

$47,700-$68,350

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Genesis G80 is available with a choice of two powertrains. The base turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission and makes 300 hp. In rear-drive form, it is rated at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg in combined driving. AWD on the G80 sees those figures drop to 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.

The step-up engine is a 375-hp twin-turbo V6, which also mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission. As a rear-wheel driver, the G80 V6 is rated at 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 mpg combined. AWD drops the city and highway average by only 1 mpg.

For comparison, the RWD BMW 5 Series, which offers a base turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic, is rated at 25 mpg city/33 mpg hwy/28 mpg combined. The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 delivers 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined. The BMW 5 Series 4-cylinder with AWD is rated at 24 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/27 mpg combined, while the 6-cylinder model posts 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 G80 2.5T comes in three trim levels — Standard, Advanced and Prestige — in RWD or AWD configurations. The G80 3.5T is available in two trims, Standard and Prestige, also with a choice of RWD or AWD. On the 2.5-liter model, the AWD option is $3,150 extra on the Standard and Advanced and $2,250 on the Prestige. For the 3.5T models, AWD is $3,150 more on Standard and Prestige. The AWD package also includes heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

The G80 2.5T Standard starts at $47,700 plus a $1,025 destination fee. This G80 base model includes the 2.5-liter engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and RWD. Among the standard equipment are LED lights, leatherette seating, adaptive cruise control, 12-way power front seats, dual-zone climate control, 14.5-in infotainment screen, keyless entry, push-button start, power tilt-and-telescopic steering column and power windows with automatic up/down.

The 2021 Genesis 2.5T Advanced with RWD starts at $52,300 plus $1,025 destination. It adds 19-in alloy wheels, Lexicon premium audio with 21 speakers, a panoramic glass roof, matte finish wood trim, ventilated front seats, power rear sunshade, 3-zone climate control and a power trunk.

The top 4-cylinder model is the G80 2.5T Prestige, which costs $56,600. It includes leather seating, power door close, a wireless device charger, surround-view monitor, blind-spot view monitor and remote parking assist. Other features include parking collision-avoidance assist, power driver seat bolster, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

The V6-powered 2021 G80 3.5T Standard carries an MSRP of $59,100, excluding destination. It features the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes an electronically controlled suspension with camera-based road preview, a panoramic roof, a power trunk, power door close and a digital key. The cabin also features matte finish wood trim, a power rear sunshade, ventilated front seats and 3-zone climate control. Also included are rear occupant alert, Lexicon premium sound with 21 speakers and a wireless device charger.

The G80 3.5T Prestige prices begin at $65,100. It adds 20-in alloy wheels, Nappa leather seating surfaces, microfiber suede headliner and pillars, power bolster and cushion extension on the driver’s seat, blind-spot view monitor, remote parking assist and rear parking collision-avoidance assist. The trim also includes a head-up display and 3D digital instrument cluster as well as a surround-view monitor and forward attention warning.

Safety

All 2021 Genesis G80 models feature forward collision-avoidance assist with automatic emergency braking. This safety system also incorporates pedestrian and cyclist recognition and evasive steering torque assist. Genesis Highway Driving Assist II package includes adaptive cruise control, driver attention warning, a lane-keeping alert and lane following assist.

Genesis also has blind-spot warning, available blind-spot and around-view monitors, rear cross-traffic avoidance-assist and a safe exit assist with power child lock. The latter prevents the driver’s side doors from opening if it detects an approaching cyclist. Also available is a parking distance warning.

Behind the wheel

By dropping the V8 and normally aspirated V6, the 2021 Genesis G80 more closely aligns it with its smaller G70 sibling, which is touted for its handling. Like its little brother, the G80 now offers a base turbo 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or step-up twin-turbo V6, both either in rear- or all-wheel drive. Depending on the engine and drive configuration, the G80 offers a different feel behind the wheel.

The version most like the G70 is the 4-cylinder, rear-drive model with the standard suspension. It has crisp ride and handling and plenty of muscle thanks to the engine’s 300 horsepower. The 8-speed automatic, which is shifted via a console-mounted rotary dial, is smooth and seamless in operation.

As much as we like the 4-cylinder model, the V6 with 375 horsepower is much stronger and more satisfying to drive, especially when equipped with the adaptive suspension and all-wheel drive. This is a luxury cruiser of the first order with plenty of power on tap for effortless passing and merging. There are several driving modes to choose from including Eco, Normal, and Sport, with the last one providing a touch more steering feel and livelier throttle response. There’s also a Smart mode that adapts the powertrain and suspension response to your driving style.

The 2021 Genesis G80 provides great visibility with thin A-pillars and by mounting the infotainment screen atop the dash. This allows you to see the map and navigation with minimal distraction. Upper trim models also have a great full-color head-up display directly in front of the driver. Other systems are easily accessed using the controller and auxiliary buttons mounted on the center console.

In addition to its high tech environment, the G80 provides plenty of comfort from its contoured front bucket seats, along with heating and ventilation options that provide the right amount of warmth and cooling. While we like the more sporty compact sport sedan nature of the G70, the G80 has enough of that athleticism to complement the luxury ride and features of its larger footprint.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 BMW 5 Series — Perhaps the G80’s most direct rival is this mainstay midsize sedan from a true European legend. The 5-Series is getting a bit dated, but it matches up mechanically by offering both 4- and 6-cylinder versions in RWD and AWD.

2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class — This is another icon that matches up from a powertrain and optional AWD standpoint. The E-Class is fresher and offers AMG variants at a much higher price point.

2020 Lexus GS — This RWD sedan offers traditional Lexus advantages in high resale value and low operating costs. However, Toyota’s luxury division has announced that this is the last year they will be making this midsize sedan.

Used Audi A8 — If you want something larger with understated styling and a lot of tech, the Audi A8 may be just the ticket. Add quattro AWD, and you’ll have a great all-weather sedan. A 3-year-old used Audi A8 with 20,000-30,000 miles will cost about the same as the base model 2021 Genesis G80.

Used Cadillac CTS – While Cadillac no longer makes the CTS, it remains a stylish sedan with well-sorted handling. You’ll get a comparable package to the all-new G80 at a much lower price.

Questions You May Ask

Is the 2021 Genesis G80 a true luxury car?

While the G80 may have started life as a Hyundai Genesis sedan, this total makeover solidifies its reputation as a true luxury competitor. While it may not have the same prestige as a European make, it does deliver the quality, technology and features of far more expensive rivals. Think of Genesis in terms of an early Lexus — a brand that has evolved and earned its place as a credible entry in the luxury market. To back up its case in the luxury segment, Genesis offers the industry’s best bumper-to-bumper (5 years/60,000 miles) and powertrain (10 years/100,00 miles) warranties.

What sets the 2021 Genesis G80 apart from luxury vehicles?

The Genesis G80 not only offers two powertrains and a choice of RWD or AWD, but it also offers advanced technology, such as a camera-based adaptive suspension that looks at the road ahead and adjusts the ride. It also touts features such as remote parking that allows you to remotely ease the car in and out of tight spaces.

Does the Genesis G80 offer good resale value?

The Genesis G80 delivers better than average resale as a result of its general affordability and long warranty.

Where is the 2021 Genesis G80 built?

Genesis’ parent company Hyundai builds the G80 at an assembly plant in Ulsan, Korea.

Autotrader’s Advice

For buyers not hung up on prestige, the 2021 Genesis G80 is a good car for those who want a quality tech- and feature-loaded midsize entry-level car. With a price that’s roughly $8,000 less than its direct rivals, the Genesis G80 offers value and comfort. It’s a bold, stylish sedan with coupe-inspired styling. The turbocharged 4-cylinder base model makes a compelling case with its sub-$50,000 sticker price. But we recommend going with the better equipped and more powerful 3.5-liter V6. That version offers the same level of equipment and much better performance at about the same price as the base 4-cylinder models of the competition. Find a Genesis G80 for sale

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