MSRP as tested: $62,000 CAD (discounts available)
Specs: All-aluminum 3.3L twin-turbo V6 (365hp, 376 lb.-ft. torque),
paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission
0-100kmh as tested: 5.0 seconds
The Genesis G80 offers a refined and quiet ride, potent powertrain options (311 hp, 365 hp, and 420 hp respectively), but lags behind rivals in interior design and driving dynamics. The most attractive part of the G80 however is its very strong value, undercutting the competition by thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars and including a long list of standard options. But in an extremely competitive segment dominated by the best from the Germans as well as the cheaper and ever popular Lexus ES, will this be enough to make the G80 a worthy alternative?
Let’s be frank, despite its athletic looks the G80 is no sports sedan. Weighing in at a solid 300kg more than its closest rival, the Genesis feels even porkier in the corners than some comfort-oriented rivals (such as the Mercedes E-Class). Even in our tester’s “Sport” trim (with its upgraded sport-tuned suspension, improved body control, and larger brakes), you can feel the cars extra weight holding you back when pushing it on some curvy back roads.
On the plus side, the G80 has responsive and reassuringly weighted steering, paired with some very potent engine options. The overall result is that the car feels quite responsive and nimble in straight-line acceleration or during everyday city driving, but starts to falls on its face once you try to have some fun in the corners.
Getting onto the freeway, it becomes clear where the G80’s priorities lie. The 3.3t V6 (also found in the G70 sports sedan and the Kia Stinger GT) has been tuned to provide smooth yet satisfying power for high speed overtaking, with oodles of torque available anywhere in the power band. The suspension setup takes this further, providing a relaxed ride at low and high speeds that isn’t overly airy or soft, and the cabin effectively isolates its occupants from road imperfections and noises. On long journeys, the G80’s standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist are a godsend, confidently taking over most of the driver’s work.
Though the cabin is a serene place to be, it doesn’t quite wow you like some competitors do. Everything is laid out logically and is easy to use, all the standard luxury niceties are here, and the build quality and materials are decent enough, but the design feels very traditional, if not outdated. The tiny digital screen between the analog instrument gauges and slow and outdated infotainment system don’t help to make it feel any more modern.
The amount of space on the inside isn’t exactly impressive either, with rear seat passengers getting less legroom than rivals. Still, passengers should be comfortable during long journeys thanks to uber-plush seats and stellar road isolation. Trunk space is slightly above average at 15 cubic-feet, but the inability to fold down the rear seats puts a hamper on space flexibility. Luckily, the newly redesigned 2021 Genesis G80 looks to change all this, with its larger and drastically modernized cabin.
Long Term Ownership and Service Experience:
Genesis prides itself in its post-purchase and ownership experience, and it shows. With an industry leading 5 year/100,000km warranty, 24/7 roadside assistance, and complimentary scheduled maintenance, you won’t have to spend a single penny on your new Genesis for quite a while (except for on gas, which the G80 seems to gobble up quite quickly at 12L/100km).
The included Genesis Concierge program is also excellent. When it comes time for service, simply schedule an appointment online and a Genesis staff member will come pickup your vehicle, leaving you with a complimentary Genesis loaner vehicle. Speaking with other owners, it was hard to find a dissatisfied customer, with many citing the all-inclusive Genesis Concierge program as one of main the reasons why they find it hard to go back to any other luxury brand.
Even the purchasing experience reflects this customer-oriented philosophy. To book a test drive, simply schedule one online and a Genesis representative will show up at your home or office to walk you through a zero-pressure orientation and test drive of the car of your choice. When it comes time to order, you won’t need to spend stressful hours negotiating with a salesman at a dealership; simply contact your Genesis representative, or go online to place your order and get the best price upfront.
But be warned, there is a huge caveat. If you live anywhere further than 50km from the closest Genesis authorized distributor, Genesis Concierge and at-home test drives aren’t available to you, which drastically changes the customer experience. Because many Genesis centres are still simply extensions of their Hyundai dealership counterparts, the level of customer experience you’ll receive varies dramatically based on volume and the dealership itself. In larger dealerships located in metropolitan cities, the customer experience was still pretty positive (though not quite on the level as luxury rivals), but at smaller dealerships, expect to be treated just like every other Hyundai Elantra buyer.
Recommended Build: Genesis G80 3.3t Sport
The G80 comes with 3 engine choices: a naturally aspirated 3.8L V6, a turbo 3.3t V6, and a burly 5.0L V8. Even though the base 3.8L engine produces 311 horsepower on paper, it feels sluggish and is much less responsive than the other engine options. We’d recommend going for the turbo 3.3t V6 which provides 365 horsepower, a good exhaust note, and smooth continuous power throughout the power-band, all for a reasonable price.
The 5.0L V8 is buttery smooth and provides S-Class levels of engine refinement, though the tradeoff in fuel economy and price makes it hard to justify, especially considering the G80’s main appeal is its value-pricing.