Genesis has thrown everything they have at this latest entry to prove the doubters wrong.
The Genesis luxury brand was launched with their flagship G90 and G80, a pair of luxury sedans that was their one punch into the scene. Results were positive with sales volume besting well established models from 2017 to 2019. By following Hyundai’s strategy of loading their offerings with value and gadgets, the G80 was able to draw a crowd. This year, the G80 is completely revamped with significant improvement. The level of luxury in this 2021 Genesis G80 3.5T Prestige is taken to another level to solidify its spot in the market.
Buyers will be hard pressed to find any other car in the market below $100,000 with such a luxury presence. The front end is dominated by the enormous Genesis front grille finished in chrome. The headlights are a unique two piece bar design with in full LED. The Genesis winglet badge leads into two character lines on the hood resembling wingtip vortices. The hood is long and flows into a fast back design in the rear. The trunklid has a molded flair on the edge of the trunk resembling a lip spoiler with a much cleaner and elegant affect.
The taillights are the same two piece bar design matching the front. The shoulders are wide and sculpted with a character line which flows from the front grille, over the hood and into the rear fender. The G80 is carved into perfection with intricate details and bold design pieces resulting is a super elegant and luxury design. This type of design and level of luxurious aura it exudes is unseen before in this segment.
The interior of the G80 is even more impressive than the exterior. Craftsmanship is impeccable with superb fit and finish. Small touches such as brush chrome window actuators with diamond cut textures enhance the luxury. Genesis did not fall into the trap of sharing too many interior parts with parent company Hyundai, but the tell-tale signs of fonts and buttons on the center console must be noted. All the interior lines flow to create tiers on the dash, separated by colour and materials as well. The vents are integrated into the lines rather being different shapes.
Brushed aluminum and genuine wood trim is used in conjunction for a modern look with an organic feel. The steering wheel is a unique four spoke design with two tone colours wrapped with supple leather. One of the main attractions is the 12.3-inch 3D cluster with various display designs for different driving modes. The cluster displays navigation, trip and vehicle information. Material choice is a class above with stitched leather everywhere the eye can see.
Luxury features include massaging seats that are both heated and ventilated. The Nappa leather is stitched with beautiful patterns as well as contrast piping. The seats are supportive and supple with 16-way power adjustable seats for wide range of adjusts, however I always felt like I sat too high. Heated steering is 2 staged for added comfort. HVAC controls have its own touch screen operation to manage high level customization available. Even the rear passenger will be pampered with seating ventilation and electric recliners. Rear and side curtains are available to block out the glaring sun.
The beautiful aluminum speaker grates house the stunning Lexicon premium sound system with 21 speakers and QuantumLogic technology to render ear drum melting sound quality. Controlling the system is an infotainment is managed via a 14.5-inch touchscreen with the DIS controller. The graphics are stunning with crisp and beautiful designs. Connections with your mobile device are flawless via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, unfortunately, the interface and menus are convoluted. The DIS controller is frustrating as well.
The controller is an ergonomic nightmare; scrolling with the controller is a chore. The controller is a similar size to the shifter and placed at a more natural position for the hand. Lastly, navigating through the menu requires both turning of the controller as well as clicking it up and down. Luckily there is a bail out option of using the touchscreen, though the screen is not positioned ideally for operation. The placement of physical buttons on below the screen is a godsend as well making operations that much more endurable.
The G80 sits on a platform which focuses on strength with the use of lightweight materials. The high strength frame is matched with high tech suspension using camera sensors and navigation data to adjust dampening settings to optimize comfort. The ride is supple with road imperfections and bumps being met with a satisfying thump that does not upset vehicle balance. Riding on a cloud is definitely a fitting description to the G80’s ride quality.
The steering is responsive with well controlled body motions. The front mono-block four-piston calipers haul the car to a stop with authority. The combination of strong brakes and excellent suspension tuning makes the G80 drive smaller that its size suggest. With an all-wheel-drive system that distributes torque accordingly, the balance is neutral. In the deep snow the G80 operates seamlessly, inspiring absolute confidence in adverse weather. Despite the elegant looks, there is an athlete under the suit.
Our tester is equipped with the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 375 horsepower at 5,800RPM and 390 lb-ft. of torque between 1,300 and 4,000RPM. The powerplant is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The combination is a buttery smooth delivery of power with max torque at very low rpm for effortless acceleration. The G80 holds speeds on the highway with ease, and the excellent ride with ample power masks all sense of speed.
One thing this powertrain does not excel in is efficiency, to an extent where Genesis does not advertise the fuel ratings on their website. A bit of researching reveals fuel rating of 12.9L/100km city, 9.0L/100km highway and a combined 11.2L/100km. During our week of testing, we observed averaged 13.4L/100km which seems reasonable if you consider all the luxuries that translate to weight. As expected, premium fuel is recommended.
One very impressive aspect is the assisted driving experience. The Highway Driving Assist II system helps to keep the car in lane combined with navigation-based smart cruise control. It does an excellent job in assisting the driver to commute stress free. The added safety of blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and forward collision mitigation makes for a completely relaxed driving experience.
The 2021 Genesis G80 starts in its base trim with a 2.5T engine starts at $66,000. Our tester is the 3.5T Prestige model and comes in at $76,000 as-tested. Competition such as the Cadillac CT6 is priced significantly higher when similarly equipped. In this price range, you can find yourself in a BMW 5-series but will definitely be sparse in the options list and with a four-cylinder engine. In the space of luxury sedans, The G80 is a complete package with features that punches way above its price bracket.
The effort and craftsmanship Genesis has put into the all-new 2021 Genesis G80 3.5T Prestige is truly mind-boggling. Materials choices are best in class and extremely well assembled. The actual driving experience backs up what is promised and exceeds expectations. The G80 is not without its flaws but they are by no means deal-breakers. Genesis has thrown everything they have at this latest entry to prove the doubters wrong, and we hope to see this one succeed.