It’s not every day a new brand enters the automotive industry. Hyundai just happens to be behind it. Once known for having the italic H badging, Hyundai spun off their luxury full size Genesis, which was redesign in 2015, into a new luxury market and territory that battles against an already tough segment. Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln, and Volvo are just a few of what Genesis is up against. It is said that the Genesis line-up should include four additional models in the coming years, on top of its luxurious flag ship G90, which is now available on showroom floors.
The Genesis G80 now follows in the footsteps of its luxury rivals having a name that isn’t a name, but a series of letters and numbers that don’t quite mean anything. With a starting price of $41,400 – the G80 pairs right alongside the Lexus GS350, Infiniti Q70, Cadillac CTS and Acura TLX. However, the G80 has something those three don’t – a 5.0-liter V-8 starting under $56,000.
Offering two engine options, the G80 is available with either a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive variations. Note that AWD is an extra $2500. In the case of tester’s 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, it’s only available in rear-wheel drive and can launch to 60 mph in less than five seconds. And besides just a stamp on the trunk and the quad-tipped exhaust, there is no indication this luxury sedan has a single ounce of muscle behind its handsomely chiseled body.
When we sampled the 3.8-liter V-6 under its previous Hyundai badging, we found it to be confident and assertive. The V-8 here is like having a butler, you don’t need one, but that fact that he’s there is nice additive. The V-8 is incredibly smooth, and when we put our foot down, we get a certainly sir, as it whooshes up to speed. It’s not harsh or brash – it just goes and does as it’s told. Paired with an 8-speed automatic, the G80 has no problem running through its gears smooth like whipped butter and when it called upon, it downshifts appropriately when indicated through the steering wheel paddle shifters.
Like the paddle shifters, there is a drive mode selector – they are both unnecessary and doubt they’ll ever be used. The G80 can shuffle between Eco and Sport which controls the throttle and transmission mapping to better or worsen your MPG’s. While during our duration, Sport or Eco was rarely ever engaged and MPG’s managed to still stay in the low teens – it is a V-8 after all. Unlike most luxury cars in this class, the G80 requires just regular octane fuel. But were not stingy, we fed her only the best juice around town.
And then there’s the ride. Most luxury brands pride themselves on the ultra-softness of their ride quality – but where is the fun in that when you can feel the road beneath you. While maintain a certain level of cloud like comfort, the ride quality of the G80 is flourishing with road crispness and composure. There is indication of road presence. And even though the steering wheel is light and provides a vague feel in the corners, the steering is precise and responsive.
The same kind of story repeats itself when settling into the cabin. From the solid closing of the doors, there is a presence of silence, tranquility, and excellence. Everything you see, everything you touch is quality – soft touch materials on every surface. Genuine open pour matte wood flowed through the cabin that even Frank Lloyd Wright would appreciate and is accented by aluminum trim giving a crisp touch of contemporary design. If that’s not enough, Genesis is all about details, from the font staying consistent in the navigation to the steering wheel to the all the little aluminum trim pieces around the knobs.
Layered in soft cream leather, the interior of the G80 is full of divine comfort. The front seats are heated and cooled with 16-way power adjustments for the driver and 12-way for the passenger. The driver seat delivers power adjusting side bolsters that contour to every inch of your body providing lateral support that moment you decide to be a racing driver. There is an endless amount of room for rear passengers and with the large panoramic sunroof, there’s enough headroom even for Shaq.
With the 5.0-liter V-8, the Ultimate Package is tied into its $55,700 price point offering up loads of technology and safety features we expect from a luxury car: Smart cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist and departure warning, forward emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, a color heads-up display, a fantastic 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, and an easy to use 9.2-inch touch screen infotainment.
However, Genesis is now more than just a new brand with new line-up of cars. They are all about the customers and providing the ultimate Genesis experience by introducing 3-year/36,000 miles Complimentary Maintains and Valet Services, Annual Map updates and a 3-year Sirus XM subscription.
At fifty-grand, the Genesis G80 is not just the bargain, but it goes to show you don’t need to pay premium prices to have a luxury car. The G80 is like an old soul in a new body offering all latest techno gadgets with old school luxury. It’s not a performance car, and doesn’t pretend to be one but maintains – at least that’s what the G80 Sport will be for (coming later next year).
|2017 Genesis G80 5.0L V-8:||$54,550|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$55,700|
|5.0-liter V-8 – 420-Horsepower, Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±5.0 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 15/23/18 (city/highway/combined) – SSB Average: 13 MPG’s – Fuel Range: 550 Miles|