Genesis has finally unveiled the G80, and it has its own unique styling cues compared to the G90

Hyundai has finally announced all the details about the G80 and boy has it turned out to be winning combination of power, luxury, and safety. Available with a V-6 or V-8 powertrain and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the car is offered with 311 or 420 horsepower and a long list of safety features that tops anything offered as standard equipment on entry-level competitor models – it even beats out the Volvo S90 for standard safety equipment.

Unfortunately, the G80 isn’t anywhere near as stylish or aggressive as the Genesis New York concept that we saw back in March, but it’s still an appealing car with all the right technology and safety features to go with a sporty exterior design. To put it mildly, things have changed a lot since Hyundai first entered the U.S. market, and the Genesis premium brand just goes to show what is possible when you pay attention to your customer base and give them exactly what they want.

With that said, let’s take a good look at the new G80 and what it brings to the table. It’s definitely something you’ll want to consider next time you’re looking to grab yourself a premium sedan.

Update 08-01-2016: Pricing has been announced for the 2017 Genesis G80. Check out the prices section below for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Genesis G80.

Exterior

2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Exterior
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On the outside, there are some design cues that are borrowed from the G90, like the front grille, for instance. It is the same shape and size, and has the horizontal slats running from one side to another. It also features the same LED fog lamps sitting above the corner air inlets of the front fascia. The overall design of the fascia is rather different, though. A chrome insert wraps around from the inner point of the fog lamps to create a “C” shape around the lamp before elevating a bit and crossing the fascia below the grille. This insert essentially separates the corner inlets from the air dam below.

The hood features a couple of defining lines toward the outside edges, and the Genesis logo is perched above the grille

The headlights are also of a different design. Compared to the G90, they aren’t as long, so they are recessed into the body a bit more up front. They also feature a near 90-degree bend out the outside, lower corner and come to a sharp point on the inside with the lower point sitting closer to the grille than the upper point. In my opinion, it is actually a better look that what we saw on the G90.

The hood features a couple of defining lines toward the outside edges, and the Genesis logo is perched above the grille, but on the sides, there is even more to talk about. First off, we don’t see a fender gill that we saw on the New York Concept, which is actually a relief. This car would look rather odd with such a design. There is a distinct body line that runs from the outside point of the headlights to the rear of the vehicle. The character line starts off thin but gets sharper as you move further back on the fender. It eventually passes through the door handles and terminates at the lower point of the rear taillight. Down below the is a small recess in the body, with a chromed piece of body cladding attached to the bottom of the fender and both doors.

The rear of the G80 is defined by the oddly shaped taillights that come to a sharp point on the rear deck lid and have a reverse light that runs the full length of the lower edge. The rear quarters and the deck lid swoop upward to create a built-in fin-like element. Down below the black insert in the rear fascia gives the twin, dual exhaust outlets a floating appearance. Long, thin reflectors sit above the exhaust outlets and the distinct body lines on the sides of the rear fascia five the rear end a sculpted look. All told, the exterior design isn’t too bad at all, especially for a Hyundai… I mean Genesis.

Interior

2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Interior
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2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Interior
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2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Interior
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Looking inside, it becomes painfully obvious that Genesis wasn’t just crying wolf when it said it was coming for the likes of Cadillac, Infiniti, Mercedes, and BMW. The first thing I noticed was the perfectly selected wood trim that graces the face of the upper dash and the upper portion of the door trim panels. Instead of being finished in a glare-producing shiny lacquer, these inserts are matte and provide an excellent feel of luxury and elegance.

There are one of two infotainment systems that you might find hanging out in the center stack. The standard option is a is an eight-inch touchscreen display with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The system pairs with a 14-speaker Lexicon system with Discrete Logic 7 Surround and a 12-channel amplifier that puts out the “equivalent” of 900 watts. Features include app-based navigation, streaming audio, certain smartphone app compatibility, and voice-controlled search capabilities. Bluetooth capability, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and USB auxiliary jacks are all standard equipment. For those that want a little more from their audio experience, Genesis offers up an “ultra-premium” system that features the same Logic Surround Sound System and 12-channel amplifier but has a 9.2-inch, 720p HD display and a 64GB solid state drive for onboard media storage.

Looking ahead of the steering wheel, you’ll find the car displaying all relevant information via a standard gauge cluster with a 4.3-inch TFT LCD display but, if you’re willing to pony up a little extra dough, you can replace that with a seven-inch TFT cluster display like that found in other high-end cars. The front seats are about as luxurious as it gets with 12-way power seats as standard equipment. The front seats come heated as standard but can be optioned with ventilation as well. The seats offer four-way power lumbar support and are held together via double stitching.

The center console also fits in with other premium vehicles, sporting a simplistic design with few buttons and plenty of storage. As you can see, it is blended into the center stack quite well, features a standard gear shifter with a small storage compartment on the passenger side. Behind the shifter, you’ll find a rotary control knob and a few button that control various features inside the cabin. The armrest on the center console appears to have a center split, allowing one passenger to access storage without disturbing the other. The car features a two-tone interior, with the top of the dash, door trim panels, and the carpet one color, and the seats, lower dash face, and center console another.

In the rear, there isn’t as much going on as I originally thought there would be. There is no rear-passenger infotainment system to speak of. There is a fold down storage pocket in the back of the front seats, and the rear seat does benefit from the cold down center console as we saw in the G90. Total passenger volume is rated at 107.7 cubic feet, which beats out the Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, BMW 5 series, and the Mercedes E-Class. The Genesis G80 also dominates its rivals with 15.3 cubic feet of cargo room, which is at least 0.4 cubic feet more than any of the other competitors can offer. All told, the package really comes together nicely.

Drivetrain

2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Drivetrain
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And now to my favorite topic of conversation – the greasy bits and driving force behind what makes every car go. After learning all about the interior, you probably already know that Genesis wasn’t playing around when it stepped into the premium segment, but what’s hiding beneath the metal is even better than anything you’ve read thus far. To start off, the G80 is underpinned by an ultra-rigid platform that uses high-strength steel for more than half of it composition. This provides superior torsional rigidity, which was put to the ultimate test on the Nürburgring and passed with flying colors.

The G80 is underpinned by an ultra-rigid platform that uses high-strength steel for more than half of it composition

Supporting the link between the platform and the body, you’ll find a multi-link suspension system with five-link geometry in the rear and a fully independent system up front. A number of 18- and 19-inch wheels are up for the taking and steering functions are handled by an electric power steering system with a variable gear ratio to improve high-speed stability and better feedback all the way around.

The G80 is available with one of two engines. The standard offering is a 3.8-liter V-6 that utilizes three-stage variable intake system, triangular fuel injector pattern, air-gap exhaust manifold, and a two-stage oil pump. It produces 311 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 293 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. For the purpose of comparison, the 3.5-liter in the Lexus GS is the closest competitor to the G80’s 3.8-liter with 308 horsepower, while the 2.0-liter in the BMW 528i offers just 240 ponies. Audi and Cadillac also fall short with their standard 2.0-liter engines clocking in at 252 horsepower and 272 horsepower, respectively.

The other engine option available in the G80 – and the one you really want to go for – is the 5.0-liter "Tau" V-8. It is the same 5.0-liter that has been named on Ward’s Ten Best Engines list a total of three times. It utilizes high-pressure direct injection, a low-torque exhaust manifold, increased compression ratio and upgraded multiple-injection mapping. All told, the engine delivers 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.

The G80 comes standard with various driving modes – Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow

Both available engines are backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission (no dual clutch or manual option here) that delivers all that power and torque to the rear wheels. Those hoping for all-wheel drive can be happy as well since Genesis’ HTRAC AWD system is available as an option. Regardless of engine option, the G80 comes standard with various driving modes – Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow – to fine-tune power and handling in just about any condition. Eco, of course, provides the best fuel economy, while normal provides a balanced power delivery. Sport gives the car more of a dynamic and sportier presence on the road while Snow is perfect for low traction conditions. There is also an Emergency Steering Support mode that automatically changes the ESC system in the direction suitable for emergency steering. According to Genesis, this system will help avoid frontal crash situations.

Safety

2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Drivetrain
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The Genesis G80 really shines brightly in the safety department as well, with a long list of safety features as standard equipment. This includes automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control with start/stop functionality, blind spot detection, lane keep assist, high beam assist, and a rearview camera. According to Genesis, the G80 offers full braking between five and 50 mph and partial braking with warning between 50 and 112 mph, which really isn’t too bad at all. To put things into perspective, the Mercedes E300 only offered AEB as standard equipment – everything else listed here is optional on the Merc. All these features are optional on the BMW 528i. The Volvo S90 comes standard with most of the same features, but blind spot detection and high beam assist are optional. Needless to say, Genesis is committed to safety.

Prices

The Genesis G80 is available in 3.8-liter form and 5.0-liter form, with multiple variations of the 3.8-liter model. The entry-level package starts out at $41,400, which gets you the 3.8-liter engine matched with rear-wheel drive. The entry-level 3.8-liter AWD model commands $43,900. Moving up to the 3.8-liter Premium sets you back $46,150 equipped with rear-wheel drive and $48,650 with all-wheel drive. Going for the 3.8-liter Ultimate will cost you $50,350 in rear-wheel-drive form and $52,850 with all-wheel drive. The 5.0-liter engine is only available in the G80 Ultimate with rear-wheel drive and commands $54,550.

Model Price
G80 3.8 RWD $41,100
G80 3.8 AWD $43,900
G80 3.8 Premium RWD $46,150
G80 3.8 Premium AWD $48,650
G80 3.8 Ultimate RWD $50,350
G80 3.8 Ultimate AWD $52,850
G80 5.0 Ultimate RWD $54,550

Competition

BMW 5 Series

2017 BMW 5 Series Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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With the new Genesis brand looking to compete with the Germans in the Premium segment, the BMW 5 Series should be the perfect competitor. The 5 Series ushered in a new generation for 2011 and was given a facelift for 2014. By 2017, the same time we’ll be seeing the G80 hit showrooms, the 5 Series should be in its seventh generation. While we’ve only seen spy shots of the next-gen 5 Series, we expect it to have a revised front and rear end, new exterior light elements, and some new technology on the inside.

As of the time of this writing, the 5 Series starts out at $50,200 but climbs to as high as $68,600 for the range-topping 550i xDrive. There is also the ActiveHybrid 5, which will compete against a hybrid version of the G80 and starts out at $62,100. Pricing for the next generation shouldn’t change much, but expect to see the common bump in pricing that is normally associated with new generation models.

Read our full review on the BMW 5 Series here.

Audi A6

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Audi is already moving to the 2016 model year, as it will unveil the slightly revised 2016 A6 at the 2015 LA Auto Show.

Competing against the BMW 5 Series means the G80 will also be fighting with the Audi A6 for dominance in the premium market. The current-gen model has been in the fold since 2012 and was finally updated for the 2016 model year. It now features Audi’s new Singleframe grille, LED headlights, a 4G LTE hotspot, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system, among other things.

The A6 is offered with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet, a 3.0-liter that delivers 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet, or a turbodiesel six-cylinder that delivers 240 horsepower and 428 pound-feet. All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission and can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

The A6 currently starts out at just $46,200, making it the least expensive model between the BMW 5 Series and the G80. Pricing increases to as high as $63,700 for the range-topping A6 Prestige with the TDI turbodiesel mill. Here in the U.S., we only get the gasoline mills, so the range tops out with the A6 Prestige 3.0T Prestige at $61,600.

Read our full review on the Audi A6 here.

Conclusion

2017 Genesis G80 High Resolution Exterior
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I have to say that I’m impressed with the Genesis G80 and can’t wait to take a turn behind the wheel. If you went back 15 years and told me that I would be looking at a Hyundai-derived vehicle this nice, I’d probably smack you right across the face. I didn’t even think the brand was serious when it started announcing the Genesis brand for the premium segment. And yet, here we are, looking at a Korean car that can compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.

Even better yet, the Genesis brand did right and came out of the gate at warp speed, offering superior design, fit and finish, and great performance. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed with the G80 and, when it comes down to it, I will certainly add it to my comparison list.

  • Leave it
    • * It’s still technically a Hyundai, which may work against it
    • * Could be more expensive than its main competitors
    • * Has yet to be seen in the U.S.

Update History

Updated 07/22/2016: Genesis dropped the official details and U.S. specs figures for its latest G80 sedan.

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