GENESIS G80 SEDAN GETS A NEW SPORT TRIM MODEL FOR 2018, BUT IT’S NOT THE ULTIMATE
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of spending a week behind the wheel of a Genesis G90 sedan. You can look up what I had to say about it by going to the archive of my blogs I wrote in March and clicking on where the list is garbled.
Garbling of headlines happens sometimes when I file the blog on the site. Instead of the actual headline, a sequence of computer commands pops up, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it.
If you want to read about the G90, just go to the next-to-last entry for March. It’s between my review of the BMW 740e and the Lincoln Navigator I had for a drive to Key West.
A short take on the review: I liked it and found it to be a legitimate competitor in a class that includes top-of-the-line luxury German imports, even though it bears an MSRP that several thousand dollars lighter.
Dating back to the 2009 model year, Genesis has become Hyundai’s luxury outlet which, in addition to the G90, also includes the G80. They are both fine cars, but that’s a pretty slim portfolio. Fortunately, more are in the works over the next couple of years, including a couple of crossovers/SUVs.
A midsize sedan, the G80 is very much like the full-sized G90 only in a slightly smaller package, which, frankly, I find appealing. It essentially is an updated version of the vehicle that carried the Genesis name under the Hyundai banner for the first eight years of its existence.
Designers gave the G80 several serious upgrades for 2017 and expanded the lineup to include a turbocharged Sport trim. The base model remains the 3.8 (with a 3.8-liter V6 rated at 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque) with the 5.0 at the top of the food chain (5.0-liter V8, 420/407 hp, 383/372 lb.-ft., depending on the fuel (premium/regular).
The 3.3T sits in between. Its turbo V6 is rated at 365 hp, 376 lb.-ft. using premium fuel.
All-wheel drive also is offered on all trims.
I was treated to the G80 RWD 5.0 Ultimate edition.
At 196.5 inches long, the G80 is nearly a foot shorter than the G90, but with a wheel base of 118.5 inches to the G90’s 124.4 inches there isn’t a whole lot of compromising when it comes to cabin space.
Passenger volume for the G80 is listed as 107.7 cubic feet to the G90’s 113.2. The G80 offers 45.7 inches of legroom up front and 35.0 in the rear to the 46.3 and 37.8, respectively, found in the G90.
Like the G90, the G80 offers a long list of standard features.
All three trims get as standard such items as push-button start, an 8-speed automatic transmission with four drive modes (ECO, Normal, Sport and Snow), tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with paddle shifters, rear-wheel drive with optional all-wheel, multi-link front and rear suspensions, emergency braking assist with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, electronic parking brake with automatic hold, high-beam assist, full LED headlights, LED tail lamps, hands-free trunk opener, rain-sensing wipers, dual A/C, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, 3 years Genesis Connected Services, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The 5.0 adds such features as a 9.2-inch high def screen for the navigation system in place of an 8-inch display, a multi-view camera, heads-up display, manual side rear window screens, premium leather seats, 16-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and 19-inch premium alloy wheels over the 18s on the base model.
In other words, just about any and every feature you might expect in a top-of-the-line luxury sedan is found on the G80.
As you might expect, there is a price bonus with the G80 starting at under $42,000 and the G90 base starting at over $68,000.
My (I wish) 5.0 Ultimate had a total MSRP of $57,975, which is nearly $14,000 less than the G90 RWD Ultimate and came with all the features listed, eliminating the need for option packages.
What I liked about the 2018 Genesis G80 RWD 5.0 Ultimate: The cabin interior is nicely done with real wood and aluminum trim. There is plenty of technology, and following in parent company Hyundai’s tradition, it is all very user-friendly. The trunk (15.3 cubic feet) is nearly as spacious as that in the G90 (15.7 cubic feet).
What I didn’t like about the 2018 Genesis G80 RWD 5.0 Ultimate: Not much to nitpick on here. Gas mileage (16 mpg city, 24 highway, 19 combined) could be better, but if you don’t mind giving up a bit of power, you can run it on regular fuel.
Would I buy the 2018 Genesis G80 RWD 5.0 Ultimate? In a heartbeat. I like its sportier handling over the G90 and would appreciate saving a few bucks.