2018 Genesis G80 — Quiet, Affordable Luxury

2018 Genesis G80Model Tested: 2018 Genesis G80, AWD 3.3T Sport

Engine: 3.3-liter V6 twin turbo; 365 horsepower; 376 pound-feet of torque

Transmission: 8-speed Shiftronic automatic

EPA Ratings: 17/city, 24/highway, 20/combined

Base Price: $57,750

As Tested: $58,725

Overview: Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota, Acura to Honda and Infiniti to Nissan — its signature luxury nameplate. The Genesis G80 is not meant to be a sport sedan, but a feature-laden, soft, quiet and comfortable rear-wheel-drive luxury cruiser. We road-tripped the G80 up to Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine for a business meeting and found it to be exactly what it’s designed to be.

Walkaround: For 2018, the classic-looking G80 features a new, updated front and rear fascia; and copper accents surrounding the grille, on the center caps of the wheels and around the tweaked, LED headlamps. A tall and stylish roofline gives the new Sport a fresh, handsome, upscale appearance.

2018 Genesis G80Interior: The G80 cabin features lots of plush leather and real wood. The sport version offers genuine carbon-fiber trim as well as a heated steering wheel. Our test model featured the power tilt and slide panoramic sunroof, making the cabin seem larger than it actually is. As we found on our trip, the front seats are exceptionally comfortable — wide and extensively adjustable. Options include heat, ventilation and adjustable lumbar and bolsters. Our test driver featured the 17-speaker Lexicon sound system. Fit and finish are first-rate. Instrumentation has been restyled, including a revised infotainment system and standard rearview camera. While the cabin is as lavish as any Mercedes, plastic controls on the instrument panel scream Hyundai. The trunk offers 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

Under the Hood: The new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 in the G80 Sport puts 365 ponies to the pavement. The transmission is an updated, silky-smooth, eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Behind the Wheel: The first thing you notice is the superlatively quiet cabin. On the highway at 80-plus mph, noise from the engine, tires, road and wind is nonexistent. The suspension defuses bumps but is too soft for hard cornering, leaning in turns. Steering, while precise, lacks feedback. However, what the new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 delivers is the 376 pound-feet of torque. Throttle response is quick, with no turbo lag. It’s just plain fast.

Bottom Line: The Genesis G80 isn’t cheap, yet because it’s built by Hyundai, may not be perceived as true luxury. That would be a mistake.