Model tested: 2019 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport
Engine: 3.3-liter GDI twin turbo
Transmission: 8-speed Shiftronic automatic w/paddle shifters
Torque: 376 lb.-ft.
EPA ratings: 17/city, 24/highway, 20/combined
Base price: $57,750
As tested: $58,745
Overview: Hyundai launched its Genesis luxury brand for the 2017 model year with two sedans, the midsize G80 and the full-size G90 — since adding the smaller, multiple-award-winning G70 and an SUV heavily rumored to hit showrooms before year’s end. Refined and polished for 2019, the G80 offers three trim levels: Base, Sport and Ultimate, each with a different powertrain. All sedans are available with either rear- or all-wheel drive, which adds $2,500. The G80 boasts a choice of strong powerplants and a stellar safety record. However, this review will only focus on our test driver, the AWD 3.3T Sport.
Walkaround: Understated styling with clean lines and details are the G80’s signature. Its classic appearance isn’t attention-getting, but it’s simply a handsome car. The big, shield-like grille and strong shoulder lines give the G80 definite presence. Also, the Sport version features different bumpers and copper design elements.
Interior: The G80’s spacious cabin is unequivocally plush, featuring standard Nappa leather upholstery with carbon fiber and aluminum trim. The high-quality interior is an exercise in simplicity, without feeling spartan or austere. The extremely comfortable, heated and ventilated 16-way driver’s seat and 12-way passenger seat are exceptionally comfortable, while 16-way power front seats featuring adjustable cushion extenders are available. The rear seat offers 35 inches of legroom. However, the Genesis doesn’t match some competitors’ interior color palettes, offering only tan, gray and black. Instrumentation sits high on the well-organized dashboard and surrounds a 9.2-inch touchscreen controlling navigation and infotainment, including a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also featured are a wireless charging pad, stop-and-go heads-up display and a wide array of safety features. Stellar crash-test results and standard collision-avoidance technology earned the G80 a “Superior” rating for frontal-crash prevention and five stars overall from the NHTSA. Trunk volume is 15 cubic feet, with an opening that’s wide and relatively low.
Behind the Wheel: Well-mannered and quiet, the G80 coddles passengers by foregoing the usually punishing sport sedan ride. On rough pavement, the supple suspension succeeds in smoothing out bumps and potholes, taking them in stride. However, the G80 is best on the open road — as we found out on a trip to Skamania Lodge and back. The 365-horse, 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6 is married to a slick-shifting, eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Together, they move the G80 quite aggressively, although it actually feels stronger in everyday driving than on the interstate.
Bottom Line: The 2019 Genesis G80 delivers an admirable balance of luxury, performance and value, showcasing an impressively supple ride and boasting a stellar safety record. Genesis — which is growing its dealer network, including a new one in Bremerton — handles service by white-glove valet pickup and drop-off. What more could you want?