The launch of the Genesis sedan in 2009 signaled that Hyundai was serious about its plan to shift the way American consumers thought about its brand and cars. Like the rest of Hyundai's vehicles, the Genesis offered a strong value proposition. But it was significantly more upscale than the rest of Hyundai's offerings and even provided a launching point for the arrival of the Equus luxury sedan a couple years later. For once, the concept of winning the Super Bowl and driving off in a Hyundai wasn't insulting.
Now the Genesis is being tasked with doing it again. Hyundai has spun off its luxury-focused cars to create a new brand, and the result is the 2017 Genesis G80. "Genesis" is now the name of the new brand, and G80 is the car. (The Equus will be called the G90.) To go along with the change the G80 also gets additional standard feature content this year. Features that were optional on last year's model, including a power-adjustable steering wheel, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring are now included on all G80s. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also new for this year, allowing users to control smartphone functions such as navigation and audio playback through the touchscreen. Note that the upgraded 9.2-inch touchscreen in Ultimate models lacks Android Auto and CarPlay compatibility.
Just like last year's Genesis, nothing can match the G80's value for the money. But there are better luxury sedans if you're willing to pay more. The sporty Cadillac CTS comes to mind, as does the refined and supple Lexus GS 350. If you have extra-deep pockets, the BMW 5 Series is a perennial favorite, and the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will floor you with its meticulously crafted cabin. The G80 might not have the panache or brand recognition of these rivals, but you also won't have to take out a second mortgage just to get a truly desirable midsize luxury sedan.
The 2017 Genesis G80 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, dual front airbags, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver-side knee airbag. Also standard is Genesis Connected Services, an SOS button, a vehicle locator, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and remote start, stolen vehicle slowdown/immobilization/recovery and turn-by-turn navigation.
Standard advanced safety features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, frontal collision warning and an automatic emergency braking system. Front and rear parking sensors are optional.
In Edmunds brake testing, a 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in just 109 feet while the Genesis 5.0 took 112 feet, both excellent stopping distances.
In government crash tests, the Genesis G80 earned a five-star overall rating, along with five-star ratings for its performance in front- and side-impact crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the G80 the best possible rating of Good in its moderate-overlap front-impact, small-overlap front-impact, side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Genesis G80 is a full-size, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan available in 3.8 (V6) and 5.0 (V8) models, with all-wheel drive as an option for the 3.8 model.
Standard features for the G80 3.8 include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, LED daytime running lights, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, auto-dimming mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning and intervention.
Inside you'll find heated eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar), leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel and driver memory settings. Technology features include an 8-inch touchscreen interface, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Bluetooth connectivity, the Genesis Connected Services telematics system, and a seven-speaker audio system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, HD radio and satellite radio.
All-wheel-drive models also come with headlight washers, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
There are two options packages for the G80 3.8: Premium and Ultimate.
The Premium package includes LED foglights, front and rear parking sensors, dynamic parking guidelines for the rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, a power rear sunshade, manual side window shades, a Lexicon 14-speaker audio system and an upgraded 7-inch driver information display
The Ultimate package builds upon the Premium package, adding a power trunklid, premium leather upholstery, additional driver seat adjustments (thigh cushion extension and side bolsters), matte-wood and aluminum trim, a head-up display, a 9.2-inch touchscreen, a Lexicon 17-speaker audio system, and a carbon-dioxide sensor for the climate control system. Choosing this package deletes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The G80 5.0 Ultimate has all the content of the Ultimate package (minus the sunshades), a 5.0-liter V8, 19-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips and illuminated doorsill plates.
The 2017 Genesis G80 has two engine choices: a 3.8-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8. Both are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The V6-powered G80 comes standard with rear-wheel drive but can be fitted with optional all-wheel drive. The V8 is rear-drive only.
The 2017 Genesis G80 3.8 comes with a 3.8-liter V6 rated at 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the rear-drive G80 3.8 is 22 mpg in combined driving (18 city/28 highway). Selecting all-wheel drive drops that to 19 mpg combined (16 city/25 highway).
The Genesis G80 5.0 has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg combined (15 city/23 highway).
At the Edmunds test track, a 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which is slower than average for a midsize luxury sedan with a base engine. The V8 is quicker at 5.3 seconds.
The 2017 G80 isn't a sport sedan, even with the 5.0 Ultimate's engine and transmission control parameters set to Sport mode. But most drivers should still be quite happy with the way it drives. Around turns, it responds precisely to steering inputs and has adequate grip for a sedan of its size, despite its hefty weight. The ride quality is decent enough, and it's never unruly, but it doesn't do as good of a job soaking up bumps as the luxury class leaders. The cabin, on the other hand, is impressively quiet, and you'll be hard-pressed to hear wind whoosh, tire whine or engine noise.
Both engines feel strong when it comes to acceleration. The V8 model clearly has more low-end punch and is the dictionary definition of a "smooth operator." From a numbers standpoint, this is the engine that keeps the Genesis competitive with other luxury sedans. But the V6 is strong enough that we think most shoppers will be quite happy with its performance.
Thanks to a long-for-the-class wheelbase, the 2017 G80 has a roomy cabin, with more interior volume than many rival sedans. This translates to an abundance of rear seat legroom, yet headroom in the rear remains at a bit of a premium, one of the few criticisms we can level at this palpably high-class cabin. The one other criticism is that although the front seats are highly adjustable, they aren't as comfortable over the long haul as the ones found in several rivals.
Materials on the dash, doors and seats are as good as any in the class, and there's not a visible interior piece or panel with even a whiff of cost-cutting. Capping it off is a meticulous level of assembly: Every panel and piece inside the G80 fits with intense precision that matches just about any premium sedan you'd care to compare from Germany or Japan.
Designers took a minimalist approach to the dashboard and center console, and we like how it brings a distinct airiness to the cabin. The center stack and center console aren't overwrought with buttons, controls or busy shapes. There's everything you need, but it's never in your way and never cluttered. We particularly like the simplicity and straightforward operation of the rotary-dial input for the navigation system.
Like the cabin, the trunk is expansive with a generous opening for easy loading. At 15.3 cubic feet, it's large for the segment.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.