Value is a loaded word in the world of luxury goods, an almost pejorative classifier that suggests an object can't be truly luxurious if it needs to make concessions for the sake of saving money. That's decidedly not the case, however, with the 2018 Genesis G80. Although the G80 represents a tremendous value among luxury sedans, value isn't its only story.
Even in base trim, the 2018 Genesis G80 comes with enough premium features to feel like a proper luxury sedan: Leather upholstery, heated front seats and navigation are included as standard, for instance. Two options packages, Premium and Ultimate, load up the base 3.8 model with even more desirable features like a panoramic sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power trunklid, and upgraded audio systems. Opting for all-wheel drive adds heated rear seats (if neither of the option packages are selected) and a heated steering wheel.
The next step up is the new G80 3.3T Sport model. It gets both of the above option packages plus a more powerful engine, nicer wheels, added styling flourishes and an adaptive suspension. It costs a few thousand dollars more than a fully optioned 3.8 model, but for performance-minded drivers, it's likely worth it.
At the top of the heap is the 5.0 Ultimate. Like it sounds, it offers all of the features from the optional Ultimate package, but wraps it in a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 420 horsepower. It also includes a few special touches such as illuminated doorsill plates and a suede headliner. All-wheel drive is also available for the 5.0 Ultimate.
It's not just the powerful engine or sportier performance that makes the G80 an exceptional buy in this class. There's also an impressive level of connected and convenience tech, starting with a choice of an 8-inch or a 9.2-inch touchscreen navigation and infotainment systems, multiview camera, Apple and Android smartphone integration, and complimentary telematics services. These are in addition to driver assistance features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure and lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and even a drowsy driver alert.
The G80 is also one of the roomiest sedans in its class, sitting atop a longer wheelbase than others, which allows it to offer a cabin with more volume and passenger space. With its wealth of features, optional performance levels and high-class refinement, all for thousands less than similarly equipped competitors, the Genesis G80 isn't only about value, but it's 2018 genesis g80 sport first drive
It's often said that history repeats itself, and this scene looks familiar. Back in the late 1980s, a few Japanese manufacturers collectively set their sights on the European-dominated luxury vehicle market. Those Japanese brands started conservatively with a single model, and now nearly 30 years later they're the household brands you know as Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.
Hyundai's new luxury Genesis brand is currently undergoing the same creationary phase. In 2016, it rolled out two models under its own name — the G80 (formerly the Hyundai Genesis) and the G90 (formerly the Hyundai Equus). The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport is a new submodel of the G80 line that receives a sprinkling of performance pixie dust similar to Lexus' F Sport or Cadillac's V-Sport lines.
What Defines the G80 Sport?
The G80 Sport borrows much of its running gear from the larger G90 sedan. This includes the G90's 365-horsepower, 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that sends power to the rear wheels or all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The G80 Sport also gets a retuned suspension with stiffer springs as well as a version of the G90's continuous damping control (CDC), providing two damping settings, one that prioritizes ride comfort and the other for sportier handling.
On the aesthetic side, the changes are noticeable and effective. Sharper front fascia lines frame a new honeycomb grille design, while the standard G80's lower LED foglights have been dropped in favor of new vertical air curtain slits that are said to help with front brake cooling. The usual brightwork — such as window surrounds, mirrors, headlight housings and taillight covers — have all been darkened, smoke-tinted or painted black for a stealthy undertone. The front of the car wears an assortment of dark copper trim pieces, from the front grille surround to the headlight bezels, regardless of exterior paint color. They work well in most conditions, but they occasionally look garish when paired with certain colors (such as blue) in the wrong light.
All Sport models roll on attractive 19-inch alloy wheels that come standard with all-season tires. Ventilated brake discs equipped with more heat-resistant pads for improved stopping performance are also part of the package. Other details that help complete the Sport's makeover include cutlines in the lower side rockers below the doors, for added character to the flanks, and a mildly restyled rear fascia where quad exhaust tips poke out through honeycomb surrounds on either side of a decorative rear diffuser.
How Sporty Is the Sport?
Mash the gas from a stop, and a swell of low-end torque chirps the rear tires off the line. The Sport's twin-turbo V6 puts out the same 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet found in the G90, but in this application the engineers managed to coax a burlier sound out of it without overselling the sport factor. Comparing power-to-weight ratios across the G80 line, the 5.0-liter V8-powered car still has the fewest pounds to pull per pony, but the flexible power of this V6 will leave few people missing the extra cylinders.
The Sport's 16-way adjustable driver seat features more aggressive lateral bolstering and can be molded to deliver surprising levels of comfort and support. The steering wheel rim is thicker than in the standard model with lovely contours that feel great, while the wheel-mounted paddle shifters are more substantial than those of some current European competitors.
Even in the default drive mode before taking the first real corner, the suspension feels noticeably different. The Sport's suspension springs are about 10 percent stiffer in front and 19 percent stiffer in the rear compared to a V8-powered G80. The ride isn't harsh, but it is busier, so luxury seekers should know there is some tradeoff in comfort even with the Sport's special adjustable dampers.
Our love affair with the steering began to fade during the twistier part of the drive route. At first we thought it was one of the active driving aids trying to help us negotiate a turn and overassisting our steering inputs as we entered a corner. But then we turned off all driver-assist systems and experienced the same unnatural sensation, multiple times, in different test cars. We think it has to do with the calibration of the electric power steering, possibly something that could be updated down the line.
Selecting Sport mode, the G80 becomes more buttoned down and responsive to commands. We wouldn't go out of our way to seek out canyon roads with it, but it does handle itself well should the opportunity present itself. Push the pace a bit more, and the auto-retracting seat belts will begin to tighten across your chest like a jockey tugging on the reins. Words aren't always required to get a message across.
Akin to a tasting menu at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Genesis has preordered the accoutrements for all G80 Sport owners. Customers get to pick the exterior and interior color combinations, rear- or all-wheel drive, and that's it.
This approach drastically reduces the number of variations of G80 Sport Genesis to assemble, and it simplifies pricing: $56,225 for the rear-wheel-drive G80 Sport; $58,725 for one with all-wheel drive. And once people spend any amount of time in the car with all the options, it's not often they find themselves thinking, "I wish this car had fewer options." The strategy is sound.
The G80 Sport's equipment list is a lengthy one, but a few of the standout features include adaptive LED headlights, carbon-fiber and aluminum interior trim, a microfiber suede headliner, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, a robust 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, and a full suite of active driver-assist aids including a handy 360-degree camera system.
With a battleship's worth of options, driver-assist systems and media-related functions, you might expect the G80's user interface to be a labyrinth of menus and frustration — but it isn't. Instead, there's multifunctional rotary knob that allows drivers to scroll and navigate while on the move, with the redundancy of a touchscreen for those who prefer that interface. There are quick-access buttons for the assist systems to the left of the dash, which makes it easy to toggle them on and off without having to drill down through the menus, as well as a shortcut button for almost everything else on the center console. No user manual required.
This Genesis succeeds in impressing with a dressy exterior and comprehensive equipment list, but earning stars isn't entirely based on the number of courses served. Some of the finer details such as the finish and font of the interior controls lean more Hyundai than they do luxury. Granted, the larger G90 sits further upmarket, but the congruous execution of its interior is something that needs to trickle down to the G80, even if that means sacrificing content.
Nevertheless, Genesis is off to a strong and promising start, and we're guessing it will take far fewer than 30 years for it to achieve household status.
2018 Genesis G80 Overview
The 2018 Genesis G80 is offered in the following submodels: Sedan. Available styles include 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A), 3.3T Sport 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A), and 3.8 4dr Sedan AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A). G80 models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The 2018 G80 comes with rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The 2018 G80 comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
Is the 2018 Genesis G80 a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Genesis G80 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 G80 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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What do people think of the 2018 Genesis G80? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Genesis G80 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 G80 a 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 G80.
Vehicle 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A)
Review If you're looking for a comfortable and quiet luxury sedan but don't want to pay the price of a new Lexus LS 460, take a test drive in this vehicle. Mine's a rear-wheel drive 3.8L V-6, and a single test drive was enough to convince us that we'd be much better of with this car than the 2017 LS 460, which we also test drove. We were replacing a low-mileage 2003 LS 430, and we also own a 2014 ES 300H, so we're very familiar with the Lexus sedans. I feel that Lexus hasn't kept up with the safety and technology features. Perhaps the 2018 Lexus LS will offer them, but it won't be out for at least another 6 or 7 months, and rumor has it that price will increase significantly over the 2017 LS. Things I really like about this car are, first, the large nav screen, which has touch-screen control, making it significantly better than the Lexus infotainment system, with its very awkward interface. I also love the fact that the G80 has four cameras, allowing a birds-eye view around your car when entering or leaving a parking space. Also a plus factor is the recommendation for regular gas. Really, I love too many things to list them all. What I don't love is the relatively poor gas mileage for a car of this type. They need to make it better!
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