2021 Genesis G80
- $45,000 (estimated)
- Summer 2020
What to expect
- Restyled exterior gives new G80 a more distinctive appearance
- New engines are among the most powerful in the class
- New tech features are rare for the class
- Launches the second G80 generation for 2021
What is the G80?
When Hyundai launched the Genesis sedan in 2009, the idea of a Korean luxury automaker was the furthest thing from the public's collective mind. A decade later, Genesis has garnered moderate success as its own brand, and the sedan that started it all has been fully redesigned to take another shot at the establishment. The 2021 Genesis G80 builds on the groundwork laid by its predecessors, offering more technology, driving aids and luxury features than ever before. It also includes the quad headlight design and large grille introduced to the Genesis pantheon by the new GV80 crossover and refreshed G90 sedan.
What's under the G80's hood?
The G80 is powered by your choice of two engines. The previously standard V6 has been replaced by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. While performance figures have not been released yet, this engine is more powerful than the four-cylinder powerplants in other midsize luxury sedans.
As with rivals, the G80 offers an upgraded motor for those craving more performance — a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with 375 hp and 391 lb-ft on tap. Again, this motor produces more power and thrust than the majority of direct rivals. Combined with a weight reduction of up to 243 pounds over the previous model, the new G80 should feel properly quick when you stomp the throttle. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is offered as an option.
How's the G80's interior?
Every successive G80's interior represents a seismic shift over the previous model, and the 2021 G80 is no exception. It bears a striking resemblance to the GV80's cabin, with a low dash, simple climate controls and a dominant 14.5-inch central infotainment screen. Liberal use of leather, wood, aluminum trim and ambient lighting accents give the driving environment a properly luxurious design that looks far more upscale than before. While the roof slopes dramatically in the back, Genesis says lowering the rear bench affords more rear headroom than in the previous G80.
How's the G80's tech?
The G80 features the newest version of the Genesis user interface. If it's the same as the one in the refreshed G90, which it appears to be, the UI is fairly straightforward and easy to learn. The controller features a knurled surround to scroll through the menus, alongside a touchpad that supports written inputs.
The G80 keeps up with the times by including new safety systems aimed at reducing the stress of driving. Front cross-traffic alert and braking is now available, which may halt or lessen the impact of a collision when another car crosses the G80's path while driving ahead. The Highway Driving Assist feature further bolsters automated actions while the G80 is on the highway, such as aiding in lane changes when the turn signal is activated.
Additional features include air bladders that activate in different ways depending on the selected driving mode. You can also back into and out of a parking space, as well as initiate parallel or perpendicular parking maneuvers, remotely using the key fob. There's also the adaptive suspension with Road Preview, which uses information supplied by the front camera to adjust the dampers for upcoming changes in road texture. Only expensive luxury vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class currently use such a system.
How's the G80's storage?
Genesis hasn't yet specified trunk capacity or other storage capabilities offered by the newest G80. From the cabin photo, we spy a storage cubby in front of the cupholders, and the door pockets appear to be well-sized. Genesis could improve upon the previous G80 by adding fold-down rear seats. The previous model only featured a pass-through for long items such as skis.
The redesigned 2021 Genesis G80 looks to close the quality gap between the current model and its more expensive competition. If Genesis nails the price point, the 2021 G80 could be a legitimate contender for the midsize luxury throne.