Aug
04
2018 Genesis G80 Sport

2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD in Sevilla Red

2015 Audi Q52018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD

Class: Premium Large Car

Miles driven: 463

Fuel used: 30.5 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 17.1 mpg

CG Report Card
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Room and ComfortA-
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishA-
Fuel EconomyB-
ValueA
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyA
Tall GuyA-

Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 17/24/20 (city, highway, combined)

Base price: $57,750 (not including $975 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: None

Price as tested: $58,725

 

Quick Hits

The great: Value for money, passenger comfort

The good: Power, cabin appointments

The not so good: Fuel economy

More G80 price and availability information

 

John Biel

Year two of Hyundai’s Genesis luxury-brand experiment commences with a host of standard-equipment changes for the G80 series, plus the addition of a new Sport model with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and other performance enhancements.

The G80 is the smaller of the two sedans that launched the marque for 2017—though “smaller” is a relative term. The 80’s 118.5-inch wheelbase, 196.5-inch overall length, and 74.5-inch width are, respectively, 5.9, 8.4, and one inches less than the same dimensions on the G90, but by Consumer Guide®’s yardstick that’s still enough to keep the “junior” Genesis in the premium large-car class.

What is Genesis? Meet Hyundai’s New Premium-Vehicle Brand

2018 Genesis G80 Sport in Sevilla Red

The Sport trim level joins the G80 lineup for the 2018 model year. Along with a turbocharged V6 engine, the Sport enjoys wheels and trim elements that are unique to the model.

The 2018 Sport that Consumer Guide® editors tested brings a third engine choice into the G80 fold. Its 3.3-liter engine makes 365 horsepower, which slots between the 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 and the 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8—both naturally aspirated—that are carried over from the 2017 models. A shift-by-wire 8-speed automatic transmission completes the powerteam.

While it cedes 55 horsepower to the V8 G80, the Sport is its virtual equal in torque, generating 376 lb-ft at 1300 to 4500 rpm. Especially with the “Intelligent Drive Mode” selector tapped into “Sport” (with its changes to throttle behavior and shift points) the G80 Sport jumps away quickly from a stoplight, and has a determined burst of power even when already at highway speeds. The Sport mode also brings a change in exhaust note that’s got a bit of a grumble to it. The transmission kicks down smartly for highway passing. It doesn’t shift as seamlessly as some premium-brand transmissions, but gear changes are never abrupt or clunky. The EPA estimates that the twin-turbo V6 gets 17 mpg in city driving, 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 combined. This tester saw 17.7 mpg in a 174-mile stint with 60 percent city-type driving. There is an “Eco” mode that tempers performance a bit in exchange for prospective improvements in fuel economy.

Test Drive: 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate

Genesis G80 Sport Cabin 2018

The G80 cabin is roomy and nicely finished. Aggressive drivers may wish for firmer, more supportive seat bolsters.

Among the updates to the G80 line for ’18 are exterior modifications to the headlights, lower grille, and front and rear fasciae; a new instrument cluster, shift knob, rearview mirror, analog clock, and premium speaker design; standard Android Auto/ Apple CarPlay capability; a USB charge port in the console box; and the addition of pedestrian detection and driver-attention alert as standard equipment. Aside from its engine, the Sport brings an adaptive “Continuous Damping Control” suspension and 19-inch dark-alloy wheels on staggered-width low-profile tires. Appearance distinctions are a diamond-pattern grille; dark-chrome trim and copper-colored accents around the headlamps and on the wheels; leather sport seats and steering wheel with copper contrast stitching; a black suede headliner, carbon-fiber interior trim, and bright-faced pedals; and several Sport-specific paint colors. (The Sevilla Red on the test car was one of them.)

2018 Genesis G80 Trunk

The roomy trunk is made more practical by a large decklid opening.

The all-wheel-drive Sport tested by CG clocked in at $58,725 with delivery, $2500 more than its rear-drive companion would cost. At that price it’s essentially complete—the Sport is outfitted with the extensive contents of the Premium and Ultimate option packages available for the 3.8-liter G80—with only a few stand-alone port-installed accessories on offer.

Even as an ostensibly sporty model, this newest of the G80s has ride characteristics that hew closer to comfort than canyon-carving. Bump absorption is pretty good. Steering flirts with numbness unless Sport mode is selected, in which case there’s a pinch of added resistance that makes the steering feel more direct. The cabin is commendably quiet, too.

The seats—an attractive two-tone-gray in the test car—are quite comfortable, but lack the side bolstering a sedan called Sport needs to truly live up to its name. Spongy soft-touch material extends well down the doors (storage pockets are lined), and also across the dash and parts of the console. Leg- and headroom are good at all four corners. Even with a substantial floor tunnel, a third occupant could fit in the middle of the rear seat. The only problem there would be headroom; this 5-foot-10.5 reviewer’s head was up to the headliner.

Test Drive: 2017 Genesis G90 3.3T

A 9.2-inch touchscreen displays navigation, audio settings, and the multiview camera. There is a console-based media controller, the kind of thing that tends to be distracting to use on the fly, but at least presets on the 17-speaker surround-sound audio system can be manually tuned and stored with a screen touch, and manipulated through steering-wheel buttons. The dual-zone climate system is managed through rotating temperature dials and push buttons on a bank below the touchscreen. Driving controls are augmented by a color head-up display.

Genesis 2018 Badge

Formerly known as the Hyundai Genesis sedan, the G80 gained its new name for 2017 when Hyundai launched its Genesis luxury-brand division.

The glove box is big enough to hold the considerable stack of reading material that explains the car’s operation. The split-top console box houses a USB charge port and power point. Auxiliary and USB input ports reside in a covered bin at the front of the console that also holds the Qi wireless smartphone charger. A storage pocket is found in each door, and hinged pouches are affixed to the backs of the front seats. Covered cup holders are provided in the console and in the pull-down back-seat armrest. Rear seat-heater controls and a button to raise or lower the rear-window sunshade are also in the armrest. Space under the hands-free power trunklid is fairly generous. It will have to do—as in many large cars, the rear seats do not fold for additional cargo capacity, but there is a large central pass-through for long objects.

For room and luxury at the price, the G80 makes a worthy choice for owners who may not feel the need to flaunt a famous nameplate, and the liberal Hyundai/Genesis warranty takes some of the risk out of giving this segment newcomer a try.

2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD in Sevilla Red

Compared with the flagship Genesis G90, the G80 has a shorter wheelbase and is a little shorter overall. Despite being the “lesser” Genesis model, it is still very much a plush, plus-sized sedan.

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