Class: Premium Large Car
Miles driven: 345
Fuel used: 18.6 gallons
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|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 & 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.
Real-world fuel economy: 18.5 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 18/26/21 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas required
Base price: $67,650 (not including $1025 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Himalayan Gray paint ($400)
Price as tested: $69,075
The great: Value pricing for a luxury-brand large car; cabin quietness; smooth, satisfying acceleration
The good: Bold, distinctive styling; comfortable seats; some unique tech features
The not so good: Ride composure isn’t quite as refined as class leaders’; some complicated controls; V6’s fuel economy isn’t impressive; less trunk space than you’d expect for a large sedan
Once you get past the seeming oxymoron of bargain luxury, it’s possible to see that the Genesis G80 has lots of it. You can get a Standard-trim rear-wheel-drive 4-cylinder for less than $49,000 with delivery, but if you don’t need a trunk-floor tray, winter floor mats, mudguards, wheel locks, rear-bumper protective appliqué, first-aid kit, or paint in a color other than Alta White, a Prestige-grade all-wheel-drive V6 can be yours for $68,675. Even the cheapest models of any other premium-large sedan don’t start nearly as low.
The G80 is fully redone for 2021 with a lower, lighter body that incorporates more aluminum; refreshed styling (you couldn’t ignore the huge shieldlike grille even if you tried); two new engines; and an infotainment system that must be better because it’s been made more complicated to operate. Having first tested a 2.5T Standard with rear drive, Consumer Guide was next able to sample the other extreme, an AWD 3.5T Prestige that cost $69,075 with only Himalayan Gray paint added.
With prices that begin at $60,125, the chief distinction of V6 G80s is their 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged dual-exhaust engine that produces 375 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 391 lb-ft of torque between 1300 and 4500 revs. Without appreciably disturbing the luxurious cabin quiet, this engine delivers smooth and ready power in street or expressway driving as it works in concert with an 8-speed automatic transmission. “Comfort,” “Smart”, “Eco,” “Sport,” and “Custom” drive modes adjust transmission mapping and throttle responsiveness (and sometimes steering and ride characteristics). The 3.5 clearly jumps to attention quicker in Sport. EPA estimates for fuel economy are 18 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined, but this reviewer managed 28.3 from a 62-mile stint composed of 40 percent city-type driving.
The 3.5s come in a choice of Standard or Prestige trim levels, skipping the intermediate Advanced grade available for the 2.5 line. Genesis actually considers these to be “packages,” and despite similar names the packages aren’t composed exactly the same in the 4- and 6-cylinder cars. Exclusive to the V6 cars is an electronically controlled suspension with “Road Preview” that uses a camera to scout the road surface immediately ahead and provide the dampers with the information needed to adjust to those conditions for ride comfort. Though it’s CG’s opinion that ride and handling in the G80 aren’t as highly developed as in other cars in the segment, the 3.5 inches a little closer with its adaptive dampers. Steering is precise if a little numb, but it firms up commendably in Sport.
Other standard equipment in 3.5Ts includes LED exterior lighting, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power trunklid and door closure, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, “smart posture care,” integrated memory seating, power-rear and manual rear-side window shades, adjustable ambient lighting, matte-finish wood trim, trizone climate control, navigation, Lexicon 21-speaker audio, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, wireless charger, and digital key. A bevy of driving aids runs to forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, adaptive cruise control, driver-attention warning, high-beam assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, Highway Driving Assist II, safe-exit assist, and rear-occupant alert. The cruise control uses machine learning to adapt to the driver’s style but the manufacturer advises that it is only for highway use on fairly straight roads, and it does not have automatic stopping capability. Lane-centering Highway Driving Assist II and Road Preview come with similar cautions about their use in poor weather or road-visibility conditions.
Prestige equipment comes for an additional $5400 and adds 20-inch alloy wheels (in place of 19-inchers), an upholstery upgrade to Nappa leather, microfiber suede headliner, 16-way power driver’s seat, automatic seat-adjusting front-passenger “walk in,” heated steering wheel and rear seats, 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster, Ergo motion seat, and head-up display. Added driver aids are a surround-view monitor, turn-signal-linked blind-spot monitor that shows in the instrument cluster, remote smart parking assist, reverse parking collision-avoidance assist, and forward attention warning.
Apart from the richer surfaces and additional tech items, the V6 had as much room and utility as the base G80 previously tested. There is ample passenger space on comfortable seats in both rows, with the potential for 3-wide adult seating in back. Plenty of glass area makes for good driver vision. Personal items can be stowed in a large glove box, modest split-door console box, covered bin with USB inputs at the front of the console, pockets in all doors, hard-sided pouches on the backs of the front seats, and an enclosed cubby in the pull-down rear armrest. Pairs of covered cup holders are found in the console and rear armrest.
A 14.5-inch touchscreen atop the dashboard for things like audio and navigation is a little busy, but its biggest problem is a new remote controller on the console that uses a mix of turning and tapping to realize its potential. Fortunately, being a touchscreen, the display can be directly contacted, which seems lots easier for quick audio settings and other changes. Steering-wheel buttons and voice commands are also at the driver’s disposal. Big external dials to make for easy temperature settings on the climate-control panel, but touchpad contacts for other functions can be hard to read in certain light conditions.
The trunk offers 13 cubic feet of flat-floored cargo space, but that’s four cubic feet less than in most BMW 3-Series compact sedans—and even fractionally less than you’ll find in the BMW 330e hybrid that sacrifices some capacity to its electrified architecture. The gooseneck hinges are covered. Net pouches at the sides are available to hold incidentals and a central pass-through accommodates long objects. However, as in most larger sedans, the rear seat backs do not retract to expand the cargo area.
As a fledgling luxury brand, Genesis is trying hard to show it understands what luxury-car buyers want and need. With its attractive pricing it is making it easier for them to give the brand a try.
2021 Genesis G80 3.5T Prestige Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)
2021 Genesis G80 3.5T
2021 Genesis G80 3.5T