Over two years ago, I spent some time in then redesigned Hyundai Genesis. Unlike most of the test vehicles that come with everything minus the kitchen sink, the Genesis 3.8 I had was a base model with no options. It would prove to be “a damn fine automobile” as it offered many of items and driving experience you would expect in a luxury vehicle, minus the price tag. Since then, Hyundai has spun off Genesis into its own brand and the vehicle wearing this name has gotten a new one, G80. When it was dropped off for a week’s long evaluation, I had to do a double take since it looked exactly the same as the model I drove back in late 2014. It was only when I looked around and saw changes to the interior and the HTRAC badge on the trunk lid did I realize the wool wasn’t being pulled over my eyes.
The name might be the only significant change anyone will be able to point out with the G80, as the rest of it is still much the same as the 2015 Genesis. The only real changes between the two are new a grille insert featuring a radar module and HID headlights.
At least the interior is slightly different. Some new trim materials such as matte wood and higher quality leather upholstery help make the G80 become a special place to sit in. That higher quality leather is only available when you order the Ultimate package.
One other item the Ultimate package brings is a larger 9.2-inch HD touchscreen with a revamped infotainment system. A handsome, yet simple interface provides one of most user-friendly systems we have ever come across. It doesn’t hurt there are multiple ways of controlling the system such as using the touchscreen, a control knob in the center console, or the redundant buttons on the center stack. A big downside to this system is there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. If you really want that, you’ll need to skip the Ultimate package and stick with the smaller 8-inch screen. I’m hoping this gets addressed with the 2018 model.
Also, would it kill anyone at Genesis to add more USB ports?! There is only one in the entire vehicle which will cause arguments to happen on long trips.
Otherwise, a lot of the traits that I liked in the previous Genesis remain in the G80 such as supportive front seats, roomy back seat, and high build quality.
Power in my tester comes from a 3.8L V6 engine delivering 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to either the rear-wheels or in my case, an optional HTRAC all-wheel drive system. A 5.0L V8 offering up 420 horsepower is available as an option.
Despite what the numbers say, the 3.8 doesn’t feel quick. A curb weight of 4,453 lbs for our test vehicle robs a fair amount of the V6’s performance.
On the upside, the V6 is very refined with low levels of NVH. The engine also never feels like that it is running out of breath under acceleration.
Fuel economy is disappointing with EPA figures of 16 City/25 Highway/19 Combined for the V6 HTRAC model. I saw an average of 20.4 mpg for the week.
Genesis didn’t mess with the G80’s suspension tuning which is a very good thing. It still excels at smoothing over bumps and road imperfections. One improvement I would make is adding a little bit noise isolation. There was a fair amount of road noise that came into the cabin.
If you’re looking for something exciting to drive in the class, I would say skip the G80. The soft suspension tuning leads to a fair amount of body roll when entering a corner a bit too enthusiastically.
The price has crept up since the Genesis became the G80. Compared to the 2015 model I drove with a base price of $38,000, the 2017 G80 starts at $41,400. Add HTRAC and price creeps up to $43,900. Our test G80 3.8 HTRAC with the Premium and Ultimate packages came to an as-tested price of $53,800. Before you have a heart attack on the price, this is quite the value when you take into consideration what you get and the impressive build quality. But I think the best flavor of the G80 is with the Premium package. Skip the HTRAC AWD and you’ll end with a well-equipped luxury model for just a hair over $46,000.
While Genesis is still trying to find its place in the luxury class market, the G80 shows that the brand is going in the right direction. Start with a good base and make some slight improvements to it. Yes, the G80 needs to lose some weight to help with the performance of the V6 and fuel economy. But if there anything I have learned with Hyundai and Kia, they are fast learners and make the necessary improvements. I wouldn’t be shocked if Genesis goes the same way.
Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G80, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: 3.8 HTRAC
Engine: 3.8L DOHC 24-valve V6 with CVVT
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 293 @ 5,000
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
Curb Weight: 4,453 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
Base Price: $43,900
As Tested Price: $53,800 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
Premium Package - $4,750.00
Ultimate Package - $4,200.00