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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD

      Sport or 'Sport'?

    Sport is one of the most misused terms in the automotive segment. It could mean that a vehicle has been given a once-over in terms of the engine and suspension to give it an edge. But it could also mean that a vehicle has been gifted a body kit to make it look sporty. This brings us to the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport. Which version of sport did they decide to go with?

    • Exterior changes on the G80 Sport are small with a copper grille surround, mesh grille, a more aggressive front bumper, 19-inch multi-spoke wheels, quad-exhaust tips, and exclusive colors like the Polar Ice on this vehicle. The small changes really transform the G80 into something a bit sinister.
    • Inside, the G80 Sport swaps the standard steering wheel for a three-spoke sport version, new transmission selector, aluminum pedals, and carbon-fiber accents. The rest of the interior is standard G80 with a clean dash, controls within easy reach, and plenty of rear legroom. Headroom is at a premium due to the standard sunroof.
    • Passengers in the front get a set of sport seats with increased bolstering. It makes a huge difference as you don’t feel like you’re going to fall out on a twisty road. The seats also retain the long road-trip comfort that I have praised previously in the G80 3.8.
    • Sport models come with a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system and controller knob. This system is towards the top of the class with an intuitive interface and fast processing for various functions. One of biggest complaints with the last G80 I reviewed was the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. This has been addressed in 2018 model as both come standard.
    • Genesis has also added a second USB port for those sitting in the front which means you’re not fighting with your passenger as to who gets to charge their phone. Now, they just need to add some for those in the back seat.
    • Power comes from a new 3.3L twin-turbo V6 engine producing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with an eight-speed automatic and in my test car, Genesis’ HTRAC all-wheel drive system. Rear-wheel drive is standard.
    • When you step on the accelerator, you might not think that a turbo engine resides under the hood as there is no turbo lag or a deaden throttle response. The engine just gets up and goes on its merry way. It would have been nice if there was some sort of exhaust note to go with the new engine.
    • No complaints about the eight-speed automatic. It delivers smooth and quick shifts.
    • Fuel economy is still a weak point for Genesis. The Sport with AWD is rated by the EPA at 17 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed around 19.8 mpg with a 60/40 mix of city and highway driving. Opting for RWD only boosts the highway figure to 25.
    • For the suspension, Genesis retuned the Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system to help minimize body motions. It makes some difference when the car is put into Sport mode and dampers firm up to reduce body motion. But it cannot fully overcome the biggest problem with the G80, weight. The Sport AWD tester tips the scales 4,674 pounds. Sticking with RWD only drops overall weight by 155 pounds. It is noticeable around corners as the G80 doesn’t glide, but lumbers.
    • The steering would have benefited greatly from having a bit more weight and feel.
    • On the upside, the G80 Sport’s ride is surprisingly smooth. Despite the larger wheels and altered CDC system, most bumps and imperfections were turned into mere ripples. 
    • The Sport sits between the 3.8L and 5.0L in the G80 lineup. Pricing begins at $55,250 for the RWD model and $57,750 for the HTRAC AWD model. This particular test car came to an as-tested price of $58,725 after destination. This is an impressive value when you take into consideration the long list of standard equipment - heated and ventilated front seats, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, color heads-up display, LED head and taillights, sunshades for the rear passengers, multi-view camera system, and adaptive cruise control. Plus, all Genesis models have a 3 year/36,000 mile complimentary maintenance plan and service valet which pickups your vehicle to be serviced.
    • For the most part, the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport delivers on ‘sport’ with an aggressive exterior and punchy twin-turbo V6. Ultimately, the handling is where the G80 Sport falters somewhat. I think if Genesis was able to put the G80 on a bit of a diet, it would do wonders. But that doesn’t look like that will happen until the next-generation model that is expected to arrive in the next few years.

    Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G80 Sport, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Genesis
    Model: G80
    Trim: Sport AWD
    Engine: 3.3L Twin Turbo DOHC 24-Valve V6 with D-CVVT
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
    Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300-4,500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/24/20
    Curb Weight: 4,674 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
    Base Price: $57,750
    As Tested Price: $58,725 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge)

    Options: N/A

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    So far I have to say I like this look the best of all the Genesis auto's so far. Decent exterior look and interior. Nice job Genesis

    @William Maley The openings on the lower front end are they just open to the underside or do they actually direct air to cool the brakes?

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    I drove one of these last month and really liked it. My main objection was to the infotainment interface.  It would definitely be on my list in this segment.  I drove it back to back with a CT6 and Lexus LS.  I'd probably pick the CT6 because I'm in love with that car right now, but that is not a poor reflection on the G80.

    Of the Koreans, I wish Kia would do a K900 5 liter with AWD. I think that could potentially get me into a Kia.

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    i drove this body style a couple years back or so and was not at all impressed, it was sloppy heavy and sluggish, but maybe they have improved some things.  and it wasn't tricked out like this one.

    thing is, hyundai will keep improving their stuff and someday their low costs will help them takeover more and more segments.  at some point their interiors will be better than cadillacs too considering how cadillac can't up their interior game.

    Edited by regfootball
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    It is near 4,700 lbs?  Holy crap, this weighs more than an AWD V6 S-class and the S-class is a lot bigger car.

    The real problem with the G80 is the price tag , $57,000 is way too much for that interior.  What I don't get about these sort of upstart luxury brands like Genesis, or even some others that have been around, is why don't they make a good interior?  Has anyone at Genesis ever sat in an Audi A4?  Because I have sat in the G80 and the A4, and the A4 is a nicer car with better build quality.  And Genesis is the upstart, they are trying to win people over, they should be offering more for less money.  The G70 has a weak interior also, really if this G80 was the $35,000 G70's interior, then they have an argument against the Germans.  But you have to fix the interiors, Lincoln is sort of figuring that out now, but they have horrible underpinnings and horrible brand image to overcome.

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