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First Drive: 2018 Genesis G80

Low-priced alternative to European models.

by on Mar.14, 2018

The 2018 Genesis G80 offers performance, elegance and comfort at a lower price than Euro competitors.

New vehicles have become so sophisticated, so well-built and so expensive, the differentiators of what used to be called a mass-market car and a luxury sedan have blurred and faded away.

As the lines blur, it has created an opportunity for a new brand, such as Genesis, Hyundai’s fledgling luxury brand, to make a name for itself.

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Indeed, the formula behind Genesis is appealing elegance. It simply calls for building a car so good that it will quickly meet the demands or desires of luxury buyers while offering them something different and fresh and unbound by stuffy tradition at the same.

It is all a matter of execution and judging from our test drive, Genesis executed amazingly well. The G80 has a solid feel and spacious comfort that traditionally been among the defining characteristics of luxury sedans going 100 years.

You get in to the G80 and your senses immediately to tell you that you are sitting in an expensive automobile. On the road, the cabin is very quiet, reducing the stress of driving and the interior is nicely furnished with a mixture of interesting and luxurious materials that fit into a neatly done design scheme that emphasizes the comfort of the driver and passenger as well as underscoring the car’s tasteful sense of luxury.

The new G80 offers top-of-the-line handling and performance in its class.

(Genesis setting up standalone dealer network. Click Here for the story.)

The interior is also equipped with the latest in automotive technology, including bluetooth connectivity as well as the vehicle information center in the center of instrument clusters and easy to use entertainment and navigation screen in the center stack. The advanced technology onboard the Genesis G80 includes complimentary map updates to the vehicle’s navigation system for three years. The updates are available annually as part of your routine maintenance visit.

In addition, the Genesis G80 comes with a full suite of driver assistance technology, including automatic braking, warning if the driver’s attention to the road slips, blind-spot detection, lane departure warnings and cross-traffic alert to complement the car’s back-up camera. The driver assistance features, coupled with the other crash protection features such as a stiff frame, multiple air bags and vehicle stability sensors, have helped the G80 win a five-star safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Genesis, no doubt under formidable tutelage of Peter Schreyer, the Hyundai’s Kia’s formidable chief designer, has come up with an exterior design that is striking, sophisticated and quite contemporary. The result is vehicle with a very handsome face, graceful lines and a substantial amount of curb appeal. The grille is a work of art and the winged Genesis badge, while reminiscent of an Aston Martin badge, certainly adds another touch of elegance to the car’s nicely shaped surfaces.

The Genesis G80 I drove was equipped with a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V6 that produces 311 horsepower, which seemed like more than enough for what is essentially a midsized sedan. The power comes on instantly and is more than ample for passing situations or to get around slower moving traffic under all kinds of conditions. But the fuel economy is so-so at 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg overall.

The interior of the new G80 offers plenty of room and comfort with easy access to the car's technology.

The eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system only added to the car’s sense of sure footedness. The G80 certainly never seemed to miss a shift and in the inclement weather it never slipped or seemed stuck on slick pavement.

(Click Here for details about Genesis’ 3 Series fighter, the G70.)

In addition, the ride and handling is first rate. The roads around Detroit turn treacherous in winter in ways that I am sure impress even the people in charge of highway repair around Moscow, but the Genesis G80 handled the challenge with a great deal of grace and ease.

The car’s steering and brakes are top notch and the suspension also manages turns and rough road surfaces very nicely and very efficiently, delivering a nice comfortable ride. The suspension isn’t as taught as that found in competitive luxury sedans from European brands, such as Mercedes-Benz or BMW, but it delivers quite a comfortable ride.

Overall, the Genesis G80 is strong competitor and at total price of $55,325 for fully equipped model that I drove is challenging well-established European nameplates, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. The European models are far more expensive, which gives the Genesis G80 some daylight.

Genesis is also intent on minimizing the aggravation that comes with owning a vehicle. So customers are offered what Genesis describes as a “worry free ownership” experience, including Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.

Plus, complimentary oil changes every normally scheduled maintenance appointment. Plus, Genesis will perform a remote diagnostic check, pick up your vehicle, send a Courtesy Replacement and return your Genesis during the required service appointments.

(Genesis G90 tops vehicle satisfaction awards. For the story, Click Here.)

The car business is changing rapidly and it pays for carmakers to pamper luxury customers even as the they deliver cars with better ride and handling and new features. The Genesis G80 from Hyundai pushes the competition in a crowded segment.

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One Response to “First Drive: 2018 Genesis G80”

  1. James H. says:

    incorrect
    3.8-liter, twin-turbo V6 that produces 311 horsepower,