Susan Frissell, Editor, Womenwithwheels.com
Much has been said/written about the ever-improved and class-leading Genesis G80, as well as it’s younger sibling, the G70. This writer came close to buying a 2020 G70-and for a decent negotiated price but missed the deadline. And checking the auto dealer’s website after the fact, all 3 available had been sold, over a weekend. Surprisingly, I wasn’t upset, only because I wasn’t 100 percent sure this is the sedan I wanted. I will see how that plays out in the months to come. For the first time in my car-buying life, I’m undecided about which vehicle I want to purchase.
I am enjoying driving the 2021 Genesis G80 3.5T all-wheel-drive, Prestige edition. It ‘s smooth, quiet, comfortable and prestigious, just as its name would suggest. As one who is accustomed to, and prefers a sedan, I’m not 100 percent sure this is the one for me. No fault of its own, to be sure. I’m just not decided about which vehicle to opt for this time around.
What Genesis offers, others lack in today’s car world of sedans. If we were to believe the media (??), we’d think NO ONE is buying a sedan. To be sure, most are opting for this odd thing called a SUV. I‘m not interested, so keep my eye on other choices out there. I find myself still wanting a sedan and some have more interior room than some of the SUV’s on the market.
Driving the Genesis G80 did elicit a few stares. Was it the look of this impressive, rather large sedan, or was it “What make is that car?” Hard to tell, of course, No question, it is a head-turner. There is little that is negative that one can say about the 2021 G80, or the G70 sedans. As wonderful as the G80 is to drive, my first thought was “does it seem dated?” Reminiscent of older sedans (Cadillac, Lincoln, etc.) that is, if we believe what the ‘experts’ tell us, are passee, the G80 is beautiful, but is it a vehicle people want now?
Impressive in just about every way, the 2021 G80 3.5T AWD we drove was the top-of-the-line Prestige model. In Himalayan Gray, with black interior, it is a beautiful sedan with understated curves. Very quiet and smooth. We thought the dash and the large screen weren’t as upscale a look as expected. The controls for operating the G80 take some time to get used to. Googling the G80 sedan will bring up the GV80 SUV more often than not, which makes us wonder, will they discontinue the sedan (G80), or change its name.
The Genesis brand, introduced in 2017, is part of Hyundai. Hyundai speaks reliability, up-to-date features and looks, and a long-time warranty. Pricing is good on Hyundai models and you know you’ll get quality. The South Korean automaker decided a few years ago to make a play for the luxury car market, and although it’s been a while, is finally getting some recognition. Think Equus and Genesis full-size luxury sedans. A competitive market, the luxury sedan still attracts a lot of buyers: the latest technology and safety equipment, the promise of comfort and luxury. Lots of good competition in this arena from those manufacturers who have been around for decades; think Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, etc. Big players.
It would appear that Hyundai has ‘refined’ and redefined the luxury market. We especially liked the side lights flickering on when unlocking the car with the fob. Nice touch. The new grille-larger-took a little getting used to. The lines are curvy and headlights noticeable. You like it or you don’t.
Our G80 Prestige sedan came equipped with the 3.5T engine, twin-turbo that takes premium unleaded gasoline. Also available in the 2.5L I4,as well, teamed with the 8-speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters. A 5-passenger sedan, there is plenty of leg room for all passengers. The seats are leatherette surface, not ‘real’ leather, but most won’t know the difference. They are generous and very comfortable. Front seats are heated and offer the Smart Posture Care System, as well as integrated memory (2 settings). Dual muffler, full LED rear combination lamps and high-beam assist are standard. The outside mirrors are, of course, power-folding and include a turn signal. The interior is well lit, door panels are perforated leatherette, and a metal door scuff.
The large touchscreen, at 14.5 inches includes all one needs to operate this sedan. If you’re small of stature, you may have difficulty seeing over-not the steering wheel-over the touchscreen! It stretches across the dash, below the windshield. Complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, one operates the infotainment by moving a circular controller on the center console. We ended up operating the sound entertainment via the buttons on the steering wheel. Much easier. It seemed more complicated than I would prefer: the controller needing to be pressed down to advance the track?
The G80 drives flawlessly, very quiet and comfortable, barely noticing any bumps in the road. It does feel like a large car, though, and less sporty than this writer would like. The 3.5 T twin-turbo engine is plenty for this large sedan and smoothly goes through the gears. Pedal to the medal it takes off just right….and so smoothly. Three-hundred-seventy horsepower is perfect; 10 more horsepower than the previous generation.
Before when few knew of, or recognized the Hyundai Genesis G sedans, they were sitting on lots. Buyers seem to be noticing it.
Take a test-drive. You’ll be sold.
Pricing: $67,650, subtotal $63,050, designation charges $1,025; total $69,075. Pricing $47,700-$62,250
Engine: 2.5L I4 T-GDI, Twin-turbo, V6, HP: 300-375
Transmission: 8-speed AT SBW w/paddle shifters, AWD
Wheels: 20-inch alloy
Tires: All-season 245/40R20; rear: 275/35R20
Weight: 4,195 lbs.
Wheelbase: 118.5 in.
Length: 196.7 in.
Height: 57.7 in.
Width: 75.8 in.
Seating: 5 passenger
Fuel tank capacity: 17.2 gal-19.3 gal., premium unleaded
EPA Fuel economy: 18/26 mpg. Up to 23/32 mpg.
Other model years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Warranty: Drivetrain: 10 yrs/100,000 miles; Corrosion: 7 yrs/unlimited; Basic: 5 yrs./60,000-miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 yrs/unlimited