The 2019 Genesis G80 is spacious for a premium-midsize sedan, remarkably well equipped and built to a suitably high level. Although the driving dynamics don’t match its European rivals, nor does the pricing. If there’s such a thing as a bargain in this vehicle class, the G80 is it.
You'll Like The 2019 Genesis G80 If...
If you’re smart with money and don’t care about badges, you’ll find the Genesis appealing. The feature-to-price ratio of the Genesis G80 is weighted heavily toward the feature side. And that includes several driver aids.
You May Not Like The 2019 Genesis G80 If...
Pedigree counts for something. There’s no escaping the facts that there’s a depth of engineering, obsessive attention to detail and ingenious innovation happening with well-established marques like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. Merely copying the leaders, packing it full of equipment and cutting the price does not make a true luxury car.
A 3.8 Sport package becomes available. It’s a set of cosmetic additions including a dedicated design of 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy-capped pedals and a different steering wheel to the usual 3.8 version, plus some extra features. The 3.8 models also receive an upgraded 8-inch infotainment touch screen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
Five occupants can sit comfortably within a tranquil, leather-lined cabin that’s one of the most spacious in this premium-midsize-sedan category. The front seats are appropriately cushioned and supportive, while outward vision is generally good. The blind-spot monitoring system mitigates any issues with the wide rear pillars. There are many buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel, but then again, the 2019 G80 has many features (such as heated/ventilated seats and a power rear-window shade in the upper trims). And buttons make more ergonomic sense than navigating a bunch of sub-menus with the infotainment-system’s touch screen.
It seems as though the design of the exterior as well as the interior is not so much the product of a strong vision, but more trying to find the most elegant and effective solutions to the challenges of making a car. Yes, there’s an Audi influence here and there, while everything else seems somewhat generic. At least it’s arguably easy on the eye.
Buyers of premium-midsize sedans have many intriguing choices, including those with sporty sides. The Genesis G80 doesn’t really have that kind of side, despite one version being called the 3.3T Sport and now the introduction of a 3.8 Sport package. The selectable driving modes have a Sport setting, but not a Sport Plus setting. Sport mode enlivens the throttle response, raises the automatic transmission’s shift points, makes the suspension a tad firmer and adds weight to the steering (however, don’t mistake weight for feel). Even in this state, the G80 is supple, serene and not particularly sharp. Clicking over to Normal mode finds the G80’s fundamental nature. This is a comfortable car that can please many people, as long as they aren’t enthusiasts.
The 2019 Genesis G80 range starts at $42,725 for the rear-drive 3.8 version, which is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) plus a destination charge of $975. The G80 3.3T Sport starts at $56,225 and the G80 5.0 begins at $57,975. All-wheel drive costs $2,500. These prices are appreciably lower than premium-midsize sedans from the well-established marques, such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS, Cadillac CTS and Volvo S90. Many rivals start with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, not a V6. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Genesis G80. All versions include a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, three years/36,000 miles of free maintenance, valet and concierge services, and roadside assistance. This should help the G80 attain respectable resale values, although the Lexus GS is the top performer in this area.
It might be quicker to say what isn’t standard in the 2019 Genesis G80. Let’s start with the basic rear-drive car that comes with a 3.8-liter V6, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, self-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control with stop/go functionality, leather seating surfaces, hands-free trunk operation, power-steering column adjustment, paddle shifters, 8-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, and smartphone integration. The 3.3T version has more power, a sport suspension, panoramic sunroof, multi-view camera, parking sensors at both ends, nicer leather, 9.2-inch touch screen, head-up display, and a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system. The 5.0 brings V8 power and wood trim, but leaves out the sport suspension.
Oddly, those parking sensors in the 3.3T are optional in the 5.0. All versions of the 2019 G80 may be ordered with all-wheel drive that also adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The 3.8 is eligible for the Sport package mentioned above, which also includes a 14-speaker Lexicon system, parking sensors, ventilated front seats, sunroof, wireless charging and a few other cool items. Or there’s the 3.8 Ultimate package that equips the car in much the same way as the 5.0 model.
ACTIVE SAFETY FEATURES
The more cars with these kinds of features, the safer our roads will be. The Genesis G80 has an array of driver aids that includes forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring and driver-fatigue alerts. And they’re all standard throughout the range.
IN-CABIN CARBON DIOXIDE SENSOR
Colorless and odorless, carbon dioxide (CO2) can quickly cause drowsiness and confusion. The Genesis G80 has the industry’s first built-in detector that floods the cabin with fresh air if CO2 levels become elevated.
Under the Hood
Propelling the Genesis G80 is either a naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V6, a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, or a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, making 311, 365 and 420 horsepower, respectively. All three engines feel refined yet punchy, with linear power delivery and relatively decent fuel economy. The top two achieve their maximum output with premium gasoline. Each engine is linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the 3.3T’s unit is tuned for sportier shifts. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is the default setup; all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional.
311 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
293 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (RWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)
3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (Sport)
365 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque at 1,300-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (RWD), 17/24 mpg (AWD)
420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg (RWD), 15/23 mpg (AWD)
The 2019 Genesis G80 is a rarity, a spacious premium-midsize sedan packed to the ceiling with standard features yet priced more like compact cars from the upscale German companies. Take something like a BMW 5 Series and add up all the optional equipment required to compare it with the G80, and the price difference would make a sane person gasp. And that’s before the long warranty. No corners have been cut in the build process, either; the G80 is as well assembled as a luxury car needs to be. If there are any aspects that are less impressive, it could be argued that the styling is a tad derivative and the driving experience is underwhelming. If those things are trivial in some buyers’ books, then they should investigate the Genesis G80 thoroughly.