By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
Eagle, Idaho — The Genesis G80 may be one of most impressive luxury cars you have never heard of.
Hyundai’s Luxury Brand
A luxury offshoot of the Hyundai brand like the Lexus is to Toyota, Infiniti to Nissan and Acura to Honda, the Genesis brand has been around since 2015 so it has not had the exposure of the other luxury brands. Nevertheless, it has become one of the best luxury values on the market and picked up some impressive awards in its early career including: the highest rating among all the luxury brands in the 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, highest rating Long-Term Quality in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, 2019 North American Car of the Year, plus dozens of other accolades from automotive publications.
The current Genesis lineup comes in three sizes: the full-size G90, mid-size G80 and newest, the compact G70 which debuted in 2017. We have driven Genesis cars on several occasions and found them not only stylish, but fun to drive, well-built and an amazing value.
All-New G80 and the GV80 SUV
Sales for the first few years has been weak even with the high praise from critics, so we were somewhat surprised when Genesis introduced a totally new redesigned and reengineered 2021 model G80 and added the company’s first ever SUV, the GV80. In addition, Genesis recently announced a smaller 2022 model called the GV70. The compact SUV is due late in 2021. We expect Genesis sales will increase soon thanks to these new models.
Two Days Behind the Wheel
We recently borrowed the all-new 2021Genesis G80 for a couple days while we were in the Portland, Oregon area. The car is amazing! The styling is head-turning with the distinctive designs from the bold shield-like grille to the sleek wraparound taillights. The interior is filled with clean functional elements, diamond-pleated leather seating, real wood trim and nearly every conceivable piece of technology and safety equipment available in the auto industry. The control knobs appear to be mostly crafted from metal, not plastic, resembling those found in the ultimate luxury brands like Bentleys and Rolls Royce.
A Pair of Turbo Charged Engines
The G80 has a standard 300-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder while our test car was powered by the optional twin-turbo 375-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but both engines are available with all-wheel drive. The outstanding transmission for both is a smooth, quick shifting eight-speed ZF automatic.
Buff magazines list the four-cylinder all-wheel drive 0 to 60 mph acceleration time at 5.9 seconds and the AWD V-6 at 5.2 seconds. That makes the Genesis four-cylinder turbo a bit quicker in the iconic acceleration test than all its four-cylinder luxury rivals. It was also near the top of the pack in handling and braking, too.
The G80 won’t win any prizes for fuel economy with EPA ratings 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined for the four-cylinder rear drive. The V-6 gets a 19/27/22 mpg rating, and all-wheel drive uses up an additional mile per gallon with either engine.
Priced from $48,725 to $65,500
The Genesis G80 sedan offers an extremely high level of luxury, technology, comfort and pure driving fun, but its best feature is its high value. Genesis G80 base price starts at $48,725, including the destination charge, for the four-cylinder 2.5T with rear-wheel drive and goes up to $63,255 for the 3.5T V-6 with all-wheel drive. Our RWD 3.5T test vehicle had a total price of $65,500. Each of the four available models, which are defined by engine size and drivetrain, has one or two available trim packages which add from $4,600 to $8,900 to the base price and a long list of further luxury features to the car. The net result is a beautifully equipped drivers’ car at a price much lower than competitive luxury brands.
Down the Road
We are scheduled to drive the Genesis GV80 in a couple of months and are looking forward to experiencing the first Genesis SUV.
Sometimes Hard to Find
We liked the earlier Genesis G80 so much we considered buying one but were stopped because there are no dealers in Idaho. For us to see a live Genesis in dealer captivity requires a minimum drive of 245 miles west or 282 miles southeast. Not only does that make a Genesis difficult buy, but it also makes it challenging to take advantage of the amazing service offered through the Genesis Concierge, Valet Service, free maintenance and the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. For more information about this amazing brand go online to https://www.genesis.com/us/en/genesis.html .