REVIEW: 2018 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport – Great Gets A Bit Better

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Genesis impressed us in our first tests. For 2018, the G80 sedan gets even better.

What is it? 

Genesis is a stand-alone luxury brand from Hyundai. The G80 is the mid/full sized sedan from this Genesis and comes standard with almost everything a premium or luxury buyer expects from a fine automobile.

Pricing and trims

The G80 line starts at around $43,000 with rear-wheel-drive and a powerful 3.8-liter V6 engine. The top of the line G80 5.0 Ultimate Package AWD trim comes in with every option at about $62K. This range undercuts the competition a bit.

 – Looking for a new or used vehicle? Start your search at BestRide.com.

We tested the $58,725 G80 AWD 3.3T Sport trim. HTRAC is code for AWD and the T stands for the 3.3-liter turbocharged engine.

Safety

We will keep this section brief; The 2018 Genesis G80 has scored as high as any vehicle possibly can on the world’s toughest safety tests. It is an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus.

 

Our tester had it all. Emergency auto braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts. All that jazz and a big, clear backup camera on its huge screen. Best of all, none of it was annoying.

Performance

Before we tell you how fast this car is, think in your mind where you plan to use it and if you ever expect to race it or take it on a track. You will never do either, right? Aside from those two activities, this Genesis has so much power you will never be able to use it all. It is a rocket. It is also a docile, comfortable car, depending upon the instruction from your right big toe. The G80 3.3T has 365 hp, and in every normal situation is able to go faster than the roads will allow.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is sublime and never seems to hunt for gears. If you want to shift it yourself, there are paddles for that on the wheel.  On slushy New England roads, we never felt a wheel slip.

Ride and handling

Despite frost heaves and potholes, the G80 3.3T WD Sport is complaint and comfortable. It turns in like a good luxury car and if you want it to be sporty it is ready to play.

Seating

The front seats of our Genesis test vehicle were comfortable and easy to adjust. At this $59K price point, there were no massage functions.

Rear seat comfort is outstanding and legroom is generous.

Infotainment and controls

The G80 3.3T AWD Sport has a large, clear screen and easy to use controls. One can either touch it, or if you are not fond of fingerprints, there is a simple rotary mouse on the console. The steering wheel controls are simple to operate and the heads up display is a big plus. This is as close to perfect as infotainment gets. Audio quality was good, but not on par with the best from other automakers (which come with higher price tags). Apple Car Play and Android Auto are included. You won’t find that in any Lexus.

Ownership Experience

The Genesis brand has everything a premium owner is looking for. Exclusivity, great service, three years of complimentary maintenance, valet service so you never need to go to a dealership, and quality ratings above the big names. In Consumer Reports’ just-released owner satisfaction rankings of brands, Genesis scored higher than Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Cadillac. Only Tesla and Porsche could score as high as Genesis.

Overall

We give the Genesis G80 two thumbs up. The trim we tested this week, the 3.3T AWD Sport, is excellent, but we loved the $55K non-turbo G80 we recently tested just as much. Since the non-turbo car takes regular fuel as opposed to the premium fuel Genesis recommends for the 3.3T, the annual fuel costs are $350 higher for the 3.3T turbo trim if you follow that recommendation. In normal driving or even spirited driving, both trims feel very similar. We’d opt for the non-turbo car given its lower price and promise of lower fuel costs. After all, if money didn’t matter, Genesis shoppers would likely be buying a Mercedes, Lexus, or BMW and paying more for less car.

The Genesis G80 was rated BestRide’s top car overall in 2016. Whichever trim you opt for, you will not be disappointed.

 

 

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John Goreham

John Goreham