REVIEW: 2018 Genesis G80 Proves Its Mettle as a Luxury Car

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Hyundai is a familiar brand, but Genesis is still largely unknown. Once upon a time there was a car called the Hyundai Genesis, but that car is long gone, replaced by a whole new luxury brand named simply Genesis.

It’s a bit confusing for those who knew the Genesis as a single model in the Hyundai lineup, but it’s a simple idea. Toyota has Lexus. Nissan has Infiniti. Now, Hyundai has Genesis. This isn’t a new idea, but what is new is the way Genesis approaches the luxury car market.

Part of what makes a Hyundai so attractive is how much you get for your dollar. It’s an affordable brand with a wide range of offerings, most of which have far more features than competitors at the same price point. Genesis is taking a similar approach with its luxury cars.

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There a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive across the G80 lineup with three available engines. The base engine is a 3.8-liter V6 with 311-horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque and is available in Standard, Premium, and Ultimate trims. The more powerful 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 and 5.0-liter V8 are both offered in only one trim level.

We drove the base 3.8 Standard with all-wheel drive. It’s an attractive car without any unnecessary, over-the-top design elements there simply to grab your attention. The G80 is elegant and refined in the true spirit of a luxury car.

The list of standard features on even this base trim of the G80 is extensive. There are 12-way power heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, hands-free smart trunk with auto open, leather seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic temperature control, 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard safety includes features that are often only available on top trims with other brands. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and high-beam assist.

That’s a lot and it’s only a partial list of features in the G80. It’s enough to make most people worry about looking at the window sticker and with many other brands, that would be a perfectly reasonable concern. This, however, is a Genesis. Starting price on the 2018 Genesis G80 Standard 3.8 AWD is $45,225.

The G80 is a heck of a luxury value, but does it truly deliver a luxury car experience? Open the door, take a seat, go for a ride, and you’ll quickly discover the answer is yes.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listings search here.

The interior is roomy and plush with quality materials that look and feel good. The seats are supportive and comfortable so you won’t be stiff after a long drive and road and wind noise are well-muted. The G80 has all the quiet calm of a luxury car.

This pairs up with a powerful engine and a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. It takes no effort to power the G80 onto the highway and engine noise is kept to a minimum rather than intruding into the cabin. Handling is sharp, but not in the way of sports cars that quickly become tiresome on longer trips.

The 2018 Genesis G80 delivers a genuine luxury car experience without the sky-high price tag. It’s an incredible value and one that’s going a bit overlooked as Genesis tries to make its name. Those shopping for a luxury car should give the Genesis G80 a try. It might not be a brand everyone knows, but it delivers all the luxury of the other guys minus the higher sticker price.

Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin