The latest model year brings a new trim level named 3.3T Sport.
Genesis has finally made a shift away from the formula that established the original Hyundai model as a genuine alternative to traditional luxury choices. While it still starts with a clean, quietly competent rear-wheel-drive package filled with comfort and technology features, it is no longer offered under a nameplate associated with mass-market volume. Like the level of overall refinement, Genesis hopes the G80's cachet will go up a few notches with the rebranding, and styling has become more sophisticated as well.
Outside, the G80 has an air of discreet elegant due to a handsome six-slat floating grille, trapezoidal headlights and a streamlined six-window greenhouse. The story is similar inside, where a simple but attractive dashboard combines intuitive controls with premium materials like available matte wood trim. Passenger space is plentiful, with rear-seat passengers getting full-size sedan-like stretch-out room, and extras like heated and ventilated seats, a high-definition navigation system and a Lexicon 7 surround sound system create a truly upscale feel.
Technology highlights include Genesis' latest Blue Link telematics service, which can be spec'd to provide voice text messaging, point-of-interest web search and download, and automatic collision notification in addition to traffic, weather, restaurant and nearby gas station information.
In an industry first, the G80 offers a system that measures human-produced C02 and increases fresh air flow when C02 levels are high enough to induce drowsiness. Also available is a hands-free trunk release system that, unlike normal kick-activated setups, opens when the key is detected in a pocket or purse within a few feet of the rear bumper for longer than three seconds.
Finally, the G80 comes standard with Apple's Siri Eyes Free system, which provides hands-free acess to the Siri function of any iPhone equipped with iOS 6. Once linked, drivers can use voice commands to perform actions like make phone calls, play songs from iTunes, listen and compose text messages and add appointments to their calendars.
Power and Fuel Economy
The G80 can be fitted with the buyer's choice of 3.8-liter V6, twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, or 5.0-liter V8.
The 3.8-liter V6 produces 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque. The twin-turbocharged six ups those figures to 365 and 376, respectively. Finally, the V8 is good for 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of twist.
Every engine shifts through a Hyundai-designed eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost.
Fuel economy is rated at 19/27 city/highway mpg for the RWD six-cylinder model, 17/25 mpg for the RWD twin-turbo variant, and 16/24 mpg with the V8.
On the dynamic front, the G80 provides a compliant ride and predictable handling, although it isn't tuned to be a sport sedan. An "Intelligent Drive Mode" system offers Normal, Eco, Sport and Snow settings that alter transmission mapping, throttle responsiveness, stability control and AWD settings (if equipped) to suite driving conditions and/or the driver's mood.
The G80 V8 also comes standard with an adaptive damping suspension that promises both sportier roadholding and a cushier ride. It, too, can be controlled by Intelligent Drive Mode.
Trim Level Breakdown
The G80 is offered in 3.8, 3.3T Sport, and 5.0 trim levels.
The G80 3.8 is fitted as standard with leather upholstery, heated and 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a navigation system with an 8.0 screen and Siriux XM Traffic, integrated Pandora and Apple Eyes Free Siri, a seven-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio/SiriusXM stereo with AUX and USB input jacks, auto on/off HID headlights, LED headlight accents, LED taillights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, the Blue Link infotainment system a proximity key, hands-free trunk opening capability, a 4.3-inch instrument cluster TFT LCD display and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
The 3.3T Sport brings a model-specific body kit and a twin-turbocharged engine. It also adds sport pedals, a suede headliner, carbon fiber interior trim, sport seats, and a sport steering wheel with contrast stitching.
To those features, the G80 5.0 adds or substitutes a 9.2-inch touchscreen navigation system, a Lexicon Discrete Logic 7 surround sound system with 17 speakers, ultra-premium leather upholstery, a heads-up display, genuine matte wood trim, 16-way power adjustable front seats, HID headlights with auto-leveling, high-beam assist, LED fog lights, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist, lane departure warning system with lane keep assist, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster TFT LCD display, manual rear side window sunshades, a power rear sunshade, memory functionality for power driver's seat and outside mirrors and steering column, adaptive cruise control, a power trunk lid and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
Much of the 5.0's content can be added to the 3.8 in the form of optional extras.
Both trims can be spec'd with an upgraded navigation system with an HD 9.2-inch display, a Lexicon Discrete Logic 7 surround sound system with 17 speakers, a full color head-up display, a power trunk lid and a dual mode climate control system with C02 sensor. Excusive to the 5.0 is an optional continuous damping suspension system.
All G80 models come with dual front, front side, rear side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to a driver's knee airbag and traction and stability control systems.
The G80 5.0 adds to that list with an automatic emergency braking system that applies the brakes if it detects an impending collision; a blind spot warning system with a rear cross traffic alert system that warns the driver of approaching traffic in backup situations; a lane departure warning system with lane keep assist setup that warns the driver if the G80 begins to wander into an adjacent lane and provides slight steering corrections to bring the sedan back on course; and an emergency steering support mode that automatically changes the setting of suspension and electronic stability control in the direction suitable for emergency steering, to help avoid frontal crash situations.
The G80 can be cross-shopped against a wide variety of upscale sedans, including more expensive luxury models like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, as well as more value-oriented offerings such as the Acura TL, Lexus ES, and Lincoln MKZ.