Hyundai's top-echelon products from 2016 are now sold under the Genesis brand, an all-new luxury marque. Last year’s Hyundai Equus is this year’s Genesis G90, while the previous Hyundai Genesis sedan is now the Genesis G80. For 2017, the Hyundai Genesis coupe has been canceled.
Besides its luxury stance, the Genesis brand is big on value. Its current two-model product line will gradually expand to at least six models over the coming three years.
What's New for 2017
While the 2017 Genesis G80 is in principle a new model for a new brand, it is in practice a continuation of the 2016 Hyundai Genesis sedan. When compared on that basis, the latest model includes as standard equipment some items previously offered optionally.
Most changes are in the safety department. Specifically, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keep assist are now standard. You’ll also find Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility this year.
Choosing Your Genesis G80
Genesis offers a pair of engine choices for the 2017 G80. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that features paddle shifters.
The standard engine is a 3.8-liter V6 making 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available. This model makes an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway when equipped with rear-wheel drive, and 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for all-wheel drive.
The optional 5-liter V8 engine makes 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. This model offers only rear-wheel drive and makes an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
The 2017 G80 offers a long list of standard equipment. On the safety front, the standard equipment list includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, high beam assist, smart cruise control, electronic braking with automatic vehicle hold, and an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with rearview camera.
With all-wheel drive offered only with the V6 engine, your shopping decision is eased if you want that particular drivetrain. Add in the Ultimate package and you’ll pay about $1,000 less than the similarly equipped G80 5.0 RWD model.
To understand the 2017 Genesis G80, start with the 2015 to 2016 Hyundai Genesis – the G80 is that same car, renamed and moved to Hyundai's new upscale Genesis division alongside its G90 sibling. Badges aside, the G80 remains a comfortable, comprehensively equipped luxury sedan at an appealing price.
Pricing and Equipment
The Genesis G80 is a traditional four-door sedan powered by either a 311-horsepower V6 or a 420-horsepower V8 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is optional on V6 G80s, while the V8 is rear-drive only. A 365-hp, twin-turbocharged G80 Sport model will hit dealers for 2018.
The pricing and option structure is straightforward: A standard G80 with the V6 and rear-wheel-dive starts at $42,350 (including a $950 destination charge) and includes:
A full suite of safety features, including a lane departure warning system, automatic emergency braking, and nine airbags.
A touchscreen-controlled infotainment system, including navigation and a rearview camera.
Heated 12-way power front seats.
Dual-zone climate control.
A hands-free trunk opener.
Options are limited to the all-wheel-drive system and two packages. Choosing all-wheel-drive adds $2,500 to the MSRP and also adds a heating function in the rear seats and steering wheel. The Premium Package includes a panoramic sunroof, 14-speaker Lexicon sound system, ventilated front seats, and a few convenience items for an extra $4,750. The Ultimate Package adds to the Premium Package and fits upgraded interior trim alongside LED headlights, a head-up display system, a fantastic 17-speaker Lexicon stereo, and a larger 9.2-inch infotainment system for an additional $4,200. The V8 incorporates all Ultimate features as standard at an asking price of $55,500.
Genesis Concierge is the brand's overarching package of driver convenience services. The flagship fis its valet service program – when service is due, a valet will deliver a loaner vehicle, take your G80 to the service facility, and then return it when it's done. According to Genesis, owners never need to set foot in a service garage. The valet service, scheduled maintenance, and roadside assistance are standard for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The base V6 is an excellent all-around powerplant, providing plenty of smooth usable power.
The G80 is packed with advanced safety systems - automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control - and aces every crash test. By the numbers it's among the very safest cars on the road.
The G80's cushy suspension is set up for avenues and interstates, and is out of its comfort zone hustling along mountain roads or curvy two-lanes.
There is essentially no rational reason to opt for the V8. It may look imposing on paper but adds little real-world performance while consuming more fuel and giving the car a nose-heavy feel.
The G80's cabin is airy and spacious, thankfully avoiding the bunker mentality of some competitors.
Interior styling is pleasant and contemporary. The analog clock in the dash adds an interesting character detail.
Large door openings and a high roof make for graceful entries and exits.
The trunk is on the small side compared to competitors. The rear seats are also fixed in place, so check for delivery options when hunting for antique furniture.
Although the interior is generally finished with high-quality materials, there is still the occasional tactile indication that the G80 was built to a price, especially among some of the buttons and switches.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Hyundai sought advice from the chassis-tuning gurus at Lotus to set up the G80's suspension, and their well-considered interpretation of Hyundai's intentions gave the car both a smooth, balanced, well-damped ride and an excellent steering system.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
In moving from Hyundai Genesis to Genesis G80, Hyundai updated the badges but didn't upgrade the car itself. If the G80 intends to face off against such established rivals as the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6, it needs to replace those last few bits which are too obviously shared with mainstream Hyundai models and fully implement the polish and resolution of the class leaders.
The Bottom Line
Buyers who prefer traditional luxury sedan attributes like a plush ride and a lengthy features list - and have no real interest in sports-sedan athleticism - will be well served to give the G80 consideration. It provides an ample serving of luxury-car gratification at a more-than-competitive sticker price.