Genesis G90 vs. Genesis G80

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - May 22, 2017

Hyundai spun the Genesis model into its own brand in 2017, ushering in two new models: G80 and G90. The former is a reworked Hyundai Genesis sedan, while the latter is a renamed and updated Hyundai Equus.

Both models give budget-savvy luxury-car shoppers some food for thought, but is it possible the smaller, more affordable G80 is the better option than the yacht-like G90?

See a side-by-side comparison of the G80 & G90 »

What the G90 Gets Right

With its larger footprint, the Genesis G90 has 5.5 cubic feet of passenger room on the G80. This translates into 2.8 inches of extra rear-seat leg room, 0.6 inches of extra front-seat leg room, and 0.8 inches of front and rear-seat hip room. The G90 also has an extra 0.4 cubic feet of luggage room.

The base 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 in the G90 produces 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, which far outmuscles the G80’s 3.8-liter with 311 hp and 293 lb-ft. What’s more, the range-topping 5.0-liter V8 in the G90 is available with all-wheel drive – the G80 has the same engine, but it's only available with rear-wheel drive.

Finally, the Genesis G90 comes dressed to the nines with all the premium standard features expected of a top-tier luxury car. Some of the highlights include a 22-way power driver’s seat and 16-way power passenger’s seat, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a 17-speaker surround-sound system, tri-zone climate control, wireless charging, a faux-suede headliner, navigation, and tons more.

What the G80 Gets Right

The Genesis G80 starts out over $26,000 cheaper than the G90, giving buyers a ton of room to add features. In fact, buyers can go for the fully loaded 5.0 Ultimate trim and still come in $16,075 cheaper than the base G90.

Despite it lacking power with the V6 engine, the G80 actually delivers a little more in terms of performance. This is thanks to its Lotus-tuned chassis that holds tighter in the corners than the larger G90. It’s no track monster, but the G80 feels much more sorted than its big brother on a twisty mountain road.

Despite its lower price, the G80 has most of the same major standard safety features as the G90, including blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and more. Optionally, buyers can add front and rear parking sensors. Like the G90, the G80 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus.

Why Buy the G90?

The Genesis G90 is the pinnacle of luxury for the Korean automaker, and it brings in a level of poshness the G80 simply can't provide. This makes it the preferred Genesis model for the more discerning buyer (or perhaps one with a personal driver).

Verdict: Genesis G80

Not only is it significantly cheaper than the G90, but the G80 is better suited for tackling its BMW and Mercedes rivals. The G80’s delicate combination of power, grace, and handling can nearly hold up against its German rivals, whereas the G90 is just too soft and loose in the corners to hang with its respective competition.

Take a closer look at the Genesis G80 »

Take a closer look at the Genesis G90 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website