Lofty goals achieved with Genesis G80

For the 2022 model year, the G80 gets a handful of changes, but also sees a major rename of the trim previously known as 3.5T.  Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
For the 2022 model year, the G80 gets a handful of changes, but also sees a major rename of the trim previously known as 3.5T. Contributed

Hyundai’s luxury brand takes on competition with AWD, more.

I’ve written enough about Hyundai’s luxury brand and frankly they’ve done a good enough marketing job of defining the brand and differentiating it from Hyundai. So enough with that angle. And to be honest this week’s tester is so good and so luxurious that it speaks for itself and doesn’t need my words to help mold or define it further.

For this week, I was behind the wheel of the 2022 Genesis G80. The luxury mid-size segment is crowded and chock full of big names. The Genesis G80 aims to take on its Japanese counterparts but also the German brands including the BMW 5 series. Lofty goals for a lofty car.

For the 2022 model year, the G80 gets only a handful of changes, but also sees a major rename of the trim previously known as 3.5T. For this year that’s now called the 3.5 Sport.

As the name insinuates it’s a sporty twin-turbo 3.5 V6 engine. There is a smaller 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for other trims of the G80. Thankfully mine came with this punchier and more aggressive version with 375 horse and 391 pound-feet of torque. New this year is available all-wheel drive which my tester came with. Rear-wheel drive is standard and may be the preferred iteration for enthusiasts of this segment. It would add a smidge of sportiness to delete the AWD, but personally it works great and more confidently as an AWD vehicle.

For this model year, Genesis offers rear-wheel steering as part of the Prestige and Sport trim. This helps reinvigorate some performance and excitement amongst this sedan. If AWD was boring to you, rear-wheel steering will help change your mind.

On looks, the G80 may be the Genesis brand’s best-looking sedan. The bold grille screams elegance. An attractive design element on the front quarter panel almost mirrors the shape of the headlights and shows a seamless flow from front to back. It helps tie the elegance all together in a nice package. As nice as the back is, the back end is stunning. The Genesis designers hit the mark with an elegant back end that is both simplistic, but full of distinction.

The exterior styling, confirmed by the attractive back end, leaves no doubt with anyone who might see it that the G80 is a luxury vehicle.

The two best words to summarize the interior of the G80 are refinement and upscale. Those are good as the interior continues the vibe presented from the exterior with an interior that holds up its end of the luxury with a cabin that clearly warrants its high-priced sticker.

This is no Hyundai. Heck there are some rivals that aren’t as nice as the interior of the Genesis G80. The leather seat surfaces are plush and supple. The touch points are well crafted and elegant. My tester came with the Prestige Package (an additional $6,300 cost) and with it comes Nappa leather, a suede-like headliner, 12.3-inch touchscreen display and carbon fiber trim. Any one of those elements adds to the wow factor but all of those combined make it feel special.

The cargo area of the trunk is limited as the rear seats don’t fold flat. The overall trunk space is 13.1 cubic feet, which is sub-par for the segment showing that the G80 is not without flaws.

The infotainment system is intuitive, something many of the competitors in this segment can’t say. In fact the Germans and the Japanese would be wise to follow Genesis in simplifying their systems. You can offer all the technology like smart phone integration, while also offering a simple-to-use system.

Genesis offers only a couple trim options, which is refreshing. There are a slew of packages that can be added at various costs. My tester was the top-tier 3.5 Sport with the aforementioned Prestige package. Before the Prestige package, the base price of the 3.5 Sport was $63,700. After that package and an additional $1,500 for a special Gray Matte paint coat, my tester’s final MSRP was $72,595.

Fuel economy for the more powerful sedan with AWD is 17 mpg/city and 26 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of suburban driving I averaged nearly 23 mpg.

Forget everything you may assume about the Genesis brand. Each vehicle offering is helping to establish the brand amongst all the known names in the luxury segment. The Genesis G80 just might be the best offering yet from Hyundai’s luxury brand.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 Genesis G80 3.5 Sport Prestige

Price/As tested price................................................ $63,700/$72,595

Mileage.......................................... 17 mpg/city; 26 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6

Horsepower................................. 375 hp/391 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 8-speed automatic transmission

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Ulsan, Korea

Combined ShapeCaption
The two best words to summarize the interior of the G80 are refinement and upscale. Contributed

The two best words to summarize the interior of the G80 are refinement and upscale.  Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The two best words to summarize the interior of the G80 are refinement and upscale. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The interior holds up its end of the luxury vibe with a cabin that clearly warrants its high-priced sticker. Contributed

The interior holds up its end of the luxury vibe with a cabin that clearly warrants its high-priced sticker. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The interior holds up its end of the luxury vibe with a cabin that clearly warrants its high-priced sticker. Contributed