2019 Genesis G80 Review

2019 Genesis G80 Road Test Review

I drove something like this new Genesis G80 quite a few years ago as a Hyundai in Korea and back then Genesis was keen to get going in Australia.

While sorting out its corporate position within Hyundai and a local dealer network (which would have been somewhat difficult) I reckon they were also watching how the mid-level luxury car market was going before making the call.

Despite a couple of false starts including Hyundai’s Grandeur, and the recent demise of potential competitor Infiniti, Genesis waited until a revised model came along with a newer engine and other improvements before truly committing.

Whatever, Hyundai’s premium brand is here and is emulating Lexus’s local arrival 30 years ago with all the bells and whistles except for opera tickets.

You get plenty of love from Genesis including free servicing for 5 years and can even arrange a test drive from your home. That doesn’t count the available online specification order direct to the factory and other freebies.

Pretty bloody good if you ask me.

With a bunch of comparatively good value large luxury sedans, Genesis faces stiff competition here in a declining sales environment  The G80 looks great and goes really well but convincing punters to pay $90k plus for a flash Hyundai could be problematic.

Time will tell….

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design


It looks like a scaled up Elantra and that is no criticism because both are attractive cars. There’s the customary Hyundai face and grille along with sweeping side style lines and big 19-inch wheels on the G80 Ultimate Sport Design driven. It also gets sundry black chrome and mesh inserts along with black out panels to create more of a muscular look.

What I will say is the G80 has a certain generic style that is prevailing at present so it tends to fade into the traffic instead of making a profound statement.

Some onlookers reckon the G80 has a touch of Infiniti and even current Commodore about its flanks but let’s not wish that upon it…..

It is a swoopy looking, low slung, big four door sedan with a long arcing roofline that has stance and size in its favour.

Great looking wheels on the test car and same for the striking blue duco.

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design


No expense has been spared inside right down to the woodgrain fascia which I personally don’t like. The Audi-like dash is wide, the centre console is wide, and there are splashes of alloy trim and metres of Nappa leather. The dash is driver centric placing most critical controls around the driver’s seat.

A sporty wheel, with Bentley-esque logo, provides multiple functions including paddle shift and the multi-media touch screen is a decent 9.2-inch unit. Genesis uses high resolution colour TFT LCD instruments to good effect.

It’s a roomy and comfortable four seater, perhaps five at a pinch, offering seat heating and ventilation on all four pews. The passenger side rear occupant can even control the front passenger’s seat for more legroom.

A control panel in the rear points to where Genesis thinks the G80 sits in the pecking order…. people being driven by chauffeurs.

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design

Drive and Engine

Plenty of poke comes from the 232kW/397kW, 3.8-litre petrol V6 that runs happily on regular 91 fuel. Economy is rated at 10.4-litres/100km combined. Despite the high-ish fuel consumption, it has high tech control systems for efficiency such as direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and a variable inlet tract.

Power goes to the right place… the rear wheels via a slick shifting 8-speed conventional auto transmission also seen on other Hyundai products.

They fit G80 with grippy tyres and adaptive suspension that changes calibration according to drive mode selected and how the vehicle is being driven. Punt it like a sports sedan and it stiffens the suspension (and steering) back off and it softens up like a limo.

Thanks in part to acoustic glass, minimal noise intrudes into the passenger compartment where occupants can while away the time listening to a monumental  17-speaker Harman audio system.

Technology to assist the driver includes auto high beam selection, adaptive cruise control for driving in heavy  stop and go traffic and auto windscreen wipers.

Remote app driven functions allow the G80 to be started remotely, have climate control activated and  operate other functions like hazard warners and the horn.

It is a surprisingly agile car for its size and near 2.0 tonne weight made all the better by the four mode drive selector.

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design


Five stars all the way in fact, the Genesis recorded an incredible 36.88 points out of a possible 37 during ANCAP testing meaning it’s arguably the safest car on the road right now.

With that sort of accolade to sustain, you get a full complement of driver assist tech in G80 along with 9 airbags and other active and passive safety stuff. The body and chassis is formed with high strength hot pressed steel and the car itself features a raft of safety related dynamic controls to keep you on the straight and narrow.

If you have a prang, be confident you’re in the safest car currently available here.

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design

Good Bits

  • Impressive safety rating
  • Affordable luxury salon with all the trimmings
  • Pleasing drive feel

Not So Good Bits

  • A $90k Hyundai
  • Uses a lot of fuel
  • Some silly luxury stuff like rear seat controls

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design


Don’t know how to take this one. I like the looks of the G80, the way it goes, the luxury features and the safety but would happily drive around in a top of the range Santa Fe diesel for a lot less money….

Genesis G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design


Facts and Figures: 2019 Genesis G80 Ultimate Sport Design

  • Engine: 3.8L V6 petrol producing 232kW/397Nm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: South Korea
  • Price: from $92,900 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Genesis G80 Sedan


Don’t know how to take this one. I like the looks of the G80, the way it goes, the luxury features and the safety but would happily drive around in a top of the range Santa Fe diesel for a lot less money….

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.