2021 Genesis G80 first drive review: Holy cow is this thing good

Genesis is hell-bent on turning itself into a correct luxurious model, lastly in a position to compete with the German stalwarts. The G80 is without doubt one of the first examples of New Genesis, a sedan that is absolutely able to going toe to toe with the Teutonics. Stated one other means, it is Genesis’ finest product but.

Elegant in and out

The outdated G80 was a carryover from when a Genesis wore Hyundai badges, and thus, its luxurious wasn’t absolutely realized. The 2021 mannequin, nonetheless, is a clean-sheet method, and what an method. In only a couple years, Genesis discovered its stylistic area of interest that separates it from the likes of the Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5 Series. Its fastback silhouette provides it a sportier look with out requiring a full hatchback, and the distinctive look of its operating lights — and the way their strains proceed rearward by way of the fender’s turn-signal indicators — grants the G80 a cohesiveness that turns a complete lot o’ heads on the street. Yeah, positive, the grille could be slightly massive, however taken as a complete, I believe the G80 appears to be like phenomenal.

The inside’s consideration to element is equally spectacular. In truth, I would say the G80’s innards are proper up there with the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz — hell, I would put the Korean newcomer forward of BMW on this regard. The rising door trim meets the dashboard at a number of factors, giving it a seamless look that does not overdo it by way of competing angles. It is engaging in its simplicity; the full-leather dashboard is elegant, whereas a tastefully restricted quantity of matte-finish wooden splits the sprint and adorns the middle console. Each place my hand goes is met with both leather-based or thick carpeting. Every management, whether or not it is the knurled ends of the wiper and switch sign stalks or the infotainment controller on the middle console, feels higher than the final. Even the massaging entrance seats on my Status tester sport a singular design and are supremely snug.

This inside is absolutely the enterprise.

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The rear bench seat affords oodles of legroom and headroom for passengers, with a deployable middle armrest that comprises further controls for the infotainment system and the seats. Even with out being particularly for chauffeured homeowners, I would don’t have any drawback relinquishing the controls and absorbing some leather-lined peace within the again seat. Enterprise even additional aft and there is a trunk with a commendable quantity of house, sufficient for a pair units of golf golf equipment or an extended journey’s price of bags.

Quantum-leap tech upgrades

Some luxurious automakers — cough, Lexus, cough — do their automobiles a disservice by counting on outdated, hard-to-use tech. Genesis all the time had a little bit of a bonus on this area by sticking with Hyundai’s wonderful infotainment software program, however for this new technology of automobiles, the in-car tech feels each bit as flashy and new because the G80 itself.

The vast, 14.5-inch show is beautiful and the tech inside is simple to make use of.

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The brand new infotainment system lives in a 14.5-inch display that dominates the highest half of the dashboard, though a smaller 8-incher is customary on decrease trims. A reskinned model of Hyundai’s Blue Hyperlink this ain’t; the graphics are among the many crispest within the trade, and whereas the touchscreen is inside attain, there’s additionally a dial on the middle console with built-in handwriting recognition to maneuver between menus.

The system itself is fast in addition, fast to reply and positively loaded with intelligent tips. The Sounds of Nature characteristic fills the cabin with the atmosphere of a crackling hearth or a stroll by way of a snowy village, full with the satisfying crunch sound of toes pushing by way of contemporary powder. Climate and gasoline costs arrive by means of the HD Radio antenna, and in the event you want a simple aesthetic, you may disguise all that stuff by swiping to a house display that exhibits you a map, the climate and what’s at the moment enjoying by way of the Lexicon audio system. The aesthetics alone put MBUX, iDrive and each different luxurious automaker system to disgrace. Sure, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are alongside for the journey, however for as soon as, you might need to follow inventory simply to benefit from the view.

The eye to element in right here is beautiful.

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The Status trim of G80 additionally features a digital gauge cluster. Whereas it is neat that it might present me nearly any piece of data I want on the adjustable bit nestled between the digital dials, the cluster packs a characteristic that no different automaker has: A depth impact. The gauges might be configured to show in a layered, three-dimensional look that places totally different elements of the cluster at seemingly totally different depths. Positive, it is a parlor trick (one that may be turned off if it is an excessive amount of to your eyes), however scorching rattling, it is in regards to the coolest gimmick I’ve seen in a while.

My G80 additionally comes with a variety of superior driver aids. The Freeway Driving Assistant suite combines customary adaptive cruise management with lane-keeping help and lively lane-change help to assist scale back the tedium of freeway driving. Whereas I believe the lane-centering is probably a bit too aggressive in the way it applies torque to the steering wheel, the entire shebang is clean as silk, preferring steadiness in its acceleration and deceleration over outright hustle. When all of the programs are engaged, the gauge cluster will show not solely the G80 itself, however the curvature of the street and the situation of each automobile inside vary of its radar and cameras.

The three.5-liter, twin-turbo V6 makes 375 horsepower.

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Comfortable and clean on the street

My top-trim tester packs a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 producing a ample 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. It is a potent powerplant, shoving the G80 ahead whatever the present velocity or the tachometer needle’s location. It even makes a cool sound within the course of, though I like to recommend turning off the built-in sound enhancement, since it might get slightly obnoxious in any of its modes. There is a 2.5-liter turbo I4 supplied throughout the G80’s lineup, as nicely; keep tuned for a evaluation of that setup quickly.

Positive, driving force is vital, however what actually helps the G80 stand out from the competitors is how clean your complete expertise is. Each chunk of the driving expertise is tailor-made for consolation. Gear adjustments from the eight-speed automated transmission are fast and virtually imperceptible. Depart the G80 in its default Consolation mode, and the elective adaptive suspension does such an awesome job at softening the street that I initially thought it was air-based. Highway and wind noise barely permeates the cabin, making for fairly the serene expertise.

Positive, there is a Sport mode, and it does a superb job of tightening the reins and flattening the automotive’s customary nautical nature, however… why? Simply go away or not it’s and indulge in a journey high quality that feels cushier than what BMW or Audi can muster with costlier and extra advanced preparations. It is really easy to drive the G80 easily that you will really feel like a grasp chauffeur very quickly.

The Genesis G80 ought to put different luxurious rivals on discover.

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Right down to brass tacks

I would not blame you for assuming that is one costly automotive, nevertheless it actually is not. The 2021 G80 begins at $48,725 together with vacation spot, stretching to a still-sensible $68,675 for my absolutely loaded 3.5T AWD Status trim.

The midsize government luxurious sedan phase is crammed to the brim with celebrities. Half a decade in the past, you would possibly assume me loopy for saying the G80 (née Hyundai Genesis) may mount a correct offensive towards stalwarts just like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Sequence and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. However 2020 is a yr of surprises, and the 2021 Genesis G80 supplies a full luxurious expertise that immediately launches it into the thick of a aggressive set. Whether or not consumers might be keen to surrender the cachet that comes with, say, a three-pointed star on the hood stays to be seen, but when somebody does not no less than put the Genesis up for consideration towards these rivals, they’d be doing themselves a disservice. 

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Andrew Krok