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2019 Genesis G80 Performance Review


Performance: 7.9

The 2019 Genesis G80 merges the refinement of the larger G90 with some of the liveliness of the smaller G70, striking a likeable center ground. Its engines deliver satisfying levels of power, with a twin-turbo V6 and a robust V8 among the options. This isn't the car to buy if you want to keep fuel costs low, however, as its gas mileage ratings are among the worst in the class.

  • "This G80's focus isn't performance, but it offers enough of it for most owners. Most European competitors will be quicker and more engaging to drive, but the G80 is no slouch either." -- Edmunds
  • This is a hushed, comfortable, refined driving environment. Just don't expect excitement." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "With a ride more oriented toward comfort than performance -- think Lexus GS vs. BMW 5 Series -- the G80 is an excellent highway companion. But with its rear-drive layout and potent V6 or V8 engines, it never feels lacking in power." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The G80 comes with a selection of three engines, each powering a different trim level. While moving up the trim ladder certainly results in brisker launch times and greater horsepower ratings, these uplevel models also come with a significant price increase. The good news is that shoppers can keep their purchase price below $45,000 and still get a robust V6 with the base G80 3.8. All models come with a polished eight-speed automatic transmission.

The base G80 3.8 trim comes with a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine. Its fuel economy rating is among the lowest in our luxury midsize car rankings, at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That said, its below-average rating is partly because most rivals come standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 powering the G80 3.3T Sport puts out 365 horsepower. Both fuel economy ratings drop by 1 mpg from the base engine. Powering the G80 5.0 is a meaty 5.0-liter V8 with a 420-horsepower rating. This engine has a 16-mpg city/24-mpg highway gas mileage rating.

  • "The 3.8-liter V6 may be the base engine, but that doesn't make it a lump. There's a healthy amount of midrange and top-end punch, complemented by a surprisingly pleasant soundtrack. Put the pedal to the floor, and the G80 accelerates to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, a decently quick time but on the slow side for the segment. The Sport manages a livelier 5.2-second sprint time." -- Edmunds
  • "Off-the-line response is impressive with all three engines, and fuel economy is decent, more so with the smaller V6s. A smooth and refined 8-speed automatic transmission backs all three engines, with a unique sport-tuned version fitted to the turbocharged Sport trim." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • Upon a stab of the accelerator pedal, the G80 Sport doesn't really feel 4,500 pounds, but it also doesn't feel as light on its feet as the Lexus GS 350 F Sport, a competitor I've also driven." -- Motor Trend (2018)

Handling and Braking

The G80 comes standard with rear-wheel drive. For $2,500, you can add all-wheel drive to any trim. Its handling is smooth and stable, leaning more toward luxury than sport. Though it isn't as agile as the smaller Genesis G70, the G80 is capable of some frisky maneuvers, especially with the performance-oriented G80 Sport.

  • "The G80 rides quite nicely. It's free of the floatiness that soft suspensions can sometimes deliver, yet it has plenty of compliance to soak up road undulations. It may not erase some bigger bumps quite as well as the best in class, but most people wouldn't notice the distinction." -- Edmunds
  • "The G80 Sport's development effort paid off; the car is a well-executed cruiser that can be sporty when the mood strikes. There's actually some steering feel, and compared to the regular G80 3.8, the G80 Sport has a more buttoned-down suspension with less pitch and dive under hard acceleration and heavy braking. The G80 Sport is sportier than the G80 3.8 (as it should be), but drivers like my father who now want a car that feels smaller might appreciate the new trim level." -- Motor Trend (2018)
  • "And while the G90's ride might be a little more luxury-like, the G80's ain't bad. Push the sport button, throw it in a corner in either rear- or all-wheel-drive configuration and you'll find that it, for the most part, comes out the other side. It feels all of its 4,519 pounds (4,674 in AWD), meaning it has just a hint of plodding around corners. If pushed too hard, it'll understeer, but you're not going to feel compelled to push this very hard. It's lively enough for what it is. … Which is fine. There's nothing wrong with putting the emphasis on luxury over handling, and the G80 is indeed luxurious." -- Autoweek (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Genesis G80

MSRP: $42,050 - $59,500

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