2021 Genesis G80, a midsize luxury sedan with superior design and outstanding performance

By: Tarek Hawchar


When Hyundai first introduced the Genesis sedan in 2009, no one would ever have predicted that the Korean company’s first foray into the luxury-car market would be such a success! A decade later, Genesis has established itself as a premium brand, and the midsize luxury sedan—the Genesis G80—that started it all has been fully overhauled.



A more modern, bold look, a choice of two powerful engines, an advanced rear-wheel-drive platform, advanced driving aids, and more luxury features than ever before are only a few of the highlights of the 2021 Genesis G80. It is undoubtedly one of the best midsize luxury sedans ever created by a carmaker outside the well-known European brands! Yes, that’s a strong statement, and we mean it!


The 2021 Genesis G80 adopts the Korean brand’s latest design language, featuring a huge shield-shaped grille and a split-headlight design

We were lucky to climb behind the wheels of the new G8 that marks the third generation of the low-riding vehicle, competing directly with the likes of Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6. Simply put, the 2021 Genesis G8 was unexpectedly fun to drive, especially with its 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine!




Exterior


From a design standpoint, the 2021 Genesis G80 adopts the Korean brand’s latest design language, featuring a huge shield-shaped grille and the split-headlight design that continues over to the side profile of the luxury sedan. We can easily trace out the same cluster graphic in the rear with the neat-looking taillights—very much like what we have previously seen on Genesis’s first SUV, the GV80!



The new G80 also comes with a choice of 18-inch or 19-inch wheels and a sleek, fastback profile to give the luxury sedan a sportier appearance. As far as the dimensions go, the third-generation G80 has an overall length of 4995 mm and measures 1925 mm and 1465 mm in width and height, respectively, with a 3010 mm long wheelbase.


Unsurprisingly, feelings of luxury, minimalism, and cleanliness ooze from the cabin

Interior


Unsurprisingly, feelings of luxury, minimalism, and cleanliness ooze from the cabin. The interior layout of the 2021 Genesis G80 is straightforward, while the few actual physical buttons are optimally placed within the drivers’ reach.


The dashboard is dominated by a floating 14.5-inch infotainment screen—it can be controlled by touch or by handwriting recognized via Genesis’s integrated controller.


For audiophiles, Genesis offers the upmarket 18-speaker Lexicon sound system with the Quantum Logic Surround mode

Among other highlights are the 12.3-inch high-definition 3D instrument cluster, a panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors, rear seat dual monitors, heated and ventilated power-adjustable rear seats, three-zone climate control with an air-purification feature, wireless charging, and high-quality materials.


For audiophiles, Genesis offers the upmarket 18-speaker Lexicon sound system with the Quantum Logic Surround mode, allowing passengers to enjoy more dynamic and vivid audio effects.


Space-wise, while there is adequate space up front, the sloping roofline limits rear headspace, but there is also plenty of legroom in the back, meaning the new G80 has one of the roomiest and most comfortable cabins in its segment.


On the safety front, the midsize luxury sedan offers a range of driving assistance features, such as the Forward Attention Warning (FAW) system, Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) system, a Surround View Monitor with 3D function, Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) system, Intelligent Front-Lighting System (IFS), and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, among other safety features.


The new G80 is available with two engine options: a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine, and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 mill

Engine and Performance


In the Middle East, the 2021 Genesis G80 is available with two engine options. The base model is equipped with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine that chugs out 304 hp and 422 Nm of torque.


For those who feel the new G80 needs a bit more grunt, then they could opt for the bigger engine. The range-topping G80 is offered with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, pumping out 380 hp and 530 Nm of torque.


Both engines are hooked to the same eight-speed automatic transmission sending power either to the rear or four wheels. Despite a curb weight of 1960 kg and its relatively big proportions, pressing the accelerator of the four-wheel-drive G80 (that is equipped with the six-cylinder mill) to the floor made the luxury sedan surge forward with surprising urgency. Hence, we enjoyed a more aggressive run!



Better yet, the latest iteration of Genesis G80 now rides on an electronically controlled suspension with road preview. The latter automatically controls the damping force of the suspension to control the movement of the low-riding vehicle, ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride.


The 2021 G80 builds on Genesis’s third-generation rear-wheel-drive platform, meaning that the Korean luxury automaker has been able to increase tensile strength, improve rigidity, and enhance the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) characteristics of the third-generation G80 over the previous model.


The latest iteration of Genesis G80 now rides on an electronically controlled suspension with road preview

Our verdict


Thanks to a new rear-wheel-drive platform, a modern design that stands out, and a wide range of eye-popping luxury amenities, packed with a series of driving assistance features, the 2021 Genesis G80 is a viable luxury contender in a crowded segment. However, in our viewpoint, it is one step ahead of the cutthroat competition!


Overall, the new G80 will remain one of the most luxurious, technically advanced, and beautifully designed midsize luxury sedans out there. Yes, we are looking at a Korean vehicle that can compete with the likes of Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6, and even beat them at their own game!


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