2018 Genesis G80 3.8 RWD: An Affordable Alternative to the European and Japanese Luxury Elite [Review]

2018 Genesis G80
[Photo: Genesis]
Hyundai introduced the first Genesis in the 2009 model year as a luxurious rear-wheel drive sedan to take on the European and Japanese brands. Five years later, rather than introducing an evolutionary enhancement to the first generation model, Hyundai chose a more revolutionary path. Taking a clean sheet of paper approach, the “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0” design philosophy resulted in a radically different appearance and a stiffer, more stable architecture, thanks to tuning by Lotus Engineering.

In 2015, the company went one further: it spun off Genesis as a standalone luxury brand. Now in its second year as its own company, Genesis offers three sedans for 2018: the Genesis G70, G90, and this: the midsize G80.


Hyundai’s spinoff luxury brand did slightly update the 2018 Genesis G80 and gave it a $375 price bump. Compared to the 2017 model, the 2018 Genesis G80 includes mildly restyled front and rear fascias. 2018 also adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as a new USB port. Apart from those small changes, the G80 isn’t radically different, as it was just introduced with the brand itself in late 2016.

Three levels of trim make up the G80 lineup: a Standard or base model trim, a Premium level grade and the Ultimate model. All are offered in either a RWD or AWD configuration. There are also three longitudinally mounted front engine variants. The Genesis G80 Sport offers a 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Then, for the G80, there’s either a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 or a 5.0-liter V8.

Base pricing ranges from $41,750 for a 3.8-liter rear-wheel drive G80 to $59,500 for a fully-loaded 5.0-liter powered AWD model. All versions come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive comes with a $2,500 premium for all models.

2018 Genesis G80
[Photo: Genesis]


The 2018 Genesis G80 sports a sophisticated interior design with remarkable attention to detail. Standard equipment includes leather trim, dual-zone automatic climate controls, and heated front seats. By default, the 2018 Genesis G80 carries a 17-speaker Lexicon stereo system with an 8-inch infotainment display. As of this year, the Genesis G80 does support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Optional interior equipment includes a 16-way power adjustable driver’s seat, rear window sunshades, and a 9.2-inch infotainment display with a 17-speaker premium audio system.

Safety features abound, as does connectivity and infotainment technology, with all the latest bells and whistles. The 2018 Genesis G80 comes standard with nine airbags, Automatic Emergency Braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and a Driver Attention Alert. Front and rear parking sensors are optional equipment.

2018 Genesis G80
[Photo: Genesis]


This particular 2018 Genesis G80 comes with a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. There are also four drive modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow modes. The EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 MPG city and 27 MPG highway.

The ride quality is smooth and planted without and harshness, but also without being mushy. The steering initially feels a little benign with its added assist.


My test 2018 Genesis G80 Sedan was the standard 3.8-liter model with a Santiago Silver Metallic exterior and a charcoal interior with aluminum finished trim accents. Hyundai kicked this G80’s price off at $41,750, with the Destination and Handling charges bumping the final sticker to $42,775.

The 2018 Genesis G80 in any of its trim levels is a satisfying luxury sedan. It’s good looking, pleasant to drive, and it offers a wide range of equipment at a reasonable price. It rings in several thousands of dollars cheaper than the Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class or BMW 5 Series. On price terms, it competes well against the Acura TLX and Lexus ES sedans.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Genesis G80 3.8 RWD

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $41,750
Price as Tested:
Engine: 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6
Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally mounted front engine / rear-wheel drive.
Horsepower: 311 hp @ 6,000 RPM
Torque: 293 lb-ft @ 5,000 RPM
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC® manual mode, paddle shifters and Intelligent Drive Mode with ECO, Normal, Sport and Snow modes.
Suspension: Front: Independent multi-link with gas shock absorbers, coil springs and solid stabilizer bar.

Rear:  Independent multi-link with gas shock absorbers, coil springs and solid stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (ventilated front)
Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4 P245/45 R18 96V
Fuel capacity: 20.3 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 19 City / 27 Highway MPG


Wheelbase: 118.5 inches
Length: 196.5 inches
Width: 74.4 inches
Height: 58.3 inches
Turning Circle: 36.5 feet
Curb Weight: 4,195 pounds