Would you like to drive an Audi, Beamer or Mercedes but want something with a lower price tag? The Genesis boasts the design, luxury and technology of those spendier cars, just not the status badging.
The five-passenger Genesis used to be known as the Hyundai Genesis. Yes, it’s still made by the Korean automaker but Genesis is now its luxury brand, just like Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura and Nissan/Infiniti.
The Genesis is available in G80 and G90 trims, both of which are new models for 2017. The G80 is a midsize sedan, while the G90 is a full-size sedan.
The G80 is available in 3.8 and 5.0 trims. Starting prices range from $41,400 to $54,550. The 3.8 trim comes standard with rear-wheel-drive; the G80 with all-wheel-drive starts at $43,900.
The 3.8 models are powered by a V6 that makes 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. The 5.0 trim gets a 5.0-liter V8 that generates 420 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and four driving modes.
The G80 3.8 handles much like a Lexus with a more comfort- than performance-oriented ride. But don’t let that smooth and quiet ride fool you; there’s more than enough power for just about every driving situation. Hit the gas pedal and the G80 accelerates smoothly, whether you’re starting from a stop or increasing speed to merge or pass on the freeway. Bumps and rough roads are barely noticeable.
Fuel efficiency is below average for the class. EPA ratings for the G80 are 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 19 mpg. I got 20 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is beautiful with top notch materials as you’d expect in a luxury sedan. It’s very spacious with plenty of room for passengers in both rows of seating. Controls are logically laid out.
Like all cars made by Hyundai, the Genesis is very well equipped. Many driver assistance technologies come standard including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams.
The infotainment system is intuitive to use. The G80 comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are also old-school buttons and knobs making it easy to adjust audio and climate. Unfortunately, there’s only one USB port. And Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not included with the 9.2-inch touchscreen, which is optional on the 3.8 trims and standard on the 5.0 trims.
The trunk has 15.3 cubic feet of storage which is a bit larger than average for the class. The wide opening makes it easy to load bulky items. One very handy feature is the hands-free Smart Trunk opener which comes standard whether you have the manual trunk or the optional power trunk. Just stand behind the car with the key fob and after three seconds, the trunk automatically opens. This way you don’t have to fumble to find the key fob or even wave your foot when your arms are full of groceries or other items.
The Genesis comes with Hyundai’s excellent warranty: a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The G80 receives the top score in NHTSA crash tests with an overall rating of five out of five stars and is named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Great value for the money; lower starting price than many competitors
Long list of standard features including several driver safety technology features and hands-free trunk
Beautiful, upscale and quiet interior
User friendly infotainment system
Smooth, comfortable and quiet ride
Excellent crash safety ratings
Fuel efficiency is less than average for the class
Only one USB port
No status badging to impress the neighbors
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay not available on all trims
The G80 is worth considering if luxury and value matter to you more than having a status badge on your car. Maybe you won’t impress the neighbors as much in a Genesis but you’ll get a beautiful midsize sedan with super smooth driving dynamics that’s loaded with luxury and tech and the option of AWD capability.
My tester starts at $43,900. The Premium Package is $4,700 and adds LED fog lights, power tilt-and-slide panoramic sunroof, Lexicon 14-speaker surround sound audio, seven-inch color LCD multi-information display, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera with parking guidelines, ventilated front sets, power rear sunshade, and manual rear side window shades. The Ultimate Package is $4,200 and adds premium leather seating surfaces, power driver seat cushion extender and side bolster, genuine matte finish wood trim and aluminum trim, full color heads-up display, premium 9.2-inch touchscreen with navigation and HD display, Lexicon 17-speaker audio system, power trunk lid, dual mode front vent control and CO2 sensor (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay not available on ultimate package). Delivery fee is $950 bringing the grand total to $53,800.