HEELS ON WHEELS: 2017 GENESIS G80 REVIEW
HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE GENESIS G80 VEHICLE
Put plainly, the all-new Genesis G80 is a sophisticated full-sized sedan ready to rival fancy European competitors. And it has both the premium style and guts thanks to a 5-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower.
I drove a 2017 Genesis G80 featuring the 420-horsepower 5-liter V8 engine and rear-wheel drive paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission featuring SHIFTRONIC technology and paddle shifters. Available in two trims by engine size – a 3.8 V6 or 5.0 V8 with or without Premium and Ultimate packages – the long list of highlights on my fully loaded G80 5.0 Ultimate test drive included: 16-way power driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar and 12-way power passenger seat; premium leather upholstery; genuine matte finish wood trim; heated and ventilated front seats; panoramic sunroof; power trunk lid; navigation system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen; 7-inch multi-information display; upgrade Lexicon seventeen-speaker audio system; Qi wireless device charger; Bluetooth connectivity; multi-view camera with parking sensors; Bi-Xenon headlights with High Beam Assist; nineteen-inch alloy wheels; Lane Keep Assist; and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Total price as described comes to $54,550.
You’d never guess Hyundai is the brainchild behind the Genesis G80. Cadillac, Volvo, Buick, BMW and Mercedes are brand competitors if we’re talking clout and performance. I have also recently test-driven a Genesis G90 with a 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: The Genesis G80 offers a flawless interior with quality felt and seen at every angle. Several previously mentioned standard features like the safety equipment are bundled into the model, which shows value merit. Second-row passengers receive first-class treatment with plenty of leg and shoulder room, and three will be happily kept in style. If you’re comparing apples to apples, the G90 Premium has such extras as a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a Qi wireless device charger and rear power sunshades. Nevertheless, graphics and commands on the Genesis media system are vivid and easy to access with a master dial on near the armrest.
Reliability & Safety Factor: The vehicle is a Top Safety Pick with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for featuring ratings of “Good” in every crash-test category for a large-sized sedan (note headlights gets an “Acceptable” and ease of use with child seats a “Marginal”). The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) gives the 2017 Genesis G80 an overall 5-Star rating. Standard safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and an advanced airbag system.
Cost Issues: A base Genesis G80 3.8 starts at $41,400 with my more feature- and engine-rich 5.0 Ultimate at $54,550 (compare that to the G90’s $69,700 at this trim level). The 2017 Lincoln Continental starts at $44,720 and the 2017 Volvo S90 Momentum at $46,950. A recently loaded Volvo S90 Inscription test drive reached $66,105 with all the packages.
Activity & Performance Ability: Having tested the G90’s turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, the 5-liter V8 packs a different kind of punch with 420 horsepower combined with the support of rear-wheel drive for truly road-gripping thrills. While always in command, you might sense a few shortcomings where road absorption is concerned. Radius is generous and you’ll enjoy how the sedan guides into curves with ease. Parking is easy for the dimensions and visibility even more manageable with the safety tech.
The Green Concern: With 15-city/23-highway driving from the V8 engine, combined estimates are at 18 miles-per-gallon putting the Genesis G80’s fuel consumption in the category of a mid-sized SUV.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
Serene and stylish, the full-sized 2017 Genesis G80 sedan will impress on every level with its fresh take on high-end performance and luxury – view it as a more value-oriented choice than the European stalwarts.
©2017 Katrina Ramser
2017 Genesis G80 Mid-luxury Sedan
The Genesis G80 expresses a truly modern design through distinctive exterior styling with a sleek, upscale appearance. The G80 features a striking hexagonal front grille as a key geometric element, an elegant crease accent running along the flanks of the car, and a dynamic rear design. Design surfaces convey a kinetic elegance, relying more on voluminous body sections than surface details to create dramatic forms.
The single-frame crest grille ensures the front end of the Genesis G80 is not only striking, depicted in semi-gloss chrome, but also encompasses standard Bi-Xenon HID headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and available LED fog lights. The profile of the G80 is expressive, with fluid lines and blended surfaces, and a sleek C-pillar helping to emphasize the sporty styling. The rear of the vehicle benefits from a sculptural aesthetic with jeweled and full-LED wrap-around taillights that provide a sense of visual width and feeling of stability.
MODERN INTERIOR DESIGN
The cabin layout of Genesis G80 has been designed to benefit all occupants with a spacious, comfortable ambience. The simplified switchgear and instrument panel ensure an intuitive layout and open feel. This user-centric design has sought to connect the various interior parts effectively, particularly the center stack with the console, upper-instrument panel and B-pillar with the headliner. The G80 displays an ultra-precise fit and finish, with ergonomic seat design and a generous, natural feel. Particular design attention has been paid to the storage of practical items such as mobile electronics of many shapes and sizes, along with the flexibility of the cup holders.
|Genesis G80||Cadillac CTS||Lexus GS||Infiniti Q70||BMW 5-Series||Mercedes E-Class|
|Total Interior Volume (cu. ft.)||123||110.7||113.3||118.5||116||111|
The G80’s interior surfaces have been developed to decrease relative interior reflections and brighten dashboard surfaces, while available high-grade materials such as genuine aluminum and matte-finish wood ensure a luxurious feel. Cohesion between the center fascia and audio controls is evident through its streamlined design, making the two separate sections appear as one. To further ensure harmony within the interior, the G80 was intensely scrutinized for its use of materials, with extensive analysis of the relationship of different materials, their texture and color coordination.
Driver and passenger posture are optimized using enhanced seat pad density, improved seat support technologies, such as adjustable driver’s seat power bolsters and seat cushion extension. The G80 offers standard 12-way power front seats, including 4-way power lumbar, heated front seats with available ventilation, as well as heated rear seats on HTRAC AWD models. Seat materials and stitching quality utilize double, rather than single stitching. The driver’s seat incorporates functionality with an available air-pressure pump and controller valve, providing seatback bolster adjustment through individual air-cells located in the seat. With a total operating time under 8-seconds, the G80 benefits from both a faster activation process and greater range of adjustment than many competitive rivals.
The 2017 Genesis G80 platform employs advanced high-strength steel, composing more than 50 percent of its total platform composition. The strategic benefits of high-strength steel are immediately evident in the G80’s torsional and bending rigidity – it is stiffer in both torsional and bending rigidity than the BMW 5-series.
Ensuring a smooth ride over rough roads was a top development focus, achieved by a robust connecting structure, extensive laser welding, reinforced body and chassis mounting points, hot stamping and dipping techniques for the B-pillar and roof sides, and a high level of high-strength steel in the chassis. Front shock towers are made of aluminum, and a diamond-shaped strut bar maximizes front structure rigidity for precise steering response.
Sustained durability and high-performance handling driving tests took place on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany to precisely calibrate ride, braking and handling characteristics.
Fully leveraging this rigid chassis is a rear multi-link suspension, with optimized 5-link geometry and increased suspension travel for a broad range of both dynamic performance and ride comfort. Lateral suspension stiffness and overall ride comfort refinement were top priorities in its dynamic development. The fully-independent, 5-link front and rear suspension designs increase suspension travel, for greater wheel articulation and bump absorption over a variety of road surfaces. 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels resist deflection forces for precise suspension response to changing road surfaces. Handling and road holding also benefit from a well-balanced 52/48 ratio of front-to-rear weight distribution.
In addition, special focus was given to the development of Rack-mounted Motor Driven Electric Power Steering (R-MDPS), with a Variable Gear Ratio (VGR), helping to provide high-speed stability and a direct feel at low and medium speeds. These driving qualities are attained while retaining the incremental fuel economy benefits of an electric system over the higher parasitic losses of hydraulic systems.
HTRAC® AWD AVAILABILITY
The Genesis G80 is offered with a choice of rear-wheel-drive or HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) configurations. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles.
The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal and Sport modes help provide confident control in all-weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty rear-drive dynamic feel when desired. Further, to maximize efficiency, the system can direct more available torque to the rear wheels during steady-state highway cruising for reduced drivetrain frictional losses and noise. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to variable conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill-starts. All modes are programmed in concert with Genesis’ Intelligent Drive Mode select.
POWERFUL 5.0-LITER V8 ENGINE
The heart of the Genesis G80 is the award-winning 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine producing 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 383 lb. ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. The Tau V8 engine family has been named to Ward’s prestigious Ten Best Engines list three times. With high-pressure direct injection for impressive power, low emissions and superb efficiency, this latest version of the Tau V8 benefits from an optimized intake runner length, enhanced timing chain for reduced friction and NVH, low-torque exhaust manifold, increased compression ratio and upgraded multiple-injection mapping. These enhancements combine to produce a flatter torque curve at lower rpm for even better driveability.
The Tau’s high 11.8:1 compression ratio increases thermal efficiency and output. The Tau also has a rigid bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness), as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability. Even more, this V8 offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction coatings on piston skirts. This Tau engine will also run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power, and no negative driving effects, whenever desired.
DIRECT-INJECTED LAMBDA 3.8-LITER V6 ENGINE
The Genesis G80 3.8-liter direct-injected Lambda engine is optimized to deliver a flatter overall torque curve at low rpm for superb drivability. This engine includes a three-stage variable intake system, triangular-pattern fuel injector for improved combustion, an air-gap exhaust manifold for better NVH, and an upgraded cylinder block with a variable-vane 2-stage oil pump for reduced parasitic losses. In keeping with its 5.0-liter V8 sibling, the G80 3.8-liter Lambda engine utilizes direct-injection and produces 311 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 293 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm, delivering the most standard horsepower against key segment competitors. It also has a high compression ratio of 11.5:1 for greater thermal efficiency. The Lambda engine will run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power, and no negative driving effects.
The 3.8-liter engine also has Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), variable induction, an all-aluminum block and heads, steel timing chain and iridium-tipped spark plugs. Besides horsepower and torque gains, direct-injection technology produces a significant reduction in emissions. All 3.8-liter engines are coupled to the same eight-speed automatic transmission as the 5.0-liter.
In addition, all powertrains feature a driver-selectable Intelligent Drive Mode that allows users to select from four drive modes depending on conditions and driving preferences. Each drive mode alters transmission mapping, throttle responsiveness and stability control, with specific modes adapted to function seamlessly for G80s equipped with HTRAC.
Intelligent Drive Mode
Type of Driving
UNPARALLELED SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
The Genesis G80 employs an unrivaled standard suite of active driver safety technologies. These features cover the full spectrum of safety, from driver alertness and focus to total occupant safety, and even the safety of other drivers on the road.
GENESIS G80 STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES COMPARISON
2017 Mercedes E300
Automatic Emergency Braking
Smart Cruise Control (Start/Stop)
Blind Spot Detection
Lane Keep Assist
High Beam Assist
The G80 offers Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), using sensor fusion technology to help avoid a potential collision or reduce its impact in certain circumstances. With this supplemental system, the G80 will employ automatic braking when it detects another vehicle at an unsafe closing rate of speed. This system uses Smart Cruise Control and the forward camera from Lane Departure Warning (LDW) to provide this extra margin of safety.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Functional Range
50 - 112 mph
5 - 50 mph
In addition, the G80 features Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA). The BSD system helps monitor traffic around the car by using radar sensors in the rear bumper to warn the driver of an approaching vehicle in his or her blind spot via an indicator on the side mirrors. If the driver activates the lane change indicator and attempts to change lanes, ignoring warning indicators, BSD additionally issues an audible warning and haptic steering wheel vibrations. In addition, for G80s equipped with the Head’s-Up Display, the BSD system indicators also project onto the windshield, nearer to the driver’s view of the road, a segment first.
Using the same sensors as BSD, Lane Change Assist (LCA) performs a similar function to help detect vehicles approaching in adjacent lanes at high speeds and warns the driver if a lane change is unsafe. Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) also utilizes those sensors to scan areas on each side of the car while in reverse to detect any unseen cross-traffic.
From the front, the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system uses the forward-facing camera to detect lane departure, and will activate a warning signal on the instrument panel while issuing a haptic steering wheel vibration warning. Working in concert with LDW, Lane Keep Assist (LKA) additionally provides a driver-adjustable level of steering assist to help prevent inadvertent lane departure and provides haptic steering wheel vibration feedback.
For extra convenience and safety, the G80 is equipped with High-beam Assist (HBA) to detect both oncoming traffic and vehicles in the same lane ahead at night.
The feature will automatically switch between high-beams and low-beams as appropriate, to reduce the blinding effect on other drivers and re-activate high beams to improve the driver’s range of vision. To maximize driving visibility, the G80 also features HID headlights with dynamic auto-leveling that compensates for varying vehicle loads.
To help ensure maximum driver alertness, G80 also benefits from an innovative CO2 sensor control system, located under the glove box. Engineers discovered that occupants start to get drowsy when CO2 levels reached more than 2,000 parts per million, so the ventilation system helps ensure the cabin maintains a CO2 concentration well below that level at all times using freshly-ventilated ambient air. The system monitors the vehicle’s intake of fresh or re-circulated air using a dedicated CO2 sensor.
The G80 also offers a parking assistance system with eight ultrasonic sensors located on the front and rear bumpers. The sensors, along with the rearview camera, help detect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicated on the in-dash screen and is accompanied by an audible warning tone.
The entire Genesis G80 structure was engineered to meet the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick + standard. The G80 is equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), energy-absorbing front seats and nine airbags including advanced dual front airbags, driver’s knee airbag, front and outboard rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants. Standard LED Daytime running lights improve vehicle visibility and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) provides individual tire pressure readouts.
G80 is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 3.8 models have 13.6-inch front rotors, while the 5.0 has even larger 14.2-inch front rotors. Both braking systems use four-piston fixed monobloc calipers for precise braking responsiveness.
REFINED & QUIET CABIN
In pursuit of refined quietness within the cabin, special attention was paid to the increased application of sound-absorbing materials and additional noise-reduction enhancements. Acoustic laminated glass, a low-noise fuel pump, improved cowl bulkhead insulation and sealing, and increased overall bodyshell rigidity to help minimize vibrations all contribute to G80’s quiet interior. Insulation of the rear differential helps reduce booming and vibration, resulting in lower audible noise inside the passenger cabin. During acceleration, sound quality has been achieved through mid- to high-frequency noise reduction, and dynamic engine sound improvements were achieved through intake and exhaust system tuning.
DRIVER CONVENIENCE TECHNOLOGIES
The Genesis G80 provides a high level of premium driver convenience technologies focused around human-centered innovation. Other competitors with hands-free trunk-opening technology use a leg-kick sensor under the rear bumper to enable the driver to open the trunk. Instead, the G80’s hands-free smart trunk system was designed to open the trunk automatically if the smart key is detected in a pocket or purse within a few feet of the rear bumper for longer than three seconds. This system allows the driver to keep both feet comfortably on the ground, while waiting by the trunk a few seconds for it to open automatically. It also provides an audible warning and flashing light prior to opening.
Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, an available Head’s-Up Display (HUD) projects a virtual image onto the windshield, enabling the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road using a system of mirrors combined with a TFT LCD display. The system features adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind Spot Detection, Forward Collision Warning, speed limit, Lane Departure Warning and audio system data is projected at a perceived virtual distance approximately seven feet ahead of the driver for maximum legibility while driving.
The G80 also features an electronic parking brake with Automatic Vehicle Hold for ultimate convenience when driving in traffic. Automatic Vehicle Hold automatically holds the G80 at a stop until the accelerator pedal is depressed, such as at a traffic signal or in stopped traffic. The vehicle hold re-engages whenever the vehicle is brought to a complete stop. G80 also includes proximity-key entry convenience with push-button start as standard equipment.
MEDIA AND NAVIGATION SYSTEMS
For audiophiles, Genesis G80 offers an ultra-premium, Lexicon® Discrete Logic 7 Surround audio system with 17 speakers, Logic 7 Surround Sound processing and 12-channel digital amplifier with 900-watts of equivalent output, sure to satisfy the most demanding listeners. This system is paired with a premium DIS navigation system featuring a 9.2-inch High Definition display, with 720p high definition and a 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for multimedia. It also includes Gracenote® album art, junction view with lane guidance, advanced voice recognition, and music/image/video storage via USB download (approximately 30GB of usable storage).
The G80 also features standard Bluetooth, SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio, and iPod/USB auxiliary media input jacks. The instrument cluster displays utilize high-resolution, electroluminescent TFT LCD technology, with a standard 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display, and an available 7.0-inch TFT LCD cluster display.
ADVANCED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
The Genesis G80 advanced infotainment system features:
- Integration with Apple’s Siri-powered “Eyes Free” mode
- Functionality allows owners of compatible vehicles to perform a variety of in-car tasks without taking their eyes off the road
- SD Navigation
- Pandora® integration with smartphone
- SiriusXM® Audio – 6 presets (record, play, pause, back)
- SiriusXM® Travel Link (Traffic & Data) complimentary for 3 years
GENESIS CONNECTED SERVICES
All Genesis vehicles offer Genesis Connected Services to bring seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like Remote Start with Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google®, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Genesis Connected Services can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror and center stack, the web or via an exclusive Genesis owners’ smartphone app.
In addition, to further provide owners with another level of luxury convenience and stress-free ownership, all Genesis vehicles will include exclusive customer benefits. From valet service appointments scheduled using the Genesis mobile app, to complimentary maintenance and Genesis Connected Services, the Genesis Experience is designed to provide time-saving conveniences.
• 3 years/36K miles Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance
• 3 years/36K miles Complimentary Valet Services
• 3 years Complimentary Genesis Connected Services including Connected Care, Remote, and Guidance
• 3 years Complimentary SiriusXM® Travel Link (Traffic & Data)
• 3 years Complimentary Map Care – map updates• Best-in-Industry Warranty with Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Concierge Services
Want More 2017 Genesis G80 Info? 2017 G80 Factory Specs - PDF
Want More 2017 Genesis G80 Info? 2017 Genesis G80 Official Features and Options