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"New Car Review: 2018 Genesis G80 AWD" By John Heilig

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2018 Genesis G80 AWD

ENGINE: 3.3-liter turbocharged V6

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with Shiftronic

HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 365 hp @ 6,000 rpm/376 lb.-ft. @ 1,300-4,500 rpm

WHEELBASE: 118.5 in.

LENGTH X WODTH X HEIGHT: 196.5 x 74.4 x 58.3 in.

TIRES: P275/35R19

CARGO CAPACITY: 15.3 cu. ft.

ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/17.6 mpg test

FUEL TANK: 20.3 gal.

CURB WEIGHT: 4,674 lbs. #/HP: 12.8

TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended

STICKER: $58,325 (includes $975 delivery)

BOTTOM LINE: The Genesis G80 is a very well done full-size luxury sedan with the ride quality and power one would expect.

I enjoy exotic car styling. Give me a car that looks as if it’s going 200 mph even when it’s standing still, and I get all squiggly.

But I also appreciate more conservative styling, especially when it’s dressing a luxury sedan. When what is under the sheetmetal is designed for comfortable driving/riding, there’s no reason to let the designers loose to do their thing.

The Genesis G80 is conservatively styled, almost Mercedes-Benz-like. The lines of the G80 are almost boxy, yet this “box” large enough to carry five passengers in comfort. If bench front seats hadn’t gone the way of the dodo bird, there would even be room for six. There’s even a small solid panel in the middle of the grille, apparently to improve fuel economy, by how much I wouldn’t even try to hazard a guess.

Ride quality is very good. Genesis obviously went for quality in the design of the suspension. Both front and rear suspensions are five-link independent designs with gas shock absorbers and tubular stabilizer bars. Overall ride quality is a bit firm.

Front seats have good side support to ensconce you, but not so much as to be Recaro-like. Rear seats have very good legroom and visibility. The door side windows extend all the way to the backs of the rear seats. The rear seat backs apparently don’t fold, although the trunk is a good size with a large cargo net.

Under the hood is a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 that almost feels like a V8. The engine is rated at a healthy 365 horsepower, and even though the G80 weighs in at 4,674 pounds, there are still only 12.8 pounds per horsepower, which is nudging into the performance car range. Hit the accelerator and you get a surge of power and excellent acceleration without the associated noise. There is an overall feeling of quiet power.

While the transmission is an 8-speed, the shifter is just R-N-D with a push button for park. It resembles the BMW shifter, but it is simpler. You can shift into Park from any gear, when stopped of course, but I generally shifted into Neutral, then Park. There are three drive modes to the transmission - normal, sport and eco.

The G80 has a simple dash with a lot of information. The instrument cluster consists of a tachometer, information screen, and speedometer. We chose trip information for our info data. There’s also a heads up display, but it is difficult to read while wearing sunglasses.

The 9.2-inch infotainment screen helps with the audio system. I had initial issues with tuning, but once I found what I wanted, sound quality was excellent. There’s an analog clock in the center of the dash which seems to be de riguer for luxury cars. A central controller on the console allows selection among home, phone, menu, map/voice and navigation.

Genesis has added nice touches to the G80. For example, when you lock the car on exiting, the exterior mirrors fold. And when you unlock the car at night, a Genesis logo lights up any puddles by your door. Also, the doors handles light up so you can find them easily.

I remember driving a Hyundai Genesis years ago and thought that it would be the basis for a Hyundai luxury car brand, like Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, and Nissan/Infiniti. They must have been reading my mind. Genesis is here as a brand, and a darned good one at that.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

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