2022 Genesis G80 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige, A Sensational Bargain - Review by David Colman
A sensational bargain
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Can a 4,500 pound luxury limousine double as a track day car? If you had asked me that question before I spent a week driving the newly revised G80, my answer would have been absolutely not. But Genesis has given their sleek sedan such a thorough race bred makeover that you will want to stow your chauffeur's cap in favor of a full face helmet. While these two ends of the transportation equation seem mutually contradictory, they can successfully coexist if you check all the right boxes at your Genesis dealer.
The Jekyll and Hyde nature of the G80 becomes apparent the moment you seat yourself in its plush cabin. This sedan's fit and finish easily rivals that of cars costing twice as much from Mercedes, Audi and BMW. In fact, its lavish but tasteful treatment puts most of the more expensive competition to shame. Perforated "Vanilla Beige" Nappa leather seats look expensive and feel luxurious. They're not just heated and ventilated, but also fitted with an "Ergo Motion" massage feature that soothes your muscles rather than subjecting them to a shiatsu pounding. The seats even provide a power bolster for cushion extension. If you can't get comfortable in a G80 AWD Sport, you can't get comfortable anywhere.
The Jekyll side of the G80's personality announces itself when you flatten the aluminum ribbed accelerator and enjoy an infusion of rocket thrust from the 375hp twin turbo V6 that generates 391lb.-ft. of torque at 1300rpm. In other words, this Genesis explodes off the starting line like Usain Bolt in the 100m dash. For the record, it takes 4.8 seconds to reach 60mph from a standing start, and clears the quarter-mile sprint in 13.5 seconds on its way to posting a top speed of 155mph. Track day Porsches and Corvettes will want to keep a sharp eye on their mirrors when they see the dark chrome Sport Appearance snout of a G80 3.5T nose into sight.
Much of what makes the latest G80 such a potent runner lies hidden under the skin. Genesis has added rear-wheel steering to the G80's "Sport Prestige" portfolio for 2022, making for nimbler corner turn-in. Revised electronically controlled suspension (ECS) settings allow you to select your ride quality from a custom map, or choose one of three other settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. All of the pre-set ride settings, including "Comfort" seem biased to the high performance end of the spectrum. You will find that the ride quality of the G80 is anything but comfortable in the "Comfort" setting, as the sedan issues head tosses to its riders like a Slinky descending a stairway.
This ultra stiff ride is partially attributable to the choice of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S radials which carry a VR (180mph) speed rating. Genesis supplies them as part of an extensive "Sport Prestige with Summer Tires" package which adds $6,800 to the bottom line. Given the extreme handling potential of the G80, we commend Genesis for making the staggered size, track worthy Michelins available straight from the factory. The G80's Sport Prestige 20 inch alloys, complete with dimpled windmill spokes, give ample support to the 245/40VR20 front and 275/35VR20 rear rubber.
You can secure a G80 for as little as $48,000 if you opt for the rear wheel drive (RWD) base model powered by a 300hp turbo inline 4. Adding the features of the "Advanced" package ups your buy-in to $52,600. The RWD "Prestige" 4 cylinder model retails for $56,900. Three AWD versions of the turbo 4 are available, priced from $51,150 to $59,450. If you opt for the 3.5T AWD Sport, base price is $63,450. Adding the "Sport Prestige" option (20 inch alloys, Nappa leather, remote smart park assist, head-up display, rear wheel steering, carbon fiber trim) brings the "All-Season Tires" model to $69,750 and the "Summer Tires" model we tested to $70,250. In the greater scheme of things, even the top models of the G80 are sensational bargains considering the level of luxury and high performance they provide.
2022 GENESIS G80 AWD SPORT PRESTIGE WITH SUMMER TIRES
ENGINE: 3.5 liter V6, twin turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve, aluminum block and heads, direct and port fuel injection
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 17MPG City/26MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $71,795
HYPES: Half Price Bargain Bins the German Competition
GRIPES: Needs Softer "Comfort" Setting
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10