Tuesday, March 6, 2018

2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD: The Brand’s Performance-Oriented Midsize Luxury Sedan

Highlight: The G80 Sport is the latest addition to both the Genesis’ portfolio.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $58,725 (Base model: $42,725)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; rear view camera with parking guidelines; a vehicle stability control system; a traction control system; automatic emergency braking with pedestrian protection; a radar activated cruise control system with a start-stop feature; front and rear parking sensors; a lane departure warning system; a lane keep assist system; a blind spot detection system with a rear traffic alert and lane change assist system; a tire pressure monitoring system; an electronic parking brake; an automatic hold system; a haptic steering system; stability control; traction control; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; and automatic sensing wipers 

Standard G80: 18-inch wheels; an 8-speed transmission; a push button ignition starter; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility; Bi-Xenon HID headlights; dual power folding heated mirrors with approach light; 12-way power front seats; leather seats; heated front seats; memory driver’s seat setting; a leather wrapped steering wheel; an 8-inch navigation system; a steering wheel with paddle shifters; and a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Standard Equipment 3.3 liter Engine: 19-inch wheels; a 365-horsepower engine; an 8-speed automatic transmission; rear wheel drive; high performance gas shock absorbers; a multi-view camera; a haptic steering system; a driver attention alert; hands free trunk with automatic open; dual power folding heated side mirrors; chrome quad exhaust tips; dark tint rear combination tail light covers; a power trunk lid; a keyless entry system; a dark chrome grille; dark chrome window trim; a panoramic sunroof; a suede headliner; 16-way power driver’s seat; sport seats with contrast stitching; ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; a heated steering wheel; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; alloy sport pedals; a wireless charging device; a 9.2-inch navigation screen; a heads up display system; a manual rear window shade; illuminated door sill plates; and a 17-speaker audio system

Standard 3.3 AWD: an all-wheel drive system; heated steering wheel; and heated rear seats

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 7-speaker Logic AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.8-liter, 6-cylinder/311-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage (rear wheel drive): 17-city/25-hwy

What’s New:  The 2018 G80 Sport is the latest addition to the newest luxury maker to join the likes of Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. This is the first G80 to be outfitted with a twin turbo 6-cylinder engine.

The G80, which is formerly known as the Genesis sedan, receives a few minor cosmetic updates to the grille, headlights and rear fascia. Added to that, the G80 gains a few standard technological advancements in terms of the infotainment system and driver safety system.

Why: The solidly built Genesis G80 is definitely earning a reputation as a luxury brand to take serious. The G80 has received accolades from two of the most respected sources in the industry. The G80 ranks the best in in the premium luxury segment, according to the latest JD Power 90-day study. Also the Korean luxury sedan is one of the few vehicles to rate at the top of its class in terms of safety with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Moreover, the stylish G80, which mixes the best of both contemporary and traditional design cues, is available in a rear wheel drive or an all wheel drive configuration. For the 2018 model year, the midsize luxury sedan expands from two to three trims: base, sport and an 8-cylinder.  

The G80 Sport, with its 6-cylinder twin turbo, is the newest addition to the Genesis luxury line. The vehicle pumps out 365-horsepower from the dual chrome tailpipes. For those seeking more horsepower than the base model, but less than the 8-cylinder, the Sport model is the trim of choice.

Even with these changes, the ride and handling capabilities still makes this vehicle desirable for both short haul or cross country trips. Essentially, the Sport model is still a luxury model which evokes some attitude.

Inside the vehicle, the interior design team differentiated the vehicle from the other trims, adding such premium features as a carbon fiber interior trim, leather sport seats, a sport-designed brake and an accelerator pedal and a black suede headliner.

Ironically, unlike some of the other G80 models, when the all wheel drive feature is added to the Sport, there at minimum a $750 price difference, when compared to the rear wheel drive configuration. So, for those residing in cooler habitats, this is a no brainer. Who wouldn’t opt for the all wheel drive model?

Furthermore, all G80 models are outfitted with numerous amenities that make it a smart buy, when parked next to its competitors. Every G80 has a back up camera, high beam assist automatic headlights, a lane departure warning system, a lane keep assist system, an electronic blind spot detection system, with a rear traffic cross alert, a haptic steering wheel and a radar-activated full stop cruise control system.

Lastly, once behind the wheel of the G80, the vehicle literally sells itself. The seating is both comfortable and supportive. The instrument panel is well thought out. The infotainment system is easy to operate. And like with the exterior, the interior mixes the best of both contemporary and traditional design cues. Yet, unlike some of its competitors, buyers will not be intimidated by the G80’s user-friendly technology.

But: In terms of features, we can’t think of any major item that was omitted from the Sport model.  However, if we could add one item to our wish list, it would be an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot, turning the vehicle into a mobile office.

Moreover, as far as pricing, for those buyers opting for the base model over the Sport model, they’ll immediately notice a sizable difference in terms of adding on the all wheel drive system.

Verdict: Since the arrival of the Genesis a few years ago, before it was renamed the G80, it has been a worthy contender to consider. Even with its new name, which mimics the naming system of many of its competitors, it is hard to overlook this premium sedan. Both Consumer Reports magazine and J. D. Power gives the vehicle top marks.

Competition: Audi A5; BMW 5-Series; Cadillac CTS; Infiniti Q50; Jaguar Lexus XF and Lexus GS