THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: The Genesis G80 Sport is quick off the line and stylish.
- What’s Worst: The park button will take a while to get used to.
- What’s Interesting: The multi-view camera is one of the best in the industry
As the previous owner of a 2007 Hyundai Elantra (it is now ferrying my son around the streets of Ottawa) I was excited to get behind the wheel of one of the company’s upscale Genesis brand cars, the G80.
Genesis became its own luxury division of Hyundai in 2016.
While I owned it, my 2007 Elantra was perfect for my needs. It started every morning, didn’t have any bells and whistles, got me where I was going and didn’t break down very often.
In fact, I was impressed enough that when it came time to get a new vehicle, my wife and I opted for a 2017 Elantra. Again, not many bells and whistles and it is the perfect size for us.
After a week behind the wheel of the G80, my eyes are now open to what Hyundai’s new luxury division has to offer drivers. This is a nicely designed automobile that screams luxury and style.
The Genesis G80 comes in four trims, Luxury, Technology, Sport and Ultimate.
My tester for the week was the Sport and while the price might seem a little high at $62,000, that gives you a car loaded to the hilt and a luxury vehicle that is priced less that many of its competitors.
Push the start button and the 3.3-litre, direct injection, twin-turbocharged V6 engine comes to life but because the interior is designed to keep the noise out, you don’t hear much.
It’s only when you put your foot on the gas pedal can you feel the twin-turbo come alive. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the G80 can really push you back in your seat.
I have read a lot about how some reviewers found the G80 to be a heavy car, weighing in at more than 4,500 lb but I never once had the sensation that the weight of the car was holding it back.
In fact, with all-wheel drive it always felt like I was in control and when the snow hit, the G80 was more than capable of handling the bad weather.
The 365 hp twin-turbo engine is one of the smoothest I have had the pleasure to drive and getting up to speed on the highway was never an issue, even when the temperature plummeted to ungodly numbers. The G80 Sport provides 375 lb/ft of torque.
The interior of the G80 is light years ahead of my Elantra. The Napa leather seats with larger than normal side bolsters and copper stitching were stylish and comfortable and the dash was laid out with the driver in mind.
I have never been a fan of heads up displays, finding them to bother my vision, but for some reason, the display on the G80 didn’t bother me and it helped you could change the colour and size to fit your tastes. I went back and forth between an orange and green and to my surprise, left it on the whole week I was in the car.
The 9.2-inch touchscreen navigation system is one of the finest I’ve seen and the controls for all the radio, navigation and settings are handled with a knob and buttons located just behind the shifter. It is very similar to what Mazda offers.
The shifter is very compact compared to other vehicles and to put the car in park, you push the park button in front of the shifter.
Even after a week in the car I didn’t trust that the button had worked and I was always nervous getting out, afraid the car was going to roll down my driveway.
The rear seats are roomy and adults won’t have any complaints about sitting in the back seats.
As noted earlier, the G80 Sport has a $62,000 price tag but the list of standard features is endless. It includes: rearview camera and multi-view camera; windshield wiper deicer; blind spot detection; rear-cross traffic alert; lane change assist; power tile and telescopic steering wheel; heated and ventilated front seats; heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel; and autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
In addition, the Sport model offers 19-inch wheels, the sport interior and exterior package and chassis enhancements including unique bumpers and darker window trim.
There are many more features available on the G80 that you can check out for yourself.
You should note the manufacturer recommends premium gas for the G80 so that is something to consider when deciding on a vehicle.
My week in the G80 has given me a curiosity about what else Hyundai’s luxury Genesis division has to offer drivers.
For me, Hyundai built a car that fit my needs. My Elantra was affordable and got me from point A to point B.
The G80 showed me Genesis can build a car that is stylish and should appeal to buyers who are looking for a more luxurious car at a price that won’t break their bank.
It should come as no surprise that Hyundai is making major inroads in Canada. Just look at the number of Santa Fe’s and Elantras you see on the road.
The Genesis G80 will just add to the overall corporation’s growing reputation.
2018 Genesis G80 Sport
BODY STYLE: Four-door sedan
DRIVE METHOD: All-wheel-drive
ENGINE: 3.3-litre, twin-turbocharged direct injection V6 with eight-speed automatic transmission
FUEL ECONOMY: 13.8/9.7L/100km (city/hwy). Premium fuel recommended.
CARGO CAPACITY: 15 cu ft trunk.
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