By on March 30, 2020

genesis motors

Gazing at the next-generation Genesis G80, it’s not hard to believe that the fledgling brand’s design boss once penned the lines of Bentley models.

All-new for 2021, Genesis’ midsize sedan aims to lure premium shoppers out of their German machines and into a Korean conveyance. The brand obviously doesn’t see this as a step down. Far from it.

With its resculpted body oozing the brand’s “athletic elegance” design philosophy by the bucketload, the G80 — now riding atop a new platform shared with the GV80 crossover — kicks its previous engine roster to the curb. It its place are a brace of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines.

Genesis signatures abound on the G80, from the corporate “Crest Grille” to the over/under “Quad Lamps” that appear front and rear. Those twin light bars make an appearance on the front fenders, too, where they double as turn indicators. Spotting a G80 at night shouldn’t be difficult.

genesis

Rear-drive at its core, the G80 takes the long hood/short deck proportions of its predecessor and enhances them, adding a flowing roofline that terminates in an Audi A7-like fastback. Unlike its German rival (can we call the A7 a true rival?), the G80 does not feature a liftgate.

Unsullied by unnecessary creases or trim pieces, the G80’s flanks come together with a strong line that originates at the headlamp/grille meetup point, travels aft just below the beltline, and terminates at the taillamps. It creates a flow that, truth be told, most would likely describe as either sporty or elegant. 20-inch wheels compliment that design language.

Mission accomplished at the Genesis design studio?

Going back to the Bentley connection, Genesis claims that line is “inspired by the elegant look of several venerable classic cars.” It’s up to you to ID the make and model of the vehicles currently filling your subconscious.

genesis

Under hood, the old 3.8-liter V6 and twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 are out, as is the 5.0-liter V8 seen in Ultimate variants. In their place are a turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque and an uplevel turbo 3.5-liter V6 good for 375 hp and 391 lb-ft. Compared to its predecessor, the new base mill generates 11 fewer horses but offers up 18 more foot-pounds. The top-flight engine exceeds the previous turbo six by 10 horses and 15 lb-ft.

As before, an eight-speed automatic is the sole gearbox on offer, with all-wheel drive remaining an option.

While the power boost and thriftier base offering are a nice inclusion, the weight loss afforded by heavier use of aluminum in the G80’s body (it’s down 243 pounds over the 2020 model) should bolster any increases in fuel economy.

Inside, Genesis has afforded the G80’s cabin the same treatment as its GV80 platform mate. Open-pore wood and leather abound, with the gauge cluster now replaced by a 12.3-inch digital affair. A lengthy 14.5-inch infotainment screen juts from the top of the dash.

Technology also abounds, from the Highway Driving Assist II system that handles smart cruise, lane holding, and lane changing duties when activated, to standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and a blind spot monitoring system that actively setas out to prevent collisions with moving vehicles.

Due out later this year, the Genesis G80 is expected to follow the brand’s MO of undercutting German and Japanese rivals in price while trumping them in standard content. Pricing and fuel economy figures will have to wait until closer to the G80’s on-sale date.

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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58 Comments on “2021 Genesis G80: What a Premium Sedan Should Be?...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Wow those are two really downmarket powertrains, I guess Hyundai has figured the experiment has run its course? Are they just going to turn all focus to the CUVs and put the econo mills in the cars?

    • 0 avatar
      Serpens

      How are they downmarket? The Mercedes E-class and BMW 5-series both have turbo 4s standard with turbo 6 cylinder engines as the next step up.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        And? 4 cylinders are decidedly downmarket, especially in 2020. Just because Mercedes and BMW are lowering their bars for luxury to compete with lower end players doesn’t suddenly make lower end brands competitive with the same miserable downmarket tactics.

        It just cheapens and blurs the line between non-lux and lux brands. You can pay $12,000 for your brand new 2.0L car or you can pay $50,000 for your brand new 2.0L car. One of those consumers buying the two aforementioned vehicle is likely making a decision based off of cost, the other is a chump.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          1980s thinking doesn’t cut it in 2020. The turbo 4 is the new 6 cylinder.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The turbo 4 is a turbo 4 no matter how you spin it. Fantastic idea in a $24k Miata, abysmal idea on a $30k+ 4 door vehicle. I agree we need to leave 1980s thinking in the 80s, ChryCo did learn at least one thing from the decade.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The turbo 4 is just for the EU enviro standards. You don’t put one in a luxury car in the Americn market.

            The EU may not survive the covid-19 crisis. Italians have had their borders closed by their neighbors, have been refused medical supplies, and the central bank refuses to help with the financial burden.

            Italians are now burning EU flags and demanding Italy exit like the British, so they can take control of their own borders, and limit immigration. Even Spain and Portugal are protesting the EU’s inaction.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            You been to Southern Italy @Lorenzo? If they aren’t burning flags and protesting that would be when I would get worried LOL. It is sort of their thing. That and stealing stuff (at least in greater Naples).

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Mercedes “are lowering”?

          So just now BMW and MB are moving “down market”? Never mind all the models they produced in the past that were NA 4 and 6 cylinder powered I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Last generation E class had 4 different V8 options over its lifetime, and not all were some performance version. This generation has 1 V8 option and they treat it as a Halo rather than an appropriately sized engine for the car class.

            Mercedes has always offered 4 cylinders for its cab drivers in Europe, but they’ve never outright pushed small gas 4 cylinders onto Americans in the E class range since they changed their target market from Premium to Luxury until recently.

            So yes there has been a downmarket push in the North American theatre by Mercedes.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            somebody needs to remind Hummer about all of those 4-cylinder W201s Mercedes sold back in the day.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            If you have an 8 cylinder in your Euro Luxury car, you cheaped out and have 4 too few cylinders to be taken seriously, plebe.

            I mean NOTHING screams luxury like having the same layout for your motor that my 750 dollar Third Gen Camaro had back in high school. At least it came with some Van Halen and Guns n’ roses cassettes though. Dolby B for that luxurious sound through the 6×9’s.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “ If you have an 8 cylinder in your Euro Luxury car, you cheaped out and have 4 too few cylinders to be taken seriously, plebe.”

            100% Agree

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “ somebody needs to remind Hummer about all of those 4-cylinder W201s Mercedes sold back in the day.”

            Notice I said E class, disregarding that you should remind the rest of the country too, Craigslist search in the two largest cities of NC pull up zero W201 results. Meanwhile I can still find international scouts that preceded those Mercedes by about 10 years, most of which rusted away before the Mercedes hit the market.

            They clearly weren’t sold in any real numbers; they also weren’t sold under the guise of ‘luxury’ as they are today – another point I mentioned.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            If you don’t think 4 cylinder European cars can bring the bucks like those with the bigger motors, I’d go try to buy an E30 M3. People love the later M’s, but they arent even in the same universe.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The E30 M3 was a lightweight, high-reving performance car. The base 2021 E-class and G80 are definitely not those things.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I feel like a kicker in the Iron bowl…hard to make the kick with the goalposts moving all over.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Don’t let this distract you from the the fact that in 1966, Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, Bubba “Spare Tire” Dixon.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Makes perfect sense of a competitor to offer similar type engines.

          There are enough T4 BMW, MB and Audi buyers for the Germans to keep producing them.

          In addition to powering the base trims of their midsize sedans, the Germans also have a T4 (combined w/ a hybrid system) for their FLAGSHIP sedans and the 7 Series is also offered solely w/ a T4 in overseas markets.

          The days of seeing a V8 in a midsize lux sedan will eventually come to an end.

          While ICE won’t be going completely away anytime soon, the (near) future is ICE w/ some sort of battery assist, for those who don’t opt to go straight to an EV.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    “It’s up to you to ID the make and model of the vehicles currently filling your subconscious.” Yeah…Audi wants the rear half of their A7 back. And nice replica of a Mercedes interior.

    And I can’t be the only longing for the day when all vehicles start putting proportional front ends again. I’m afraid that with LED headlights becoming the norm, we are looking at slits for headlights and even larger (and gaudier) grilles.

    Listen, before I get branded a brand snob, I get what H/K/Genesis is trying to do. They are trying the get (almost) into an Audi or Mercedes at a HUGE discount. It might not have the polish, or fit and finish as the big dogs, but look at the discount!!! I understand that. For some, a knockoff Rolex that looks the part of the real deal is good enough. But whenever I see their new designs, all I see are other cars. I want something more original like the Stinger and less cribbed from the competition. Lord knows they have the design staff to do it, so take a chance! And by that, I don’t mean putting LED corner streaks…I can’t imagine that is going to age well.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Every review has praised the “fit and finish” of Genesis models.

      And Audi isn’t a “big dog” at the higher end of the lux market in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        The A8, S8, and R8 would kindly disagree with your comment. Plus, when it comes time for other companies to steal ideas, they love to swipe Audi’s. When the 1999-2000 TT came out with real metal trim, why was that in the next 5 years, pretty much every car now had fake plasti-metal trim everywhere? When the R8 and A8 started the trend of LED DRLs, how long did it take for everyone to run with that idea? Now other automakers are using the sequential light bar turn signals that Audi has been using for years.

        I take a lot of reviews with a grain of salt due to the fact that it doesn’t matter the site or magazine, that reviewer or company doesn’t want to lose a) ad dollars and b) access to the press fleet and future events. Read the difference in TTAC reviews from 11-12 years ago compared to today for a glaring example. I believe what I see with my own eyes and I see a lot of 4+ year old H/K products with failed taillights, dead headlights, electrical issues, and bad paint. I hope they have improved those quality issues with the Genesis because you do need functional taillights for safety.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    that grille is anything but “elegant.” It has that air of “nouveau riche”
    ostentatiousness.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Really cool, interesting design inside and out. I like how they fixed the ‘dog dropping a deuce’ rear end of the A7 without it being a copy of the A7.

    Another home run on the interior as well.

    A base 4 cylinder in this is as foolish as it is in the Euro competition, but I guess CAFE rules the day when it comes to engine options.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “I like how they fixed the ‘dog dropping a deuce’ rear end of the A7 without it being a copy of the A7.”

      I actually think it looks more like that than the A7.

  • avatar
    volvo

    Lots left to be desired in the appearance and powertrain. I would only accept the ugly upright tablet display screen in cars priced under $30K. For a luxury car it should be integrated as a flat screen on the dash like it is in the 2020 model. A decent 2020 build can be had with MSRP $43.5K + Tax and it is IMO a much more elegant design than the 2021 pictures.

    I predict this will be a failure in their expected demographic.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      A tablet form-factor allows for a more elegant and slim horizontal dash layout (w/o the bulky nav screen dominated center stack – such as in Volvos).

      The benefits are the nav screen before closer to eye-level (safety) and having an airier cabin (lower dash height).

      The 2019MY MB GLS has a tablet nav screen, but in that case, was poorly done (looks cheap).

  • avatar
    cprescott

    The recent Genesis new products prove that flat images do not do them justice. I watched a Korean unveiling video on this car and it is stunnning – so many details that the flat image cannot capture effectively. I didn’t like the GV90 (big suv) from pictures but in video it is stunning.

    Note to Cadihack – you could learn a thing or two from Genesis. Your Seedy Six is a block and your XT lineup is dull and rancid.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    Nice Audi.
    It’s a Genesis.
    Oh. Looks like an Audi.
    No, it’s a Genesis.
    Ok, I guess.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    This beached whale theme is becoming popular. The chintziest version is the Accord, the sleekest the Mercedes E53 AMG. This beast is somewhere in between, and should appeal to the top-two button undone gold chain crowd. It is bauble-icious.

    Of course, trying to avoid pedestrians will be a challenge. That A-pillar from the inside shot looks to block out the annoying world.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Looks okay. Needs the lace alloys from the G90.
    Disappointed about the lack of a V8. I’m a 3.3T owner and I don’t think it is a suitable “luxury car” powertrain, maybe the 3.5T will be.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Oh wow. I have zero problem with the powertrains, but I thought Hyundai/Kia/Genesis had left behind the bad old days of design immitation. The G70 looks good on its own, if a bit generic. The current G80 is perfectly fine. This is unashamedly and defiantly derivative. Domage.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I am not in the target demo for this luxo barge (a bit under on earnings, and don’t believe in leasing) but here is my take anyway.

    1) I simply refuse to consider a German car. I buy a car to keep for 10 years and about 200k miles. The likelihood of a German car surviving this kind of regular use without huge maintenance/repair expenditures is low. I am not interested in paying for major repairs when my car hits 100k miles, which seems to be SOP with the German iron. Pass.

    2) If Genesis products earn a reputation for long term reliability, I would consider such a vehicle.

    3) Since Lexus has already earned a stellar reputation for long term reliability in this class, there is little reason to consider a Genesis at this point in its evolution.

    4) The only way Genesis can make a splash at this level is to seriously undercut Lexus on price (as in $10k less), and over-deliver on style and content–precisely what Lexus did to recruit drivers of German cars. So far, the Genesis effort appears insufficient.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The new G80 seriously outclasses the GS in style, luxury and tech, so the notion that it would have to seriously undercut Lexus is outmoded.

      And besides, will be a moot matter as Lexus will be discontinuing the GS and abandoning the market segment.

      The original Hyundai Genesis sedan (not anywhere close to the level of the new G80) already made a “splash” – outselling everything but the E Class and 5 Series and helping accelerate the demise of the GS.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “A lengthy 14.5-inch infotainment screen juts from the top of the dash.”

    That’s the only flaw on the interior. Too many designers haven’t figured out how to fix this; instead these things look like they’re just tacked on.

    Someone must have figured buyers wouldn’t mind, since everyone started out with little aftermarket rectangular GPS units hanging from their windshields and dashboards. But these factory displays that protrude look terrible, with the Tesla Model 3 being the most egregious.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Looks a bit heavy in the haunches. Genesis designers have a problem with C pillars and the relation to the rear wheels – the G90’s is awkward as well.

  • avatar
    fusaichi_pegasus

    How does this compare to a Cadillac? Cadillac is Hyundai’s first and easy target.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    It’s not a luxury car unless it has a formal roofline so executives can sit in it upright, and the trunk lid is big enough for their luggage. It’s just another 4-door coupe otherwise.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Looks great. Now all they need is a proper dealer network to sell it.

    As good as Genesis product is, it all suffers from being parked next to Hyundais on the same lot. That nonsense needs to end.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      True, but I thought they were separated last year already.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        They aren’t separated in my area (Denver). My daughter bought an Elantra late last year, and a brand new G70 (in a very nice metallic red, with wheat colored leather, btw) was sitting about ten feet away on the showroom floor as she was signing the paperwork…and an Accent was next to it. That arrangement is pretty typical of every Hyundai store we shopped.

        The luxury car buying process is all about experience, and sharing room (and amenities) with a Hyundai dealer isn’t workable. The dealerships all need to be separate.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      And yet, the Hyundai Genesis was the 3rd best seller in its segment.

  • avatar
    John R

    This is pretty handsome. Especially from the rear 3/4.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I had a 2016 Hyundai Genesis which became, in 2017, the G80. It was an excellent car, good handling, comfortable and reliable. I had leased it, but turned it in after 3 years because the buy back was way above the market value. It depreciated like a rock. I was VERY glad I hadn’t bought a relative newcomer on the luxury auto scene. As far as the new one goes, it looks good, except for that rear deck that constricts the rear window to a mail slot and limits the trunk opening to admit only small hat boxes. Would I get another?? No. I joined the ranks of CUVs and I got a smaller one at that. (GLC300). If a vehicle doesn’t overwhelm me emotionally, its got to have a lot of rational reasons to get me to sign up.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Today I learned that a 2007 Lexus GS350 is a “venerable classic car.”

    I don’t expect big sales, but it looks decent and will be a screaming deal in 3 years.

  • avatar
    Keith Tomas

    It’s a very good looking car. I do hope that they will keep the V8 for the G90 redo.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It’s a Revelation – Genesis has done a fine Job in making this Proverb-ial, good Luke-ing sedan. Kings, Romans and even Judes will buy them in good Numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Meanwhile, Mark the Exodus which many OEM’s are making from the sedan market (with many Lamentations expressed).

      They say they want more Prophet… or something.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Puns of Biblical proportions!

        They need to wrinkle the leather a bit —give it the Corinthian look from the’70s!

        That one alone might make someone run to the John!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    When those engines make their way into the G70 and Stinger…

    I’ll be very happy.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Four cylinder? On their flagship? Sorry, I know a V8 has higher internal friction, but a V8 also has the unmistakable sound and feel a big, expensive car should have.

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