2022 Genesis G80 Review - A Little Less Conversation

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

Fast Facts

2022 Genesis G80 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige

3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (375hp @ 5800 rpm, 391lb-ft @ 1300 rpm)
Eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
17 city / 26 highway / 20 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
4.8 city / 9.9 highway / 12.6 combined. (NRCan Rating)
Base Price
$64,795 US / $77,833 CAN
As Tested
$72,595 US / $84,333 CAN
Prices include $1,095 destination charge in the United States and $1,833 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Try as I might, I don’t review cars on a full-time basis. Blame two kids and a mortgage. That means that my rather unusual hobby is a natural subject of discussion whilst engaged in my usual nine-to-five, where I’m interacting with customers all day long. 

Those of you who are “out” to acquaintances as a “car guy” - ignoring gender/sex identity here, as being a car guy relates only to the measure of octane in one’s blood and not what is in one’s pants - surely know the dread and the mental calculus encountered when asked an opinion on what new car to buy. You never know their circumstances and existing bias toward or away from certain brands. You never know exactly what they need from a car. All you know is you are, in their eyes, an automotive “expert” of sorts and will be judged thusly. The worst possible outcome is entirely likely - they take your advice, buy based upon your recommendation, and have a bad experience. Your offhand comment will be forever blamed for a five-or-six-figure financial mistake in their eyes.

I try and play it safe, and look for visual clues to guide my suggestions, as I’m typically unable to simply walk away from such interactions. I profile their clothing, hairstyle, and surroundings - if the subject is wearing a Patagonia fleece, then an EV or a Euro import is generally front of mind. The presence of a mullet, conversely, prompts discussion of pickup trucks. Absent any clues, however, I’ve of late gained a failsafe default. The sedans and crossovers of Genesis, without reservation or hesitation, are across the board the most attractive choices. From stunning styling to opulent comfort to solid value, they’re hard to beat. And the Goldilocks sedan, this 2023 Genesis G80, would be in my driveway every day if I didn’t need two careers to manage the aforementioned two kids and a mortgage.

First of all, just look at this car. Look at it. Discounting even the trendy matte grey paint - Genesis calls it Makalu Gray, which unfortunately coincided with my December drive time with the G80 to make me want to call it Mele Kalikimaka after the Bing Crosby song so frequently featured in holiday films - the G80 is one of the most visually stunning cars on the road. It doesn’t hurt that it’s an actual car versus some crossover, as the traditional three-box shape allows for much more for designers to work with.

My only aesthetic complaint is with the blob of translucent plastic within the mesh pentagonal grille used for adaptive driving aids - it’s necessary, I’m afraid, but it’s an unfortunate blot. Otherwise, I’m enamored.

Inside, the deep red surfaces on the seats, lower dash, and door panels contrast beautifully with the more staid charcoal trim and carpets. The herringbone pattern on the seats is visually interesting, too. Seats front and rear are comfortable for four - a fifth sitting over the drivetrain hump in the rear does get let down a bit, however, as the contours of the rear bench can tweak one’s derriere. 

At 14.5-inches diagonally, the infotainment screen on the Genesis is quite impressive, giving a great view of whatever it is you need to see. The centrally situated touch-and-turn pad immediately ahead of the shift dial works quite well, though I tend to prefer the controls on the steering wheel for audio selections. As I drive more and more vehicles so equipped, however, I do begin to miss the wireless versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - here, as in most Genesis/Kia/Hyundai vehicles, using either smartphone mirroring interface requires a USB connection.

It seems trivial, but as wireless charging has become nearly ubiquitous across modern devices it feels as if we shouldn’t need to plug in to access all of our features. Furthermore, the batteries in our phones tend to last the longest if not constantly charging - a long drive whilst plugged in could in theory shorten the lifespan of the device.

Despite the Sport package fitted to this G80, I’d hesitate to call it a genuinely sporty sedan. It’s a bit too large and heavy to take to a weekend autocross or track day, for example, and it’s a bit ponderous for a hardcore day of hucking through intense mountain passes. But it’s still engaging enough to drive for pleasure - taking the long way home on the two-lane along the river will be fun, for example - while making the long highway cruise be relaxing and calm. The ride quality is peerless, with minimal noise from wind and tire. The 375 horsepower from the stellar twin-turbo V6 here will get you moving with alacrity - I’ve seen others with sub-five second zero-to-sixty times in instrumented testing. Should a metered freeway onramp during a weekday rush hour be one’s stoplight nemesis, the G80 will not disappoint.

Perhaps the only concern you’ll have when driving the 2022 Genesis G80 is when you park. The striking styling and still-unfamiliar badge will likely stimulate discussions with strangers - something that happens with every Genesis I test. I’m a large, gruff-looking person with a permanent scowl seemingly meant to scare people away, and yet the most timid appearing people will approach while I’m dad-carrying 30 bags of groceries to ask about the car. If you buy a Genesis, rehearse and hone a thirty-second elevator pitch to explain exactly how great the car is - else you’ll never get home from the store.

[Images © 2023 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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2 of 57 comments
  • Madalay Madalay on Mar 09, 2023

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  • Stuart de Baker Stuart de Baker on Mar 31, 2023

    Chris! When asked for car advice, I just ask 'em what they want out of a car. And I have my prompts: fun to drive, safety, economy, longevity (I have Consumer Reports annual auto issues going back so I can help people with used cars, too), road trips vs in town, etc, and what sort of body style do they want and why. (If they want an SUV because they think it's safer, I'll suggest they consider large sedans, but if they put major emphasis on safety, I'll check the latest safety stats for whatever cars might satisfy their other desires.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X More wagons.
  • Jwee The real personal income for 2022 was $56k, and houshold around $100k, but your point is valid. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RPIPCUS
  • Joe my family personally dislikes SUVs and there are plenty of others like us. It’s getting to the point that buying a good looking sedan or coupe is difficult. What do me my wife and two kids drive… CT5-V, Charger HEMI, Mustang GT and A Sentra.. (one of my kids is not a car enthusiast ) where do we go next? BMW? Audi? Would like to keep buying American when possible
  • Lou_BC Nah. Tis but a scratch. It's not as if they canceled a pickup model or SUV. Does anyone really care about one less Chevy car?
  • ToolGuy If by "sedan" we mean a long (enough) wheelbase, roomy first and second row, the right H point, prodigious torqueages, the correct balance of ride/handling for long-distance touring, large useable trunk, lush enveloping sound system, excellent seat comfort, thoughtful interior storage etc. etc. then yes we need 'more' sedans, not a lot more, just a few really nice ones.If by "sedan" we mean the twisted interpretation by the youts from ArtCenter who apparently want to sit on the pavement in a cramped F16 cockpit and punish any rear seat occupants, then no, we don't need that, very few people want that (outside of the 3 people who 'designed' it) which is why they didn't sell and got canceled.Refer to 2019 Avalon for a case study in how to kill a sedan by listening to the 'stylists' and prioritizing the wrong things.