2018 Genesis 80 Sport 3.3T
By Bob Cowan
‘’In the beginning’ before Genesis, there was the Hyundai Pony. Remember that one? In 1984 Hyundai made its first foray into the Canadian marketplace with that little puddle jumper. There is actually some Hyundai history before that when the company partnered with Ford to put the1968 Cortina on Canadian roads. I remember that one well. My older brother’s first car was a Cortina. Both cars were crap.
Many successful cars and SUV’s followed after those early growing pains. Hyundai became an industry game changer in both quality control and warranty protection. The culmination of which can be found in the the ‘warranty book of Genesis’. This paragraph will be the last to use the name Hyundai because it launched a completely separate division in 2015 called Genesis Motors. Its flagship Equus was rebranded Genesis. Enough history – let’s drive.
Let there be luxury
Having just stepped out of the Lincoln Continental to check out the Genesis 80 Sport I was immediately impressed with how this vehicle competed with the aforementioned at a 20k price spread. This is also the Sport version – not the Premium G90 which is similarly priced with the Continental. The G80 Sport has the same 3.3-liter turbo as the G90 but comes smaller, lighter and as a result is definitely more spirited. There’s a bigger normally aspirated 5.0 litre V8 available but the turbo can provide more kick at lower rpm hence the Sport designation.. .Even though ‘Sport’ is boldly emblazoned on this nameplate it’s not the Genesis strong suit. It can keep up but there are lots of cars in this class with more oomph. This is a luxury car which punches above its weight or price.
Nor will you be ‘wowed’ by any exceptional handling characteristics with the Genesis G80 which are average. But the ride is super quiet and the suspension is tuned for nice highway drives. It is comforting in a way that really grows on you. It has you looking forward to the next drive.
The G80 is a beautifully sculptured car although not particularly original. Its design seems to borrow ever so slightly from just about everywhere. It looks vaguely like a different brand depending on what angle you’re viewing from. Actually from the front that grille might be a tad too close to some of its much lower priced Hyundai cousins. The copper accents in the grille and on the wheels are a nice touch. Inside the Genesis has a gorgeous cocoon like cockpit with great heated/air conditioned leather seats. The front seating offers 16 positions behind the wheel and 12 for the front passenger. The ergonomics are very nice as is the centre console and shifter bordered in stitched leather. That same stitched leather can be found throughout the cabin along with lots of carbon fiber touches and aluminum pedals for sporty touches. While the Genesis is library quiet it sounds like a concert hall with the 17 speaker Lexicon sound system. This car is long as well at 196.5 inches and that translates to tons of legroom front and back. Overall this interior holds its own against far pricier competition.
The Genesis also has a fantastic heads up display (HUD) that provides more than the usual data in your windshield like blind spot monitoring. There’s no shortage of tech in the Genesis with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Other than paint choices and all wheel drive here are really no options to add with the Genesis. What you see is what you get and here’s just some of the grocery list. Panoramic Sunroof, automatic emergency breaking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, parking sensors and full LED headlights.
On top of all the safety tech in the aforementioned list the Genesis is also a 2018 top safety pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It received a Good rating in all crash tests.
My test unit came with the all wheel drive version which impacted the mileage numbers as well as my foot. In real world conditions I was getting 12.9 L/100km whereas on paper it’s supposed to deliver a combined 11.9 L/100km. Par for the course for a turbo spiked luxury car with this weight and wheelbase.
South Korean manufacturers have been a game changer over the past number of years by upping their own game in quality control, materials and warranty coverage. The Genesis along with the KIA K900 is a top example of that in the luxury segment. If you’re shopping for a luxury car and leaning towards the usual like Cadillac, Lincoln, BMW, Mercedes or Audi it really is worth your while to test drive the Genesis and do some comparative pricing. You may be surprised how much of a luxury ride you get with some change left over for other stuff.
2018 Genesis G80 Sport
As tested: $62,000
Powetrain 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, eight-speed automatic, all wheel drive
Output: 365 hp, 376 lb ft
Mileage: 11.9 L/100 kph combined city/highway