2019 Genesis G80 3.3T Sport AWD

The best all-around sport sedan made today


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Handsome style has held up well, powerful and smooth engine pulls hard, spacious interior, unreal levels of standard equipment, excellent safety ratings and tech, one of the best all-around sports sedans.
Negatives: Interior is aging, heavy in the corners, not as agile as some of the competition.
Bottom Line: It's still one of our favorite sport sedans because it's so well-rounded. There isn't one at this price that offers so much, and it could just be the perfect gentleman's sport sedan thanks to rich power, rich features, and a very handsome look inside and out.
The G80 used to be the Hyundai Genesis, and the Sport emerged a couple of years ago. It's now overshadowed by the smaller, better driving G70, but the G80 is still larger overall than its nimbler brother. The G80 continues into the 2020 model year unchanged, and the 3.3T Sport with HTRAC AWD is probably its best iteration, even better than the more powerful but thirstier V8 version. The great thing about the 3.3T Sport isn't just its engine but its fully-festooned feature set that's about as good as you can get at this price. We drove it for a week to see if it's appeal is lasting. Read ahead for the full review.
 

Driving Experience

8.2

 

The G80 Sport isn't particularly great at any one thing, but it's one of the best all-around sport sedans. Power, ride, balance, steering, and braking are all good and blend together to make for a very good driving experience. It's not quite as fast as an Audi A6, doesn't steer as well as a BMW 5-Series, but it also happens to be less expensive than both.

Ride Quality: The cushioned-ride is great for long trips. It's not disconnected from the road, but the isolation is very good.

Acceleration: With the benefit of AWD and a quick-shifting transmission, the G80 Sport hits 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, plenty fast for most folks. The twin-turbo V6 is strong and smooth, too.

Braking: The brakes are good but not as progressive as we'd like in a sport sedan. Most folks won't notice, and stopping distances are good with no nose dive.

Steering: Though there's a bit of feedback in the steering wheel, it's still a bit on the numb side and lacks the effort we like when driving in a spirited fashion.

Handling: The 4,600+ pound G80 Sport with AWD makes it hard to toss into turns hard, but the Adaptive suspension helps dampen things nicely. It's by no means agile, but you can push it a bit, and the body roll is controlled.

Technology

8.6

 

Genesis may not have a fancier system than Hyundais, but the graphics look good, and the standard setup comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. BMW and Audi systems look better, but the Genesis is easier to use.

Infotainment System: The standard screen is a sizable 9.2 inches and easy to read. Menus are simple, and the responsiveness is good. We're thankfully not distracted using it as much as other systems from pricier cars.

Controls: Physical controls are very good, from the climate to audio and the steering wheel controls.

Styling

9

 

The G80 Sport amps up the already good looks of the G80. It's both more aggressive and more sophisticated looking thanks to premium touches all over. The best detail might just be the subtle copper exterior bits. The G80 Sport gets the right blend of refinement and sportiness without overdoing either.

Front: The dark chrome mesh grille looke great, as do the bigger intakes. The trim on the lower intakes is now all black instead of chrome, which adds some menace.

Rear: The back of the G80 Sport is handsome, and the diffuser and quad pipes give it a more serious look. It's elegant and sporty at the same time. We love the 5-segment headlight signature.

Profile: The long profile of the G80 Sport is elegant, and the simple single crease from tip to tail looks great. Our favorite part is the black chrome wheels with the copper hub, a very nice touch.

Cabin: The interior is starting to age a bit, especially with the infotainment screen imbedded in the dash versus the one that sits atop it in the G70. The real carbon fiber and Alacantara suede look fantastic, and the materials quality overall is excellent.

Comfort

9.3

 

The G80 Sport is one of the best-sized sport sedans out there and has ample egroom and headroom for all occupants. It's also very well appointed with just about every feature you'd want.

Front Seats: The front row seats get good bolstering and excellent cushioning. The extendable thigh bolster is great for long trips, and the leather is very good, too.

Rear Seats: Outboard positions have great shoulder and legroom, but the middle position is only good for short trips due to a high seat cushion and an upright seat back due to the armrest. The headroom isn't capacious, but a tall adult can sit there without too much issue.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The G80 Sport is quiet and has superb fit and finish. It's almost too quiet for our likes. We'd love to hear more of that muscled turbo six.

Visibility: The seating position is good, and sightlines are unimpeded. The rear parcel shelf is low enough to get a good view out the back.

Climate: The G80 Sport's dual zone automatic climate control system works very well, coupled with responsive and capable heated and ventilated seats, which are standard.

Safety

9.5

 

The G80 ranks at the top of the heap when it comes to safety, and that's a big feather it its already impressive hat. Great tech and top-notch scores make it very appealing as a family sedan that just happens to be quick, too.

IIHS Rating: The G80 achieved the Top Safety Pick+ with Superior Front Crash prevention tech, "good/acceptable" headlights (depeding on trim) and marginal LATCH ease of use.

NHTSA Rating: It scored the top 5-Star mark in frontal, side and rollover crash testing.

Standard Tech: The G80 Sport 3.3T gets automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention alert, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, smart cruise control with stop/start, a multi-view camera, and rear and front parking sensors without adding a dime to the cost.

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

7.8

 

Storage is very good, but cargo room in the trunk isn't the best for a car of this size. The score takes a hit due to lack of split folding rear seat and only a pass-through area.

Storage Space: The front compartment below the center stack holds a wireless Qi-compatible phone charger and contains both an AUX and a USB port. The split center armrest is great for daily carry items, and even the rear seat armrest houses a storage compartment. Cupholders conceal with a retractable door, keeping debris conveniently out.

Cargo Room: 15 cubic feet of trunk space ranks below some competitors, and the lack of a split-folding seat back makes expansion impossible when it comes to bigger items. At least the trunk opening is wide, and the load floor is flat.

Fuel Economy

7

 

The G80 did better this time than the last time we drove it, but it's probably due to less aggressive driving on our part. The V6 engine is definitely thriftier than the G80's V8 engine option.

Observed: 20.3 mpg

Distance Driven: 121 miles

Audio

9

 

The standard Lexicon 17-speaker audio system with Quantum Logic Surround & Clari-Fi is sounds great with crystal clear delivery and excellent bass. It's standard, which makes the already impressive feature set that much better.



Final Thoughts

The G80 Sport 3.3T with AWD is the best iteration of an already very good car. It brings power, better control, improved looks and features, as well as a very reasonable price for a car with this much packed into it. Surround view camera, safety features, carbon fiber, heated and ventilated leather seats, you name it, the G80 Sport has it. The AWD makes it that much more reasonable to own in wet and snowy climes, too. It's not a driving enthusiast's dream car
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