Genesis continues to make headway in the luxury car class with a complete makeover of its G80 midsize sedan for 2021. Primary attributes include mouthwatering design, new engines, a new chassis, competitive pricing and a goodly amount of attractive features as standard equipment.
The G80’s new platform is skillfully engineered to maximize passenger comfort while boosting performance quality and safety capability.
There are two G80 models, named for their engine size: G80 2.5T and G80 3.5T. The former has a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The latter has a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 good for 375 hp and 391 pound-feet.
Both engines are partnered with an eight-speed automatic transmission and are available with standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The gear selector is a rotary knob on the center console, and there are paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
Fuel economy ratings for the 2.5T with RWD are 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. With AWD the numbers are 22/30/25 mpg. The 3.5T with RWD gets 19/27/22 mpg, and with AWD, 18/26/21 mpg. Premium fuel is recommended for both engines.
There are three trim levels for the G80 2.5T: Standard, Advanced, and Prestige. The G80 3.5T has two trims: Standard and Prestige.
Pricing starts at $48,725 including a $1,025 destination charge for the 2.5T RWD Standard model, whose features include LED lighting, automatic high-beam, leatherette upholstery, 12-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, premium navigation and audio systems, SiriusXM and much more. A full suite of safety and driver assistance features is also standard.
The 2.5T RWD Advanced model adds a 21-speaker Lexicon audio system, panoramic roof, ventilation for the front seats, three-zone climate control, power rear and manual rear side shades, a power trunk and more. Its price is $53,325.
The Prestige trim adds leather seating, power door-close, wireless device charger, digital key, surround view monitor, remote parking assist, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and yes, much more. The sticker for this one is $57,625.
All-wheel drive is an extra $3,150 for the 2.5T Standard and Advanced models, and $2,550 for the Prestige.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how well Genesis equips the G80, I’ll just give the pricing for the 3.5T and skip the lengthy feature itemizations. My pleasure. The RWD 3.5T Standard model is $60,125 and AWD is an extra $3,150. The RWD 3.5T Prestige is $66,125 and AWD is another $2,550.
I do have to mention that the G80 3.5T has a feature called Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview that uses a camera to check out the road ahead and then adjusts the suspension accordingly to keep the ride smooth and the handling on track.
My test car was a G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige. Power from the turbo four-cylinder engine is zesty enough to elate anyone other than a wild-eyed enthusiast, and the considerably superior fuel economy it delivers compared to the 3.5T is a big benefit.
The G80 lives up to the luxury label with its excellent build quality and tranquil but not floaty ride. An interior that evokes executive transport status also contributes. (Keep in mind that my tester was the top-tier Prestige version.) A favorite touch in the cabin’s design are the climate control vents, so expertly integrated into the dash they are nearly invisible, a main reason for the cabin’s clean uncluttered look.
The infotainment system’s most prominent control is a large flat dial in the center console right next to the gear selector. The dial functions like a touchpad, albeit a visually attractive one. I gave it my best shot, sort of, but impatience prevailed as usual and I opted for the more user-friendly controls, of which there are many in the G80, including buttons, dials, and the touchscreen. There’s quite a lot going on with the infotainment system, despite the cabin’s clean uncluttered look.
2021 GENESIS G80 RWD 2.5T PRESTIGE
Base price, including destination charge: $57,625
Price as driven: $58,025
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.