The Genesis G80 has always been our favorite whenever it visits the office. It was already an exceptional value lay in the luxury segment when it was known as the Hyundai Genesis. The second generation G80 pivoted closer to the brand’s core mission, but there was no denying that it was still a Hyundai underneath. Genesis has listened to these complaints and has launched the revamped 2022 G80. But is this radical refresh finally enough to make the G80 a true threat to German mainstay models?
Elegant Styling Makes G80 Look Like Jewelry
As mentioned, a prominent complaint of the outgoing model was the exterior styling which looked like a Hyundai-infused afterthought, but this iteration completely changes the script with its new suit of clothes. The front fascia features new headlights that mesh with the massive diamond-shaped grille to help the G80 better align with the Genesis lineup while the fender-mounted side indicators also get in on the bespoke act too.
The clean side profile helps lead the eye to the tapered rear end, where reworked taillights help cement the look together. Our Prestige edition tester came with massive 20-inch wheels, and they are perhaps the slickest-looking wheels in the segment today. Genesis designers claim that they also managed to inject some sport-inspired styling elements into the main canvas, but unless you have a strong magnifying glass to spot them, chances are that they will fly under the radar unnoticed.
This styling also allows the G80 to have a better suit of clothes than some of its German rivals, including the Mercedes E-Class and the aging BMW 5-Series. The latter has been on the market in its current form for several years now, and with the next-gen 5-Series on track to receive the enlarged kidney grilles, the G80’s refusal to sacrifice style for functionality could help it gain a few of these customers in the long run.
Clean Interior Puts Luxury In The Spotlight
Slip inside the 2022 G80, and you will immediately notice the simple details that make this particular interior stand out. Unlike many German offerings, Genesis designers didn’t go overboard with frills and instead chose core features to do the bulk of the figurative talking. Our tester arrived with vivid red leather seats that were comfortable and provided tremendous amounts of support while a faux carbon fiber-like trim wraps its way around the dashboard and into the door pulls with the same trim making a detour into the center console.
The speaker grilles for the Lexicon premium sound system flow and taper to a point as they work their way along the lower part of the doors, and high-quality plastics are abundant throughout. The G80’s 14.5-inch infotainment system is carried over from other Genesis models, and while it can be used like a touchscreen, the long reach discourages this method of getting around. Instead, the center console features an integrated controller that makes this task easier, with voice commands and steering wheel controls also playing a role too.
Every G80 comes standard with Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and Genesis claims that the 2022 version is more spacious than ever. Our example’s good head and legroom are prominent examples of this in action for front seat occupants. Rear seat occupants also get plenty of legroom, but the sloping rear roofline does make you pay a price in headroom, with the space being tight for taller passengers. The G80’s trunk can still haul large amounts of cargo, and we used our tester to handle the best of Emily’s shopping list.
Slick Performance Makes This G80 A Star
Genesis reps make it clear that the G80 is not meant to be a pure performance offering but slip behind the wheel, and you are pleasantly surprised with the amount of performance that’s on hand. Our Sport grade tester arrived with the optional 3.5 liter turbocharged V6 that’s good for 351 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. This amount of power is pretty good for the segment, and it allowed our red-hued tester to make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. A 300 hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is standard in lower trims, but you would be hard-pressed to call it underpowered by any measure with prior exposure to this engine showing that it goes above and beyond the call of duty for a base engine.
As for our V6-powered tester, this spirited performance does not come at the cost of its luxury identity being stripped away. Ride quality was glass smooth, and our tester was unfazed by Michigan potholes and bumps. Handling through tight switchbacks revealed how dialed in the suspension was, with the steering making the G80 feel much smaller than it really is. That included navigating through the mangled streets of downtown Detroit to make it to All Elite Wrestling’s Blood and Guts event at Little Caesars Arena.
We even had a surprise opportunity to see how the G80 fared as a road tripper when my mother assigned our tester with the mission to deliver two breadmakers (no kidding) to a friend of hers in Gaylord. Our afternoon trek up I-75 solidified our feelings about the suspension, and the large floor wells were wide enough to accommodate both breadmakers as we made the trek northward. After receiving a thank you and some things to bring back to my mother, we continued a bit further to Wolverine to have dinner at the Thirsty Sturgeon (our favorite haunt) before making our way back home. Overall, the G80 proved to be a very impressive luxury contender. While the Germans have more polish and performance options, the G80 makes up for it by having a better personality and a greater grasp of what luxury buyers truly want in a modern luxury sedan offering.
Pricing for the 2022 Genesis G80 starts at $49,500, rewarding you with a base 2.5 T RWD model. Like Lexus and a few others, Genesis splits the configuration process into two key sections (Performance and Packages). Your choices in these two categories play a big role in what you’ll ultimately pay when all is said and done. Our Makalu Grey Sport Prestige model came with only two options (the paint and the $6,300 Prestige Package) which helped push the final cost of entry to a whopping $72,595 when you include the $1,035 destination fee.
While this beefed-up price means that the car is no longer playing firmly in the $60,000 club, it’s still a good bargain when compared to some of its rivals which can be much more expensive and sometimes not match the G80’s high-level of standard equipment. That’s especially true with the bigger G90, which allows the duo to be a potent 1-2 punch in the broader segment as a whole. It will be interesting to see how the G80 fares long term; the race to SUVs is only picking up speed, and this trend is evident with the GV line of SUVs that Genesis offers though the G80 does stand out thanks to the all-new G80 Electrified, which as the rather on the point name indicates, is the first all-electric Genesis offering available for purchase.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.