Genesis_G80_frontThe Genesis G80 is an upmarket South Korean saloon that comes to Australia in four variants: standard G80, Sport Design, Ultimate and Ultimate Sport Design. All come with a 3.8-litre naturally-aspirated V6 petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.

Yes, the rear wheels – Genesis aim is to take on the prestige Germans and Brits, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar in providing the added driving pleasure of accelerator control to the rear wheels.

All-wheel drive is available in overseas markets but there are no plans at this stage for this to come to Australia.

The G80 prices range from $68,900 for the entry-level G80 through to $92,900 for the G80 Ultimate Sport Design. Obviously, Genesis can’t tackle the Germans on price so you do get a lot of car for your money.

Our test car for the past week was a Genesis G80 Ultimate Sport Design.

The standard G80 and G80 Ultimate Sport Design variants have different front grille. The G80 and G80 Ultimate have six horizontal bars while the two Sport Design models get a dark mesh fill with copper highlights.

The entry-level G80 comes with 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels. The G80 Ultimate steps up to 19-inch as do the Sport Design models but with the same dark grey satin finish and copper highlight on the grille.


Other features on the Sport Design include the same dark highlights on the front bumper; bi-xenon headlights; piano sport diffuser with mesh inserts; side skirts; dual oval exhaust tips; dark chrome window frame and door handle inserts; and brushed stainless steel pedal covers.

Sound comes from a 17-speaker Lexicon by Harman premium audio system. It’s excellent to listen to and drew us away from our habit of listening to ABC News for most of our driving time.

Inside G80 the multimedia system is displayed on a 9.2-inch high-definition colour touchscreen with crisp graphics that minimise the amount of time that the driver takes their mind off the road.

Satellite navigation is standard. It has 3D maps, SUNA live traffic updates, and a comprehensive Point of Interest (POI) database. The first five years of map updates are free and can be extended for a further five 10 years when vehicle servicing is done by Genesis.

There’s an analog clock below the screen and at the bottom of the dashboard are USB and Aux sockets alongside a wireless smartphone charging pad. Bluetooth pairing was intuitive and took less than a minute.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available.


G80 also comes with Genesis Connected Services, a smartphone app that allows the customer to stay connected to their vehicle using a pre-installed module that connects the computer systems to the customer’s smartphone to provide a variety of information.

Standard safety features includes nine airbags; Blind-Spot Collision Warning; Driver Attention Warning; Lane Departure Warning; Forward Collision Avoidance Assist for both cars and pedestrians; Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning; Smart Cruise Control; Active Air Bonnet Lift; full LED adaptive headlights and LED daytime running lights; and Surround View Monitor.

Genesis G80 is a delight to sit inside with wide, well ventilated, comfortable seats. The G80 Ultimate and Ultimate Sport Design have Nappa leather appointed interior; heated and ventilated front and outboard rear seats; heated steering wheel; powered soft-close doors; head-up display and memory settings for the 16-way powered driver’s seat and steering wheel.

Rear seat passengers get access to a number of features from controls in the large centre armrest including powered recline and slide seat adjustments as well as the ability to increase legroom by sliding the front passenger forward by pushing a button. Ideal for chauffeur-driven rear seat passengers but best not to let the kids know about it.

Rear headroom is fine for passengers under 1.8 metres although where the sunroof is fitted they may have their head touching the roof. They can utilise the rear seat recline feature and settle back in comfort with their heads having good clearance.

The ride is as smooth and comfortable as is to be expected from a car at this premium luxury level. It leans towards the comfort side in the eternal comfort/handling compromise. Steering is precise with good feedback, it feels like a smaller vehicle, always a sign of driving pleasure.

There’s plenty of power on tap from the V6 engine. We do love sitting behind naturally-aspirated engines because of their almost instantaneous response – something that simply isn’t there even in the best of small-capacity turbo engines.

Genesis G80 is an excellent vehicle that provides near European levels of handling with comfort and equipment at significantly lower prices than the prestige German and British marques. But it has virtually no image in the minds of the general public in Australia. We await with interest any alteration of Aussie perception.


G80 3.8: $68,900
G80 3.8 Sport Design: $72,900
G80 3.8 Ultimate: $88,900
G80 3.8 Ultimate Sport Design: $92,900
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact Genesis directly for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Genesis G80 3.8-litre petrol four-door sedan)

Capacity: 3.778 litres
Configuration: V6
Maximum Power: 232 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 397 Nm @ 5000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 10.8 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 253 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic

Length: 4990 mm
Wheelbase: 3010 mm
Width: 1890 mm
Height: 1480 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1920 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 77 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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