Well-crafted midsize luxury sedan battles paltry sales
Roseville, Calif.- It lacks the name recognition of its more established competitors, but the Genesis luxury brand unleashed by Hyundai in 2017 should not be overlooked.
Our latest test drive with the 2022 Genesis G80 confirmed what we already knew: this is a well-crafted midsize luxury sedan. Yet what the G80 and the other four Genesis vehicles lack most is the historical track record of successful high-end vehicles produced by Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Acura, Infinity and Lexus.
The latest version of the well-rounded Genesis G80 receives high marks from many automobile journalists. Despite the major accolades, sales are stuck in neutral for the Genesis sedan.
Sales of the G80 hit an all-time low of 2,802 two years ago. The numbers crept up for the 2021 G80, yet 6,031 is still a rather paltry figure. The top mark came in 2017 when sales hit 16,214, more than double the sales of any other year.
Quality and overall appeal are not the primary issue. It’s clearly name-recognition and some formidable rivals that are the primary obstacles to sales success.
AT A GLANCE – 2022 GENESIS G80
- Performance: turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 300 horsepower; turbo 3.5-liter, V6, 375 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 23-32 mpg; 17-26 mpg
- Price estimate: $48,300 to $63,800
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; Drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; Roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; Corrosion: 7 years/unlimited
Mention the name Genesis and many folks have no idea there is a brand. And from this vantage point, Hyundai made a mistake in using Genesis for the name of its new luxury division when the name was previously used for its upscale sedan (2009-2016).
Value continues to be a reliable trait for the Genesis G80. The starting price is thousands of dollars less than its German and Japanese competition at roughly $48,300.
We admit, when veering away from the standard model with a fully loaded G80, the cost increases quite a bit, nearing $70,000. Hence, the real savings comes when purchasing a lower trim Genesis model.
In the Genesis lineup, the G80 resides between a smaller sedan (G70) and the larger G90. However, the G80 is considered superior to both in certain areas, one of them being a more sophisticated infotainment package.
A Look Inside
The standard G80 features a 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, satellite radio, 12-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and four USB ports.
Yet it’s overall makeup might not be suitable for all. Controlled by a rotary wheel on the center console, we felt the infotainment system was distracting to use, a quality found in many luxury brands that in our opinion strive to be different just to be considered unique.
Despite the criticism, there are a number of reasons to applaud the interior. It looks upscale, using a combination of leather, faux leather, wood and aluminum.
The seating is comfy for both front-seat passengers and two in the back will also experience good leg and head room. Note that three back seat passengers might be one too many.
Cargo space of 13.1 cubic feet, that includes a wide and long opening, is fine for every-day driving. What’s not so cool is the rear seats don’t fold down, so longer items will be an issue.
The Genesis G80 does not match the overall sporty handling of some rivals. What it does provide is two turbocharged engines that offer smooth, strong acceleration. Standard is a turbo 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.
For more performance-minded individuals, the better choice is a turbo 3.5-liter, V6 that generates 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds, roughly a half-second faster than the four-cylinder. The V6 comes standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The G80 has a generous list of standard safety features, including driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot intervention, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping system, evasive steering assist, and rear passenger safe-exit system.
Part of the second generation introduced a year ago, the 2022 Genesis G80 is a visually appealing luxury sedan that also comes with an appealing price tag. It remains to be seen if this leads to a hike in sales.