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2021 Genesis G80: 5 Things We Like (and 4 Not So Much)

genesis-g80-3.5t-prestige-2021-01-angle--exterior--front--grey.jpg Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

For 2021, the Genesis G80 luxury sedan gets an all-around redesign: new turbocharged engines, a new suite of safety and driver-assist tech, and a cabin geared toward comfort. It’s related to the GV80, a new SUV from Genesis.

Related: 2021 Genesis G80 Review: Nipping at the Germans’ Heels

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2021 Genesis G80 3.5T
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2021 Genesis G80 2.5T
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The G80 sedan has been around in some form since the 2009 model year, when it was known as the Hyundai Genesis. Genesis spun off as a luxury division of Hyundai in 2015, and this five-seat luxury car has been known as the G80 ever since. In the Genesis sedan lineup, it slots between the sporty G70 and luxury-focused G90. And while the G80 manages to combine some of the best aspects of each, it brings a few quirks of its own to the table.

Curious about the ins and outs of the G80? Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder’s review in the related link above contains everything you’ll need to know. But if you just want a quick list of pros and cons about the 2021 Genesis G80, look no further:

genesis-g80-3.5t-prestige-2021-07-engine--interior.jpg Genesis G80 3.5T's turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine | Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

Things We Like

1. Can’t Go Wrong With Either Engine

Genesis named the G80’s trims, 2.5T and 3.5T, after its two available engines, both turbocharged. The smaller one is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that puts out 300 horsepower, a combination that offers great acceleration from a stop and if you need more power while already in motion. The larger engine is a 375-hp, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, which provides a lot more power, even with the added weight.

2. Luxe, Roomy Cabin

This G80 has 3 extra inches of legroom in the backseat compared with the outgoing model — and more inches than European competitors like the Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. In terms of appointments, the 2.5T trim has a fair amount of premium materials and finishes, including some convincing leatherette (imitation leather) upholstery. But the 3.5T takes it to another level with Nappa leather seats, faux suede headliner and genuine wood trim.

genesis-g80-2.5t-standard-2021-43-front-row--interior.jpg 2021 Genesis G80 | Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

3. Comfortable Ride

As compared with its sporty stablemate, the G70, the G80 has a clear focus on comfort. The suspension absorbs most bumps, but the G80’s optional adaptive suspension offers even more comfort, especially when you activate the driver-selectable Comfort driving mode. Sport mode, by contrast, makes for a firmer ride.

4. Safety and Driver-Assistance Tech

Highway Driving Assist II adds lane-changing assistance to the features the G80 already had, like adaptive cruise control with lane-centering steering. 

5. Warranty and Maintenance

A lot of the G80’s value is wrapped up in its warranty, with five years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Genesis also offers three years or 36,000 miles of free maintenance.

More From Cars.com:

genesis-g80-3.5t-prestige-2021-14-front-row--gearshift--interior.jpg Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

Things We Don’t

1. Tech Blunders

The G80 doesn’t offer wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and it’s a feature that cannot be added later, according to Genesis. IPhone users should keep in mind that Genesis’ phone-as-key feature only works with Android smartphones. Another weird quirk? An optional 3D effect for the instrument panel requires a driver-facing sensor — but the steering wheel can block that sensor, defeating the 3D effect. Beyond that, the standard widescreen multimedia display can be controlled by a recessed wheel on the console, but it’s not as easy to operate as a raised knob. 

2. Transmission Response With Paddle Shifters

When shifting manually with the paddles mounted to the steering wheel, the transmission response isn’t as quick as you’d hope. This lag is present both in the 2.5T and the 3.5T trims, even when you change drive modes.

genesis-g80-3.5t-prestige-2021-34-cargo--interior.jpg Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

3. Backseat Doesn’t Fold

Many sedans in this class, like the BMW 5 Series, have 40/20/40-split, folding backseats, but the G80 lacks that feature. It only has a center pass-through, limiting capacity for longer cargo.

4. Missing Features on 2.5T Trim

Unlike most of its European competitors, which opt for an à la carte approach, many optional features on the G80 are wrapped up in packages, and some aren’t offered on the 2.5T. The result is that you might not be able to get the few features you really want without stepping up to the 3.5T. So while it’s true you can’t go wrong with either engine, you might find one of them limiting in ways unrelated to the engine itself.

Related Video:

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