2019 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport: The real deal
The 2019 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport fooled me the first few days I had at. After a week of testing a fun but slightly cramped compact sport sedan, I was enjoying the benefits of a powerful and upscale full-size sedan, like ease of entry, huge interior space and the confidence that such a fast but large car inspires.
Then when I started my research, I remembered the G80 is a midsize car. The full-size Genesis is the G90.
I knew that. I reviewed the G80 when it was first introduced in 2017. But Hyundai — the parent company of the luxury Genesis brand — has impressed with their midsize cars in the past.
The 2010 Sonata rewrote the affordable family car book by larger, more upscale and better equipped than the competition (except for the 2010 Optima from sister company Kia). And the G80 is longer, wider, taller and heavier than the current Sonata.
In fact, I had to park the G80 next to a couple of full-size cars before I understood that isn't quite as long and wide behind the rear doors. But on the road, the G80 drives like an updated version of what used to known as the "Businessman's Express," a big and well-equipped sedan designed to cover long distances quickly and in comfort.
Our tester came with a smooth and punchy twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 that pumps out 311 horsepower and 293 foot-pounds of torque. It is only available on the Sport model, and was impressive in the normally restrained Eco drive mode that maximizes mileage and flat out compelling in the Sport mode, which increases the responsiveness of the smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission and tightens up the steering.
Although the AWD system was unobtrustive, I never felt the wheels slip when driving hard through Pacific Northwest fall rains.
For those that want more power, the G80 is available with a 5.0-liter V8 that delivers 420 horsepower and 383 foot-pounds of torque. I understand the appeal, but think most buyers will be more that satisfied with the 3.3T.
But the G80 is about more than performance. Hyundai intends its relatively new Genesis brand to compete against established luxury manufacturers, and it does. The interior materials and their fit and finish is first class. The infotainment It easily matches equivalent models by the premium Japanese brands that were founded years ago. The differences between much more expensive German models are a matter of degrees.
I've said this before, but Hyundai (and Kia) have come a long way in the past decade. Their affordable vehicles are now as good or better than the competition, and their newer luxury models are punching way above their weight classes. The 2019 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport is a good choice for anyone interested in a midsize sport sedan with a little extra room.
2019 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport
Base price: $57,750
Price as tested: $58,745
Type: Midsize sport sedan
Engine: Twin turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 (311 hp, 293 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport
EPA estimated mileage: 17/24
Overall length: 196.5 inches
Curb weight: 4,561 pounds
Final assembly: Ulsan, Korea
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.