Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Genesis G80 saloon review

"The executive saloon class is full of accomplished, established contenders, so it's impressive that the Genesis G80 gets so close to the best in class"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£43,100 - £74,055

Pros

  • Impressive quality
  • Good to drive
  • Ownership experience

Cons

  • Relatively small boot
  • Brand image
  • Slightly firm ride

Verdict - Is the Genesis G80 a good car?

The Genesis G80 isn’t quite on the same level as the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class, but it’s not far off; the Electrified G80 version is actually better than Mercedes’ all-electric effort, the EQE. Overall, the strong ownership experience and level of luxury, comfort and tech in the G80 means it’s well worth a look for buyers after a large saloon that’s a bit different to the German establishment.

Genesis G80 models, specs and alternatives

The Genesis G80 is a new kid on the block in the large executive saloon car class. You’d be forgiven for not having seen one before, and it certainly has stiff competition from the established BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. However, the Korean Genesis brand, a spin-off from Hyundai just like Lexus was from Toyota in the 1990s, is certainly not one to ignore.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Some early Lexus models felt a bit odd in the UK, having been designed for Japanese and American customers, but the G80 was made for European roads and this really shows in its impressive driving experience. There’s even a Sport trim, directly competing with the popular BMW M Sport and Mercedes AMG-Line models. It’s quiet and smooth to drive, and while it’s not quite as well-balanced as the 5 Series, there’s not that much in it.

The best luxury carsTop 10 best luxury cars 2024

The Genesis comes with a choice of powertrains, though the 2.2-litre diesel has recently been dropped in the UK. This means that if you don’t want an EV, you’re stuck with a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with 300bhp. You’ll save a little on company car tax versus the old diesel, but it’s nowhere near as economical on a longer run.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s also the ‘Electrified G80’ EV, which is powered by two electric motors, making it cheaper to run and much more appealing as a company car. With 364bhp it can easily outpace the combustion-engined versions, and feels much quicker and more refined in everyday driving. It’s expensive - costing from around £65,000 - but this puts it in a similar ballpark to all-electric rivals like the Mercedes EQE, forthcoming BMW i5 and top-spec versions of the Tesla Model 3. In fact, the EQE is significantly more expensive, even in its most basic guise.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The G80’s interior is relaxing and feels well built, with artificial 'leatherette' upholstery in the Premium Line trim replaced with real leather and wood trim in the Luxury Line, and diamond-quilted leather for the Sport. Standard kit also includes a large 14.5-inch infotainment display with augmented reality navigation, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera and LED exterior lighting. Luxury Line adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a powered boot and triple-zone climate control.

Genesis is also hoping to impress customers with its buying and ownership experience, in a similar way to Lexus - a brand that has topped our Driver Power survey in recent years. You won't need to visit a bricks and mortar dealership to buy one, and owners will be appointed a Genesis Personal Assistant. Cars will be collected and delivered for servicing and a five-year care plan will include a five-year warranty, servicing with a courtesy car, roadside assistance and wireless software updates.

Trim levels

Power options

  • Premium
  • Luxury
  • Sport
  • Petrol 2.5T 8AT RWD (300bhp)
  • Petrol 2.5T 8AT AWD (300bhp)
  • Electrified G80 (365bhp)

Genesis G80 alternatives

Large executive saloons

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Mercedes E-Class
  • Audi A6

Hybrid executive saloons

Electric saloon cars

MPG, running costs & CO2

Distinctly average running costs for the petrol but the electric G80 improves matters

The Genesis G80 is offered with a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol or with electric power in the Electrified G80. Previously, a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine was available but this has been taken off sale. The petrol engine uses an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard and is available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive forms.

The Electrified G80 EV joined the range in mid-2022, providing a potential range of up to 323 miles thanks to its 87.2kWh battery. According to Genesis, rapid charging can take the battery from 10-80% in 22 minutes, while Vehicle to Load (V2L) technology also makes it possible to charge other electric devices using the car. This will be the pick for businesses, thanks to its lower running costs, even if it's the most expensive model to buy.

Model 

Fuel economy

CO2 Emissions/Range

Petrol G80 (RWD)

30.5-31.2mpg

205-210g/km

Petrol G80 (AWD)

32.9-33.9mpg

189-195g/km

Electric G80

3.0mi/kWh*

*As tested by Auto Express

323 miles

Engines, drive & performance

Don't let the lack of badge prestige put you off; the G80 is very grown-up to drive

Considering the G80 is a new model from a new brand, we're surprised just how close the Korean luxury saloon comes to matching the class-leading BMW 5 Series. Ultimately, it’s a little bit softer to drive than the performance-focused BMW, but it is still highly accomplished and should leave its target buyers very impressed. Even the Electrified G80 is excellent to drive, with plentiful composure for all but the most daring drivers.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Of course, Genesis’ parent brand Hyundai already knows a thing or two about tuning a car's chassis for European roads, and the G80 has been partly developed at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany. While it isn't intended to set any lap records, this twisting test track does help manufacturers fine tune a car’s handling.

It's possible to increase or reduce the engine noise of the petrol model, and the latter seems more appropriate in a car as generally hushed as the G80. The eight-speed automatic gearbox responds quickly and smoothly with barely noticeable gearchanges, and while you can tell the G80 is a large and heavy car, it handles tidily.

The 2.5-litre turbo engine produces 300bhp, getting from 0-62mph in six seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. On the road, it feels quick enough for a car of this size, with a slightly muted engine note as you accelerate. Refinement is excellent on the move too, with the luxury cabin doing a good job of isolating passengers from road noise. There’s a minimal amount of wind buffeting at motorway speeds too.

A Sport trim was added in 2022 and is only available with the 2.5-litre petrol turbo model. This adds styling touches including dark chrome for the grille, accents for the front bumper and black trim framing the headlights. A choice of sporty 19-inch or 20-inch wheels can be chosen, along with a colour option named Cavendish Red that cannot be selected on other trim levels.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

While the G80 is not set up to be an all-out sports saloon like the 5-Series, it handles well on the road, with reasonably accurate steering and a balanced suspension setup. Its size and weight is noticeable in corners, although the chassis does a good job of controlling body lean in sharper turns, while maintaining a smooth ride on rougher roads. While some of its German rivals may offer a sportier driving experience, the flagship Genesis offers a more relaxed attitude.

If you opt for the diesel, which is now only available second-hand, the G80 isn't quite as potent; the 2.2-litre engine produces only 207bhp. It sprints from 0-62mph in eight seconds; that puts it slightly behind the BMW 520d. On the road, this engine is smooth, refined, and its pulling power makes it easy to get up to speed on motorways – although there is a small amount of diesel hum present in the background as you accelerate. Overtaking manoeuvres are also pretty brisk, although the automatic gearbox does feel slightly hurried on occasions, as it tends to downshift several gears as you put your foot down.

Thanks to dual motors producing 364bhp and with four-wheel drive, the Electrified G80 is comfortably the quickest version, whooshing from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. It’s potent enough to surprise unsuspecting Tesla owners away from the lights, and perhaps more impressively, acceleration isn’t the car’s only party piece. 

Genesis claims the Electrified G80 is actually 50kg lighter than the petrol version, and along twisting tarmac it feels hunkered down and confidence-inspiring, with direct steering. The intelligent regenerative braking also works well, and allows you to complete most journeys without ever touching the brake pedal - once you’ve got used to it. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The only negative is the G80’s size in urban settings, as it always feels like a large car, and it doesn’t get the rear-wheel steering that improves the turning circle of some rivals that have this system.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

G80 petrol RWD

300bhp

6.0s

155mph

G80 petrol AWD

300bhp

6.3s

155mph

Electrified G80

365bhp

4.9s

139mph

Interior & comfort

Clever tech improves comfort and there's plenty of equipment on offer

The G80 features a technology called Ride Preview, which scans the road ahead and adjusts the suspension to help soak up bumps. In spite of this, the ride felt slightly firm around town, so we're hoping this is improved by 19-inch wheels fitted in place of the 20s on our Luxury test car.

There are three trim levels available: Premium, Luxury and Sport. The entry-level model is fitted with kit like LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and 'leatherette' seat upholstery. There's also a 14.5-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an audio system with nine speakers.

Luxury adds the aforementioned 20-inch alloy wheels, real wood trim and leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a powered tailgate and triple-zone climate control.

Sport gets a unique three-spoke steering wheel and comes with the choice of ‘Real Carbon Fibre’ or ‘Hybrid Metal Weave’ for the interior trim. Contrasting piping along the quilted leather upholstery finishes off the look, to set the Sport apart from the rest of the range. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

An optional Comfort seat package adds a massage function to the front passenger seat, which is standard on the driver seat of higher trim packages. It also adds electric multi-way adjustment to both seats.

Genesis is also offering several technology packs and extras, including an electronic panoramic sunroof. An Innovation Pack adds a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, head-up display, safety tech and a wireless phone charger but costs just under £4,000. There's also a similarly priced Executive Pack for the Luxury Line trim, bringing laminated rear glass (for improved refinement), electrically folding rear seats, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, soft-close doors and even curtains for the rear windows.

Key features

Premium

 

  • LED lights
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Climate control
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • 19-inch alloys
  • 14.5-inch media screen

Sport

(Premium, plus…)

  • Different 19-inch alloys
  • Sport steering wheel
  • Sporty interior trim
  • Nappa leather seats

Luxury

(Premium, plus…)

  • 20-inch alloys
  • Leather seats
  • Power tailgate
  • Wood trim
  • 3-zone climate control

Practicality & boot space

Considering its size, the G80 isn't the most spacious executive saloon available

The Genesis G80 is a big car, measuring over five metres in length, so you'd expect plenty of interior space. It doesn't feel class-leading inside though, and we'd recommend avoiding the sunroof option if you expect tall people in the back regularly. If this is a concern, the GV80 SUV clearly shows the advantages of a taller roofline.

Size comparison

Model 

Length

Width

Height

Genesis G80

5,005mm

1,925mm

1,470mm

Mercedes EQE

4,946mm

1,906mm

1,503mm

BMW 5 Series

5,060mm

1,900mm

1,515mm

Tesla Model S

4,970mm

1,964mm

1445mm

Boot space

Measuring 424 litres, the boot is also noticeably down on the 490-litre capacity of the BMW 5 Series, and even more so alongside the 540-litre Mercedes E-Class. It's not yet known how much the G80 will be able to tow but it will need to be in the region of 2,000kg to compete with its German rivals. 

Boot space is even more restricted in the Electrified G80, because of the way Genesis has packaged the battery and electric motors beneath the car. At 354 litres, it’s a bit smaller than you’ll find in a family hatch like a Volkswagen Golf, and there’s a step in the floor so it’s not entirely flat.    

Boot space comparison

Model 

Boot space

Genesis G80

424 litres

Genesis Electrified G80

354 litres

Mercedes EQE

430 litres

BMW 5 Series

490 litres

Tesla Model S

745 litres

Reliability & safety

The Genesis G80 is safe and comes with a five-year warranty

While Genesis didn't feature in our 2023 Driver Power owner-satisfaction survey, parnet company Hyundai came 17th out of 29 manufacturers. Quality feels impressive throughout, and Electrified G80 owners should be reassured by Hyundai’s track record for producing some of the top-selling electric models, including the Ioniq 5 and Kona Electric.

There's also no doubt that the G80 is a very safe car, thanks to a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. The saloon scored 91% in both the Adult Occupant and Safety Assist categories, with the latter being a particularly high score that highlights how much active safety kit is included to help prevent collisions. 

While expensive, the Innovation Pack is worth considering as it adds a plethora of equipment to make driving safer and more relaxed. There's automatic braking to help prevent bumps while reverse parking, along with collision avoidance technology for pulling out of and turning at junctions. It also adds blind-spot warnings and a 360-degree parking view. 

Skip advert
Advertisement

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

New Bentley Continental GT is a 771bhp, leather-lined missile
New Bentley Continental GT front quarter
News
25 Jun 2024

New Bentley Continental GT is a 771bhp, leather-lined missile

Porsche Cayenne review – one of the best-handling SUVs
Porsche Cayenne SUV
In-depth reviews
20 Jun 2024

Porsche Cayenne review – one of the best-handling SUVs

New DS flagship: chic, aero-focused EV to draw on 1960s heritage
DS electric car render
News
14 Jun 2024

New DS flagship: chic, aero-focused EV to draw on 1960s heritage

Mercedes G-Class review - iconic 4x4 adds EV power
Mercedes G-Class
In-depth reviews
13 May 2024

Mercedes G-Class review - iconic 4x4 adds EV power

Have You Considered

Mercedes E-Class review – a smooth and refined executive saloon
Mercedes E-Class UK drive dynamic
In-depth reviews
26 Jun 2024

Mercedes E-Class review – a smooth and refined executive saloon

BMW 5 Series review – a near-faultless executive saloon
BMW 5 Series front quarter
In-depth reviews
9 May 2024

BMW 5 Series review – a near-faultless executive saloon

Most Popular

New Fiat Grande Panda: everything we know about Italy’s retro-inspired EV
Fiat Grande Panda front quarter
News
11 Jul 2024

New Fiat Grande Panda: everything we know about Italy’s retro-inspired EV

All-new Audi A5: the sleek successor to the Audi A4
Audi A5 Avant front quarter
News
16 Jul 2024

All-new Audi A5: the sleek successor to the Audi A4

Top 10 best used small SUVs to buy
Best used small SUVs
Best cars
12 Jul 2024

Top 10 best used small SUVs to buy

More on G80

Show me:
Top 10 large executive cars – the best to buy in 2024
Best large executive cars
Best cars
19 Jun 2024

Top 10 large executive cars – the best to buy in 2024

Large executive cars are the ideal choice for drivers who want something classy and capacious
Top 10 best executive cars 2024
Best executive cars
Best cars
22 Mar 2024

Top 10 best executive cars 2024

Efficient, classy and comfortable, these executive cars do it all with a premium touch
Top 10 best luxury cars 2024
The best luxury cars
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best luxury cars 2024

If money is no object and your tastes run to extravagance, read on for the 10 best luxury cars on sale today

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024