Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
For years Hyundai has been known standard, simple, and reliable vehicle brand. With top selling models like the Sonata and Elantra, that is not a bad thing. However, Hyundai has never released a vehicle to brag about, nor a vehicle to compete in the luxury mid-size sedan class. Since releasing a concept in 2008, and now independently as a luxury spin-off division, the Genesis has reshaped the identity of Hyundai. Leading to the introduction of the new Genesis G80 last year.
Now Hyundai has taken another step further and introduced a new trim level and engine upgrade for the G80. The new Genesis G80 Sport model is fueled by a 3.3-liter twin turbo V-6 producing 365 horsepower and 376lb-ft of torque. This sits right in between the standard 311 horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 and the top-of-the-line 5.0-litre V-8 engine generating 411 horsepower and 383lb-ft of torque.
Starting with the exterior, the Genesis G80 is nothing short of impressive. The sportier and elegant look throughout disguises itself from the Hyundai brand, which I feel is a smart move. The addition of an elongated front-end and an improved stylish front bumper are a success. This gives the Genesis G80 that high-end luxury sedan sheik it needs to compete with the Audi A6, BMW 5 series, and the Cadillac CTS to name a few. Additional features included as well are chrome accents throughout, 19-inch alloy rims, and pronounced brake calipers. The interior is comfortable and sleek. Hyundai included some carbon fiber additions to the dashboard which I feel is a little gimmicky. I am not a fan of the carbon fiber look in general; I think a more simplistic trim accent would have served them better. The gear shift is unlike any I have seen in any vehicle making it unique and easy to maneuver. The touchscreen display is 9.2-inches wide, which is on the smaller side. (For comparison sake the Cadillac CTS display measures 12.3-inches.)However, I do always love the touchscreen and dial combination as opposed to relying on the dial (or finger pad like in the Lexus ES) only. Nothing is more frustrating when the dial skips over your desired selection, unlike the good ol’ finger tap which is bang on every time. I am also surprised by the amount of room given to the rear passengers. It’s subtly spacious throughout, making it suitable for a family or an entourage.
Now the drivability of the Genesis G80 had me excited before I even put the vehicle in drive. I mean how you could not look at the dual-double exhaust tips peeking out the rear, the giant brake calipers, and the chiseled driver seat. As I gripped the leather steering wheel tight, I took off down the serpentine roads of the Sea to Sky highway. Now full disclosure, I did say took off and you are associating that with speeding. My lawyer advised me that it doesn’t imply I was speeding. That is your assumption, and nor do I need to disclose my actual speed. Never-the-less, I took this Genesis to the test, the speed, the suspension, the handling. It satisfied my every need. You feel every bit of that twin-turbo (Again I emphasize, was not speeding). The handling is superb around the tight switchbacks accompanied by the lane departure mitigation feature nudging you back into your desired lane. Along with the beautiful scenery of Cliffside rock faces, the panoramic sunroof lets you enjoy seeing it all as you fly by. When I managed to get to Vancouver, I lots of testing with the brakes. There’s traffic everywhere and lights every 10 feet. Surprisingly, where Vancouver parking can be stressful the easy to use parking system and the overhead multi-camera will make parking a cinch.