New car review: Genesis G80 Ultimate Sport

The Genesis G80 is the latest update of the original and sole model introduced here as the Hyundai Genesis back in 2014.

Genesis have signalled their desire to broaden the brand’s appeal and conquest sales from prestige breeds such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes. The Hyundai name is banished, sales are now through standalone Genesis Studios (the first in Sydney, with more to come) or on-line, and there are now two models, with more to follow including an SUV.

Sweetening the purchase and ownership experience are a comprehensive range of ‘extras’. This includes test-drive home delivery, concierge pick-up/delivery for scheduled servicing/warranty work with complimentary courtesy car, and convenient handover delivery for new purchases.

Completing the premium all-inclusive experience is a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, five years/75,000km free scheduled servicing, 24/7 roadside assist, free map updates and subscription to Genesis Connected Services all for five years, plus two years complimentary access to Genesis Lifestyle Concierge and Global Privileges that includes travel and medical assistance.

The large Genesis sedan even in the top specification, the Ultimate Sport, undercuts prices of its nearest equivalent German rivals. Its interior has an upmarket look and feel albeit in a slightly dated conservative way that ultimately lacks the sophistication the German marques offer.

The 232kW 3.8-litre V6 is mated to an eight-speed auto developed in-house. It’s a smooth combination that delivers strong and responsive performance, complementing the rest of the car’s refinement. Official fuel consumption has improved by 0.4-litres/100km down to a still fairly thirsty combined cycle 10.8-litres/100km.



The G80 now features an Australian-specific suspension and steering tune and Adaptive Control Suspension. Dynamics are improved and the big rear-drive sedan feels quite adept at negotiating a twisty road at pace, though not as impressive as the new, smaller and sportier G70 sedan.

We like the spacious interior and comfortable seating. Likewise, a healthy standard equipment list including the suite of Genesis Active Safety Control driver assistance technologies, and an active bonnet-lift system to reduce pedestrian injury in an impact. However, a lack of a split-fold rear seat, no ski-port (Ultimate and Ultimate Sport versions), and no DAB+ radio are notable omissions. In common with many vehicles these days, only a spacesaver spare is supplied.

The G80 carries a five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2014 but hasn’t been re-tested to current more stringent test standards.

KEY STATS

  • MLP: $92,900 (not inclusive of on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 3.8-litre, petrol V6
  • ANCAP SAFETY RATING: 5 stars
  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 253
  • FOR: Refined and responsive V6, localised ride and handling, customer-care package.
  • AGAINST: Not as dynamic as G70, still thirsty, slightly dated interior, no split-fold rear seat