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2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 8/24/2017 JOHN PEARLEY HUFFMAN

2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD
From the September 2017 issue

Awkward, tentative, and wobbly, a baby takes its first step and experiences a taste of self-determination. The new 2018 G80 Sport is that first prodigy for Hyundai’s post-natal Genesis division. And at 4658 pounds, it’s a big baby, too.

The G80 Sport is also the brand’s inaugural sports sedan. It’s based on the mid-size four-door Hyundai Genesis, which, when Genesis became its own thing, magically turned into the G80 for 2017. The Sport skips the G80’s 311-hp 3.8-liter V-6 and optional 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 and exclusively adopts the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 used in the larger G90 sedan. The engine is rated at 365 horsepower, but its aptitude is consistent torque production, churning out 376 pound-feet as low as 1300 rpm.

Grunt is good, but this isn’t a crying infant. It’s a Genesis with a turbo six that emphasizes relentless power. The all-wheel-drive G80 Sport sped to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds. That’s pretty quick. It’s a few tenths of a second slower to 60 than the 335-hp BMW 540i that landed mid-pack in C/D’s recent comparison test of blown-six–­powered luxury sedans. But the G80 Sport matches the Jaguar XF S AWD to 60 mph and beats the Audi A6 3.0T Competition by 0.2 second.

2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD© JOHN PEARLEY HUFFMAN 2018 Genesis G80 Sport AWD

Both the G80 Sport’s 118.5-inch wheelbase and 196.5-inch overall length are some of the longest in the class. That allows for a roomy cockpit, but the car drives big. It’s far better sorted than the deeply clumsy first-generation Hyundai Genesis of 2008, but the electrically assisted power steering is uncommunicative and the suspension is tuned for cushy cruising. With 245/40R-19 front and 275/35R-19 rear Continental ProContact TX all seasons, the G80 ran a modest 0.84 g on the skidpad. This is a sporty luxury car, not a luxurious sports car.

The G80 Sport’s advantage is value. A nearly one-spec car, each G80 Sport comes with everything from a panoramic sunroof to gizmos that keep it in its lane and from ramming into things. The leather is supple, the controls are logical, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, all the seats are supportive, and the whole car is simply handsome. There’s even some tasty copper-colored thread stitched into the leather upholstery as well as coppery accents on the grille and wheels that add a bit of distinction. And at $58,725, it undercuts the least expensive car in that five-car comparison by more than $13,000.

2018 Gensis G80 Sport AWD© Manufacturer 2018 Gensis G80 Sport AWD

Genesis expects about 40 percent of G80 Sport buyers to opt for all-wheel drive. The rear-drive model is $2500 less expensive and weighs about 150 less pounds, but people love all-wheel-drive vehicles. And Genesis throws in a heated steering wheel.

Hyundai is committed to Genesis’s baby-step evolution while leveraging its tradition of high value, including its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The G80 Sport is an upstart without the laurels and heritage its rivals rest upon. It may be deemed too innocuous to land any serious blows on the incumbents it’s come to play with, but this baby is growing stronger. And that’s adorable.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $58,725 (base price: $58,725)

ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 204 cu in, 3342 cc

Power: 365 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


Wheelbase: 118.5 in

Length: 196.5 in

Width: 74.4 in Height: 58.3 in

Passenger volume: 105 cu ft

Trunk volume: 15 cu ft

Curb weight: 4658 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 5.0 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 12.5 sec

Zero to 140 mph: 27.7 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.7 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 13.6 sec @ 104 mph

Top speed (gov ltd, mfr's claim): 149 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 180 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.84 g


EPA combined/city/hwy: 20/17/24 mpg

C/D observed: 18 mpg


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