The 2022 Genesis G80 Sport Should Put Other Luxury Sedans On Notice

The 2022 Genesis G80 Sport Should Put Other Luxury Sedans On Notice

2022 Genesis G80 Sport

Photo: Lawrence Hodge

Genesis seems to have finally found its footing with its lineup of luxury sedans and crossovers. But the brand is still trying to appeal to new customers. After spending a week with Genesis’ midsize sedan offering, the G80 Sport, I can say with confidence that more buyers should be looking to the South Korean automaker. This thing is really, really good.

2022 Genesis G80 Sport: What is it?

2022 Genesis G80 Sport rear view

Photo: Lawrence Hodge

The Genesis G80 plays in the same arena as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The previous-generation G80 could be had with a base 3.8-liter V6, an upgraded 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 or an optional 5.0-liter V8. However, the car’s redesign in 2021 dropped the base V6 and V8 options. The G80 now comes with a 2.5-liter turbo I4 engine that makes 300 hp, or the carryover 3.3-liter V6 that you get in the G80 Sport, with 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque.

While there is technically a Sport package for the four-cylinder G80, it’s mostly cosmetic. When you step up to the V6, this automatically makes the G80 a Sport model and adds things like aluminum interior trim, 19-inch wheels, electronically adjustable dampers, and rear-wheel steering.

While the price of the G80 Sport undercuts its German competition, it’s still not cheap. The G80 Sport starts at $63,700, including $1,095 for destination. My car has the optional and beautiful Cavendish Red paint that’s exclusive to the Sport ($575), as well as a $6,300 Prestige package that gives it things like Pirelli P Zero all-season tires (245/40R-20 up front, 275/35R-20 out back) Nappa leather seats, 3D graphics in the gauge cluster, larger 20-inch wheels, carbon fiber trim, and a slightly stiffer suspension tune. All in, including a $1,095 destination charge, my Genesis G80 Sport costs $71,670.

2022 Genesis G80 Sport: How Does it Drive?

The G80 Sport is a fine luxury car. It’s as quiet and smooth as any Lexus, with the adaptive suspension helping to soak up road imperfections like they aren’t even there. There’s a vault-like serenity to the G80’s cabin and it isolates road and tire noise well.

2022 Genesis G80 Sport engine

Photo: Lawrence Hodge

However, put the G80 Sport into Sport+ mode and it becomes a different animal. Here, increased throttle response helps the G80 Sport achieve a 0-to60-mph time of less than 5 seconds. It’ll pin you to your seat, too, as all 391 lb-ft of torque is available from just 1,300 rpm. The sport suspension also firms up, giving you enhanced cornering composure.

On top of that, the rear-wheel steering system helps to enhance both overall handling and low-speed maneuverability. At speeds above 37 mph, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front ones; below 37 mph, the wheels turn in the opposite direction by two degrees. It’s a godsend for parking maneuverability and U-turns, making the G80 feel way smaller than it actually is.

The G80 Sport has 14.2-inch front and 13.6-inch rear disc brakes that bring it down from speed just fine. You’ll notice a little fade when they heat up after a brief canyon sprint, but it isn’t enough to be a concern.

2022 Genesis G80 Sport: What’s Great and What’s Not

2022 Genesis G80 Sport side view

Image: Genesis

There isn’t much that’s bad about the G80 Sport. Most of what is bad is things that an owner would encounter on a daily basis. But just look at the G80 Sport: It’s gorgeous. From the thin LED daytime running lights, to the LED turn indicators on the fenders and the tail that finishes off in a sweep, Genesis’ designers know what the hell they’re doing. The G80 Sport is cohesive and beautiful.

2022 Genesis G80 Sport interior

Photo: Lawrence Hodge

The interior is just as gorgeous. It’s simple, yet elegant and modern. It doesn’t try to do anything over-the-top with angles or unnecessary curves. The carbon fiber trim on the dash has an interesting pattern that works well with the aluminum accents found throughout the rest of the interior.

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Image: Lawrence Hodge

On top of the dash sits a 14.5-inch touchscreen display. It’s wide and has fantastic resolution. It also bucks the trend of looking like someone set a tablet on top of the dashboard because the screen is sunken into the dash. However, actually using the touchscreen requires a long reach, which I kind of feel is intentional, as it forces you to use the rotary dial that sits behind the gear selector on the center console. If you don’t want to use the touchscreen or the console dial, Genesis thankfully includes physical buttons for functions people use the most like the audio and climate controls.

The 12.3-inch digital instrument display in front of the driver looks good. But its 3D graphics can be a bit weird. I don’t quite see the point of them, either. Luckily you can turn off the 3D effect in the G80’s settings.

Image for article titled The 2022 Genesis G80 Sport Should Put Other Luxury Sedans On Notice

Photo: Lawrence Hodge

On the other hand, I do really like Genesis’ Smart Posture Care. After being in the car for an hour, you’ll hear a *ding* from the infotainment system along with a message on the screen that says “starting Smart Posture Care.” The lower lumbar of the driver’s seat will then slowly inflate and deflate a minute or so for about 5 minutes, helping you to sit straighter and more comfortably while driving.

One downside to the G80 Sport setup is that it’s thirsty. This might have something to do with its 5,567-pound curb weight and all-wheel drive system. The G80 Sport is EPA-rated to return 16 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. In mixed driving, I’m seeing about 15 mpg. Now, compare that to a six-cylinder BMW 540i xDrive, which gets 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. Comparable Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class models are more efficient, too.

Like all Genesis models, the G80 Sport has a long list of standard active and passive safety features. Everything from 10 airbags to evasive steering assist to full-speed adaptive cruise control is standard. The sensors for these things can be a little overly sensitive, though. Going around a curve in my neighborhood, the forward-collision avoidance system slammed on the brakes for no reason at all. The lane-departure warning can chime too often as well, alerting you in the middle of a turn even though there isn’t a vehicle near you.

Verdict

What Genesis has done with the G80 Sport is excellent. The level of luxury, amenities, performance and standard safety equipment can’t be beat. Combine that with a price that’s thousands less than its key rivals, along with Genesis’ comprehensive warranty, and the G80 Sport really seems like a no-brainer purchase decision.

Genesis’ real problem is still overall brand awareness, not to mention the lack of standalone dealers, something the brand is trying to work on. Some buyers may be turned off when they get to a Genesis store and see a Hyundai Kona and Santa Cruz sitting across the showroom floor from a near six-figure Genesis G90. But once you’re familiar with the brand, the G80 Sport is proof that this automaker knows what it’s doing. The G80 Sport is a sedan more people should be considering.