First Drive: 2021 Genesis G80 Ramps Up Styling and Tech

The powertrains, handling, and beautiful interior impress, but the infotainment system is confounding

A 2021 Genesis G80 front.

The redesigned 2021 Genesis G80, like its predecessor, offers luxury sedan buyers a quiet and refined driving experience with a more feature-packed cabin than key rivals, such as the Audi A6BMW 5 SeriesMercedes-Benz E-Class, and Volvo S90. What's more, the new car has much sleeker styling than the outgoing version, along with a completely reworked, more high-tech infotainment system.

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The 2021 Genesis G80 is based on a new rear-drive platform shared with the also-new 2021 GV80 SUV. It’s lower and wider than the outgoing model, and boasts a pair of turbocharged engines, the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, and numerous standard advanced safety features.

Prices for the G80 start at $47,700 for the rear-wheel-drive turbocharged four-cylinder model and top off at $62,250 for the turbocharged V6 with all-wheel drive. The destination fee adds $1,025.

We rented two early examples of the G80 from Genesis, Hyundai's luxury-focused division, to give us a chance to experience both of the new powertrains before the car goes on sale.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, our initial expert assessment of the new G80 is available to you here. We will buy a G80 model to put through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members will get access to the full road-test results as soon as they’re available.

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What we rented: 2021 Genesis G80 and Genesis G80 Prestige
Powertrain: 300-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; 375-hp, 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine; eight-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MSRP: $47,700 and $65,100
Destination fee: $1,025
Total cost: $48,725 and $66,125

CR's Take

The outgoing G80 was one of our top-rated midsized luxury sedans, thanks to its comfortable ride, quiet cabin, and slick powertrain. Its cabin also offered just about every luxury feature a buyer could wish for at about $10,000 less than most of its competitors. With the new car, Genesis stacked the deck and ratcheted the cabin quality and luxury a step higher. It now features thoroughly modern turbocharged powertrains and has exterior styling that is sure to make the G80 stand out. Even though the lush optional V8 engine is gone, the new V6 turbo engine delivers a refined driving experience with plenty of power on hand.

The new interior control layout leaves a lot to be desired, though. The huge infotainment display screen looks futuristic and high-tech, and Genesis vastly trimmed the number of buttons throughout the cabin. But it’s overwhelming to navigate around the screen with the touchpad controller on the center console. Not only is there a lot going on with the menus on the screen, but the round touchpad is difficult to use while driving. The refreshingly straightforward controls of the previous G80 were one of the things we greatly appreciated about the machine.