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Luxurious 2021 Genesis G80 gets a top-notch redesign   Featured

Posted On Wednesday, 24 March 2021 23:03 Written by
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The 2021 Genesis G80 gets a sharp redesign inside and out. The 2021 Genesis G80 gets a sharp redesign inside and out. Photo courtesy of Genesis

You don’t get to be a NACTOY Car of the Year nominee by slouching. That’s the first hint that the Genesis G80, a relatively new vehicle getting its first overall redesign for 2021, is a luxury sedan worth noticing.

With more powerful engines offered, and more plentiful and improved tech features to enhance the experience, the G80 continues to be a surprisingly strong contender in the very stacked midsize luxury sedan segment.

While the Genesis brand — an offshoot of Hyundai — is still relatively new and lacks the cachet of many longstanding luxury brands, it’s one that continues to turn heads, and could soon find itself on the rise.

I recently spent some time in a 2021 Genesis G80, and I’m back with a full breakdown.

Luxury cars must have a sharp design to gain a following, and Genesis delivers with this redesign of the G80.

The exterior is stylish and eye-catching, including its extra-large, bold grille and quad headlight design that is also mirrored on other new Genesis vehicles. Some might call the grille design “polarizing”; but I’m a big fan. It’s flashy while still being classy.

Other exterior highlights are 18-inch alloy wheels, dual muffler, LED lights, and power-folding outside mirrors with turn-signal Indicators and what I like to call the “bat signal” Genesis puddle lamps.

Moving inside, the interior design of the G80 is among the best setups you'll find in the midsize luxury sedan class. The G80’s massive infotainment screen is well-placed and offers tons of helpful information, and attractive wood inlays highlight the overall quality of interior materials. The front dash setup is also extremely well-designed, and the G80’s leather seats are extremely comfortable even on long rides.

All vehicles in this class feature high-end interiors, but the G80 is in the upper echelon. It’s also roomy, even in the back seat, for all 5 passengers. But one downside is that the seats won’t fold flat in the rear, limiting your cargo capabilities.

Front seats are heated and can save position settings, you get a leather steering wheel, and adjustable interior ambient light.

Among highlights on some higher trim levels are: Upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels, Lexicon Premium Audio with 21 speakers, a panoramic roof, ventilated front seats, power rear and manual rear side shades, and 3-zone climate controls, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel.


Two engines are offered on the 2021 G80: A 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder offering 300 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 featuring 375 horses and 391 lb-ft. Both of these engines connect with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and paddle shifters are included if you want to simulate going through the gears.

RWD is standard, and AWD is offered, and the vehicle features a multi-link front and rear suspension.

I drove the G80 on both regular roads and the freeways, enjoying every minute I spent behind the wheel. It is extremely fast and powerful, especially in sport mode. And it drives like a dream. I experienced 0-to-60 numbers under 5 seconds, excellent overall speed, smooth handling, and it was even quiet on the highway no matter how fast I was moving. You can feel it responding instantly to driver input, both when getting it moving and braking.

On the freeway, you can lock in the automatic lane keeping controls which will steer the vehicle for you, which is quite an experience and a taste of our autonomous vehicle future. The first turn is a little nerve-wracking, but once you see it works you can let it do its job and just keep your hands on the wheel as a safeguard. This feature will be helpful for long trips.

All the luxury vehicles offer great driving experiences on some level, but I can safely say that for much less money, the Genesis models provide at least what you would get from a more expensive option.


As I alluded to above, the infotainment system is massive (14.5 inches) and features multiple panels of information. Below the massive screens are a lot of touch controls that take awhile to get used to, but will then become familiar. Commands work very accurately by voice, if you’re not a fan of the physical controls.

For example, voice commands for navigation worked well, and the navigation system was especially helpful by adapting to unexpected freeway closures with new routes.

The G80’s sound system is also excellent, both on the low and high ends of the sound spectrum.

The G80 also is compatible with the phone mirroring capability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allows you to stream music and phone calls via Bluetooth, and offers satellite radio. There are 2 USB ports in front, and 1 in the rear, plus two 12V power outlets.

There’s also innovative tech. For example, seat belt pretensioners. If you ever need to stop suddenly due to getting too close to another vehicle, seat belts tighten around you to prepare you for any impact.

Among the bevy of safety features on the G80 are: Vehicle stability management, 10 airbags, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with warnings for pedestrians and cyclists, Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance, 

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

A rearview camera with dynamic guidelines is also very helpful in parking situations.

You can also choose an optional wireless device charger, and optional safety features such as Surround View Monitor and the very helpful Remote Smart Parking Assist for tight parking situations, leaving the hard work to the car and lessening your stress levels when a tight parking squeeze is needed..

On the base engine, the 2021 G80 offers 22 city/30 highway/25 combined mpg. On the higher-end engine, numbers were 18 city/26 highway/21 combined. I found these numbers to be accurate in my real world testing.

These numbers can be beaten by the competition in some cases. But not by a wide enough margin to be the deciding factor for most people. 

Pricing for the 2021 G80 starts around $48K, and goes up to more than $60K. There are three trim levels (Standard, Advanced, Prestige), and you can choose RWD or AWD on each level.

These numbers may seem high, but not when you compare then to their luxury counterparts from Germany and elsewhere. And the difference is not small; we’re talking $10,000 to $20,000 less for the Genesis in some cases. That will be a huge selling point for this vehicle.


The new 2021 Genesis G80 is a big upgrade for an already impressive luxury sedan — featuring excellent driving qualities, a sharp look and smart tech.

The Genesis lineup may still be new, but it’s coming on strong to take on the legacy luxury automakers. People don’t think of Genesis yet the same way we think of  BMW/Benz/Audi/Cadillac/Lexus, etc., but it’s an excellent alternative worth exploring in the luxury sedan realm.


AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2021 Genesis G80 
  • Price as tested: $60,575 (starts at $47,700) 
  • Best feature: Powerful performance, luxurious design
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury sedan buyers seeking a new alternative that is more affordable than established brands but equally impressive
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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