Genesis G80 Review & Prices
The Genesis G80 is the South Korean firm’s top-end saloon and comes with a quality finish inside, but it’s not as spacious as top-end options
What's not so good
Find out more about the Genesis G80
Being a fair amount cheaper than those three, the G80 is like choosing a Marks & Spencer suit instead of one from Savile Row – it’s still very good and comfortable, but just not from the most expensive outlet.
On the outside, you get a diamond-patterned grille and two-tiered front lights, while there’s a smart roofline that swoops down the boot. There are also sharp creases down the sides and the option of large alloy wheels for a more premium look.
The cabin is as interesting as the exterior, with different levels and the option of wood inlay to be paired with the leather upholstery. You also get two large displays, the option of a head-up display and supremely comfortable seats.
Like other premium saloons, you can choose to have two separate seats without a middle spot in the back, offering reclination and excellent space — more S-Class than E-Class. Despite this, taller people will struggle with headroom sometimes.
Boot space isn’t the G80’s strong suit, with the 424-litre boot over 100 litres down on the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The opening isn’t the widest or most practical either, while there’s no underfloor storage.
You get the choice of one petrol and one diesel – both of which are paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The more powerful petrol unit gets all-wheel drive, while the diesel version has rear-wheel drive. You can’t get a hybrid G80, but Genesis does make an electric model if you want a quieter and zero-emission drive.
The G80 has a very handsome shape, with low, lean styling that looks more than a little bit like a junior Bentley Flying Spur
In town, you’ll notice how long the G80 is – measuring close to five metres – and it certainly doesn’t feel small. The rear window is a little narrow, but with decent-sized wing mirrors and not-so-chunky pillars in front of you, as well as a rear view camera as standard, you can easily see around.
Thankfully, the steering is light enough for simple manoeuvring and the pedals don’t feel spongey, but the ride can feel a little sharp over bumps.
On the motorway, the G80 feels very composed and comfortable, even on the largest 20-inch alloy wheels. Wind and road noise is kept in check and with adaptive cruise control as standard, long distance driving is a breeze.
The automatic gearbox can feel a bit sluggish when it decides to change down as you accelerate, and the petrol engine can feel a little unrefined and shouty at times. The suspension also isn’t as refined as in other plush saloons, but it’s good enough when you’re taking on sweeping bends without feeling too skittish.
While it’s not a world-beater in the mid-size executive segment, the Genesis G80 is a great alternative to the German monopoly on the class, and if you choose the right option packs, it can be supremely comfortable for you and your passengers.
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The Genesis G80 has a RRP range of £43,045 to £54,490. Monthly payments start at £532.
When you compare build quality and equipment levels, the G80 looks like even better value for money compared to them by being as good or better than those other models.
The Genesis G80 is a comfortable cruiser, but the 5 Series and E-Class are more competent overall
Executive saloons need to feel plush in town, and the G80 offers a quiet and comfortable cabin. On the 20-inch alloys of the Luxury trim, you can feel sharper edges from the road surface and although you get a fancy system that scans the road in front of you and adjusts the adaptive dampers on the suspension, the G80 can feel a little firm.
Visibility is a touch limited out of the rear window, as it slopes smoothly with the roofline and the view out is a bit narrow, while there are chunky pillars either side. Each side of you, the view out of the windows is good, as is the front visibility. The large windscreen and thin pillars help, with the sensors and cameras making manoeuvres simple.
Top-spec cars get all-round cameras, while the entry-level Premium models get a rear-view camera as standard.
Genesis has made the steering of the G80 light enough to help with easy driving around town, but not so light that it feels lifeless when you’re driving a bit quicker on a twisty road – it strikes a good balance.
On the motorway
A mark of a good executive saloon is how well it does on longer drives, and the G80 performs excellently. With the system that scans the road ahead, it softens up the suspension enough to make for a smooth drive without being floaty.
You get adaptive cruise control as standard, and when you’re in a traffic jam, it makes your life a whole lot easier. The Genesis system does err on the side of caution and sets you a little further back at each setting compared to other manufacturers, giving more leeway to the car in front.
Even on the largest alloys, road noise is kept in check, while wind noise is unobtrusive thanks to the sleek roofline.
With the punchiest engine, you get up to speed fairly swiftly – although the gearbox can feel hesitant to get itself in the right gear before you do so.
On a twisty road
All versions get the same adaptive suspension with the road scanning system to help to iron out bumps ahead of you. But the setup doesn’t lend itself to exciting or fast driving, with comfort the order of the day.
The four-wheel drive system you get with the 2.5-litre petrol does offer good traction in all conditions, so you won’t find yourself sliding around too much if you boot the throttle.
As we mentioned earlier, the steering is well-weighted but isn’t so heavy that it feels like you’re wrestling it through corners like it can do in a high-end sports car. It’s not a sporty experience by any means, but you get a good enough sense of the grip of the tyres.
The driving experience of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class is better – with the BMW being more dynamic and the Mercedes a touch smoother – but for a lower price, the G80 is not bad at all.
In the cabin, you’ll find the G80 to be spacious enough for most, but the boot is well down compared to alternatives
Up front in the G80, you have ample room around you and you won’t find it difficult to get comfy in the driver’s seat, thanks to electrical adjustment for the seat and steering wheel. There’s also plenty of headroom even with the sweeping roofline.
You have decent-sized doorbins, a good space under the central screen to charge your phone and a deep bin under the armrest that splits open.
There’s also a set of cupholders with a folding cover, while the glovebox is of a reasonable size.
Space in the back seats
While there’s decent comfort in the front, you get a good amount of space in the rear too. There’s plenty of legroom for you to get relaxed on longer drives, but taller people will struggle with headroom due to the sweeping roofline.
With the Comfort and Executive Pack fitted, you get reclining heated and ventilated seats, and the middle armrest accommodates the controls for the rear seats. Your passengers will be vastly more comfortable though.
With the central controls, you get a wireless charging pad and a USB charger, while there’s a screen for the media system on the back of the front seats. This pack does cost £6,270 though.
You also get airplane-style folders on the seat backs and decent-sized door bins for a water bottle. The ISOFIX points are fairly simple to get to and you can move the front seat forward with a button on the side to make sure you have enough room to fit a child seat.
While the G80 can match up with the alternatives for interior space, the boot is far off the mark.
Measuring just 424 litres, the boot isn’t impractical as such, but it’s a way off the Mercedes E-Class (540 litres) and BMW 5 Series (530 litres), and the opening for the boot of the G80 is a bit tight as well. The rear seats of the G80 are fixed too, so you can’t make the storage any better.
You get storage hooks that allow you to hang things up if needed and a 12V socket to charge devices.
Built well and with smart styling, the G80’s cabin is a nice place to be, but some controls are fiddly
Alternatives to the G80 have cabins that exude class, and Genesis has done a great job of matching that feeling. There are smart lines across the dashboard and different materials used on layers to make it look more interesting than a plain expanse of plastic or leather.
The focus of the dashboard is the 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, but it’s easier to control with the handy click wheel that’s on the centre console next to the gear lever – they’re a similar shape, so you will mix them up from time to time.
The graphics are really crisp and the system isn’t laggy at all. Some of the menus can be confusing though, so it may be easier to connect your smartphone to it, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay fitted as standard. Both can pair wirelessly.
Behind the two-spoke steering wheel you have an 8.0-inch driver’s display, which can be offered with a 3D effect if you choose (although it can be switched off). This is very clear and comes with customisation to make it show what you need.
As standard, you get faux leather surfaces and gloss black plastic trim pieces, but the further up you go, there are wood inlays that look excellent alongside the fake leather. You can also get quilted Nappa leather in black, brown, blue and beige – with the lighter tones looking very classy.
Genesis also hasn't fallen into the trap of putting the climate controls in the infotainment system, and you get a small touchscreen display for them. Mounted just above the wireless charging pad, it can be fiddly to use while you’re driving but has handy dials either side to adjust the temperature.
You have five options to choose from, all of which are packs to enhance the overall finish. You can get a panoramic roof (£1,460), a Lexicon audio system (£790) and the innovation pack (£3,620), which includes a head-up display and adaptive headlights.
With no hybrid options, the petrol and diesel options you do get aren’t that efficient. For zero-emission driving, you’ll need to go for the G80 Electrified, which offers impressive range but is less practical.
The 2.5-litre petrol is the most powerful of the two engines. You get 304hp and 422Nm of torque, which allows a 0-60mph time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. With the eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, you get smooth progress most of the time, but fuel efficiency is not excellent.
The G80 returns just 25.5mpg on a combined WLTP cycle, however on the motorway and longer drives, you can see up to 30mpg if you’re smooth. Emissions are rather high though, ranging from 205.4g/km to 210.4g/km of CO2. The first year of VED is at the higher end and because it costs more than £40,000, you need to pay extra from the second to sixth year of ownership.
The 2.2-litre diesel is also paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission, but you only get rear-wheel drive. It’s less powerful at 210hp but has more torque with 441Nm. The 0-60mph time is 8.0 seconds and the top speed of the diesel is 147mph.
Diesels are normally more efficient than comparative petrols, but the 2.2-litre is barely better at 26.1mpg. Emissions are much lower though, with returns of 164.3g/km to 169.4g/km of CO2. VED is much lower for the first year than the petrol but you’ll have to pay extra every year as it costs more than £40,000.
In terms of safety ratings, the G80 gets one of the best overall scores from Euro NCAP in the executive class. The five-star score is accompanied by high marks in the four categories the authority measures, with 91% scores in adult occupancy and safety assists.
You do get an impressive amount of safety equipment as standard with the G80. There’s also lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear collision avoidance, driver attention warning and intelligent speed limit assist.
Getting the innovation pack adds forward collision assist and highway driving assist, which takes more control of your long-distance driving for you.
There’s also all-round airbags, ISOFIX points on the rear seats, front and rear parking sensors and an immobiliser.
Models from 2021 had circuitry issues that would cause a fault with the ABS, while there were also some seatbelt pretensioners that exploded in 2023 and parts needed to be replaced. If you’re going for a used option, make sure that both those issues have been resolved.
As standard, all Genesis models come with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, and that can be transferred to used models within that time frame.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.