2019 Genesis G80 Sport 3.3T Review
2019 Genesis G80 Sport, The best gets even better
The Road Beat
Words and pictures by Larry Weitzman
This is my fifth go around with the new Genesis G80, in an updated Sport version. Offered in
RWD and AWD, it is designed to be a significant player in today’s era of super sedans, like Mercedes
AMG or BMW M cars. How could a Korean compete in these lofty automotive circles? In the same way
Genesis competes with other luxury sedans, by offering more for less. In fact, this car is so good, I
expect BMW will file a lawsuit attempting to outlaw the sale of this new Genesis.
Genesis begins by sculpturing a sedan with world class looks, starting with an aggressive, strong
front end, a broad, long relatively flat hood, a single upper character line connecting the entire body all
ending in a flowing rear end with a slight kamm tail. Genesis is a great looking ride.
With its long 119-inch wheelbase, Genesis is classified as a large car stretching out 197 inches
while maintaining a svelte width of 74 inches. Interior volume is 108 cubic feet plus a 15-cubic foot
trunk. At 4,519 pounds Genesis is no lightweight. AWD will add another 155 pounds.
Powering up the G80 Sport is the same 3.3L direct injected, DOHC, 24 valve turbo V-6 engine
used in the Genesis G90 and G70. Belting out a 365 hp at 6,000 rpm and a healthy dose of twist (376
pounds at 1,300-4,500 rpm), Sport becomes a veritable animal sending prodigious power to the rear
wheels (AWD is an option) via a super slick eight-speed auto cog swapper. The power is so stupendous it
hits like a hammer, no make that a sledgehammer.
And the numbers don’t tell the real story. Zero to 60 mph arrives in under five seconds at 4.82
seconds. That’s supersedan numbers. Passing is also mind boggling with a 50-70 mph level pass
requiring 2.16 seconds and the same run up a steep grade only slowing the Chrondex to 2.86 seconds.
All these performance numbers are an improvement over my test of the G80 Sport from two years ago.
Interestingly, these times are slightly quicker than G80 V-8 (4.92/2.44/2.99) which has 420 peak hp at
the same 6,000 rpm and 383 pounds of twist at 5,000 rpm.
The reason the lesser hp Sport performs slightly better than V-8 is because of the prodigious
torque curve of the V-6 turbo. In other words, between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm, the V-6 turbo actually
makes more hp than the V-8. If it feels like the V-6T pulls harder than the larger normally aspirated V-8,
it’s because it does. And that’s with a slight turbo lag on tip in when the go pedal is pressed to the floor.
This car inspires confidence.
Fuel economy was slightly improved as well. Not that bad, in fact maybe quite good considering.
While the EPA rates the G80 Sport at 17/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined, you can expect better. My
two-way highway fuel economy test at 70 mph averaged 32.1 mpg with the engine spinning an idle like
1,750 rpm. Overall, the G80 averaged 26.1 mpg in 700 miles of mostly (about 80 percent) high speed
(78-79 mph on cruise control) highway driving with dozens of full throttle passes. Those were fun. The
G80 Sport is guilt free.
In the handling department, the state-of-the-art suspenders combine with an almost hydraulic
feeling electric power rack that is quick at 2.55 turns lock to lock. Staggered alloys measuring 19X8.5 and
19X9 inches shod with low profile 245/40 and 275/35 all season rubber complete incredible cornering
power, accuracy and feel. It certainly belies its 4,500-pound curb weight like it’s a 1,000 pounds lighter.
Cornering speeds were about 10 mph higher than other test vehicles while still having the feeling of
being quite comfortable. Superb turn-in and off and on center feel are also standard equipment.
Amazing. And then there is the ride quotient. Awesome. This is one of the, make that it is the smoothest
and quietest ride yet, except for when dipping into full tilt boogie when the engine makes some
incredible sounds. Wonderful.
Brakes which were a little too sensitive in my prior test are now perfectly linear and the
stopping power is amazing. All four rotors are ventilated and the fronts resemble 30-pound turkey
platters at over 14 inches in diameter with four pot calipers. Massive. Every other safety acronym is
standard in the G80 Sport and the LED headlights with dynamic bending could be used for the U.S. Open
Tennis tournament at Arthur Ashe Stadium if there was a power failure.
Inside is a magnificent interior of leather, soft touch materials and carbon fiber. Seats are
beautiful, if not a bit on the firm side, but with power in every axis plus heating and cooling. Ditto for the
steering wheel. Rear seating is comfortable with copious leg and shoulder room. Instrumentation is
complete down to the tire pressure monitor. Gauges are clear and Swiss watch precise including the
heads up which became important because not glancing at the speedo at supra legal speeds could be
dangerous. Just take a look at the interior and you will understand the sublime quality right down to the
contrasting perforations in the leather seating surfaces.
Pricing starts and ends at $55,250 plus $995 for the luxury suite on the boat from Ulsan, Korea.
AWD will add about 155 pounds and $2,500. This is the first vehicle ever tested two years later with the
exact same list price. However, the destination cost went up $20. Kudos to Genesis for that. While there
is no question G80 Sport is the best supersedan buy on the market, you will buy it for the car itself and
forget about the propeller or three-pointed star badging.
Specs and Techs
3.3L turbocharged, direct injected DOHC 24 valve V-6 365 hp @ 6,000rpm
376 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,300 to 4,500 rpm
Eight speed automatic
Longitudinal front engine/Rear Wheel Drive/All Wheel Drive
Wheelbase 118.5 inches
Length 196.5 inches
Width 74.4 inches
Height 58.3 inches
Track (f/r) 64.1/65.3 inches
Ground clearance 5.3 inches
Weight (RWD/AWD) 4,519/4,674 pounds
Trunk capacity 15.3 cubic fee
Passenger volume 107.7 cubic feet
Fuel Capacity 20.3 gallons
Steering lock to lock 2.55 turns
Turning circle 36.2 feet
Wheels 18X8/19X8.5f; 19X9r inches
Tires 245/45X18/245/40X19f; 275/35X19r
Coefficient of drag 0.27
0-60 mph 4.82 seconds
50-70 mph level 2.16 seconds, uphill 2.86 seconds
Top speed will be mined blowing
Fuel economy EPA rated at 17/25/20 mpg combined. Expect 23-24 mpg in suburban/rural
driving. 32 mpg on a level highway at 70 mph.