With its second generation introduced as a 2021 model, the Genesis G80 mid-size sedan is still new and doesn't see many changes for the 2023 model year except a renamed and subtly respecced trim and a bit more standard equipment. Buyers shopping for a car in this segment would typically consider Europeans like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series, along with other premium nameplates such as the Lexus ES. The G80 undercuts the Europeans on price in the USA and although it doesn't quite have the polish and prestige of a German sedan, it compensates with premium quality, a unique style, and many standard features. On top of that, every single safety review of the Genesis G80 puts it right at the top of its class. Only the most single-minded brand snobs will fail to be impressed by the sheer breadth of the G80's abilities, but is this enough to lure people away from their favorite premium brands?
On the 2023 G80 2.5T trim, the optional Prestige package becomes the Sport Prestige package and it gains a few features, notably 19-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, a sport-appearance package with aluminum exterior trim, upgraded brakes with monobloc calipers, alloy pedals, a 12.3-inch 3D digital gauge cluster, and forward-attention warning. All trims get a new redesigned convex infotainment controller. With two engines, two drivetrains, and four equipment levels in the range, the lineup is a little convoluted, but it means there's a G80 for everyone. The starting price of the 2023 Genesis G80 is $50,000 on the dot.
The price of the Genesis G80 2.5T RWD Standard is $50,000. The 2.5T AWD Standard will cost you $53,150 and the 3.5T AWD Sport goes for $65,750. These prices are for the base configurations of each powertrain. Adding the Advanced package to the 2.5T RWD or AWD costs $4,700, while the Sport Prestige package increases the 2.5T RWD's price by $10,800 and the 2.5T AWD's price by $10,200. Turning the 3.5T AWD Sport into the Sport Prestige will add either $6,000 or $6,500 to the price, depending on whether you want it with all-season or summer tires. These are the Genesis G80's MSRPs and they don't include the $1,125 destination fee.
See trim levels and configurations:
In terms of ride refinement, body control, and a general combination of bump absorption and handling finesse, few cars can rival the prowess of a 5 Series, A6, or E-Class in this market segment and the G80 comes so close in most regards that it won't matter to the average owner. It's not quite there yet and while generally very comfortable, the ride can occasionally be a bit brittle on broken surfaces, while the handling is secure and grippy rather than truly lively or fun. The adaptive suspension and rear-wheel steering definitely improve road manners for keener drivers, but they are only offered on the V6s. In that configuration, the G80 is getting expensive but turns into a proper sports sedan. That said, most people will be happy with the balance struck by the lower trims, especially at the price. The transmission is unobtrusive enough and the two available engines offer plenty of punch, but they're not quite as silky and cultured as the best power units in this class.
The Genesis G80 comes awfully close to the standard of ride and handling set by the Germans and if it falls short on this score, its high-value pricing, superb style and quality, and high level of luxury and safety features should placate potential buyers. Seen in this context, it may very well offer the best all-round ability per dollar available in a mid-size sedan segment. In terms of quality and style, it's fully on par with the best in the business and the fact that it starts at such a good price makes it a superb buy.
The six-cylinder AWD G80s are certainly tempting and if you want to go all-out and blow around R70k on a luxury mid-size sedan, you can do far worse. But the sweet spot lies lower down the lineup with the 2.5T RWD with the Advanced package. It has pleasing RWD dynamics, is plenty fast enough, and ticking the Advanced box adds the missing must-haves, including a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloys, three-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, and a premium 21-speaker Lexicon audio system, all for less than $56k, destination included. It's the one to go for.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Genesis G80: