Lexus ES 2019 review
The Lexus ES300h is more tranquil than a stroll through a Zen garden, but is it really a challenger to Mercedes' E-Class or BMW's 5 Series?
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
The G80 copped a bit of a bad wrap when it first launched in Australia, mostly because it was almost exclusively purchased by hire-car drivers and... well, nobody else really.
But that was less a fault of the car and more simply a sign of the times. Here was a large sedan (a Mercedes-Benz E-Class competitor) arriving at the end of 2014, a time when Australia's tastes had already begun shifting to other vehicles types.
But now, some five years later, it's back. This time, "Hyundai" has been banished from the title, with the G80 arriving as part of a stable of products from Genesis, which will now stand alone as a premium brand with a range of vehicles sold from new concept stores and not from dealerships.
So does the G80 shine brighter now it's simply a Genesis? Or is the airport carpark still going to be its natural habitat?
|GENESIS G80 2019: 3.8|
|Fuel Type||Regular Unleaded Petrol|
Um, did you like the way the last one looked? Then we've got some great news for you! Because the removal of the Hyundai badge headlines the exterior changes here.
I still think the G80 is a pretty handsome beast, though, looking sufficiently boat-like and expensive to justify its premium tag.
Inside is a slightly different story, though, where there's a definite old-school feel about the G80's interior treatment. Acres of leather and look-alike wood, a multimedia system that feels out of touch, and the permeating feeling of being in an old-world cigar lounge all make the G80 feel a little out of date when compared to its premium rivals.
The G80 measures 4990mm in length, 1890mm in width and 1480mm in height, and those sizeable dimensions have a predictably positive impact on interior space.
Up front, there's plenty of room to stretch out, and in the back, I found there was ample room to sit behind my own 174cm driving position, with plenty of clear air between my knees and the seat in front.
The backseat can be separated by a pull-down control panel that occupies the middle seat, giving passengers access to things like the seat heating controls, the sun shades and the stereo system.
The boot opens to reveal a 493-litre (VDA) space that's also open to a space-saver spare.
There are just two options here; an entry-level car (called simply the G80 3.8) that will cost you $68,900, and the 3.8 Ultimate, which is yours for $88,900. Both are then offered in a standard guise, or with more performance-focused Sport Design styling that costs an extra $4k.
The cheaper version arrives very well equipped, with 18-inch alloys (19-inch on the Sport Design version), LED headlights and DRLs (Bi-Xenon on the Sport Design), a 9.2-inch multimedia screen with nav and which pairs with a 17-speaker stereo, wireless charging, leather seats that are heated in the front and dual-zone climate control.
Stepping up to the Ultimate buys you 19-inch alloys, Nappa leather seats that are heated and ventilated in the front and heated in the window seats in the back, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, a sunroof, and a 7.0-inch TFT screen in the driver's binnacle.
Shock of shocks, though, there's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on offer here - a dead give-away of the G80's age, and a very noticeable absentee for those used to using Google Maps as a navigation tool.
Only the one on offer here, and it's largely identical to the one offered five years ago; a 3.8-litre V6 good for 232kW and 397Nm. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic that shuffles power to the rear wheels.
Genesis says the G80 will clip 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, and will push on to a top speed of 240km/h.
As a result, the G80 will drink a claimed 10.4-10.8 litres per hundred kilometres on the combined cycle, and will emit 237-253g/km of CO2.
To put that into perspective, an E53 AMG will make more power and more torque, and yet drink less fuel, at a claimed 8.7L/100km.
Happily, though, the G80's 77-litre tank accepts cheaper, 91RON fuel.
You can't help but sink into the driver's seat of the G80 with a slight sense of dread. Not to sound overly mean here, but it is a big and boat-like car, and so you suspect it's going to handle like it should have a tiller rather than a steering wheel.
So prepare to be pleasantly surprised when you discover that it doesn't. Full credit to Hyundai Australia's local engineering team, who cycled through 12 front and six rear damper designs to get the ride and handling just right for the big G80.
As a result, the driver feels surprisingly connected to the tarmac below the tyres, given the size and weight of the vehicle, and even tighter corners are a cause for happiness and not horror as you hammer toward them in the Genesis.
That's not to say you'll be pointing that long bonnet at any racetracks in the near future, but nor will you shudder in fear when those squiggly lines turn up on your navigation screen.
The steering is direct and confidence inspiring, and the G80 is commendably quiet, too. It does feel like you need to work the V6 engine to squeeze the most power out of it, but not too much of the gruffness or harshness enters the cabin.
In fact, the biggest problem with the G80 isn't so much the car itself, but rather its newer, smaller competition. Driven back to back, the G80 and the smaller G70 sedan from Genesis feel lightyears apart.
While the G80 feels like the the brand has done the very best they can with what they've got (and done a good job of it, too), the G70 feels newer, tighter, and more advanced in all the ways that matter.
5 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
No matter what you spend, the G80 arrives with a long list of standard safety kit, including nine airbags, as well as blind spot warning, forward collision warning with AEB that detects pedestrians, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and active cruise control.
All of which was enough to earn the G80 a full five stars from ANCAP when tested in 2017.
The Genesis G80 arrives with a full five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000kms.
You get free servicing for that same five years, a valet service that will both pick up and drop off your car when its time for servicing, and even access to a concierge service that will help you make restaurant reservations, book hotels or secure flights for the first two years of ownership.
That's a seriously impressive ownership offer.
|3.8||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$68,900||2019 GENESIS G80 2019 3.8 Pricing and Specs|
|3.8 (SUNROOF)||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$71,900||2019 GENESIS G80 2019 3.8 (SUNROOF) Pricing and Specs|
|3.8 SPORT DESIGN||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$72,900||2019 GENESIS G80 2019 3.8 SPORT DESIGN Pricing and Specs|
|3.8 SPORT DESIGN (SUNROOF)||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$75,900||2019 GENESIS G80 2019 3.8 SPORT DESIGN (SUNROOF) Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||7|
“The G80 might be starting to look old when compared to the younger, newer G70, but it doesn't feel it on the road. The pricing, inclusions and ownership package alone make it well worth a look. ”
What do you think about the new Genesis? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lowest price, based on new car retail price