The guy standing next to his parked Mercedes-Benz sedan was three spots away from my ride in the far reaches of a Home Depot parking lot. He stared at the 2022 Genesis G80 and said, “Nice lines. What kind of car is it?”
The entire Genesis lineup gets plenty of similar reactions. Praised by critics and inundated with awards, the South Korean carmaker debuted as a stand-alone luxury brand from Hyundai in 2016. But it remains unheralded.
Further confusing, Hyundai offered a Genesis as its top-line sedan beginning in 2009. Now Genesis manufacturers the G70 sports sedan, G80 mid-size sedan, G90 full-size sedan, GV80 mid-size SUV, and for 2023, the GV60 electric SUV.
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2022 Genesis G80: Only One Dealership
The G80 first arrived in October 2016 and its acceptance into the mainstream has been slow. Genesis didn’t help itself. It discussed 100 nationwide dealerships but the cars are still largely sold via Hyundai locales or online. Genesis-exclusive “brick-and-mortar” locations comprise one. It opened in March in Lafayette, La.
Despite lackluster sales (the Genesis G80 tally was 6,031 in 2021) everything about the luxury sedan, with the exception of its brief legacy, made it a strong competitor. Rivals included offerings from Acura, BMW, Infiniti and Lexus. But it was the G80 that top J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study for midsize premium cars in 2020.
For 2022, the G80 further excels, and it’s now also a rival for the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6.
New is the 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige trim, added for the second year of the car’s second generation. It features an upgraded exterior and improved interior looks as well as performance enhancements. New are rear-wheel steering and an electronically controlled suspension.
Mechanically, there’s variety. The 2022 Genesis G80 is offered in a 2.5T and 3.5T. A turbocharged 2.5-liter engine rated at 300 horsepower powers 2.5T models. The 3.5T models feature a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine rated at 375 horsepower. It advances via a shiftable eight-speed automatic transmission.
2022 Genesis G80: Rear Wheel/All-Wheel Drive
Fuel efficiency is 17 miles per gallon in city driving, 26 mpg on the highways. Acceleration from 0-to-60 miles per hour takes 4.9 seconds.
The 2.5T models are available in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations in base, Advanced and Prestige trims. The 3.5T models are available only with AWD in Sport and Sport Prestige trims. The latter is particularly appealing with the G80’s full lineup of exterior differences including a larger front fascia and grille.
As a luxury sedan, the G80’s new interior includes a carbon-fiber or aluminum trim, replacing wood.
What’s luxury without good quality tunes? Genesis gets it done with a 21-speaker Lexicon audio system.
2022 Genesis G80: Top Luxury Sedan Choice
Two oddities: the tachometer, located on the right-side circle of the dash, advances right to left while the odometer increases in the left-to-right tradition.
More obvious are the wheels covering the 20-inch tires. The five-spoke design has futuristic indentations, like golfball dimples gone wild. They don’t match the car’s styling.
Regardless, the G80’s overall appearance, the Prestige Package additions and the sedan’s smooth, quick driving, nimble maneuvering and good looks work. Genesis, like Hyundai, also has the industry-best warranty, 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain. The result is the best presentation of the sixth-year car’s tenure.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $63,700. The option package ($6,800), upscale Cavendish Red exterior paint ($575) and a $1,095 destination fee push the total to $72,170.
Despite its 2021 sales tally, the G80 was the sixth highest-selling car in its class last year. It trailed the Tesla Model 3 (121,610), Lexus ES (45,406), BMW 5-Series (24,406), Mercedes-Benz E/CLS Class (20,946) and Audi A6 (9,543).
The upgraded Genesis warrants a higher place on the list.
Article Last Updated: June 6, 2022.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.