The Genesis G80 has been gunning for the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, and BMW 5 Series since 2016 with some cause for hope, even if Genesis only sold about a fifth as many G80s than the 5 Series in North America last year. The second-generation 2021 G80 should be its sternest challenge to the Germans yet. The looks are stunning, and its cheaper than the competition, even with a modest price bump.
The base price is $47,700, with various trims and colors that could add over $20,000 to that price. Rear-wheel drive is standard, as is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder that Genesis says makes 300 horsepower, the proper amount of horsepower. The 2021 version is also 275 pounds lighter, Genesis says.
Compare that price to $53,900 for the 530i, $54,050 for the E-Class, and $54,900 for the A6, and you can see why a lot of people think Genesis is giving itself a shot. It’s also cheaper than the Jaguar XF, which starts at $51,100, as well as the Lexus GS, which starts at $51,065.
With the 380-HP V6, the price gap between the G80 and its competitors’ equivalents is a little less stark, with the cheapest V6 coming in at $59,100, while the 540i is priced at $59,450, the E450 priced at $61,550, and the A6 55 TSFI at $59,800.
I would list all of its features here, but you can see those on Genesis’s website, and suffice to say it includes every feature you’d expect on a luxury sedan these days, including things like lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a leather steering wheel standard.
The interior is also much better than the first-generation. Look at this:
Outside, it is an objectively better-looking car than its competitors, too, in addition to making more power than all but the GS in the base trims. The problem for Genesis is that the luxury space tends not to be a meritocracy, since brand loyalty is such a powerful thing. Genesis’s job is to punch above its weight and maybe get lucky. That seems like a tall order but it seemed like a tall order for Lexus once, too.