The Genesis G80 is an award-winning large luxury sedan that competes in the same sphere as the impressive Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series.
The sedan from the Korean luxury automaker was voted as AutoTrader’s Best Large Luxury Car for 2022 by our jury of more than 20 automotive experts, which shows you just how impressive it is, especially since our jury was considering every single vehicle in this segment.
While the large sedan is impressive as a whole and offers a well-rounded balance of excellent driving dynamics, a sophisticated powertrain, top-notch build quality, dashing design, tons of comfort, innovative technology, value, and more, the G80 also excels in feeling special and smart.
The G80 has many “big” features, but I noticed a few small details during my time that deserve some limelight.
1. Ambient Lighting
The Genesis G80 has 64 colours of ambient lighting available. While completely overboard, the ability to customize to that level is impressive. Hot pink a bit too hot? A driver can tone it down to a lighter shade of pink or any variety of colours depending on their mood. It’s so extra, but luxury is all about being extra.
2. Smart Traffic Sign Recognition
The Genesis G80 has traffic sign recognition that reads signs you drive past and displays the speed limit and other info like if you’re in a school zone in the digital gauge cluster and on the head-up display. As if that wasn’t useful enough, I drove the G80 into the U.S. (I really missed going to Target) and noticed a small but clever feature.
Instead of showing the speed limit in miles per hour (which means pretty much nothing to my math-challenged Canadian brain), the G80 did the conversion for me and showed the adjusted speed limit in kilometres an hour, without me having to go into the settings and change the units from imperial to metric. Any functions a car can automate properly without a driver having to dig through menus is a win. This was just a very simple and clever feature that showed how Genesis as a brand pays attention to even the smallest details, and in the luxury car world, attention to detail is super important.
3. Multiple Ways to Interact
Beyond just the touchscreen, the Genesis G80 also offers other ways to interact with the infotainment system. A clicky scroll wheel that operates kind of like the one found on old iPods is a tactile and intuitive way to scroll through menus, and the wheel’s top surface is also a touchpad that enables handwriting recognition. There’s also voice recognition that can help with certain tasks and data input. Having multiple ways to interact with the infotainment system makes it much more user friendly and helps limit distractions when you need to keep your eyes on the road but make a quick change to your settings, change the radio station, or input a new address into the navigation system.
4. Super User Friendly
Remember when changing the clock in your car was a pain because it was like changing the clock on a VCR? I remember one of my uncles when I was a kid would never change it at daylight savings time because it was such an annoying process that needed him to remember a series of button combinations to access the correct menu. Embarrassed, he put a piece of black tape over the clock so he wouldn’t be reminded of his failure.
Simple tasks like changing the clock are so much easier these days. When I picked up the G80, the clock was set to 24-hour format. Not being European or in the military, I prefer a 12-hour format, and all I needed to do was tap the time on the touchscreen, which immediately pulled up the right menu. It made so much sense. All functions should be this obvious.
This is not unique to Genesis and most cars these days make changing the clock this easy, with most even GPS-enabled so that they can detect your time zone and update the time automatically. Still, it’s a small reminder of how high-tech cars can be user-friendly when tasks are this intuitive.
5. Innovative Safety Features
The Genesis G80 is packed with a host of excellent safety and driver assistance features like a sensor- and camera-based blind spot monitoring system, front and rear automatic emergency braking, automatic emergency evasive steering, rear-cross traffic alert, lane-keep assist, parking assistants, and more.
While they’re all helpful, three features stood out as being unique or clever. The first one is not unique to Genesis, but it notifies the driver if the car in front of you has driven away and you haven’t responded. It works quickly enough that it won’t leave time for the driver behind to honk you and miss that advanced left.
The second one is the adaptive cruise control system. Most similar systems use sensors to maintain speed and keep a safe distance between you and the car in front, but the system in the G80 goes a step further by using navigation data to predict when there are curves in the road and adjusts the speed accordingly so that you don’t feel like you’re barrelling into a corner. It’s safer and more comfortable this way.
The third one is a junction assist system that is very helpful in situations where you’re making a left turn and your view of oncoming traffic is obstructed. Using sensors that can “see” around the obstacle, the system will warn you if you’re starting to make your blind turn but there’s a car incoming that you can’t see. Brilliant.