Did you ever think you’d see that headline in your lifetime? A BMW 5 Series being taken on by a Hyundai? Ten years ago, that statement would have been laughable. However, the South Korean brand has recently been putting out some very good cars, cars that can compete with more premium brands. The all-new Hyundai Genesis G80 is certainly good enough to take on competitors from Cadillac and Lexus but is it good enough to take on the BMW 5 Series, mid-size luxury royalty?
In this review from AutoGuide, we find out.
The new BMW 5 Series, internally known as the G30 5 Series, is one of the best in the model’s history and possibly the best on the market. Its combination of performance, luxury, technology and handling make it a superb all-around mid-size luxury/sport sedan. There really anything the new 5 Series does poorly. The Goldilocks model in the 5 Series range is the BMW 540i. With its 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, the 540i makes 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. When paired with an eight-speed automatic, the 540i can get from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds. But it isn’t just the speed that’s impressive. It’s the smoothness with which that engine pulls. It’s like a jet turbine. It also sounds great.
Performance isn’t the only trick up the BMW 540i’s sleeve, either. It also handle well, like a proper 5 Series should. With sharp steering, even if it’s a bit numb, responsive chassis dynamics and a near-perfect ride compromise, the 540i can actually be fun to drive. We’ve said it before, the new 5 Series is the best driver 5er since the E39-generation. But it’s also far more luxurious than ever before, with one of the nicest cabins on the market and some of the most impressive tech. So can the new Hyundai Genesis G80 Sport keep up?
Surprisingly, yes. From the outside, it’s not bad looking at all. In fact, I actually like it. It looks aggressive but also premium, which can’t be said about its competitors from Lexus and Cadillac. On the inside, the cabin is nicely laid out, if a bit boring, and the materials are said to be premium and well put together. It’s not as premium as the 5er’s cabin but it’s also almost $20,000 cheaper, as-tested. But the cabin is quiet, comfortable and has all the tech anyone would need at this price point, even if it’s quite a bit less high-tech than the space-shuttle-like 5 Series.
In terms of performance and handling, the Genesis does better than expected. Its 3.3 liter turbocharged V6 makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, so more than the BMW 540i. For the Genesis, 0-60 mph takes 5.2 seconds, thanks to being about 600 lbs heavier than the Bimmer. That’s still pretty quick and its extra torque gives it a nice, punchy mid-range. However, that’s about where its performance ends. While it looks aggressive and has the performance numbers to back that up, it still drives like a luxury can and lacks the responsiveness and fun of the 5er.
In the end, AG claims that the BMW 540i is the better car. It’s more luxurious, faster and handles better. Though, the Genesis G80 Sport offers a very interesting value proposition. If you can live with the softer handling and lack of tech for a much cheaper price, it could be the better buy.