The 2021 Genesis G80 is a solid contender among luxury sedans. Let’s see how it compares against the 2021 Volvo S90, with its optional 400-horsepower hybrid powertrain.
2021 Genesis G80
Above Average: Available all-wheel drive; plenty of driver assists; unique looks; powerful twin-turbo V6; optional adaptive suspension.
Below Average: No V8 or hybrid option; lacks brand cachet.
Consensus: A sharp-looking and distinctive midsize sedan, the 2021 Genesis G80 offers comfort, style, and luxury at a very competitive price. The base turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides plenty of power, and a 3.5-liter V6 upgrade takes it to another level.
2021 Volvo S90
Above Average: Sharp styling; big backseat; optional plug-in hybrid; standard panoramic moonroof; very comfortable seats.
Below Average: No V6 nor V8 engine options; lacks the performance of some competitors; touchscreen not to everyone’s liking.
Consensus: Handsome and stylish, the 2021 Volvo S90 offers a sophisticated interior, a choice of powertrains including a plug-in hybrid, and plenty of space for passengers. All-wheel-drive only, it doesn’t quite have the sporty manners of some rear-wheel-drive rivals.
G80 vs. S90: Luxury and Comfort
Having gone through a comprehensive redesign this year, the 2021 Genesis G80 is a striking midsize luxury sport sedan that comes well equipped at a very competitive price.
The base engine is a 300-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 available as an upgrade. Gone is last year’s optional V8. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available as an option for more sure-footedness in inclement weather.
Despite its size and generous interior, the G80 handles itself well, and there’s an optional sport suspension that uses cameras to read the road surface and adjust accordingly.
Inside, the seats are comfortable and supportive, with plenty of space for rear passengers, and a 14.5-inch infotainment screen up front operated by a console-mounted dial. Navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility come standard.
Safety and driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance. Not only does the G80 start thousands of dollars below its European competitors, but it also offers a best-in-class 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
There is a certain air of power and elegance to the 2021 Volvo S90. Rather than drawing attention to itself, it has more of a stealth feel to it, although it does have the signature “Thor’s hammer” LED taillights that have become a Volvo trademark.
Unlike many of its competitors, the 2021 S90 relies on both turbo- and supercharging of its 4-cylinder engine, rather than the 6- and sometimes 8-cylinder engines found in many of its competitors. Power is good, however, and low-end torque provides ample thrust. There is also an optional plug-in hybrid that makes more than 400 horsepower, with 21 miles of all-electric range.
The S90 comes in all-wheel drive only, so while it feels planted and confident in all weather conditions, it doesn’t have the sportiness of some other rear-drive sedans.
Inside, the 2021 S90 is sophisticated and tasteful, with leather seats and plenty of wood. There is excellent space in the back for passengers, with very good legroom. Standard features include heated seats, satellite radio, and a high-quality audio system.
Driver assists include blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and lane-keeping, as well as a semi-autonomous driving system Volvo calls Pilot Assist. Also included is Volvo City Safety, which helps the car avoid collisions.
Infotainment comes via a vertically oriented central display, although we feel that its touchscreen can be a challenge to use while driving and could benefit from more buttons.
Fuel economy; cargo space; base power; optional upgrade engines.
2021 Genesis G80 Advantages
Lower price; longer warranty; rear-wheel drive; optional V6 engine.
2021 Volvo S90 Advantages
Optional hybrid; standard all-wheel drive; more luxurious standard features.
Which One is Right for You?
With a load of standard features, standard rear-wheel drive, and an optional twin-turbo V6, the 2021 Genesis G80 makes a great case for itself as a financially sensible choice, starting under $50,000 and equipped with a class-leading warranty.
Handsome and comfortable, the 2021 Volvo S90 is well made, luxuriously equipped, and comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Ready to buy a Genesis G80 or Volvo S90? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2021 Genesis G80||2021 Volvo S90|
|Engine||2.5-liter turbo I4||2.0-liter turbo/ supercharged I4|
|Horsepower||300 hp @ 5,800 rpm||316 hp @ 5,700 rpm|
|Torque||311 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm||295 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd automatic||8-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||26 mpg (23 city/32 hwy)||25 mpg (21 city/32 hwy)|
|Also Available||3.5-liter V6; AWD||2.0-liter turbo/supercharged I4 PHEV|
|Basic warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 Stars||n/a|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||118.5 inches||120.5 inches|
|Overall Length||196.7 inches||200.1 inches|
|Width||75.8 inches||74.6 inches|
|Height||57.7 inches||57.1 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.0 feet||38.7 feet|
|Headroom, Front||41.1 inches||37.8 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.1 inches||37.8 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.5 inches||42.2 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.7 inches||40.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||58.3 inches||57.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||57.1 inches||55.4 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||103.8 cubic feet||102.0 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||13.1 cubic feet||13.5 cubic feet|
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