A year ago, if we had told you that you could compare a Genesis G80 to a Lincoln Continental, you would be scratching your head.
That's because the Genesis brand didn't exist back then, and the Lincoln Continental was a mostly forgotten memory.The G80 and Continental are shaping up as compelling luxury sisters with distinctly different personalities.
We like both for very different reasons, but the G80 edges the Continental overall: 8.3 to 7.4.(Applause)Read more about how we rate cars.)
This is mostly due to the G80's overall paint job; it's simply the more refined and consistently upmarket luxury sedan of the pair. That said, there's still a lot we like about the Continental, and we're encouraged by what it can do to reboot Ford's long-forgotten luxury brand.
MORE: Read our latest reviews of the2017 Genesis G80and the2017 Lincoln Continental
The name Genesis G80 is new, but the car itself is not. It's a newly customized second-generation Hyundai Genesis that debuted in 2015 and represents one of the first two Genesis-branded vehicles to arrive in the U.S. (the other is the G90 flagship)E s is clean and sharp looking, with a defined crease on its side that helps it stand out a bit from its German, Japanese and American rivals like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS and Cadillac CT6. Some of the Korean automaker's Fluidic Sculpture design language emerges outside, but its interior is more conservative with a dash dominated by horizontal themes that are soothing but hardly inspiring compared to some established brands.
2017 Genesis G80
Lincoln had the opportunity to start with essentially a clean slate for its Continental, which is t he latest but by far the best idea of the brand's various attempts to revive itself. The Continental is conservative, but there is flair in its details. For example, its door handles are not flush-mounted; they stand on their own.The car's beltline in a way we haven't seen in decades. It's a nice touch, but it can get lost on an exterior that's almost anonymous otherwise. Inside, there s plenty of chrome, but a wide range of colors and upholstery helps elevate the Continental above Lincoln s latest offerings.
The new Continental's underpinnings are bent from the midsize Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans, meaning a V-6 drives the front wheels, or all four wheels. The s t ärkste engine-a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6-is t not available on the Ford, however.Level models sport a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6. All models use a 6-speed automatic. The basic unit under the hood of the G80 is a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 311 hp. A 420-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 is optional. Transmissions are 8-speed automatic in all cases, with smooth shifts, downshifts and gears selectable via steering wheel paddles.
Most Continental lineups are offered with a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, but the 400-horsepower variant is only offered with AWD. For the Hyundai Genesis, the top-of-the-line V-8 model is also rear-wheel drive only, although AWD is available with the V-6.
2017 Lincoln Continental
Genesis shines in everyday driving
In ride and handling, that's where the G80 really shines in ways you didn't expect at all. The previous Genesis could use a little more attention in this department, and it seems that Hyundai has compensated very much, even Lotus for some help with tuning. Provided you don t expect a full-fledged sport-sedan, the G80is t delightful, especially in its V-6, rear-wheel-drive form, offering much better steering than what we ve experienced in other Hyundai models. Beware that V-8 models, with the available Continuous Damping Control (CDC) do not handle better and there is not much payoff in the ride.
As for the Continental, it has a surprisingly firm feel to it. Top versions sport 20-inch wheels, adaptive strokes and adaptive steering. Together, they have a taut, sometimes strained ride that gives away the front-wheel-drive, comparatively down MKZ stanchions.Ly the Conti steers very well for its size and feels faster than it could. The G80 stands out for its comfort. The sophistication inside from. The G80's rear seat is completely usable for adults, and its interior packaging makes the most of its available space. But the G80 is nearly half a foot shorter than the Continental, which means it gives a small rear seat room and storage space.Nt 15.3 cubic feet, but the Continental tops it with 16.7 dice. Over 200 inches from head to toe, however, the Continental isn't much smaller than Lincolns of yore, making it a little more challenging to park in a tight garage, for example.
Questions of safety
The G80 also has one of the most impressive records of crash data for any car on the road. The Genesis has passed federal and IIHS testing, has a Top Safety Pick+ honor, and has standard advanced safety features, netting it a top score from us. The Continental offers lots of optional safety tech, most of it on upper trim levels only. Blind-spot monitors can't be installed on the base Premiere; forward-collision warnings are an option and only on the top Reserve and Black Label trims. It's part of a Technology package ($3,105)that adds surround-view cameras, active park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, plus pre-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking.
Features? If you're talking sheer numbers of them for the dollar, it's definitely the Genesis that's the winner. Even in its $42,000 basic form, the 2017 G80 includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for its infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and streaming, leather upholstery, Hyundai telematics, power-adjustable and heated front seats, hands-free trunk opening, and keyless ignition. The Continental stickers for more than $3,000 over the G80, and while it is well equipped, it just doesn't offer the same level of value. Click on any option, and the Continental becomes an 80,000 affair, deep into Mercedes-Benz E-Class and approaching S-Class territory.