2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2018 Lexus ES Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Genesis G80 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Lexus ES Series has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The G80 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ES Series doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The G80’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ES Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G80 and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The Genesis G80 weighs 513 to 1145 pounds more than the Lexus ES Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Genesis G80 is safer than the Lexus ES Series:



ES Series


5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

189 lbs.

388 lbs.

Neck Compression

22 lbs.

45 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

268/514 lbs.

446/567 lbs.




5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Stress

129 lbs.

132 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

147 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

147/55 lbs.

520/514 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Genesis G80 is safer than the Lexus ES Series:



ES Series


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

31 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

394 lbs.

669 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

10 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

44 G’s

Hip Force

857 lbs.

879 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the G80 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ES Series was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.


The G80 comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The ES Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Genesis’ powertrain warranty covers the G80 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the ES Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the ES Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

The G80’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the ES Series’ (7 vs. 6 years).

Genesis pays for scheduled maintenance on the G80 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Genesis will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the ES Series.

There are over 47 percent more Genesis dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the G80’s warranty.


The battery on the G80 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the G80’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The ES Series’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G80 second among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The ES Series was rated third in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Genesis vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Genesis first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.


The G80 has more powerful engines than the ES Series:




G80 3.8 DOHC V6

311 HP

293 lbs.-ft.

G80 3.3T Sport 3.3 turbo V6

365 HP

376 lbs.-ft.

G80 5.0 DOHC V8

420 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

ES 300h 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

200 HP

199 lbs.-ft.

ES 350 3.5 DOHC V6

268 HP

248 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the G80 3.8 is faster than the ES 300h:



ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

90.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The G80 has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the ES Series (20.3 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the G80’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:


G80 3.8

G80 3.3T

ES Series

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13 inches

11 inches

The G80 3.3T Sport’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the ES Series are solid, not vented.

The G80 stops much shorter than the ES Series:



ES Series


70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the G80 has larger standard tires than the ES Series (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R17). The G80’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ES Series (F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 225/45R18).

The G80 3.8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES Series’ standard 55 series tires. The G80’s optional 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the ES Series’ optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G80 3.8 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ES Series. The G80’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the ES Series.

Suspension and Handling

The G80 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The G80 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 7.5 inches longer than on the ES Series (118.5 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G80 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ES Series.

The G80 5.0 handles at .86 G’s, while the ES 300h pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The G80 3.8 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the ES 350 (26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the ES Series’ (36.2 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the G80 a Large car, while the ES Series is rated a Mid-size.

The G80 has 7.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ES Series (107.7 vs. 100.1).

The G80 has 3.6 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the G80’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The ES Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the G80 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ES Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

The G80 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The ES Series doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.


The G80 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the G80 and the ES Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the G80 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ES Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The G80 3.8 AWD offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ES Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the G80 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The ES Series doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The G80’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The ES Series’ power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The G80 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the ES Series. The G80 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ES Series.


Consumer Reports® recommends both the Genesis G80 and the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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