2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Genesis G80 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac CTS doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The G80 has standard Anti-Whiplash Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Anti-Whiplash Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CTS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 CTS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G80 and the CTS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

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 Cadillac CTS:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk






5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

129 lbs.

200 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

147/55 lbs.

122/351 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Genesis G80 is safer than the CTS:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.4/.5 kN

5.9/3.7 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia forces R/L

2/1.1 kN

5.7/7.8 kN

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 Cadillac CTS:





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

31 G’s

49 G’s

Hip Force

394 lbs.

701 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

10 inches

14 inches




Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

857 lbs.

892 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 CTS was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.


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 CTS’ 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 Cadillac covers the CTS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CTS ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

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


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the G80 has a standard 740-amp battery. The CTS’ 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the G80’s reliability 25 points higher than the CTS.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G80 second among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CTS isn’t in the top three 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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Genesis first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 12th.


The G80 has more powerful engines than the CTS:



G80 3.8 DOHC V6

311 HP

G80 3.3T Sport 3.3 turbo V6

365 HP

G80 5.0 DOHC V8

420 HP

CTS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

268 HP


335 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the G80 5.0 is faster than the Cadillac CTS turbo 4 cyl.:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.6 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104.1 MPH

93.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the G80 3.3T Sport RWD gets better fuel mileage than the CTS V-Sport (17 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/24 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G80 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on G80 3.3T Sport for maximum performance). The CTS V-Sport requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G80 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CTS (20.3 vs. 19 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 CTS:


G80 3.8

G80 3.3T Sport


CTS V-Sport

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13 inches

12.4 inches

12.4 inches

The G80 stops shorter than the CTS:





60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G80 3.8 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CTS.

The G80 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CTS; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the CTS (118.5 inches vs. 114.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G80 is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the CTS.

The G80 5.0 handles at .88 G’s, while the CTS Luxury AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The G80 3.8 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CTS Luxury AWD (26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the CTS V-Sport’s (36.2 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The G80’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the CTS AWD’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).


The design of the Genesis G80 amounts to more than styling. The G80 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the CTS (.3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the G80 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the G80 5.0 is quieter than the CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury (39 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

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

The G80 has 10.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CTS (107.7 vs. 97).

The G80 has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS.

Cargo Capacity

The G80 has a much larger trunk than the CTS (15.3 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the G80 easier. The G80’s trunk lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the CTS’ liftover is 29.5 inches.

To make loading and unloading 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 G80 also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The CTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.


The G80’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The G80’s standard headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the CTS’ headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 CTS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the G80 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the G80 with a number “” insurance rate while the CTS is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Genesis G80 will be $7413 to $10861 less than for the Cadillac CTS.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Genesis G80, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Cadillac CTS isn't recommended.

The Genesis G80 outsold the Cadillac CTS by 247 units during the 2018 model year.

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

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