2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2019 Lexus IS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 IS Series has only front height-adjustable 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 IS Series 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 IS Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G80 and the IS 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, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

The Genesis G80 weighs 458 to 1133 pounds more than the Lexus IS 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 IS Series:

 

G80

IS Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

97

274

Neck Injury Risk

21%

36%

Neck Stress

189 lbs.

339 lbs.

Neck Compression

22 lbs.

47 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

268/514 lbs.

271/602 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

180

264

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

55%

Neck Stress

129 lbs.

197 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

64 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

147/55 lbs.

426/505 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 IS Series:

 

G80

IS Series

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

88

89

Spine Acceleration

31 G’s

33 G’s

Hip Force

394 lbs.

691 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

10 inches

15 inches

HIC

230

295

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 IS Series was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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 IS 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 IS 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 IS Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

The G80’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the IS 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 IS 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.

Reliability

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 IS 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 IS Series 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 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.

Engine

The G80 has more powerful engines than the IS Series:

 

Horsepower

Torque

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.

IS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

IS 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

IS 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

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

 

G80

IS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

89.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 IS Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G80 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the IS Series (20.3 vs. 17.4 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 IS Series:

 

G80 3.8

G80 3.3T

IS Series

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13 inches

12.2 inches

The G80 stops much shorter than the IS Series:

 

G80

IS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the G80 has larger standard tires than the IS Series (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R17). The G80’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the IS Series (F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:255/35R18).

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the IS Series (118.5 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G80 is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the IS Series.

The G80 5.0 handles at .86 G’s, while the IS Series AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The G80 3.8 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the IS Series (26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the G80 5.0 is quieter than the IS 350 F Sport (39 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the G80 a Large car, while the IS Series is rated a Compact.

The G80 has 17.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the IS Series (107.7 vs. 90.2).

The G80 has 2.9 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.8 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room and 3.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity

The G80 has a much larger trunk than the IS Series (15.3 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).

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 IS Series doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

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 IS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the G80 and the IS 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 IS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 IS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 IS Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the G80 has standard extendable sun visors. The IS Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The G80 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the IS 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 IS Series.

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 IS Series is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

Recommendations

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

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

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