2021 Genesis G80 vs. 2021 Volvo S90: The Luxury Sedan Roads Less Traveled

Often, when choosing luxury sedans, consumers tend to lean towards the “Big Three” of Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. However, there are roads less traveled to be chosen here. For starters, there’s the 2021 Genesis G80. Recently, the brand has stormed the luxury segment in a way we haven’t seen since the conception of our second contender: Volvo. The 2021 Volvo S90 is the other path less traveled, but which path is smoother?

Is the Genesis G80 worth it?

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2021 Genesis G802021 Volvo S90
Engine2.5-liter turbo I42.0-liter turbo/ supercharged I4
Power300 hp @ 5,800 rpm
311 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm
316 hp @ 5,700 rpm
295 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm
Transmission8-spd automatic8-spd automatic
Fuel Economy26 mpg (23 city/32 hwy)25 mpg (21 city/32 hwy)

First, let’s start with the 2021 Genesis G80. Basically, this thing was built to fight BMW, Merc, and Audi. But was it build to fight a Swede? Well, at the very least, the interior was. As the Germans continue to add crystal shifters and Hyperscreens, the 2021 Genesis G80’s interior is delightfully restrained. It’s also quiet and awash with excellent materials.

Moreover, the G80’s starting price of $47,700 slots it in a few grand below the Volvo’s $51,850 MSRP. If RWD is your thing, you can get that here, along with an optional V6 making north of 300 hp. But really, the big hit on the Volvo is Genesis’ class-leading 10yr/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. I’ve yet to come across a brand that can match it.

The 2021 Volvo S90 is a different flavor of luxury sedan

A black Volvo S90 shot from the hood down at an auto show
Volvo’s full-size luxury sedan entrant: the S90 | Jaap Arriens via Getty Images

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However, the Volvo does offer a decent 4yr/50,000-mile warranty, which is pretty standard. Then again, “standard” doesn’t win comparisons. What really sets the Volvo apart here is the interior. KBB said not only was it fantastic, but the plethora of standard luxury features effectively evens the price playing field. Some may also find the 400-ish hp hybrid powertrain to be a plus but pick your own poison there.

Unlike the Genesis, the 2021 Volvo S90 is AWD only, but honestly, that’s more a difference than a win or loss. All this to say nothing of Volvo’s legendary vehicle safety standards. If that’s your jam, the Volvo is for you. I’m partial to the finishings in Volvo models over that of Genesis, but just like the powertrain, it’s pick your own poison. That said, Volvo’s Android-powered infotainment is killer, and far better than the Genesis’ infotainment.

The 2021 Genesis G80 is the obvious affordable luxury sedan choice

A forest green 2021 Genesis G80 luxury sedan photographed from the front 3/4 angle
The 2021 Genesis G80 is worth choosing for the Cardiff Green paint alone | Genesis

Honestly, I just do not see a reason to turn down the 2021 Genesis G80 and its unbeatable 10yr/100,000-mile warranty. Until Volvo and other competitors are able to match it, there’s absolutely no reason not to get a Genesis. Plus, Volvo hasn’t had an interesting color in their lineup since the light blue Polestar cars of yesteryear.