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2021 Genesis G80 vs. Mercedes-Benz E450: Luxury Midsizers Meet In the Middle

There are some truly great midsize luxury sedans on sale today, but only one can be considered the best between 2021 Genesis G80 and Mercedes-Benz E450. Both are rightfully deserves the top spot in its segment, and you'll get a similar greatness with the coupe, convertible and wagon variants too. With all of these body styles and a diverse selection of engine and trim levels, there's likely an E-Class to fit your desires and budget.

For 2020, Mercedes added a little more power to base E 350 (formerly E 300). You'll also get a few more regular features that used to be optional. Otherwise, much of the E-Class returns unchanged, which is a positive thing. We continue to admire its polished interior, which is as relaxing as it is attractive. There is also a long list of customization options available to set yours apart from the rest. And we're fans of how Mercedes combines classic luxury aesthetics with all the new technology offerings.

Alternatively, the brand new Genesis G80 is the rookie of the party. It comes with confidence to reach an aggressive process dominated by Germans, but the South Koreans have a master plan and have introduced the most powerful engineers and designers from around the globe to create the right luxury model.

2021 Genesis G80

The 2021 Genesis G80 is entering its second generation and is undergoing extreme transformation both inside and out. Adapting the new Genesis design language that made its debut on the GV80 crossover, the G80 adapts a huge hexagonal grid and a pair of slim headlights to each corner. The sculpted hood lines and the clean profile add sophistication without being opulent, and the rear tail lights emulate the style of the headlights. Those who see any sort of Bentley cues are not hallucinating — G80 designers Luc Donckerwolke and SangYup Lee worked at the British brand before switching to Genesis. (Donckerwolke quit the Korean producer earlier this year.)

Engine, Transmission, Interior and Performance

The G80 entry level comes with a stock 2.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, which is 300 horsepower. Buyers looking for better acceleration would want to opt for a more efficient 3.5-liter V-6 twin-turbo with 375 horsepower. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and either a rear or an all-wheel drive.

we expect the G80 to provide a relaxed ride, effortless steering, and dutiful brakes.

With its primary focus as a luxury car, the G80 is designed to provide a high-quality interior. Its cabin features an elegant design with a sleek dashboard, soft-touch surfaces and rich-looking fabrics. The steering wheel has an odd aesthetic and the rotary shift knob is never as intuitive as automakers think, particularly when placed close to other circular-shaped controls, but overall the inside of the G80 looks wonderful. The sedan will deliver attractive features such as a 12.3-inch 3D optical gauge cluster, ambient interior lighting, head-up display, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, and more. Genesis also said that the front roof pillars and the rearview mirror were kept as small as possible to improve outward visibility. The latest G80 also has more headroom and legroom than the outgoing model, which was spacious to start with.

Mercedes-Benz E450

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is getting a midcycle update that's more extensive than what we're used to seeing. The face-lifted Mercedes adds a new hood, a new front fascia, and a more aggressive but elegant grille. On the back, the midsize sedan gets a new trunk lid, taillights, and bumper with integrated fake dual exhaust tubes. The result is an E-Class that still looks sharp despite being a few years old.

But the updates don't stop there—the E 450 is powered by a new mild hybrid engine that's composed of a 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 with 362 hp and 369 lb-ft mated to an EQ Boost system with a 21-hp and 184-lb-ft electric motor sandwiched between the engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. Despite the motor, total power stays at 362 hp and 369 lb-ft, which is sent to all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

Engine, Transmission, Interior and Performance

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available with four different engines. You can get a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder with 255 hp, turbo 3.0L inline-6 with 429 hp, turbo 4.0L V8 with 603 hp, or this E450 with a 3.0L turbocharged V6 that produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. With a body weighing almost 1,900 kg, the 2020 Mercedes E450 can still accelerate to 100 km / h from a stop in 5 seconds. An incredible feat, given that it strives to be a luxury sedan rather than a sporty car like its brother E53 AMG. It's a little unclear on why the E450 is not available instead of the 3.0L inline-6 engine from the 53-series AMG cars or even the CLS 450. The 3.0L inline-6 in the CLS450 produces the same power as this bi-turbo V6, but more importantly, it is more powerful than the 48-volt mild hybrid configuration. It is hoped that in the future the E450 will be available with the latest inline-6 engine, but for now the 3.0L bi-turbo V6 will do the job.

As is usual with most cars, front occupants have a lot of leg and headroom. At 6’4”, I had no issues finding a comfortable driving position nor did I have issues getting in or out of the car. Surprisingly the rear seats don’t offer as much space as one would expect from a mid-size luxury sedan. Behind my own 6’4” driving position, my knees were hitting the rear of the driver’s seat and the tip of my hair was brushing against the headliner when I sat in the rear seats. Trunk space is average when compared to its immediate competitors at 530L (18.7 cu-ft) of cargo. The rear seats fold 40/20/40 for more and versatile cargo storage.

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – With luxury being the utmost characteristic of the E-class, the interior cabin is well insulated from exterior noises. When driving in Comfort mode, the engine barely makes a noise that can be heard from the driver’s seat. Long highway commutes feel shorter because of the luxury and quietness of the cabin. At 100 km/h (62 mph) on a highway, the engine barely turns at 1,250 rpms while wind and tire noises can barely be heard


Luxurious midsize sedans are renowned for their refined journey, quiet cabin, and luxurious expertise. They need to make the occupants really feel special, although, in addition, they need to be handled with the most trendy applied sciences. The Germans have a long history of making the bulk of these sedans, while the Koreans are stunning the trade with what they can get in a short period of time.

Genesis also has some work to do. In order to compete against the most powerful of Germany, its chassis should be improved by a softer trip of high quality. We're sure that the high quality of the trip won't be the same in just a few years, but for now the Mercedes E-Class is a clear winner.

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