Genesis Electrified G80 (2022) review: better when electric

Published:08 June 2022

Genesis Electrified G80 review, front view, driving
  • At a glance
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Automotive Hub, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Automotive Hub, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

► All-electric G80 with 323-mile range
► Ultra-rapid 21-minute charging
► 365hp and 0-62mph in 4.9sec

If the regular Genesis G80 is a good car in search of a decent engine, the Genesis Electrified G80 is a car verging on greatness that’s perhaps hampered by a silly name. ‘Electrified’ suggests semantic shenanigans relating to mild-hybrid systems and similar, desperately seeking to give their manufacturers some catch-up eco credentials – when in fact this particular G80 is a 100% electric vehicle, no local carbon emissions in sight.

As with the new 7-series / i7 situation, the visual makeover to identify the electric version is relatively subtle. Genesis has inverted the grille design (cunningly hiding the charging port in the process), massaged the bumpers and fitted aero-inspired turbine-style 19-inch wheels to denote this G80 is electric. And like the BMWs, the attached driving experience speaks of modernity versus the past.

This isn’t a blow-you-away ultra-fast EV experience. But with dual motor all-wheel drive, 365hp and intriguing real-world stats such as 50-75mph in 3.2 seconds, it is a swift and relatively silent one. And though the 2325kg minimum kerb weight isn’t exactly svelte, a stiffer structure and impressively taut body control makes for an eager partner should you care to get more intimately involved.

Really, though, as with other Genesis models, the electric G80 stands out as an alternative choice with strong, distinctive styling, a beautifully finished interior and the promise of a potentially superior ownership package.

Has anyone done a Phil Colins joke yet?

Hundreds. We even mentioned the other Genesis when Hyundai launched its luxury sub-brand back in 2015. What we should probably better concentrate on is how rapidly it seems to be moving – having finally reached the UK in 2021, the Electrified G80 already represents its second full-EV (after the GV60), and it’s not done yet.

Genesis Electrified G80 review, rear view

Of course these cars can’t compete with the solid-gold image offered by the usual (German) suspects, but the firm has come out swinging. The styling is different yet cohesive and isn’t likely to send anyone running – we also promise the G80 looks less porpoise-like in real-life than it does in these pictures – and the build quality does at least appear to be top class.

The switchgear in here is much nicer than it is in the average Mercedes, for example, and – praise the lord – there’s plenty of it. Meaning Genesis hasn’t simply whacked all the major functions into the central touchscreen, ginormous and high-definition though this is.

Ok, you’ve got my attention

Good. There’s a real sense of properly engineered luxury about the Electrified G80, and some clear and sensible thinking. Small details that appeal include simple things such as displaying your actual speed right next to the speed limit on the sat-nav, so you can easily see how big the ban is likely to be. The way the ‘needles’ on the digital dials glow like lightsabres in Sport mode is also a nice touch, though the button for changing driving modes could be a little bigger/easier to locate in a hurry.

Other areas where people are likely to poke fun include the rear headroom (limited by the curving roofline, though there’s legroom aplenty) and the boot space (reduced by the need to cram in the EV stuff).

Genesis Electrified G80 review, front seats, interior, dashboard, steering wheel, infotainment

But overall, the impression you get of this thing before you’ve even turned the wheel is a very good one. And that’s before you even consider the ‘personal assistant’ direct sales approach, five-year warranty, five-year servicing package and some clever technical tricks – such as the ability to manage a 10-80 per cent charge of an 87.2kWh battery pack in just 21 minutes. The claimed driving range is a useful 323 miles.

Still, it’s worth noting early on that if you’re expecting it to be fully loaded and bargain priced just because the brand is relatively unknown and out of Korea you’re going to have to adjust your brain. Sold in a single Luxury trim line, the basic cost is a not insubstantial £65,805 – which rapidly escalates as soon as you get stuck into the various option packs, which you’ll need to if you want all the really fancy features.

Fancy features?

The digital instruments and head-up display? Extra. The latter is worth having because it’s information packed without being overwhelming, and you’ll want the former because you’ll also want the Blind Spot Monitor View system. This changes the virtual speedo or rev counter into a camera view down the side of the car whenever you activate the indicators.

Gladly, Genesis bundles this all up into the Innovation Pack, alongside adaptive LED headlights and the Highway Driving Assist II semi-autonomous system (with ‘machine learning’ no less). But it also charges £3840 for the privilege – and there are four other major Packs also available, including one that adds a solar panel in the roof (at £1360 for only a trickle of charge, probably not our first choice).

Genesis Electrified G80 review, front view

The electric G80 can also be outfitted with vehicle-to-load, so you can use the drive battery as an external power source (that’s a much more reasonable £250 must have), not to mention ergo-comfort massaging seats, soft-close doors and video screens for the rear passengers. All at additional cost. A not so invisible touch.

You do get 10 airbags as standard, though, including a rare front middle one to stop you banging into your co-pilot mid-shunt.

Does the driving experience throw it all away?

Not at all. The Electrified G80 won’t thrill you like an i4 or a Taycan, and the ride isn’t quite as magic-carpet as camera-controlled adaptive suspension might suggest, but it largely acquits itself with admirable poise. Body control is good, and though the steering is weighty it feels authentic enough without being overbearing or becoming tiresome on longer journeys.

Likewise, the front end, assisted by the all-wheel drive, has plenty of bite but isn’t super sharp. So while it scampers along keenly enough, there’s also a bit of a ‘whoa, steady’ vibe about it. More like a reliable friend than a wild acquaintance that might encourage you to get in too deep and carried away.

Genesis Electrified G80 review, rear view, driving round corner

For instance, while there’s no doubt the ‘high-revving premium electric motors’ are good for the 139mph maximum speed – we spent plenty of time on the autobahn above 130 – the G80 makes you feel it more than most rock-steady German executive heavy metal ever does. As if it’s not really comfortable with such mucking about, and thinks you would be better off taking things a little easier.

That sense of EV superiority kicks in with the one-pedal driving capability, as usual. Here you have the choice of four regen levels controlled by the paddleshifters on the steering wheel, plus an I-Pedal automatic setting that uses the surrounding traffic to gauge the retardation required. It works remarkably intuitively

The way the car seems to relax as you back-off the regen rating with the paddles is interesting, too, the reduction in resistance making it feel almost physically lighter on its feet, and encouraging you to drive more efficiently. Though it also offers all the rapid-reaction punch a single-speed transmission, 365bhp and 0-62mph in 4.9sec suggests.

Genesis Electrified G80: the initial verdict

You’re going to have to buy into the air of mystery that rolling around in a relatively unknown luxury car is going to give you. But if you do, the payoff with the Electrified G80 will be the pleasure of a first-class interior, some of the fastest charging speeds around and a thoroughly decent driving experience.

It’ll cost you a significant amount to get a fully nicely specced one, though, and we’re in no position to judge how much of a pain the lack of a conventional dealer network will be should something go wrong. But in that respect, Genesis is perhaps not much different to Polestar, or even Tesla.

Specs

Price when new: £65,805
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: Twin 136kW e-motors, 87.2kWh battery pack, 365bhp, 516lb ft
Transmission: Single-speed transmission, all-wheel drive with decouplable front motor
Performance: 4.9sec 0-62mph, 180mph top speed, 0g/km CO2 in motion
Weight / material: 2325kg (minimum) / aluminium and steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 5005 / 1925 / 1470mm

Photo Gallery

  • Genesis Electrified G80 review, rear view, driving round corner
  • Genesis Electrified G80 review, front seats, interior, dashboard, steering wheel, infotainment
  • Genesis Electrified G80 review, rear seats with optional screens
  • Genesis Electrified G80 review, front view
  • Genesis Electrified G80 review, rear view
  • Genesis Electrified G80 review, side view, driving
  • Genesis Electrified G80 review by CAR magazine

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Automotive Hub, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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