Genesis Electrified G80 review
The South Korean premium brand is taking on Tesla and the German executive-car establishment with this new electric four-door – so can it match their high standards?
- Great quality
- Beautifully refined
- Very fast charging
- Pricey extras
- Unknown badge
- Not as spacious as you’d think
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||323 miles||7hrs 33mins (10-100%, 11kW)||22mins (10-80%, 240kW)|
Genesis, the luxury arm of the Hyundai and Kia group, has wasted no time in launching a wide range of petrol and diesel-engined models since arriving in the UK in 2021. It’s now starting to bring electric models on stream, with the sporty GV60 coupe-SUV joined by this more traditional four-door luxury saloon, the G80.
Equipment, technology, refinement and practicality have all been strong in every Genesis we’ve tried so far, but with the G80 the brand is aiming at possibly its most challenging targets yet: the just-launched Mercedes EQE and upcoming BMW i5 electric executive saloons.
While the GV60 is only offered in electric form, the G80 is also available with a petrol engine, rather than being a dedicated electric-car design from the ground up. The ‘Electrified’ version, as Genesis calls it, gets an 87.2kWh battery and a pair of electric motors for all-wheel drive. It’s certainly quick enough to keep up with many Teslas, but the focus really is on luxury rather than traffic-light drag races.
EVs based on combustion-engine platforms can be compromised compared to ‘clean-sheet’ counterparts, but in paper there are few compromises to be made with the G80. It gets the same bang up-to-date 800-volt electric system as the GV60 (as well as the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5) so a 10-80% battery top-up can be completed in just over 20 minutes if you can find a fast enough public charging point (at least 240kW). And that hefty battery means a full charge should take you well over 300 miles before needing to top up again.
So far, so appealing. And the good news continues when you scan the price list: the G80 undercuts the cheapest Mercedes EQE by over £10,000, although we don’t yet have illustrative monthly finance or leasing figures to compare with the Germans’ deals.
You won’t have to spend long choosing a G80 trim level, either, as there’s only one, with standard equipment comprising 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear LED lights, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable heated seats and a 14.5-inch infotainment system. There are many options, though: our car came with both the £3,840 Innovation Pack (adding remote parking, surround-view cameras and motorway driving assistance) and the £1,170 Convenience Pack (adding a powered tailgate, rear climate control and a heated leather steering wheel). It also had the £4,600 Comfort and Executive Pack, adding soft-close doors, curtain blinds and laminated rear glass, plus Nappa leather seat (over £2,000) and £1,360 a solar roof that can add some charge to the battery when you’re driving in clear weather (albeit not enough to avoid having to charge normally). All that helped push the asking price north of £80,000. A hefty amount – but the G80’s quality and driving experience feel worth it.
Up to 60mph or so, it’s pretty much silent, with only one-off noises like a slight wiper squeak or the rumble from driving over cats’ eyes evident in the cabin. Wind noise is noticeable at motorway speeds, but only really apparent at numbers appropriate to the German autobahn that formed part of our test route.
Coming off the motorway and onto twisty country roads, the G80 retains its composure, with nicely weighted and satisfyingly direct steering, allied to a feeling of stability through corners. Genesis’ regenerative braking system is top-notch, too, allowing for one-pedal driving with ease in most situations. The 0-62mph of less than five seconds is rapid and it doesn’t feel like the torque tails off when you accelerate beyond that, either.
Where the Electrified G80 feels a little less at home is in town. There’s no disguising its five-metre length, and there’s no rear-wheel-steering system to help with low-speed manoeuvres, like you’ll find in some rivals. Visibility is decent, however.
It’s a pity the generous exterior dimensions don’t translate to an overly spacious passenger compartment. While legroom in the back is fine, taller passengers will feel at risk of brushing the roof – something that doesn’t happen in the large premium electric SUVs that many customers at this price point may also be considering. And there’s less boot space in the Electrified G80 than the petrol model, too – the 354-litre total is less than a VW Golf’s.
But if you’re happy with the amount of space in the G80 and don’t mind the still relatively unknown brand name, there are few other criticisms that can be levelled at this car. In terms of quality, refinement and technology, it ticks every box a modern luxury electric car needs to – and potentially for less than its rivals.