PROS
  • 323-mile range and 21-minute charging
  • Plenty of performance and luxury
  • Impressive ownership package

 CONS

  • Lacks established premium image
  • Small boot, limited rear headroom
  • No conventional dealer network
 

The Genesis Electrified G80 is a large premium electric car – and while the name Genesis may not be ultra-familiar right now, having only launched into the UK in 2021, it’s no fly-by-night EV start-up. Rather, this is the luxury arm of Hyundai-Kia, in the same way that Lexus is the luxury arm of Toyota. And not only is the electric G80 very convincing in itself, the entire package makes promises no rival brand presently matches. If you like being different, this is worth a closer look.

The regular petrol and diesel G80 competes in a very tough sector of the market, taking on the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It doesn’t even really have alternative appeal to itself, either, as if you want a car from outside the German norm there’s also the Volvo S90 and Jaguar XF in competition for your cash.

Genesis Electrified G80 electric car review, front view, driving, low
 
 

What’s it like inside?

For the driver and passenger up front, the interior is fantastic. Finished in a mixture of naturally dyed leathers, real wood and high-quality plastics, it is beautifully assembled and properly special inside.

What’s more, it’s soon apparent that a lot of thought has gone into the ergonomics and design. The central infotainment system with its vast 14.5-inch widescreen display is easy to make your way around, and there are physical controls for the most important functions. All of which feel as good to use as they are to look at – which is not always something you can say about, for example, Mercedes.

Neat thinking includes the way your actual speed is shown adjacent to the speed limit on the sat-nav, the information-packed but not overwhelming head-up display, the smartly animated digital instrument cluster, and the ease with which you can quickly deactivate the more annoying driver aids if required.

Genesis Electrified G80 electric car review, front seats, dashboard, steering wheel, infotainment
 
 

Only the small size of the drive mode selector button and the doubled-up dials for the infotainment and gear selector – meaning you might twist the wrong one initially – stand out as problematic. And even then, these are minor foibles you soon get used to.

In the back, while there’s no sense of the quality diminishing and a decent amount of legroom, headroom for taller passengers may be slightly more of an issue due to the curve of the roofline.

The 354-litre boot may also be a disappointment given the size of the car; compared with 424 litres available in petrol and diesel G80s, a substantial amount of space has been given over to the batteries.

We’ve spent only a relatively limited amount of time with the car at this stage, but we believe it should prove comfortable over longer distances.

The standard leather can be upgraded to quilted Nappa at extra cost, and the options list provides further convenience features such as soft-close doors and video screens for the rear passengers.

Genesis Electrified G80 electric car review, rear seats with optional screens
 
 

The front seats can be heated and ventilated, the rear seats only heated; meanwhile the optional ‘Comfort’ seat for front occupants comes with seven air cells inside that not only increase the level of adjustment – the side bolsters automatically tightening when the Sport driving mode is selected – but also have massaging and ‘stretching’ functions.

You’ll also need to spend extra money for three-zone climate control, an electrically controlled tailgate, and a heated steering wheel. Window blinds for the back are also available, should you require them.

Safety

There are no less than 10 airbags as standard in the Electrified G80 – including a centre airbag to prevent the front seat passengers colliding – and a large number of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are also available.

You will have to pay extra for many of these, but in return some do offer a bit of wow factor.

So while you’ll hopefully never see the benefit of the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist or the Evasive Steering Assist (both of which intervene to try and avoid a crash), if you go for the Blind Spot Monitor View, every time you indicate you’ll be rewarded by the left or right dial in the digital instrument cluster instantly changing into a live camera view down that side of the car.

Sounds like a gimmick but is actually very useful. Similarly, Genesis claims the Highway Driving Assist II uses ‘machine learning’ to understand the driver’s behaviour in order to better react in an appropriate manner – hopefully making the self-steering and adaptive cruise control less irritating on the motorway. Your mileage may vary…

As with most premium electric cars, the Electrified G80 is whisper-quiet at low speeds, features a single-speed transmission, and is capable of delivering seriously punchy performance – including 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and 50-75mph in 3.2 seconds.

However, there is more wind noise than perhaps you’d expect at higher speeds. And despite road-surface-reading camera technology that adjusts the suspension on the fly, it’s not quite a magic carpet when it comes to comfort.

That’s not to say the ride is poor by any means – this is a comfortable car that will comfortably take long distances in its stride – but the implementation of that particular tech sets expectations the G80 doesn’t quite hit. Fortunately, the rest of the driving experience makes this an easy compromise to make.

Genesis Electrified G80 electric car review, rear view, driving round corner
 
 

Though not as involving as other large premium cars, such as the BMW 5 Series or Porsche Taycan, the Electrified G80 is nonetheless very satisfying to pilot along all manner of different road types. Its hefty 2,325kg weight is well-managed in the corners so you rarely find yourself leaning in an alarming manner, and the steering is very well judged – it doesn’t egg you on like those rivals but it does leave you feeling thoroughly in control.

There are paddleshifters on the steering wheel to vary the amount of brake energy regeneration as you go, but we also found the I-Pedal automatic mode very effective. Similar to systems on BMW’s latest electric cars, this uses the surrounding traffic to judge the amount of braking force delivered by the electric motors so you can drive much of the time using only your right foot to speed up and slow down.

The motors are described as ‘high-revving premium’ units, which Genesis says helps the electric G80 achieve particularly high speeds, maxing out at 139mph. On a test route including several sections of derestricted German autobahn, the G80 certainly gets up to those levels easily enough, but it doesn’t feel particularly settled there. This is a car for rapid cruising rather than all-out attack.

What versions and trim levels are available?

The Electrified G80 is sold in only a single trim level and specification. Labelled Luxury, this includes the 370hp Dual Motor drive system – meaning there is one electric motor per axle and all-wheel drive – a five-year warranty, five years of servicing and plenty of standard kit in the basic £65,805 asking price.

To this you can add a large number of options, many of which are bundled together in attractive-seeming Packs. Just be warned that once you get stuck into these, the purchase cost quickly begins to skyrocket.

The Innovation Pack is the one we’d choose first, as it comes with high-tech features including LED headlights, digital instrument cluster, head-up display and Blind Spot Monitor View (see the Safety section below). The vehicle-to-load option is also worth considering, as it allows you to use the electric G80’s batteries to power other things. But we’d probably not bother with the solar panel roof.

What else should I know?

Speaking of driving range is a claimed 323 miles per charge. What’s more, Genesis has some clever technology that means a 10-80% charge can be delivered in as little as 21 minutes – which is lightning fast for an 87.2kWh battery pack by current standards, but does require a 240kW supply. On a more conventional Wallbox charger of the sort you might have a home you’ll need at least 7 hours and 33 minutes to go 10-100%.

Also of note is that Genesis doesn’t operate a conventional dealer network. Instead it has Genesis Studios; there’s only one in the UK and it’s located in the Westfield London shopping centre. Don’t fancy visiting that? Then call them up or access the website and you’ll be appointed a ‘personal assistant’ who’ll take care of the everything from the purchase process to ongoing ownership concerns.

Genesis Electrified G80 electric car review, side view, driving
 
 

As mentioned, five years of servicing is included in the price, but you won’t be popping into the local Hyundai dealer to get this sorted out. Instead, Genesis will collect the car and return it to you, a process that’s meant to be an added convenience.

Finally, there’s no haggling over the price. You apparently pay what’s asked or you go somewhere else – this is probably more attractive in other countries, where dealers sometimes mark-up popular vehicles above the manufacturer recommended cost but may also take some of the discomfort out of the process for UK buyers.

Should you buy one?

The Genesis Electrified G80 has plenty to offer to luxury electric car buyers. While it lacks the solid-gold premium image of established brands such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, we love the crisp, distinctive styling that makes it super-clear what kind of target audience this car is courting, and the interior quality is absolutely top notch.

When we drove the petrol and diesel G80, we were left with the impression that this was a good car in search of a better engine – and the electric drive system has delivered this superbly. This version feels more than fast enough, offers typically excellent electric car refinement (at least until you reach very high speeds), and is generally thoroughly satisfying to drive.

The driving range is acceptable, while the faster charging times give Genesis a competitive edge. The ownership package goes beyond what most conventional rivals are offering as well, and though pricing starts to get a little heavy if you get too carried away with the options, you are getting quite a lot of sophistication for the money.

What we like

The standout looks inside and out, the appealing driving experience and the fast charging are the stuff you’ll appreciate every day. The personalised ownership experience and five-year care package should help smooth out any bumps along the way.

What we don’t like

The small boot is a bit laughable for a car of this size and if you were expecting a bargain price to go with the unproven image you may be in for a shock.

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