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The introductions of new Genesis cars continue apace. In just over a year, Hyundai’s premium spin-off has launched no fewer than five new models in Europe, making it clear that this is no toe in the water but a concerted effort to, in time, seize a significant portion of the market.

We have so far road tested the Genesis GV80 large SUV, the Genesis G70 compact executive saloon and the Genesis GV60 electric crossover, and while all have been likeable for their design and sumptuous interiors, it’s only the GV60 that has really impressed across the board, earning four stars.

The Genesis G80 shares its platform with the petrol and diesel versions, but still manages to hide most of its battery pack under the floor. It is powered by identical electric motors on the front and rear axles. Suspension is multi-link with steel coils and adaptive dampers all-round. The weight is distributed 49:51, front to rear.

The combination of the EV technology that proved class-leading in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 with Genesis’s premium veneer proved quite compelling, and avoided one of the main issues that has been plaguing the brand’s cars: petrol and diesel engines that aren’t up to the standard of the European opposition.

This week’s road test subject is something else again. It’s the Genesis G80 saloon – Genesis’s Mercedes E-Class rival – but with an electric drivetrain in place of its petrol and diesel engines. Does the Genesis Electrified G80 surf on the GV60’s wave or fall into the traps of other Genesis models?

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Range at a glance

The Genesis G80 was launched with one petrol and one diesel engine, both four-cylinders, but the diesel has now been discontinued. There are two trim levels on petrol models: Premium and the more expensive Luxury. The Electrified G80 comes in only Luxury trim.

Genesis G80 2.5 Petrol RWD300bhp
Genesis G80 2.5 Petrol AWD300bhp
Genesis Electrified G80*365bhp

*Version tested

Genesis Electrified G80 first drive


02 Genesis Electrified G80 RT 2022 rear corner rain

Given the existence of the E-GMP platform that underpins the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60, it would be easy to assume it forms the basis of the Genesis Electrified G80 as well.

Instead, it uses the same Genesis-specific architecture as the petrol and diesel Genesis G80, and the GV80. This platform was designed with electrification in mind, but is nevertheless quite compromised when loaded with 87kWh and 546kg worth of battery cells. The pack clearly intrudes into the interior and leaves no luggage space under that long bonnet.

Visual differences between the standard G80 and the Electrified G80 are limited. The main identifiers are the closed grille and simplified lower front valance, and of course the lack of exhaust pipes.

Genesis has done a creditable job at keeping the weight down, as absurd as that might sound when talking about a car that tipped our scales at 2349kg. It is no heavier than a dual-motor Porsche Taycan and weighs only slightly more than the smaller BMW i4 M50. The Tesla Model S P90D we weighed back in 2016 was 100kg lighter, though.

Compared with the regular G80, the Electrified uses more aluminium in the suspension towers, sills and rear bulkhead, as well as CFRP in the front seat crossmember. These changes render the body-in-white 46kg lighter and 17% stiffer than the petrol and diesel G80.

Although the Electrified G80 doesn’t use the E-GMP platform, it does benefit from an 800V architecture, enabling ultra-fast charging. The peak charge rate of 240kW is slightly lower than that of the E-GMP cars but is still one of the fastest you will find in any car today. Find a suitable charger and a 10-80% top-up should take just 22 minutes. On a 50kW charger, the same takes 67 minutes, while a 10-100% charge on an 11kW home wallbox will take seven and a half hours.

Visually, the Electrified G80 doesn’t stray too far from the regular G80. It’s a very different approach from that of Mercedes, whose EQE is an entirely distinct car from the E-Class. The Electrified G80 retains the Genesis ‘Crest’ grille, though it is now a solid panel with a diamond pattern that hides the radar sensors and the door for the charging port.

The front valance is the biggest change. The air intakes of the petrol and diesel version have been mostly filled in to become air curtains that channel air along the side of the car. The 19in wheels are unique to the Electrified G80, and the rear bumper has naturally lost its exhaust finishers.


08 Genesis Electrified G80 RT 2022 dash

Every Genesis we have driven so far has impressed with its interior ambience, and the Genesis Electrified G80 is no different. The perceived quality is sky-high thanks to real wood that actually feels real, sumptuous leather and soft-touch materials everywhere that matters. Genesis’s interpretation of luxury is quite a traditional one, so it won’t appeal to those who prefer the more technical, clinical style of most Audis, but within our road test team at least, it has garnered plenty of fans.

Helping with that immensely is Genesis’s philosophy of combining the obligatory large touchscreen with a rotary selection dial for the excellent infotainment system, plenty of shortcut buttons and physical controls for the climate controls.

Front seats are comfy but set surprisingly high to make room for the battery. Tall people won’t struggle for head room, but the driving position feels a bit incongruous. Rear footwells offer enough depth so that passengers can sit with their knees at a natural angle, but ultimate leg room is less generous than we would like. The G80’s boot suffers the most from the electrification programme. There is a big hump at the back and, apart from the ski hatch, the rear seats can’t fold down.

It all makes this car a very nice place in which to spend time, but it is certainly not the most practical large saloon. The standard G80 isn’t the roomiest car in its class anyway, and the battery in the Electrified Genesis G80 takes another chunk out of the usable space.

To accommodate the battery pack, the front seats have been pushed up by around 10cm, which creates quite a high driving position – fine in an SUV, but rather odd in a saloon. Head room isn’t really the issue – but if you are tall, you might feel hemmed in and perched over the controls.

Our test car had the Executive Pack (costing £3020 on top of the £1580 Comfort Seat Pack), which adds rear sunshades, two screens for the rear passengers, heated rear seats and controls in the rear armrest.

The screens let rear passengers check the map, weather and sport results, adjust the rear climate, and control the media. Those last two options are less useful than they seem, though. The centre console contains separate controls for the rear climate anyway, the rear screens can’t control Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and there don’t seem to be any streaming services built in to the rear entertainment package.

Remarkably, Electrified G80 buyers get a worse deal from their Executive Pack than buyers of the regular G80, because the latter also has ventilated and adjustable rear seats that fold in a 40/20/40 split.

The screens suggest the Executive Pack is aimed more at parents than executives, but if you were to choose a G80 as your chauffeur car, it’s worth bearing in mind that it is more BMW 5 Series than 7 Series. There is also very little room under the front seats for rear occupants’ feet, so the rear accommodation doesn’t feel especially abundant. The seating position is comfortable, though, and there is plenty of head room.

The boot is most affected by the addition of a battery, as it has created a large step in the floor and precludes the option of a folding rear seatback.

Multimedia system

18 Genesis electrified g80 rt 2022 infotainment 1 0

The infotainment is the same on most Genesis cars and it is one of our favourite systems on the market. This is in part because it is mostly logical and gives you lots of options to make the car behave as you would like, but mainly because it is controlled via the combination of a fast-acting touchscreen and a BMW iDrive-style rotary controller. The physical shortcut buttons are the finishing touch to one of the most intuitive systems around.

We found the built-in navigation clear and well informed of traffic congestion but lacking in EV-specific features, with outdated information about rapid chargers. An update to give the system live charger data is reportedly incoming but, for the time being, Tesla’s route planning still isn’t close to being matched.

The digital gauge cluster is clear but doesn’t allow for much customisation. There is a 3D effect, which some testers liked, while others found it headache-inducing and turned it off.


There is only one version of the Genesis Electrified G80, and it’s a fast, dual-motor one. Identical 182.5bhp motors drive the front and rear axles, making for a total power output of 365bhp. Under normal circumstances, only the rear motor powers the car, with the front unit joining in if more power is required or slip is detected.

When launching the Electrified G80 from a stop for the acceleration figures, it was actually the front axle that would lose traction. The traction control normally manages the power delivery carefully and smoothly, but turning the system off and feathering the accelerator produced slightly faster acceleration, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 4.4sec (0.5sec faster than the official 0-62mph time).

Solar roof (£1360) can charge the drive battery while parked. Genesis estimates it can add 715 miles over a year. The infotainment system readout claimed our car had generated 66kWh during its 2000 miles – just under one full charge.

Like the Genesis GV60 we tested recently, the G80 retains ample power at higher speed, powering to 100mph in 11.8sec and passing the 130mph mark with ease in 23.5sec.

Although the outright performance is impressive, the calibration could have used a little more fine-tuning. In normal mode – let alone in Sport mode – the motors react a touch too eagerly to the throttle. That means it requires more care than in most EVs not to make your passengers (or even the driver) queasy on give-and-take roads.

The response in Eco mode is nicely judged. However, that turns off the front motor unless the systems detect slip, and even the throttle won’t release full power. The 182.5bhp you get from the single rear motor suffices most of the time, but pulling out for a swift overtake and realising you are still in Eco mode can be disconcerting.

Even so, Eco mode proved the most popular for daily driving among the test team, which suggests there would be a place for a cheaper, single-motor version of the Electrified G80 with around 250bhp, particularly if that liberated some additional storage under the bonnet.

The Electrified G80 follows most Kia and Hyundai products in its regenerative braking strategy. The level of regen can be adjusted over five strengths, from free coasting to one-pedal driving, using the steering-wheel paddles. Holding the right paddle activates a well-judged adaptive mode.

When you do use the brake pedal, it is easy to modulate and feels reassuring when you need to lean on the friction brakes. To cope with its extra weight, the Electrified G80 benefits from larger front discs (360mm instead of 345mm) and four-piston calipers. Ventilated 345mm discs with single-piston calipers are fitted on the rear axle.


20 Genesis Electrified G80 RT 2022 front corner rain

Look at the Genesis Electrified G80 and you probably don’t see a sport saloon. With its lack of grilles, spoilers and splitters, and the relatively generous ride height and tyre sidewalls, it certainly looks more like a limousine than a corner carver.

And on a large luxury saloon, especially one in excess of 2.3 tonnes, it wouldn’t be unusual to see air suspension to keep that weight in check over bumpy roads without having to compromise ride comfort.

I’m surprised Genesis fits wider tyres at the back than at the front. It’s front rather than rear traction that’s the first to surrender, and having to find two different sizes of Genesis-specific tyre will just make replacing them more of a struggle once the firm’s five-year care package comes to an end.

Genesis takes a different approach, however, and doesn’t offer that option on any of its European models. The G90, its Mercedes S-Class rival, does ride on air but isn’t offered over here. Instead, the G80 relies on the same concept as all of its siblings, sitting on steel coils and adaptive dampers. As usual, the Ride Preview system’s camera in the windscreen primes them for upcoming bumps, but we’ve found in the past it’s no magic bullet.

Curiously, then, the compromise that Genesis’s chassis engineers have chosen leans more towards dynamism than ride refinement.

Especially in Sport mode, the adaptive suspension controls the body roll remarkably well, and the medium-paced, naturally weighted steering makes this five-metre-long limousine easy to position on a narrow, winding road. Push it into corners and some feedback even filters through the rim, which inspires confidence when tackling a series of bends.

Even so, the G80 still stops some way short of threatening the Porsche Taycan. While it does avoid feeling like a lumbering barge, the 2.3 tonnes isn’t completely hidden when you tip it into a corner. Rear-wheel steering, as on some Mercedes EQEs, might have helped but isn’t available.

The calibration of the four-wheel drive doesn’t help, either. With identical motors on the front and rear axle, the G80 has a 50:50 torque split. Genesis could have introduced some rear bias through the software but hasn’t, and as a result the G80’s rear axle resolutely stays put, helped by the staggered tyre sizes. Turn the traction control off and clog the accelerator, and it will understeer while bonfiring the inside front tyre. It all means that the Electrified G80 handles competently and securely, but not inspirationally.

Comfort and isolation

21 Genesis electrified g80 rt 2022 rear corner rain 0

The flipside of the surprisingly sharp driving dynamics is that the Electrified G80’s ride never completely settles down. The wafty feeling of being disconnected from the lumps and bumps in the road is missing and occupants are jostled around noticeably more than in an air-suspended Mercedes EQE, or even the mechanically similar Electrified GV70, which benefits from a slightly softer set-up. The G80 is by no means an uncomfortable car, but it ought to cosset more than it does.

As if to compensate, Genesis offers only one alloy wheel design on the Electrified G80, and at a relatively modest 19in in diameter, the wheels allow for generous sidewalls to provide some cushioning from sharp impacts. In combination with good damping, that takes the harshness out of the ride but certainly doesn’t make the potholes disappear entirely.

In our test car, which had the Comfort Seat Pack, the seats were not short of features, with adjustments in every direction, as well as ventilation and massage functions, and although our testers found them mostly comfortable on long journeys, they are not quite at the same standard as those from the German competition. That said, the ergo-motion feature, which activates a short massage programme to adjust your posture after an hour’s driving, is a neat trick that genuinely works.

Thanks to plenty of insulation, as well as active noise cancelling through the speakers, the Electrified G80’s cabin remains very serene, even if an equipment malfunction meant we couldn’t measure the exact sound levels on this occasion.

Assisted driving

Every Electrified G80 comes with all the key assisted driving features as standard. Our test car had the Innovation Pack, which adds a 360deg camera, collision avoidance for parking and junctions and blindspot view monitors (which show a rear camera view down the side of the car in the instrument cluster when you indicate to change lanes).

The Innovation Pack also adds the upgraded Highway Driving Assist II, which learns driver behaviour and adapts its driving style, improves the system’s responsiveness for avoiding vehicles cutting into the lane at low speeds and adds the ability to make autonomous lane changes.

That last feature feels like it still needs a lot of development, and the system can’t be trusted to adapt to speed limits, but the main features of Genesis’s adaptive driving suite all work well and can be easily enabled or disabled according to driver preference.


01 Genesis Electrified G80 RT 2022 Lead front

As with all models from the brand, the Genesis Electrified G80 has a relatively attractive starting price. What’s more, it comes better equipped as standard than most cars from the brand. Features such as heated leather seats, adaptive cruise control, the Lexicon audio system and keyless entry are all standard fit.

Our test car had nearly all the option boxes ticked, raising the price from £65,000 to £80,215. If you want similar power and equipment in the Mercedes EQE or Porsche Taycan, you will pay more, while the Jaguar I-Pace is priced at a similar level.

There is only one powertrain and one trim, and the Electrified G80 is fairly well equipped as standard, so you can’t go far wrong. The Innovation Pack and the Comfort Seat Pack add some worthwhile options.

Predicted residual values for Genesis cars remain quite poor, though, which means PCP deals are comparably expensive.

Genesis doesn’t do dealerships, of course – the idea being that they come to you. There is one Genesis ‘Studio’ in a London shopping centre if you want to view multiple cars, but test drives can be arranged from anywhere and are no longer limited to the south-east.

Genesis offers a five-year, 50,000-mile warranty and free servicing, and the firm’s EVs come with a Shell Recharge pass, which gives preferential rates at many public chargers including the super-fast Ionity stations.


22 Genesis Electrified G80 RT 2022 static

With the Genesis Electrified G80, the brand demonstrates why most manufacturers are sticking to SUVs for their electrification efforts. Packaging a bulky battery in a low-slung car is likely to lead to a compromise of some sort, and in the G80, that is obvious in the way the boot has been cannibalised and the seats have been pushed up.

It seems to strike a strange compromise in its chassis tuning, too: it can’t quite deliver the ride refinement to stand out among large saloons, and although it steers pleasingly, it doesn’t come close to matching the Porsche Taycan’s dynamics, either.

While the GV60, on its dedicated EV platform, felt like Genesis figuring things out, this is another ‘not quite’ effort. It has a number of strengths we have seen with other cars from the brand: the interior’s traditional luxury feel is beautifully executed, the multimedia works well, it’s reasonably efficient and the acceleration pins you back in your seat.

If Genesis introduced a cheaper, single-motor version, it could be a compelling value option in this still-developing segment. As it stands, the Electrified G80 appeals for its range, performance and interior, but suffers from a lack of focus.

Illya Verpraet

Illya Verpraet Road Tester Autocar
Title: Road Tester
As part of Autocar’s road test team, Illya drives everything from superminis to supercars, and writes reviews, comparison tests, as well as the odd feature and news story. Much of his time is spent wrangling the data logger and wielding the tape measure to gather the data for Autocar’s eight-page road tests, which are the most rigorous in the business thanks to independent performance, fuel consumption and noise figures.