The big G80 was among the first batch of Genesis models when the upmarket South Korean brand launched in the UK in 2021. Back then it was petrol or diesel only, and lovely though it was, it couldn’t quite match its German ‘Big Three’ rivals – the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class.
The addition of a G80 variant with a 100% electric powertrain has shifted the car into a different league, and it now poses a competitively-priced, left-field alternative to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQE, Tesla Model S and Polestar 2 in the growing EV saloon sector.
While its original engine options were old school and a tad thirsty, the addition of an 87.2kWh battery and two electric motors (producing 364bhp and 700Nm of torque) has transformed the G80 into a refined eco cruiser.
Capable of up to 323 miles from a full charge, the Genesis Electrified G80 also benefits from state-of-the-art charging technology, which means a 10-80% ultra-rapid (350kW) top-up can take as little as 22 minutes.
It’s also all-wheel drive (it switches seamlessly between rear and AWD) and can sprint from standstill to 62mph in just 4.9 seconds.
In the metal, it’s virtually identical to its petrol sibling (the diesel version is no longer available), which is no bad thing, because it’s a stylish saloon.
Sleek and distinctive, the G80 is just under than five metres long and 1925mm wide, making it slightly bigger than a BMW 5 Series.
Behind the epic grille (blocked off in the EV version) and slim, stacked headlights, there’s a long bonnet, low body profile and pert rear.
Inside, the cabin is spacious, though not quite as big as you might think. There are some quality materials (some sustainable) and it’s well put together, but it definitely feels more American than European.
Genesis has kept things simple, so there’s just one plush grade available. All cars get 19-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, a 14.5-inch central infotainment screen and dual-zone climate control.
Option packages include the Convenience Pack, which adds a heated leather steering wheel, an electric tailgate and three-zone climate control, while the Innovation Pack features a head-up display, Highway Driving Assist II and Surround View Monitor Cameras.
The first thing you notice behind the wheel is that the driving position is a little higher than you might think in such a low-slung saloon (thanks to the battery pack below), but you soon get used to it.
Rear passengers get ample leg and headroom and can travel in style. However, there’s not much space under the front seats to rest their feet, while the boot’s luggage capacity also takes a hit from battery storage with volume down from an already modest 424 litres (petrol version) to just 354 litres.
Visibility out of the front is good, though slightly more challenging at the rear. That said, the driver assistance aids soon iron out that issue.
The other interior observation worth making is that thankfully Genesis hasn’t gone full-on minimalist and there are still some buttons and dials, plus the option of a rotary controller for accessing the slick infotainment system.
Pull away and you’re struck by how incredibly refined the Genesis Electrified G80 is. Not just because it’s electric – the whole cabin feels well insulated from the outside world.
It feels every bit as fast as the official figure claims and there’s plenty of traction, thanks to those dual motors, front and rear.
You might be forgiven for thinking that it handles like a barge, given its proportions and 2.3-tonne weight, but here’s the thing – it’s surprisingly dynamic, especially in Sport mode. We’re not talking Porsche Taycan body control and agility, but impressive all the same. Oh, and we love the way the side bolsters in the driver’s seat automatically tighten when Sport is selected.
The ride is on the firm side, though it’s never uncomfortable, while the steering is well-judged. Eco mode is fine for long motorway runs, but we’d recommend sticking to Comfort for everyday driving because it offers the best blend of performance and energy conservation.
It’s hard to estimate real-world range based on limited driving, but we’d expect to get around 280 miles out of a full charge, and closer to 300 miles in an urban environment.
Of course, no review of a Genesis is complete with a mention of the H-word and the unique VIP ownership proposition.
First, Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, which also includes Kia. So, think Lexus/Toyota and Infiniti/Nissan.
Secondly, there are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.
It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout the ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).
What’s more, Genesis’s 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.
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