The Genesis G80 was launched as a gas-only sedan, and you can still get it that way, but now it’s joined by the battery-powered 2023 Electrified G80.
The name’s a bit unwieldy, but this luxury sedan certainly isn’t. It comes in a single Prestige trim with standard all-wheel drive for $105,000 before tax. The only available add-ons are accessories such as all-weather floor mats. The car’s price is too high to qualify for provincial or federal electric vehicle (EV) rebates.
The G80 sports a very handsome design, with classic proportions and just enough chrome. The nose is made to look like a conventional grille, even though one isn’t necessary with an EV like this. The charging port is hidden behind it and is invisible when closed. The cabin design is elegantly minimalist, and the automaker reports it uses natural leather dyes and recycled fabric and wood for the carpets and trim.
While the gas-powered G80 receives top ratings from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), neither has yet rated the Electrified, which reduces its score here.
Even so, the Electrified G80 includes a lot of standard driver-assist safety features, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane-keeping assist, emergency front and rear braking, driver attention warning, automatic high-beam headlights, highway driving assist, and the rearview camera that’s mandatory on all new vehicles. Its blind-spot monitoring includes a real-time view in the instrument cluster of what’s alongside when you activate the turn signal; and if you start to change lanes when someone’s there, you get a warning vibration in the steering wheel.
This G80 comes well-equipped, as you’d expect with an all-in luxury model. In addition to the driver-assist features, items include auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, premium audio, three-zone climate control, power tilt-and-telescopic heated steering wheel, wireless charger, head-up display, and hands-free power trunk.
The seats are clad in Nappa leather and include 16-way “ergo-motion” functionality for the driver, a 12-way passenger seat, and heated and ventilated front seats. Heated rear seats are included, too, but not a sunroof. I’m not a fan of glass overhead and was fine with it, but others may be upset to miss that popular feature.
The Electrified G80 is a mixed bag for ease of use. Its tablet-style centre screen is touch-sensitive, and it’s fairly straightforward but can be tough to reach. You can also activate it through a console-mounted controller dial, with swipe and writing input in addition to spinning it. The issue is that it’s directly ahead of the similarly sized gear selection dial, and several times I spun the wrong one.
When you do grab the shifter, you spin it for reverse, neutral, and drive, but then push for park. Putting all four on the spin cycle would be so much easier and more intuitive.
Other functions can be needlessly complicated as well, such as the narrow button/dial contraption that turns on the stereo and adjusts the volume; and the climate control, which has beautifully large dials for temperature, but requires you to tap a tiny arrow icon on the screen to change the vent settings.
Genesis is already bowing to consumer SUV preference by further adding its new battery-powered GV60 and GV70, but there’s still something to be said for a sedan. Legroom is generous in the front and rear seats, and headroom is good. Surprisingly, the sloped roof doesn’t really steal a lot of upright space from passengers in the back, and rear visibility is good. There isn’t a frunk as some others EVs offer, as the motor is under the hood, but the trunk provides 304 L of space.
The seats are very supportive and comfortable overall, with heat and ventilation in front and heated seats in back, as well as a heated steering wheel. The driver’s-side seat provides a stretching sensation to reduce fatigue on long drives. You can also enter your weight and height and the system will automatically adjust to “perfect” posture. However, I couldn’t reach the steering wheel in the position it said was ideal for me.
The Electrified G80 is powered by front and rear electric motors, which provide all-wheel drive as well as a combined 365 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. They’re fed by an 87.2 kWh lithium-ion battery with a range of 454 km, as officially rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
Give the throttle a gentle push, and the all-electric G80 accelerates smoothly; hit it firmly and it’ll push you back in the seat from a stop, or get you by whatever needs passing on the highway. Charging takes about 7.5 hours on a 240-volt charger – the type you might have at home – while fast-charging on a public 350-kW unit can get you from 10 to 80 per cent in an estimated 22 minutes.
Driving Feel: 8/10
The Electrified G80 drives as luxuriously as you’d expect. I’d appreciate a bit more steering feel, but overall it does most everything right. The car tips the scale at some 2,285 kg (5,038 lb), but feels substantial rather than obese. It’s responsive to steering input and corners well, and the ride is smooth and well-cushioned without feeling too isolated from the road.
In addition to charging, the battery regains some power through regenerative braking. This can be increased or decreased with paddles on the steering wheel. You can take it to one-pedal driving, where the regeneration is so strong that the car will stop when you take your foot off the throttle.
Fuel Economy: 8/10
Electric vehicles are rated by NRCan two ways. One is kWh/100 km – how many kilowatt-hours of energy is burned for every 100 km – where the Electrified G80 is rated at 19.9 city, 23.6 highway, and 21.7 combined. A more familiar measurement is Le/100 km, for litres equivalent – the corresponding liquid fuel it would burn, given that a litre of gasoline has an electricity equivalent of 8.9 kWh in energy.
Using that, the Electrified G80 is rated at 2.2 Le/100 km in the city, 2.6 on the highway, and 2.4 in combined driving. That’s about midrange with most premium EV sedans for combined driving, where the two-motor Tesla Model 3 is rated 2.1; the Mercedes-Benz EQS at 2.5; the Cadillac Lyriq at 2.6; and the Porsche Taycan 4S at 2.8.
It’s not easy to call out value at the six-figure mark, and it’s about how much you want your luxury car to be electric – especially when gasoline versions of the G80 range from $69,000 to $82,500, and the Electrified is $105,000.
Tesla’s Model 3 starts at $82,000 with AWD; the Polestar 2 at $71,650 for AWD; and the Cadillac Lyriq at $67,698. But six-figure rivals are much higher than the Genesis, with the Lucid Air, Audi e-tron GT, Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz EQS, and BMW i7 ranging from $121,500 to $147,000. Those also tack on delivery fees included with the Electrified G80; and when the car needs service, a Genesis rep picks it up, leaves a loaner, and returns it when it’s done for those who live within range of the company’s valet service.
The 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 isn’t cheap, but it’s great to drive, it’s luxurious, and its 454-km range will fit many drivers’ needs. If you’re going to go into a premium EV, plug this one into your test-drive list.
|Engine Displacement||Dual 135 kW motors w/87.2 kWh battery|
|Peak Horsepower||365 hp|
|Peak Torque||516 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy||2.2 / 2.6 / 2.4 Le/100 km, 19.9 / 23.6 / 21.7 kWh/100 km cty/hwy/cmb, 454 km est. range|
|Cargo Space||304 L|
|Model Tested||2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Prestige|
|Price as Tested||$105,100|