Genesis Electrified G80 EV first drive: power and luxury in equal measures

Angled side view of green Genesis Electrified G80 EV in a car park
(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Genesis has already been stirring up lots of interest with its first dedicated EV, the rather good GV60. However, we’ve just driven the Genesis Electrified G80, which also makes use of the E-GMP platform that the GV60 rolls on. 

This elegant executive saloon packs plenty of appeal on many different levels and, as you’d expect, luxury is at the top of the list.

Adding to the attractiveness of the Genesis Electrified G80 is a WLTP range of 323 miles from a chunky 87.2kW battery, which supplies power to two 136kW motors. 

These can propel the car from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds, which isn't bad for a 546kg/1200 pound vehicle. Top speed is an impressive 139mph.

Genesis also makes the charging journey that little bit easier too, thanks to its 800 volt charging architecture, which in our experience of the E-GMP platform previously, makes topping up your car’s battery both fast and efficient.

Premium exterior highlights

We got presented with a collection of cars to drive, with a handful being finished in dazzling Matira Blue contrasted by a better-than-you-might-think Havana tobacco brown interior. The rest looked suitably stylish in Uyuni White with contrasting Obsidian Black inside the cockpit. 

A stroll around the exterior gives makes it clear that this is a Genesis, with the trademark crest grille being the main giveaway. Cleverly hidden behind a panel on the right of this is the charging port.

Genesis also used this to hook up one car to a coffee machine, thereby illustrating the Electrified G80's V2L (Vehicle to Load) functionality. It lets you plug in and charge everyday items such as your laptop. Very handy.

There are also plenty of neat design flourishes, which add that extra premium feel. The quad lamp headlights and taillights are recessed into the curves of the front and rear ends respectively. Also at the back, a smart trunk opens automatically when you need hands-free assistance.

You get some tasty touches of chrome around the car too, like the embellishments just behind the front wheels and also around the bottom of the body. The effect is enhanced with more chrome around the window trims. 

The combination works to best effect when it’s contrasted with the blue, though the white looks quite stately too.

The Electrified G80 sports tasty 19-inch Turbine design alloys

The Genesis Electrified G80 sports some really tasty 19-inch Turbine design alloy wheels. These, combined with careful design tweaks that include air curtains at the ends of the front bumper and the use of fairings underneath the car have also gained the car a drag coefficient of 0.26.

Another smart move is the solar roof, though this is an option. Genesis claims that over a year, having it can add 715 miles to the Electrified G80’s range.

View of the Genesis Electrified G80 Turbine design alloy wheels

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Interior oozes quality

The premium theme continues as you step into the cockpit of the Genesis Electrified G80. This is everything you expect from the brand, with sizeable levels of luxury, which is especially noticeable as you sink into the fully-adjustable, memory-enabled electric seats. 

Much like the GV60, there are multiple adjustment options, topped off with massage capability, which we managed to accidentally engage on the first journey. 

It was actually the perfect antidote to navigating the baffling roadworks that seemed to be permeating every perimeter road around Frankfurt airport.

We also jumped into the rear seats to check out the room back there. At just over 5 metres or 16 feet long this is a big car, so it’s possible to accommodate someone six foot-plus in the front, pushing the seat back and still leave very capable amounts of room for rear-seat passengers. 

This also means the Genesis Electrified G80 has definite potential as a car for chauffeuring around executive types who’d rather leave the driving to someone else. 

The rear of the car is just as nice to sit in as the front too with, in our models, the added benefit of having screens fitted behind the front seat headrests. These offer access to on-the-go controls such as being able to adjust your own climate preferences. 

But, there’s also the extra benefit of being able to use the screens for watching a movie or doing something else to keep you occupied on a longer run. Combined with the comfort of the seating and an excellent central armrest, it’s very tempting to stay in there longer than you have to.

Full width view of the Genesis Electrified G80 from rear seats

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Genuine driving appeal

Although the Genesis Electrified G80 is a sizeable saloon, there’s nothing offputting about that when you come to drive it. In fact, Genesis has done a fine job making use of additional lightweight materials, which the automaker says has helped to reduce body mass by 46kg compared to the conventionally-powered model. 

One thing that was apparent, particularly as we picked our way through roadworks and the smaller streets in tiny German villages was the near 2 metre or just over 6 feet width of the Electrified G80.

However, the car combats any narrow road jitters by assisting you with plenty of driver aids, including lane keep assist. Meanwhile, the chunky and fully adjustable door mirrors deliver copious amounts of view down the sides of the car. 

The view out of the rear window and, indeed, through any of the large amounts of glass along the side make the car seem much easier to move on down the road than you might think. And, this being a Genesis, the drive itself is sublime.

Easy to drive

Much like most EVs, the Genesis Electrified G80 is a very easy car to drive. Press the power button while you’ve got your foot on the brake, turn the central mode dial to drive and you’re ready to go. There are three drive modes, including Eco, Comfort and Sport, with a Sport+ option just in case you need it.

The car’s systems come to life in an instant and there’s absolutely no hassle in getting underway. It’s worth picking through the 14.5-inch HD infotainment system before you go though as many of the controls are accessed through this route along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Nevertheless, full marks to Genesis for making this a simple-but-effective as possible. The driving position feels snug yet spacious and you’re able to get a comprehensive view of your preferred controls via the 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster.

Considering the size of the car, the steering is actually light but responsive. Up in the hills around Frankfurt, we found the car could handle gradients with plenty of zeal. There’s certainly oodles of power on tap and lots of torque too, which makes overtaking very straightforward. 

View of the Genesis Electrified G80 charging port

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

We were similarly impressed by the stopping power of the Genesis Electrified G80, even on damp and twisty hill roads where the weight was more noticeable on tight corners. If you set the car up to do so it's possible to really exploit the one-foot driving convenience and regenerative potential of the I-Pedal too.

All the while, those gorgeous seats keep you firmly in place. Like the Genesis GV60, the powered seats also automatically start to hug you a little more tightly if you really pile on the power.

Genesis gives potential owners the scope to beef up their basic Electrified G80 with all sorts of options. In fact, the specification sheet we’ve been picking through allows you to mix and match countless variations on the luxury theme. The cars we drove in Germany seemed to have pretty much every option anyone could want.

If you’re likely to be going on long highway runs the Genesis Electrified G80 feels like a fully qualified cruiser that can soak up the miles. Indeed, with its smart cruise control, Active Noise Cancellation-Road (ANC-R) system and electronically controlled suspension this elegant saloon should sweep you from A to B with little in the way of fuss. 

Based on our day spent behind the wheel, the Genesis Electrified G80 teases you to keep on driving, which is just the thing you need if you're facing a long road trip with a gaggle of tired passengers in tow.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.