EXPERT REVIEW

2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Review: The Best G80?

genesis-electrified-g80-2023-01-exterior-front-angle 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
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Managing Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Email Joe Bruzek

The verdict: Those wanting the most fun and luxurious G80 should consider the Electrified G80.

Versus the competition: The fully loaded $80,000 Electrified G80 is a genuine mid-size luxury sedan that’s also an EV but isn’t six figures, and that alone makes it a unique offering in today’s market despite driving range and performance that aren’t earth-shattering.

The Genesis G80 put the best European luxury sedans on notice when it debuted for the 2021 model year with a high-quality interior, lots of technology and well-balanced ride quality. For the 2023 model year, Genesis introduces the Electrified G80, which transforms the gasoline-powered G80 into a fully electric car by replacing the original gasoline powertrain with dual motors for standard all-wheel drive and a large battery pack good for 282 miles of EPA-rated range.

So, is the Electrified G80 just as enticing as its gasoline-powered sibling? In some ways, it’s the more sport-oriented option, and certain EV characteristics remain impressive, but it’s not without its quirks. Note: This review focuses on the G80 as an electric vehicle; you can read our expert review of the gasoline-powered G80 for more information about the redesigned G80 itself, including its interior quality and technology, which remain unchanged in the Electrified G80.

Related: Genesis Electrified G80 Debuts in Shanghai 

The Sportiest and Most Luxurious G80 to Drive

The Electrified G80 is more responsive and more fun to drive than the G80 Sport, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter making 375 horsepower and 391 pounds-feet of torque — and that’s despite the G80 Electrified moving an extra 585 pounds (its curb weight is 5,038 pounds versus 4,453 pounds for the gas G80) with 10 hp fewer (365 hp).

The near-instant delivery of 516 pounds-feet of torque is what amplifies the experience in the electric car, though overall acceleration doesn’t feel considerably different from the G80 Sport. That responsiveness lets the Electrified G80 pounce at the press of the accelerator pedal, while the G80 Sport’s traditional engine and eight-speed automatic transmission react slowly (relatively speaking) despite being a competent unit. Accelerator response is the biggest reason the Electrified G80 is the more fun-to-drive option because it connects you to the car with immediate feedback; say go, and it goes. There’s no waiting for a transmission to downshift or power to ramp up with engine speed.

Let’s set expectations, however, because the Electrified G80 doesn’t deliver the rollercoaster ride we’ve seen from EVs like the Tesla Model S or all-wheel-drive versions of the Mercedes-EQ EQS and Porsche Taycan. At $80,000, however, the Electrified G80 is significantly less expensive than those $100,000-plus electric luxury sedans.

genesis-electrified-g80-2023-16-interior-front-row 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The Electrified G80 is also the more luxury-oriented G80. Without a vibrating, grumbling gas-powered engine, the Electrified G80’s whisper quiet and smooth powertrain exudes class and refinement. There is, however, more audible tire impact noise and road noise because of the lack of engine noise. The Electrified G80’s ride and handling straddles the line of comfort and sportiness: It’s not overly soft and uncontrolled, nor is it tuned so aggressively it ruins the ride quality. This is how the G80 rides with any engine type; it’s not a cushy luxury car like the Genesis G90, nor is it a dialed-in performance sedan like the Genesis G70.

Where there’s room for improvement in the EV driving experience is that the accelerator and brakes are less responsive in stop-and-go driving. It was hard to drive smoothly from a stop in the Genesis because of a dead zone in accelerator pedal progression regardless of driving mode that left a delay before a wallop of acceleration jumped in. There’s a similar delay in the braking action when using one-pedal driving mode: After backing off the accelerator, the Electrified G80 hesitates and coasts before it starts braking where most EVs quickly decelerate. Slowing to a stop in one-pedal mode also unearthed a strange rocking back-and-forth characteristic, like a cup of Jell-O settling after it’s been jostled. These peculiarities could have been unique to the car I drove — as journalists, we sometimes drive early versions of vehicles before they go on sale — but these characteristics aren’t normal operation for most EVs. It’s worth paying attention to on a test drive.

Electrified G80 as an Electric Car

With 282 miles of estimated range and 365 hp, the Electrified G80 boasts neither wild performance nor huge driving range, but that 282-mile range is competitive versus less expensive AWD EVs that prioritize performance over range, including the BMW i4 M50 (270 miles with 19-inch wheels, 227 miles with 20-inch wheels) and Polestar 2 Dual Motor (249 miles). The exception is the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which brings performance and range (358 miles). These similarly priced competitors are smaller, however, and not nearly as richly appointed inside.

genesis-electrified-g80-2023-04-exterior-front-charging 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

For now, the Genesis Electrified G80’s strongest attribute as an EV is its impressive DC fast-charging capability. With 800-volt charging capability, Genesis says the Electrified G80 can go from 10% to 80% in 22 minutes at a 350-kilowatt DC fast charger (though it can only accept a maximum 187 kW). Charging at home, which is how we recommend you do EV ownership, the Electrified G80 can charge at 10.9 kW and replenish the battery from 0% to 100% in 7 hours, 22 minutes at 48 amperes.

The Electrified G80 delivered on its fast-charging promise in our DC fast-charging test, going from 16% battery charge to 80% in 20 minutes at a 350-kW charger. That translates to 187 miles of range, and that’s a notable number for any EV regardless of price. (Note that fast-charging speeds will vary depending on a number of conditions, especially ambient temperature, and my test was performed when it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside.)

One thing the Electrified G80 won’t do for you, however, is plan a navigation route based on charger locations and expected range. Tesla includes charging stations in its route planning, while the Genesis simply provides information about nearby charging stations and projected range radius on the map; it won’t plan a route to take advantage of those stations.

The Genesis’ efficiency and range accuracy during my test drive made its 282 miles of estimated range feasible (3.4 miles per kilowatt-hour over 195.6 miles in a mix of city and highway driving). There’s little doubt that in warmer conditions, you can count on this car to accurately estimate how much range is available from its 87.2-kWh battery. Its EPA-rated efficiency of 97 mpg-equivalent combined is similar to a 329-hp, rear-wheel-drive Mercedes-EQ EQS450 Plus (97 mpg-e) and the smaller AWD Genesis GV60 Advance (95 mpg-e), but it falls short of a Tesla Model S’ 120 mpg-e combined.

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The Electrified G80 uses its large battery for more than just driving thanks to a vehicle-to-load function that allows the car to act like a giant portable battery. A standard adapter with a household-style AC outlet plugs into the charge port in the front grille, supplying enough energy for most 120-volt home appliances — good either as backup during a power outage or to power an outdoor accessory like a movie projector or TV.

To this point, the compromises necessitated by being an electrified version of an existing car, rather than a dedicated EV, seem to happen in the balance of range and performance (where they choose range), but cargo and passenger room are other considerations. Trunk space is significantly altered thanks to the large intrusion of EV components into the trunk, and there’s no front trunk like in many EVs. In our cargo testing, the Electrified G80 measured 12.9 cubic feet in the trunk, down from the 16.1 cubic feet we measured in the G80 Prestige 3.5T. That’s well short of the Model S’ 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space in its hatchback configuration, not to mention the extra 2 cubic feet in its front trunk.

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genesis-electrified-g80-2023-53-interior-backseat 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

There’s also less headroom for front and rear occupants compared with the standard G80, and I felt that as a 6-foot-tall driver and backseat passenger. Up front, there’s almost an inch less standard headroom, and there’s 1.5 fewer inches of rear headroom. (The difference is less compared to a regular G80 with its optional panoramic moonroof.) Still, in the electric G80, less headroom means minding your head more closely when getting into the backseat.

Is the Electrified G80 Worth It?

The Electrified G80 doesn’t qualify for the recently revised $7,500 tax credit and its new requirements, though state-level incentives may apply. Also, the Electrified G80 is initially being sold in extremely limited quantities only in select states: California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Washington.

While its range and acceleration may not be wow-worthy, the Electrified G80 is the same opulent G80 mid-size luxury sedan that punches above its weight, only electrified (duh!). Those luxury characteristics feel more significant in an EV because of the current market and how relatively limited EV offerings are — and electric sedan offerings are even more limited as most automakers pitch electric SUVs to consumers.

The Electrified G80 is larger and more luxurious than a BMW i4, Polestar 2 or Tesla Model 3, and it’s significantly less expensive than similarly sized luxury competitors, albeit with less range and performance. At $80,920 (with destination), the Electrified G80 has standard AWD and is fully loaded with all the options available on the G80 Sport, which tops out near $73,000. With current mid-size EV luxury options easily in the $100,000 range, the Genesis and its rich interior offer a unique EV experience for much less money.

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