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2023 Genesis Electrified G80 First Drive Review: Silence Is Golden

A fully electric powertrain lets the G80's luxurious core competencies shine.

Updated July 12, 2022 2:00 a.m. PT

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Written by  Steven Ewing
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
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Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
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Plenty of automakers are committing to an all-electric future, but Genesis' self-imposed deadline is looming larger than most. The company vows to launch only electric cars beginning in 2025, and while this plan includes lots of brand-new models like the GV60 crossover, Genesis will also EV-ify some of its current gas-powered cars. Enter the 2023 Electrified G80.

A quick bit of pedantry: I'm not sure why Genesis chose to use "Electrified" and not simply "Electric," especially since this is how many companies linguistically skirt the line between hybrids and full EVs. But I digress. The Electrified G80 strips Genesis' midsize sedan of its gas-fed mechanical bits and swaps in a very competent EV powertrain. And because Genesis designed the G80's platform to support full electrification from the get-go, this sedan can not only accommodate an 87.2-kilowatt-hour battery pack, but 800-volt charging architecture as well.

The latter is a crucial talking point, as its 187-kW max charging speed allows the G80's battery to go from a 10% state of charge to 80% in as little as 22 minutes. Plus, the G80 has the same V2L (vehicle-to-load) functionality as the Genesis GV60 and its corporate stablemates, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. This means the G80 can act as a 3.6-kW generator for electric appliances outside the car. Neat.

2023 Genesis Electrified G80 charging port
Enlarge Image
2023 Genesis Electrified G80 charging port

The charging port is neatly hidden in the grille.

Genesis

This EV powertrain also gives the Electrified G80 competent and competitive performance and range figures. The dual-motor setup produces 365 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and Genesis estimates a total driving range of about 282 miles -- a number that seems easy to achieve in the real world. Like all electric cars, the G80 accelerates briskly, with 60 mph arriving in just under 5 seconds. Midrange power is ample, making passing maneuvers a breeze, and there aren't any space-age sci-fi sounds to accompany the experience, which will be a bummer to some people but befits the stately nature of the G80.

Indeed, an EV powertrain makes the G80 an even better luxury car. While the gas models' I4 and V6 engines can occasionally feel a bit coarse, there's nothing but serenity in the Electrified G80. The ride is a bit stiffer thanks to the added weight of the electric powertrain (an extra 585 pounds compared with the G80 Sport), but the 19-inch wheels and all-season tires do an adequate job of mitigating rough pavement. The steering is heavy in action but somewhat lazy in response, and like the Hyundai Motor Group's other EVs, the Electrified G80 has several driver-selectable levels of regenerative braking, including a true one-pedal mode that's easy to modulate, making it my preferred way to drive this sedan.

Genesis always goes all-in on safety tech, so the Electrified G80 comes with the company's full roster of active and passive systems. You can vary the level of intensity for things like the blind-spot and lane-keeping assists, letting the car give you visual or haptic warnings or both. The full-speed adaptive cruise control works a treat, and combined with the smooth actions of the electric powertrain, it makes for surprisingly stress-free commuting in gross Los Angeles traffic.

2023 Genesis Electrified G80 interior
Enlarge Image
2023 Genesis Electrified G80 interior

The highlight of the interior is the trim that's made from scrap wood and recycled newspaper.

Genesis

The Electrified G80's interior lends itself to that relaxing nature, too. Genesis makes some of the best luxury car cabins, and one look around the Electrified G80 will drive that point home. Soft leather surfaces are accented with knurled metal dials, and the trim in this test car is a mixture of scrap wood and recycled newspaper, which looks and feels amazing. The plush front seats are heated and cooled and have both massage and posture-correction functions, making them lovely to sit in for hours on end. The Electrified G80 has basically every comfort and convenience feature Genesis offers, including a wireless charging pad, 360-degree camera system, rain-sensing wipers and a bangin' 21-speaker Lexicon stereo.

No surprise, multimedia tech is in similarly high supply. A crisp and reconfigurable 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster sits in front of the driver, as does a head-up display, and there's a 14.5-inch central touchscreen running the same infotainment software you'll find in other Genesis models. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported, but only through a wired USB-A connection, and make sure to plug your cord into the left of the two outlets in the cubby in the center console, as it's the only one that allows a smartphone link.

The only other nit to pick is that the placement of the rear electric motor cuts into trunk space, lowering the G80's cargo capacity from 13.1 cubic feet to 10.8. The battery pack under the floor also raises the seating position, with an almost 3-inch reduction in rear-passenger headroom, though only taller folks will truly notice.

2023 Genesis Electrified G80 sedan on the road
Enlarge Image
2023 Genesis Electrified G80 sedan on the road

This is Genesis at its best.

Genesis

Exterior differences are just as inconspicuous, with the biggest giveaway being the Electrified G80's stylish, closed-off grille, which neatly hides a charging port just off center on the driver's side. The standard 19-inch wheels aren't quite as striking as the G80 Sport's larger 20s, but wowie wow wow is the Matira Blue paint of this test car fantastic. This is exactly how I'd spec mine.

The 2023 Electrified G80 won't go on sale until fall, so pricing information is still TBD. But you can bet it'll sit at the top of the G80 range, so expect an MSRP between $75,000 and $80,000 before any available tax credits are applied. That's a pretty significant savings over something like a Tesla Model S, which in its cheapest form currently costs $110,690 including destination, or even a Mercedes-Benz EQS450 at $103,360. However, Genesis will only sell the Electrified G80 in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York for now, though the company plans to eventually offer the sedan nationwide.

Limited availability aside, there are few reasons to dislike the Electrified G80. It's proof that turning a gas car into an EV doesn't have to feel like a stopgap, and it certainly bodes well for Genesis' next Electrified offering, the GV70 SUV.

2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Excels at Quiet Luxury

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steven-ewing-headshot
steven-ewing-headshot
Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.

Updated July 12, 2022 2:00 a.m. PT

steven-ewing-headshot
Written by  Steven Ewing
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
steven-ewing-headshot
Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
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