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2023 Electrified Genesis G80 AWD review

2023 Electrified Genesis G80 AWD front low angle
Mark Savage
Savage On Wheels
2023 Electrified Genesis G80 AWD front low angle

From a marketing perspective, luxury electrics make the most sense, still, until battery prices come down and automakers can make mainstream cars at mainstream prices while turning a profit.

Plus, electric power systems naturally seem more high-end as they produce massive power yet as slippery smooth as freshly Zambonied ice. That implies they are cool too.

So, when Genesis (Hyundai’s luxury brand) goes all electric with its already splididly-doo G80 luxury sedan, one might expect more terrific-ness. Indeed!

This electrified G80 delivered everything the gas-engine versions did, and more … mostly!

The beauty already was front and center with a snazzy pentagonal grille (electric plug-in is well hidden here), slim body work and twin bar head and taillights — a Genesis styling trademark. Now plop in some battery packs and twin electric motors front and rear and acceleration is rocket fast like a slot car on slicks.

Officially, the electrics deliver 365 horsepower, a dip of 10 ponies compared with the 3.5-liter twin-turbo gas powered V6 in the previous top level G80. But forget ponies, it’s torque that measures the seat-of-the-pants kicking that the power hungry crave. Here, that’s an impressive 516 pound-feet or torque, or about 125 more than in the aforementioned V6 rocket sled.

Wow, adjust the drive mode to Sport by pressing a button on the console and hold on to that thick leather steering wheel. The G80 flat out hauls. For normal driving there’s the Comfort mode and for electron-stretching when the charger is further away than you’d like, an Eco mode adds a half dozen miles to most runs.

Better yet, AWD is standard on the electric G80 while its $3,100 extra on the gas-powered models so, no slippage from the drive wheels even on wet pavement. Nope, pedal down, power on, all forward thrust is so quiet that you’ll wonder if you’re dreaming. In fact, the only whine here is during deceleration or braking when there’s enough electric whine that my wife suspected an emergency vehicle was approaching. It was not. But one gets used to the sound, quickly.

Like the gas-powered models, the handling is effortless, although G80 has a heavier steering feel than some full-size cars. Yet realize this is a luxury beast, so heavy denotes solid value. Still, the sedan is easy to aim in cruise missile mode on the highway and with its lower center of gravity due to the battery packs weight. G80 handles quite nicely on winding highways and roads.

The ride too is luxury level, although still firm enough to feel engaging.

Might be a good spot here to note that the electric G80 weighs roughly 900 pounds (batteries) more than its gas-powered cousins at just beyond 5,000 pounds. Plus, the electric system’s batteries etc. cut down a bit of rear seat space and eat up about 2 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk.

Range also is something most potential electric car buyers inquire about.

The G80 is rated at 282 miles of range. I never quite had a full charge, so saw 260 and plugging it into my wee 120-volt garage line could only get about a 5% charge overnight. That translates into about 20 miles, which is fine for around town when you haven’t let the batteries dwindle to near zero.

That’s why most electric car buyers will want to install at least a 240-volt system in their garage. It will charge from 10% to 100% in seven hours and 22 minutes, so easily overnight. A fast Level 3 charger (very costly) will boost the batteries from 10 to 80% in 22 minutes, so like a slightly longer gas station stop where you buy a donut and coffee.

Inside, the electric G80 looks and feels as plush as the earlier gas models, with just a few nips and tucks.

The test car went with Havana brown two-tone seats, doors and dash. The dark brown was the front edge of the dash and door tops, while the seats and door panels were medium (old school term was Saddle) brown. A dark wood trim extends from doors to dash face and other trim, audio speaker covers, buttons and knobs are a handsome satin chrome.

There’s some wood trim around the console too, but atop it is satin chrome and the rotating gear shift dial and another similar sized dial in front of that. It tunes radio stations and such on the wide 14.5-inch info screen. That chrome is terribly reflective on a sunny day.

2023 Electrified Genesis G80 AWD console
Mark Savage
Savage On Wheels
2023 Electrified Genesis G80 AWD console

However, all worked fine, I’m just not a fan of the rotary shifter, and the knob in front (further from the driver) of it should actually be behind it and NOT the same size. Too confusing. I kept turning the station selector instead of the gear shift, which should have priority. A smaller knob nearer the center armrest shift would be safer.

Outside the G80 mostly looked dark gray to black, but in bright sun, a rarity this spring, it had a green metallic tint. Very classy and $575 extra. Its name also is classy, Hallasan Green. For those not up on your South Korean geography, Hallasan is a shield volcano on one of the nation’s islands and is South Korea’s highest point. You’re welcome!

As with previous G80s, the dash is slim, clean, and yet stylish. The big screen is wide, but not tall so does not impede outward sight lines, and it’s a touchscreen so can be used without messing with the big dial on the console.

Buttons below that allow a driver to pick the map, radio, etc. and a smaller screen below those buttons allows for climate control adjustments, the heated/cooled seats and heated steering wheel. Two big dials adjust cabin temperature.

There’s a power tilt/telescope steering wheel and the front seats both power fore and aft when the ignition and doors are opened. This makes for easier access.

The seats are pretty darned comfy too with a variety of power controls to aid side bolster support and for the driver, a button on the side of the lower cushion engages a massage function. There are three choices, but only one that I found comforting. One basically pokes your butt; one assumes to keep a driver awake.

The stereo is impressive, touting 1,050 watts of power and pumping the sound through 21 speakers. Crazy! You’ll note too that when you close the car doors, they self-latch and pull themselves shut when nearly closed by the passenger. Rear windows have manual sunshades and the seats are comfy enough for four adults, or five if needed.

Up front is a wireless charger under the center stack. That was missing from an earlier G80 I tested, but the angle of this one makes it a bit difficult to retrieve a charging phone. A bigger opening is needed, or a flat charging station.

Sadly, there’s also is no sunroof, small or large. That’s a nod to weight savings as weight can cut into an electric car’s range.

Safety? Of course, the G80 is loaded with all the goodies from parking sensors, to smart cruise and blind-spot warning and emergency braking systems. There’s even a Remote Smart Parking Assist feature to help parallel park the car in a tight spot. I’m not brave enough to use that yet.

Finally, the price, and it says luxury, but not in as big a way as say a Tesla S would. The electric G80 offers just this one trim and lists at $80,950, including delivery. Add the paint here (only white and gray are standard) and this one hit $81,495.

That’s impressive pricing for this segment where both a Tesla S and Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan top $100k for starters.

Genesis delivers more for less in electric or gas form. Your choice of power sources.

FAST STATS: 2023 Electrified Genesis G80 AWD

Hits: Beautiful exterior and interior styling, excellent power, effortless handling, luxury ride and AWD standard. Clean and stylish dash, 14.5-inch info screen, heated/cooled seats, heated wheel, massaging driver’s seat, wireless charger, 3 drive mode, solid safety systems, good stereo, power tilt/telescope wheel, self-latching doors, and room for five adults. Impressive pricing for segment.

Misses: Satin metal console top and dials too reflective, rotary shifter and info screen adjustment knob too similar in size and need positions reversed, no sunroof, and awkward wireless charger port. Smallish trunk, batteries cut into rear seat space too.

Made in: Ulsan, So. Korea

Power: Twin electric motors w/87.2 k/wh battery, 365 hp/516 torque

Transmission: Direct drive, AWD

Weight: 5,038 lbs.

Wheelbase: 118.5 in.

Length: 197 in.

Cargo: 10.8 cu.ft.

MPGe: 105/89

Range: 282 mi.

Base Price: $80,950 (includes delivery)

Invoice: $80,950

Major Options: Hallasan Green paint, $575

Test vehicle: $81,495

Sources: Genesis, www.kbb.com

Mark Savage writes the auto review column, Savage On Wheels, for WUWM (formerly for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and Savageonwheels.com. He is the former executive editor of American Snowmobiler magazine and FineScale Modeler magazine, both part of Kalmbach Media in Waukesha.
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