By Jeff Wilson and Jodi Lai
The AutoTrader Awards are all about recognizing automotive excellence and it’s tough to find a brand that’s pushing as hard to earn the respect of discerning luxury shoppers than Genesis. As an automotive underdog in the world of luxury cars, Genesis has been setting new benchmarks for not only the vehicle segments it plays in, but for the industry as a whole. It’s with this in mind that our jury of more than 20 automotive experts from all over the country have voted for the Genesis G80 and Electrified G80 as the Best Overall Car in the 2023 AutoTrader Awards.
While every vehicle available for Canadians to buy is eligible for this award, we took the top-scoring vehicles of each car category (not trucks or SUVs) and then our jury voted on the best ones that they would feel confident recommending to their family and friends. To earn this award, a car must go above and beyond what’s expected to excel in every criteria our judges are considering, which includes everything from performance and efficiency to user-friendliness and engineering excellence. The Genesis G80 is the vehicle that got the highest number of votes for being the most impressive, helped surely by the addition of a fully electric model to the lineup this year.
There are a dozen factors considered when voting on a winning car and the G80 excels in every criteria, which is something very few other cars can manage. Arguably, the G80 is the Goldilocks of the Genesis lineup in terms of styling, with exceptional proportions that render it simultaneously sexy yet sophisticated.
The cabin is equally impressive with posh materials throughout and a cockpit design that doesn’t spare elegance in the name of modern technology. There is plenty of tech present, of course, with a pair of widescreen displays forming both the gauge pod (with its very cool 3D graphic effect), and the infotainment system. And even loaded up with the sort of impressive features expected in a luxury car, it’s still easy to learn and operate – something that can’t be said of all the G80’s competitors.
The best contemporary luxury sedans balance serenity with capable performance, and the G80 equalizes the two exceptionally well. Although its ride is quiet and comfortable, the G80 doesn’t shy away from corners, putting its standard all-wheel drive grip and decent steering feel to good use. There’s now a trio of drivetrains from which to choose, including the competent, turbocharged four-cylinder that dispenses 300 horsepower, while the twin-turbo V6 ups the ante to 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. Make no mistake, the G80 is properly quick.
The big news for 2023 is the addition of a fully electric version of the G80 with an 87-kWh battery fuelling a pair of motors offering up a combined output of 365 hp and a whopping 516 lb-ft of torque, giving the EV G80 remarkable, effortless acceleration.
The Electrified G80 offers a range of more than 450 km and can be fast charged at rates up to 350 kW, meaning it’s very easy to live with, even if road trips are required from time to time. Best of all, the Electrified G80 doesn’t look like a typical electric car, closely resembling its handsome, gasoline-powered siblings, save for the filled-in front grille.
To top it all off, the G80 still represents a solid value with a starting price of $69,000 and climbing to $82,500 for a fully loaded 3.5T Sport Plus version. The Electrified G80 adds a considerable chunk to the bottom line, ringing in at $105,000, but still comes in well short of a comparable Tesla, BMW, or Mercedes EV.
Genesis put forth an incredible effort with the G80 and Electrified G80, rightly earning it this win as the Best Overall Car in the 2023 AutoTrader Awards.