What is it: The Genesis G90 is the full-size luxe-mobile from Genesis. Unlike the smaller G80 and sportier G70, the G90 has its fingers on the pulse of ride comfort and the idea of luxury, at a relative bargain. The Genesis name started as a model in Hyundai’s lineup. That was eventually spun off to start a true luxury marque for the Korean automaker. The G90 was the first model to bear the Genesis badge, and there might not have been a better way to kick the brand off
Key Competitors: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, BMW 7-Series
Base Price: $72,845 As-Tested: $72,845
Highlights: For 2019, the Genesis G90 3.3-liter gets standard LED lighting with Genesis’s “Dynamic Bending Light” feature, which just turns the light in the direction of your turn. Other than that, the Genesis remains largely unchanged for the new year, and that’s not a bad thing.
Our Opinion: We’re no strangers to the Genesis G90. Years ago, we spent a year with a 3.3-liter model that was spec’ed similarly to this 2019 model. We loved our long-termer and we were all sad to see it go. Driving its newer sibling, it’s safe to say that the Genesis G90 is just as good as our long termer, which is a great sign.
Let’s start with the facts and figures. Powering this Genesis is a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6. It’s not the most powerful engine in the Genesis lineup: the 5.0-liter V8 takes that spot, but the 3.3 is more refined. The exhaust is whisper quiet, and you have to have better hearing than I to get any hint of turbo whistle. Despite the turbocharger, power delivery is linear and predictable. The eight-speed transmission shifts quickly and smoothly and feeds power to the all-wheel-drive system before transferring the power to the pavement. It’s not as quick an AMG-badge wearing Mercedes or an M-badged BMW, but 365 ponies is plenty for this beast.
You’ll have to pay keen attention to the speedometer, though, because it’s hard to tell quite how fast you’re traveling. The cabin is well insulated from engine and road noise. Of course, at full-fledged highway speeds you will hear a hint of wind creeping into the cabin — it’s still a car. In case you get lulled to sleep by the posh cabin and lack of invasive noises, the Genesis will routinely remind you how you’re driving via the central gauges, there’s a driver attention alert system — telling you if it thinks it might be wise to pull over and have some coffee.
You’ll want to take this thing on road trips. The G90 has one of the best cabins you’ll find for the price. The materials are soft, elegant and well thought-out. The cabin is ergonomic and pragmatic. The only minor issue would be the lack of technological advances, which likely is reflected in the price. There’s no night vision, which is fine by me. There isn’t Apple CarPlay or Android Auto either and that’s much less forgivable than the lack of zany extras. Still, the native media system works well at feeding whatever podcast or Spotify playlist you have on your phone through the speakers of the Genesis. Going further, the addition of CarPlay or Android Auto might make the premium experience feel less luxurious than using the native media system. Maybe.
Despite large wheels, the Genesis G90 handles bumps and road faults like a champ. The suspension absorbs most of the problems you’ll find, with the seats making up the difference. The large wheels do help the car look more luxurious, but it would likely be even more comfortable with extra sidewall.
My least favorite part of the Genesis G90 might be how it looks. You can argue that it’s kind of derivative of styling trends that other automakers have been using for years. The grille is reminiscent of Audi, the taillights and badge remind me of Bentley and the side profile reminiscent of BMW or Mercedes. Though, if being a little bland or derivative is its worst fault, that’s acceptable to me.
The G90 is the perfect place for Genesis to hang its flag: the price is right, the features are there and it feels wholly complete. It doesn’t have the badge power that the luxury stalwarts have, yet, but if Genesis plays the long game, it will.
–Wesley Wren, associate editor
Base Price: $72,845
As-Tested Price: $72,845
Drivetrain: 3.3-liter turbocharged V6, eight-speed automatic, AWD
Output: 365 hp @ 6,000 rpm; 376 lb-ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
Curb Weight: 4,784 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 17/24/20 mpg
Pros: The interior is incredible, with no shortage of a premium, luxury feeling
Cons: The styling is a bit derivative, but not objectionable
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