It was not that long ago that Genesis was nothing more than an upscale model within the Hyundai model lineup, joining luxury models the Azera, the Equus. Now the brand has taken that to the next level and emerged from its cocoon spreading its wings.
Genesis has become a much sought after and desired line of luxury cars offering three sedans and a luxury SUV. The sporty G70 provides an upscale four-door sedan for younger automotive enthusiasts, and it still offers a manual transmission. The G80 an executive car that is squarely aimed at that mid-line luxury sedan buyer who may be interested in an E-Class, and ES or five-series. Then there is the new GV80 Sport Utility Vehicle, which many consumers are choosing for space and comfort. And the full-size limousine like sedan the G90.
Our G90 Review Vehicle
The tester we have is a 2020 G90 Ultimate with the 5.0-liter V8 engine and rear-wheel-drive in Adriatic Blue with Indigo blue interior trim. While it has a very classic four-door full-size sedan look, that you might not realize that it is a Genesis. As we do not think of cars of this size coming from a Korean or even a Japanese car company.
This 2020 G90 was set up in the rear-wheel-drive ultimate with out any added options, and the original sticker shows a $76,695 price including freight and handling.
While this one is a classic powerful sedan, where it shines is in the rear passenger seating area, which is often an after thought for most full-size vehicle manufacturers.
The G90 has a 124.4-inch wheelbase – with a 204.9-inch length and 75.4 inch width and 58.9 inch height. A boat in today’s world. With seating for five, but in reality, if your rear seat passengers want to take advantage of all the features available to them, it would be a four-seater as that center seat folds down to become an arm rest that houses all the controls for the rear seats as well as the entertainment system.
Advantages you ask. Rear seats that are heated and cooled and recline 14-way Left, and 12-way right rear seats. And while they say the G90 seats 5, in reality, this is a car you could pack five people into, though 2 rear seat passengers and 2- front seat occupants will be best served here. The rear legroom is plentiful, which you will want for rear passenger comfort, notice the rear-door size is larger than the front doors. Making getting in and out easy.
While the rear video screens are impressive at first sight, they are really just redundant to the front center screen. I did not find them to be independent display units that if you wanted to play one movie on the right, and stream a program on the left that you could do that. Nor did I find that they offered independent headphone jacks so that each rear seat could enjoy their video without sharing it to others in the car.
The G90 comes in several trim levels – The 3.3 V-6 Turbo that comes in at 72,950. And the G90 5.0-liter V-8 for another $2,750. Both are available in both in rear or all-wheel drive.
All trim levels are equipped with Genesis adaptive control suspension with electronic damping control, full LED headlamps with LED accents. Napa leather seating surfaces with microfiber suede headliner, something you find in high-end vehicles. A 22-way power driver seat with power lumbar and shoulder and bolster adjustment. Both front seats are heated and ventilated. The Lexicon® 17-speaker audio system with Quantum Logic Surround. A proper sized front wireless (QI) Charging pad that fits larger size phones. As in many upscale cars offer, Genesis offers its own connected services, or a concierge that helps you with reservations, service or other needs at the touch of a button.
The 5.0 model adds A Rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10.3 HD monitors that are connected to the cars Lexicon audio system. I found it interesting you could not separate the front and rear independent of each other. Do the rear seat passengers want to share with the driver what they may be listening to? Rear seats have power adjustments for the seats as well has being heated and ventilated. Two outboard rear seat illuminated vanity mirrors. Honestly the only thing you are missing is a fold down tray.
The G90 offers all of the safety you could want, driver attention warning, safe exit assist, where the car tells you that you are opening a door when there is someone or something there. Lane keeping assist with lane following assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist and view monitor, meaning that the driver’s display shows a life video of what is happening in that rear corner. Forward collision avoidance assist, rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist and the full surround view monitor due to the cameras located all around the vehicle.
While we do not think about it, it is the autonomous vehicle technology that brings forth much of this safety that we now have using both cameras and radar. This is what will save injury, lives and property damage, and brings the value of any vehicle up.
Powerplant and Rear Wheel Drive
Something that is a bit of a rarity today is a V8 powered rear wheel drive vehicle. We have not seen those since the late 1980s. With the world going for front drive vehicles with smaller lighter turbo-charged engines with less pistons, it was interesting to get behind the wheel of this 5-liter V8 GDI engine with 420 Horsepower powered car.
The large 5-litre engine is classic Korean function and design like other powerplants from Hyundai and Kia with a direct fuel injection. The 3.3 V-6 Turbo produces 365 Hp 376 torque and fuel economy of 17 to 24 MPG. The G90 5.0-liter V-8 offers 420 Horsepower 383 pounds of torque and fuel economy of 16 to 24 MPG. All-wheel drive is an option, though we did not experience that. All of the G90 vehicles come with an 8-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC ® and paddle shifters. The paddle shifters we could have done without, as we did not find them to be anything that provided and important improvement in the sportiness of driving the G90.
And the G90 – which is the top of the Genesis line, designed for the passenger to be driven, aka luxury limo service – comes in at a price that even an ride share driver can afford.
While this 2020 model is priced at $76,725, Which includes a 1025 inland freight and delivery handling charge. The comparable 2021 model has increased in price – $77,725, though if you want a 2021 AWD model add about 3 grand to $80,625.
Genesis offers a lot of car for the money, and the G90 is no different. Do not think of this brand as a more affordable European luxury car, that is not the image they want consumers to have. Genesis has grown to become its own upscale brand with independent dealerships from its Hyundai roots. Korean car companies have both come way since they first brought cars to the US about three decades ago, and during that time, have improved their game considerably.
If you are looking for a solid old-school luxury sedan that is well-priced, the G90 is a good choice. It is not an S-Class, though it is more than what you might get from an American full-size luxury car. Especially with an $80K price Tag.
Would I buy this car? If I were needing a vehicle where I drove passengers around, then yes, this would be a great car for that.
Words and Images by William West Hopper
Mr. Hopper has been interested in automobile since a young age. Serving as President of the Washington Automotive Press Association for three years. He continues to serve on WAPA’s executive committee as well as being a member of the International Auto Press Association. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.