Ambitiously pursuing rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S-class and the BMW 7-series, the Genesis G90 sets out to provide similar space, comfort, and luxury but at a price that’s more attainable. It’s an intriguing formula, so much so that we’ve decided to experience it for ourselves: we’ve ordered a G90 of our own for one of our 40,000-mile long-term tests. The G90 has comfort-first driving dynamics that won’t raise the pulse of serious drivers, but it provides a plush ride; long journeys are rejuvenating rather than tedious. Even the G90’s least expensive model—it’s hard to call it “base”—is fitted with handsome materials and provides a comprehensive list of equipment that some other brands offer as optional extras. The well-appointed but restrained interior complements exterior styling that is handsome and upscale but avoids overtly flashy details. The harmonious G90 is a low-key luxury sedan that’s high on value.
What’s New for 2018?
The Genesis brand turns two this year, and, to celebrate, a handful of new features have been added to its flagship G90 sedan. Full LED adaptive headlamps that swivel with steering inputs are now standard across the range, as is a CD/DVD player located inside the G90’s glovebox. The top-spec Ultimate trim, available only with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, now features a rear-seat entertainment system with two 10.3-inch high-definition displays mounted on the back of each of the front-seat backrests.
What Was New for 2017?
As an all-new model for 2017, the G90 is truly Genesis’s, well, Book of Genesis. It officially launched Hyundai’s luxury brand as a stand-alone entity, along with the mid-size G80 sedan and, soon, the compact G70 sedan.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
Of the two engines that Genesis offers in the G90, we prefer the twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6. Compared with the optional 5.0-liter V-8, it’s nearly as powerful, provides virtually the same performance, and is more fuel efficient. Picking the 3.3T Premium—as Genesis calls its entry G90 trim—and the rear-wheel-drive layout costs $69,325 and pampers with luxury features such as:
• Heated and ventilated front seats
• 12.3-inch touchscreen display with navigation
• Three-zone automatic climate control
• Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist
All-wheel drive adds $2500 to the bottom line, and even so equipped the G90 manages to undermine most rivals on price by thousands while providing nearly equivalent levels of luxury.
Selecting between the G90’s two engine choices is like looking at a list: the newer, fully modern twin-turbocharged V-6 is the less expensive option, while the finely aged naturally aspirated V-8 costs extra. Neither engine provides blistering acceleration, but both are so quiet and refined that you won’t mind.
The EPA has not amended its fuel-efficiency estimations for any of the G90’s available powertrains for 2018. We expect our real-world testing from 2017 to apply to this year’s model as well.