The G90 is the Genesis brand’s inaugural flagship. You may remember it as the Hyundai Equus. I drove the V8 model last year and was wowed by its true luxury offering. This time around I’ve got the twin turbo V6 with all-wheel drive, a popular build combination for those in the Snowbelt.
Collecting glowing reviews, including one from me, and chosen as a finalist for Car of The Year, the G90 is making outstanding first impressions for the burgeoning Genesis brand. With a starting price below $70 grand, the G90 tests your vanity by providing sumptuous sedan spaciousness without the brand name label. Some people need that to feed their ego. But those who don’t will be rewarded with a car that does nearly everything on a very high level while putting at least $10 grand back in the wallet. Significantly more commodious and more powerful than a comparable Audi A8 L, the G90 3.3T AWD is priced at $71,550 and everything you see here is standard. A similarly optioned Audi costs $89,000. So the value proposition of the Genesis is obviously great. It also includes 3 years of comprehensive complimentary coverage including scheduled maintenance, valet services from your dealer, technology updates and more.
Who doesn’t love a V8, but this all-new direct-injected twin-turbocharged V6 provides a stimulating level of sportiness to the G90’s luxury bias. When running on premium fuel, it produces 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque resulting in smooth, effortless, robust acceleration and worry-free passing prowess. Paired with an 8-speed automatic with sport mode mapping and paddle shifters, it returns 20mpg in combined driving in all-wheel drive form and will accept regular unleaded. Depending on model, that’s only 1 or 2 mpg off of the V8’s numbers and this car weighs about 120 pounds less. Like Hyundai, Genesis calls their all-wheel drive system H-TRAC. Sourced from the global leader in AWD systems Magna International, it can direct up to 40% of available power to the front axle. Normal and Eco modes provide more traction in all-weather conditions, while the Sport setting gives a more agile feel by increasing the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels. To maximize efficiency, the system directs available torque to the rear wheels during steady-state highway cruising, improving fuel economy and noise, vibration and harshness.
If something’s missing by not choosing the V8 I’m not sure what it is. This V6 is just as lively, comes with no turbo lag and 1 added MPG.
As I previously learned, the adaptive control suspension is a ride comfort dream and the steering is superior thanks to its variable gearing which makes turning this car in tight spots like child’s play while also providing a direct connection to the wheels…never a Hyundai strong suit. Even on curvy roads, it drives like the big car boss that it is.
Without the ability to project my smartphone onto the screen and the fact that this infotainment system isn’t as user friendly as the one employed in low end Hyundais is a G90 problem. Otherwise this cabin is true luxury…as long as you’re not into personalization.
Unlike the other big boys, Genesis makes the decisions for you so other than exterior color and 1 of 2 interior color schemes your G90 3.3T is going to look exactly like the next guy’s. The V8 model adds some features but it’ll by in large look the same. Now some will appreciate that ease of ordering while others will wish they could make it their own.
It’s been 4 months since my first G90 test-drive and other than my beef with some of the in-car tech, the G90 still impresses in a big way. I’d have no issue giving up the LED headlights and power rear seats of the V8 model for this stellar V6. Plus, you still get great driver assistance tech like this Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start that can manage the mundane driving of stop and go traffic.
As Genesis continues to add to its 2 car lineup, the G90 is putting the brand’s best foot forward and its one that’s well-heeled.