2023 Genesis G90 First Drive: exemplary daring, unencumbered by tradition

2023 All-new Genesis G90 is perhaps the most daring design in the large luxury car market. It’s still a luxury limousine and good value (for this affluent class), but it’s as unmistakably stylish as its conservative peers. Alex Kalogianis

Korean automaker Genesis is in a very unique position. It lacks the many decades of legacy that other luxury car brands can stand for and inspire, direct or nostalgia. But instead of viewing this as a negative, the people behind Genesis find it very liberating. “We are not afraid to be bold,” said Claudia Marques, COO of Genesis. Forbes wheels.

Without the burden of legacy, Genesis can be as bold with its vehicles as it pleases, most evident in its flagship sedan, the G90. All-new for 2023, the latest G90 is everything the luxury automaker wants it to be: bold, luxurious and different. But even without a legacy, it’s saddled with an old-fashioned powertrain in an era when electric cars increasingly dominate the luxury of first-class cars.

The G90 is bigger and more powerful

The 2023 Genesis G90 is an all-new version of the young company’s flagship sedan. It is based on the brand’s “M3” platform which debuted on the G80 and GV80. This platform is designed to be used in a variety of applications, all focused on maximizing luxurious interior space while portraying a low, wide stance for an aggressive look.

The all-wheel drive sedan is powered by the brand’s familiar 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, either making 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque as on the G80 Sport or equipped with a 48-volt electronic supercharger. This latter option (called the G90 3.5T E-SC AWD) gives the hybrid sedan mild characteristics and a slight increase in total power output, specifically 409 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.

2023 Genesis G90 Miami
Forbes Wheels got to try out the new G90 at a media event hosted by Genesis last month, and even among the car-rich surroundings of Miami, the big sedan cut a sleek look. Alex Kalogianis

Along with the extra juice, the electronic supercharger aims to fill in dips in power such as at full power and in between shutting down the fuel-efficient engine. This is only powered by brake regeneration and the energy is stored in a small battery placed in the front wheel well.

Whatever the configuration, power is channeled to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The 3.5 E-SC AWD rides on an optional adaptive air suspension and, as on the G80 Sport, includes rear-wheel steering to reduce the car’s large cornering circle and stabilize it at speed.

Live Visuals

For its second generation, the G90 has been visually upgraded to be more in tune with Genesis’ modern visual language. The car gains the distinct two-track headlight lines that extend into the turn signals, which also lead to the basis of the taillights as well. Overall, the goal was to give the G90 a “sporty chic” look that would definitely distinguish it from its contemporaries.

If styling isn’t enough to grab your attention, the G90 delivers on its promise of distinction with its tall, extra-wide proportions, making most cars parked next to it a dwarf. At 207.7 inches in length, it is larger than a Lexus LS and about the same size as a Mercedes-Benz EQS. The new BMW 2023 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class are slightly larger, but both don’t have the slick visuals of the Genesis.

The G90 shows its best on the inside, as it is elegant on the outside. This is done using a wealth of premium materials, thoughtful design choices and an abundance of tools for both drivers and passengers.

Starting at the front, passengers are treated to the G90’s simple and elegant cockpit layout. Two 12.3-inch digital screens serve as a dashboard and infotainment displays backed by a touchscreen dedicated to comfort settings. It is mixed with a wide variety of physical buttons, switches, and knobs that add quite a bit of glamor to the whole case, but are hard to sift through on the go.

Fortunately, most features can be accessed directly by rear seat passengers who have their own touch screen interface for the most comfort and entertainment functions.

The soft microfiber suede headlining and Nappa leather seats are embellished with wood inlays featuring a design technique called “Sanggam” that originated in Korean pottery. The wood is similarly inlaid with a contrasting metallic design to highlight Genesis’ connection to Korean culture.

2023 Genesis G90 Interior
Like other recent Genesis models, the cabin of the G90 boasts rich details and a technical introduction without falling into the trap of too many screens. Physical controls for many functions are retained, and fixtures feel expensive. origin

Tech Flex

Genesis uses technology largely as flexibility in the G90 and starts before drivers even get into the car. A digital key attached to a profile of your iPhone or Apple Watch can be assigned to not only unlock the car, but preload the seat, comfort and other settings.

Using ultra-wideband chip technology, the G90 can detect the user’s position relative to the vehicle, open the correct door, open the trunk or even identify who the driver is from among several users and load the correct profile.

Once inside, passengers are then treated to a number of gadgets meant to enhance the experience such as a UV sanitation room built into the armrest for phones, massage chairs, a 26-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system, customizable ambient lighting and controllable air conditioning. Climate filled with three different fragrances to launch in the cabin. All four functions are combined into a ‘mood coordinator’, which influences the cabin environment to make occupants feel calm and energetic or just happy.

2023 Genesis G90 rear seat
The G90’s front seats are wonderfully comfortable, but this is a car meant for rear seat passengers, who get reclining seats and their own infotainment systems and HVAC controls. origin

Quieter and less stormy

Sitting behind the wheel of the G90 is very commanding. It’s very easy to be impressed with the range of functions available to the driver, although many of them are buried in touch screen menus and not fully usable on the move. Optional drive modes affect throttle and brake response, adjustable air suspension and rear axle steering.

At rest by default, the G90 puts the best designed shoe forward, creating a comfortable, seamless environment for everyone. Just like the new Audi S8, the front cameras check the road surface in front of you and the air suspension adjusts in response. This all removes small bumps and greatly mitigates large depressions caused by drilling.

Due to its role as an executive shuttle, the G90 has a “driver” mode that shifts all comfort settings as far back as possible, prioritizing overall rear-seat passenger comfort. Useful for those who tend to get green around the nostrils while driving.

2023 Genesis G90
It looks sporty, with those muscular punches and low beltline, but the G90 is more about comfort than performance. It rides like an old-school luxury liner and doesn’t pretend to be a sports sedan. Alex Kalogianis

The G90 is the most aggressive in Sport mode, but even there, the aggressiveness doesn’t measure up to the high volume. Sport mode or not, even the supercharged e-G90 is hesitant about power mode, completely discouraging any true sport driving as it transports the 5,000-plus pound luxury land vehicle from the boardroom to the club.

The controls and handling make for a very enjoyable experience, but any dynamic driving experiences take a back seat to its luxurious focus, which is the best place to sit in the G90 anyway.

Style, taste and know how

There’s so much going on with the Genesis G90 that it can’t be fully explored in a few days with it, but it argues its status as a luxury car disruptor is loud and clear, just as the original Lexus LS400 did in the 1990s. But while this car has swept into the background in recent years as a budget alternative to the Germans, it’s the G90’s striking design and nods to Korean culture that have made its way to help it stand out in all the right ways.

Even better, it’s still less expensive than mainstays like the S-Class, but it doesn’t look or feel that way. The G90s will start arriving this fall at $89,495 for the G90 3.5T and $99,795 for the G90 3.5T E-SC. (Both prices include a $1,095 destination fee), with Mercedes starting at $112,150.

Despite the huge amount of features, the G90 also eschews the hallmark that has been around for a long time strictness For legacy brands that struggle to maintain their relevance. There are a lot of good things, but they are all in the service of the passenger experience, and most of them are quite streamlined.

2023 Genesis G90 Wheel and Headlights
2023 Genesis G90 Badge

However, the lackluster dynamic performance and averaging 20-21 mpg is a sharp reminder of how quickly electric cars are becoming the frontrunners. First-class EVs deliver premium gaming, experience and style while delivering new levels of power and performance. It’s something newcomers like Lucid are dealing with and old manufacturers like Mercedes are chasing after.

The G90 may be intended as a quiet executive cruiser rather than a high-performance luxury car, but its EV rival has little problem doing both, even though the Lucid Air, BMW i7 and EQS all cost more. in some cases, Many more.

While there aren’t any current plans for an electric G90, Genesis has already released its first EV, the GV60 crossover, and the electrified G80 will go on sale this fall. Since the brand has said it will not launch any new combustion vehicles after 2025 and aims to transition to all electric vehicles by 2030, the future is an open book.

In the meantime, without the burden of having to look like an A8, S-Class or 7 Series, the Genesis ends up looking more exciting than any of them, from the sidewalk or the cabin. In that respect, the G90 is an excellent foundation for the future of a brand with very little hindsight to care about as it advances toward a luxury future.

2023 Genesis G90 Rear
At more than 207 inches long, the 2023 G90 is a big machine, but the stem can confuse. The Genesis specification lists just 12 cubic feet in the G90 3.5T AWD, and only 10.4 in the E-supercharged version. Alex Kalogianis

Genesis provided housing and meals for Empowerment Forbes wheels Let’s bring you this driving report from a first person perspective. despite Forbes wheels We occasionally participate in manufacturer-hosted events, and our coverage is independent, unbiased, and intended to provide consumers with an objective view of each vehicle we test.

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