A relative newcomer, Genesis defends its claim in the luxury arena with bold designs and fresh take on the traditional segment. The South Korean automaker – Hyundai’s luxury arm – launched its first nameplate with the full-size G90 in 2017 and impressed us right out of the gate, winning a comparison test on the power of its well-appointed cabin and high-tech features.
Since then, Genesis has fleshed out its lineup with a range of sedans and crossovers. The G70 sports sedan won the 2019 Car of the Year award, and the GV70 compact SUV received our golden caliper as the Best SUV of 2022. Sales reflected the brand’s overall excellence as well; Genesis managed to move nearly 50,000 units in 2021 — more than double its previous best and more than a third of Cadillac’s unit count despite the brand’s more than a century start. However, the G90 has been just a face-lift since its arrival. It’s remained a solid value in terms of features and comfort but lacks the luxury of newer versions of long-lasting nameplates.
Now, the 2023 Genesis G90 is all-new and ready to challenge the enterprise of the full-size luxury sedan once again, featuring a new exterior design, an impressive interior and a new light-hybrid drivetrain.
We were intrigued by the 2023 G90 as soon as the first images of the new luxury sedan surfaced online. Genesis calls its design language ‘sports chic’, which is manifested in its blend of organic and straight lines. Additionally, Genesis uses a two-line graphic of LED headlights and dual taillight bars to give the G90 an instantly recognizable front and rear view. We especially love how the lighting elements in the wheel wells flow and reappear in front of each front door.
The distinctive “front grille” mimics the shape of the shield in the center of the Genesis logo, a shape also reflected in the shape of the exhaust finishes. Both the grille and available 21-inch wheels benefit from a multi-layered design, with layers of texture to create more nuance and depth. The result is a car far more elegant than the outgoing model, with the styling and presence necessary to sit at the top of the Genesis lineup.
First class cabin
The improvements extend to the G90’s cabin, which feels like part of a contemporary luxury car. Leather, high-quality metal and other decoration materials are on display, while exposed plastics are few and far between. The dual 12.3-inch screens include a fully digital instrument cluster configurable to a variety of styles, as well as a main infotainment screen with great graphics and fast responses to inputs. However, scrolling through horizontally aligned thumbnails can be frustrating if the menu item happens to be at the end of the list. Otherwise, the interior is very user-friendly for the driver.
Unfortunately, buyers who only drive their G90 won’t experience one of its best points, the stunning rear seat. Like other executive sedans of long-standard German and Japanese brands, Genesis generously supplies its second row. Features include heated, massage, and ventilated seats; The best placement in the entire car is the passenger-side rear seat, which can be fully reclined and offers power leg rest. The front passenger seat also folds away to create enough room for most adults to stretch out and wiggle their toes. Power button-activated soft-close front and rear doors add to the overall sense of luxury.
G90 models equipped with this feature also include Driver Mode, which changes the suspension’s damping to provide maximum comfort for rear passengers. When we arrived in Miami, Genesis sent a driver in a G90 to pick us up from the airport. With all the rear shadows blocking the blazing Florida sun, ventilated seats activated, and massaging away, this seemed like a serious upgrade from a flying bus. All of these features can be controlled via a display in the center rear armrest. This small screen is easy to navigate and is placed next to a large handle. Genesis tells us that its home market in South Korea will benefit from this setup at a much higher rate than American consumers, as wealthy Americans tend to drive their own cars.
First Impressions Engine
Since most American owners will find themselves in the driver’s seat, the G90’s road etiquette really matters. Fortunately, Genesis offers two powerful drivetrain options that provide ample power for hauling around this big sedan and its passengers. The base engine is the familiar Genesis 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 that produces 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The high-spec car we drove benefits from an upgraded version of this engine. Genesis supplies the most powerful powertrain option with a supercharged 48V mild hybrid system. Gross output increases to 409 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, with the torque curve greatly improved because the electrically-operated supercharger does not need to be rotated by the engine itself. In fact, its battery is recharged by brake-based regeneration.
On the road, this engine is responsive but comfortable. The unobtrusive nature of the drivetrain lends itself to a very quiet driving experience. Shifts are smooth and fade into the background as the eight-speed automatic transmission, standard for both engines, shifts through the gears. All-wheel drive is standard on all G90s, too. If you end up in a hurry, the big sedan feels lively from a standstill. No sportiness at all, but that speaks to Genesis’ focus on making this sedan feel as luxurious as possible. This is evident in the unobtrusive engine stop/start feature as well. However, even when the V-6 is actively idle, it’s almost imperceptible; The motor rotates at only 500 rpm when the G90 is stationary.
In our top model test car, adaptive air suspension with adjustable ride height gives the G90 a comfortable feel on most road surfaces. When the pavement gets rough, the electronically controlled multi-link system does a great job of reducing the impact of bumps or grooves. The steering is psychedelic, as one might expect from a car like this, but it’s subtle and the rear-wheel steering provides incredible agility in parking lots.
Highway stability was also excellent, and the G90 pummeled miles of straight highways in Florida. Sport mode stabilizes everything, most notably adding heft to the steering, but it has had little effect on the way the G90 copes with itself. In the end, we preferred the rest mode for the majority of our test drives, of course.
We found two trails and as many highway ramps as possible with enough curves to get a feel for the G90’s handling. Its body, which is said to be 12 percent stiffer than the outgoing G90, felt well in control as we slid through the bends. Even with the car softening in driver mode, the rear passenger reported feeling quite comfortable while jogging on the highway outside of Miami Beach. It is truly impressive the progress that has been made for this flagship in just one generation.
The G90 comes equipped with the latest versions of almost all Genesis technologies. Genesis has partnered with Apple and Samsung to allow drivers to use their phones as a remote key. Seven ultrawide sensors allow the vehicle to detect a mobile device when one approaches the G90, resulting in a welcome action that includes a light show and door handles widening. A total of four digital keys can be activated simultaneously, and the car owner can share the keys with friends and family on demand using the Genesis Connected Services app. This same software allows the G90 to perform functions such as flashing lights, honking its horn, and starting or stopping the engine as well. For this test engine, Genesis sent us a digital key via text message. We’ve added it to our Apple Wallet and had no issues using it to lock, unlock and start the car throughout the day. Two traditional switches are included with every G90, but it was surprisingly easy to get used to simply using your phone instead.
All Genesis G90s are equipped with a Bang & Olufsen audio system. Basic models receive a 15-speaker setup, while the high-end versions have a premium 23-speaker arrangement. One trick to partying in the car is a configurable audio scene that uses seven microphones in the cabin to help simulate spaces large and small, such as the Boston Symphony Hall or the living room.
A large number of security features are also included with every G90. Genesis equips the latest versions of its semi-autonomous highway driving assistance technologies, operational detection warning, advanced rear occupant alert, forward collision-avoidance assist, reverse collision-avoidance assist and intelligent remote parking assist throughout the entire range.
Buyers may miss some of the features they expect in an expensive luxury sedan. Genesis’s Face Connect facial recognition, which is available on the GV60 electric crossover, is not offered on the 2023 G90. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are also absent. When pressed, a representative from Genesis said this was done because the wired versions of these phone connectivity systems are more responsive and stable than the wire-free alternatives, but we think it should be up to the buyer to choose how to connect them. device for the car. On the other hand, wireless charging is available in the front and second rows. Other than that, the G90 is as loaded with technology as the flagships, especially since over-the-air updates are standard on all G90 models and are included for the entire life of the vehicle, even when they pass to new owners.
Should I buy a Genesis G90?
Historically, the G90 has been something of value within the full-size luxury sedan segment. It offered great materials and comfort at a much lower price than the competition. This has changed with this new generation. The 2022 G90 started at $74,950; Pricing for the 2023 G90 3.5T AWD starts at $89,495. The version we presented, called the Genesis G90 3.5T E-SC AWD, starts at $99,795. When equipped, our car came in at $100,370, considering the $575 Saville Silver metallic paint. Matte paint colors add $1,500.
That pricing places the G90 above the 2022 BMW 740i, which starts at $87,795, as well as the 2022 Lexus LS500, which starts at $77,175. Pricing for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class starts at $112,150, however, the fully loaded G90 is still a bargain by comparison.
Although the Genesis G90 doesn’t display better, more attractive driving dynamics than most of its competitors, the luxury South Korean automaker’s overemphasis on interior appointments and luxury makes this sedan stand out in its class, beating the first-generation model in terms of refinement and luxury. And most importantly – presence. With the sheer attention to detail, Genesis might have another winner on her hands.
Look well! More details?
|Genesis G90 2023 All Wheel Drive Specifications|
|Base price||$89,495 – $99,795|
|layout||Front engine, 4WD, 5-lane, 4-door sedan|
|Engines||3.5-liter/375-hp/391-lb-ft Twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6; 3.5L/409 HP/405 lb-ft Twin Turbo and Supercharged Electric DOHC 24 Valve V-6|
|transition||8 speed automatic|
|curb weight||4,850-5,200 lbs (CHF)|
|Length x width x height||207.7 x 76.0 x 58.7 inches|
|0-60 mph||5.0-5.3 seconds (MT he is)|
|EPA CITY / HWY / COMB FUEL ECON||17-18 / 24-26 / 20-21 mpg|
|EPA scope, comb||386-405 miles|
|for sale||August 2022|