by John Tallodi
The Genesis G90 is an executive luxury sedan that, like Infiniti and Lexus before it has splintered off its parent company, in this case Hyundai, to form its own luxury brand. Packed with almost every conceivable option at a very competitive price point, the 2017 Genesis G90 also offers solid dynamics and high build quality to tempt shoppers away from the European competition.
While the G90 clearly borrows external styling cues from various competitors the interior is all its own design. The modern dashboard layout, quality materials and very comfortable seats all aim to take on the best in the segment and in most instances the fit and finish is top class.
Some minor switchgear and a few plastic trim pieces do not match the best European rivals but then the difference is small and the price gap is huge. Few occupants will have trouble getting comfortable in the generously proportioned seats. The rear row is also a pleasant place to spend longer journeys in although if you want reclining power rear seats then only the top trim level will do.
The G90 is first and foremost a large and comfortable luxury sedan, it tackles uneven pavement and rough roads with the confidence you might expect in this class. The suspensions ability to keep the G90 travelling along serenely does mean that it is a bit too softly sprung for more spirited maneuvers. The Genesis pitches about a bit in sharp turns and while it has enough pace and grip to cover distance quickly it is not the kind of luxury sedan you want to hustle along a mountain pass.
The G90 is available with either a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 or a 5.0-liter V8. The 3.3-liter engine produces 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque while the big V8 makes 420 hp and 383 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and come standard with rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive an option.
Acceleration in both variants is strong, the smaller engine offering fuel consumption figures of 17mpg in city driving and 24mpg on the highway. The V8 posts almost identical figures, and with its more cultured exhaust note and additional 44 hp may be the better choice. The 8-speed transmission shifts effortlessly through its ratios only lagging a bit if a quick overtaking move or sharp kick down is required.
The G90 is available in two basic trim packages. Genesis have packed nearly everything into the G90 and your options are down to engine choice and rear or all-wheel drive.
The 3.3T Premium trim is the ‘base’ model and comes standard with the 365 hp V6 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. 19-inch alloys are standard.
Luxury and convenience features tick all the expected boxes such as heated and ventilated power leather seats, wood interior trim, ambient lighting, climate control for rear occupants and a 17-speaker premium audio system. Adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension, head-up display, hands-free power trunk and soft close doors add that extra level of luxury that shoppers expect in this category.
On the technology front a 12.3-inch infotainment system offers Bluetooth and smartphone integration with navigation, satellite radio, USB ports and wireless charging all included.
Standard safety features include a whole host of driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, Genesis Telematics, lane keep assist, collision warning and pedestrian detection, surround parking sensors and camera system.
The top 5.0 Ultimate trim adds power ventilation and memory function to the rear seats and is available solely with the 420 hp V8 engine. Interior accents change from wood to a beige and ash trim and all-wheel drive is also optional.
Despite the vast standard specification list some shoppers may note that currently only 5 exterior color options are available and interior finishes are either wood or ash depending on trim level.
The Genesis G90 is a compelling new offering in the European dominated luxury sedan class. Strong performance and a very comprehensive standard specifications list at a price that undercuts its rivals make it worthy of consideration.
A limited exterior color palette, soft driving dynamics and minor interior trim that fall short of the best in its class are its few shortcomings.