Choosing a flagship for its affordability may seem like tuxedo shopping at Walmart, but the fact that the 2018 Genesis G90 offers nearly all of the luxury features and technology found in the products of established flagship makers at their used car prices makes the Genesis a respectable choice. Its styling is an acquired taste, and its interior is filled with more buttons than a shirt factory, but unless either fact is a deal breaker, buyers looking for value over brand cachet would do well to consider this Korean upstart.
USED 2018 Genesis G90 FOR SALE NEAR ME
2018 Genesis G90 Overview
What's New for 2018
LED headlights that turn around bends are now standard on base G90's, the 5.0 Ultimate model gains a standard rear seat entertainment system with dual seatback-mounted 10.3-inch monitors, and both trims now include standard glovebox-mounted CD/DVD players.
Choosing Your Genesis G90
Put simply, G90s come with either a six- or eight-cylinder engine and in rear- or all-wheel drive forms. Apart from that, the only decisions a buyer need make are which of its seven exterior paints they’d like matched to one of its pair of interior color schemes.
The base model – the $69,325 (including $975 destination) 3.3T Premium – is named for its 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. For $3,500 more one can move up to the $72,825 5.0 Ultimate RWD and its 5.0-liter V8 with 420 hp and 383 lb-ft. All-wheel-drive is a $2,500 option with either engine. EPA ratings on the two very different engines are remarkably similar, at 17 mpg city, 24 highway, and 20 combined for the V6 (regardless of drivetrain), with the V8 rated at 16/24/19 (RWD) and 15/23/18 (AWD).
All G90s feature the same eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and Intelligent Drive Mode, which allows drivers to choose transmission, throttle, steering, and suspension control setting combinations, either preset (Eco and Sport), adaptive (Smart), or custom (Individual).
There are two available trims:
As strange as it sounds, the row in which one plans to sit – or seat others – best dictates which G90 model is the best fit. Though it offers slightly better performance, the real reason to choose the 5.0 Ultimate is its enhanced rear seat comfort, convenience, and entertainment equipment. If you won't be riding in the back (or don't much care for those who are), save the $3,500 with the 3.3T and enjoy its additional fuel economy.
2018 Genesis G90 Review
The 2018 Genesis G90, the full-size luxury sedan flagship of Hyundai's relatively new premium brand, provides a luxurious interior and a comfortable ride. Compared with more established upscale brands, the G90 has an old-school luxury feel with less emphasis on performance, but only does so in order to help separate the harsh realities of the road from the occupants inside. This is a noble goal, and the G90 does it well, swallowing up the miles on open roads without the slightest disturbance. But it's also held back by an inconspicuous design, a lack of brand cachet, and a mundane driving character.
Although offered with a V8 in the top trim, if you're looking for the best value, you'll want to stick with the base G90 3.3T Premium. The V8 is powerful, but the G90 isn't a performance sedan and the extra power doesn't provide much net benefit. Additionally, the upgrades that accompany the 5.0 Ultimate trim really only benefit the back seat passengers, so unless you're planning on being chauffeured, you really won't miss much at all.
Genesis goes the opposite direction of brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW by loading the G90 up with a plethora of luxury features while offering no options, making us wonder if everyone else is just scamming people into spending more money. The only real option is all-wheel drive, but we'd stick with the rear-wheel-drive configuration and save $2,500. All-wheel drive may give a bit more traction in slippery conditions, but a good set of tires does the same.
- Model: 2018 Genesis G90 3.3T Premium
- Engine:3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6
- Output: 365 hp / 376 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain:Rear-wheel drive
- MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
- Options: None
- Base Price: $69,345 (including a $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:: $69,345
The G90 is offered with the choice of two engines: a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, and a 5.0-liter V8 generating 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Both are good, but the V6 is the better choice. Although the V8 comes with a nice engine note, the G90 isn't equipped to make use of that power, and the V8's extra weight gives it an acceleration sensation that's largely the same as that of the V6.
An updated interpretation of the all-American luxo-barge, the best part of the G90's performance is the ride. Contemporary luxury sedans attempt to be both sporty and comfortable, largely because of market demands. Unfortunately, these two concepts are often at odds with each other, so in chasing performance, many luxury sedans have lost the ability to cosset and insulate occupants from the real world. This isn't the case with the G90, where a luxurious and comfortable ride has been prioritized. The adaptive suspension offers three driving modes, Comfort, Comfort Plus, and Sport, but don't be fooled, as the Sport setting is still pillowy soft compared to sport sedans from Germany and Detroit.
The supple, high-tech suspension, smooth V6, and slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission combine to produce a refined highway cruiser with excellent merging and passing response, capable of eating up mile after highway mile.
At the same time, the overly light steering makes the G90 feel a bit out of its element on curvy roads, where body lean is all too evident, while the V8 offers only a hint of additional response.
The Genesis G90 is a study in design understatement, preferring to fly under the radar behind a badge that compels onlookers to ask, "What is that?" By its size alone, the G90 manages to command respect, although it hides a nearly two-and-a-half ton girth relatively well beginning with an understated front fascia that displays the largest rendition yet of Hyundai's "cascading grille" design.
A deeply scalloped upper character line starts at the trailing upper edge of the grille, tracing a line just below the beltline, and ends just ahead of the taillights. The rear fascia is equally restrained and features two chrome strips – one just above the license plate surround, and a lower one that wraps around the lower portion of the bumper just above twin chrome-framed trapezoidal exhaust outlets.
The sedate exterior is wrapped around a spacious (113.2 cubic feet), serene interior that's elegant, timeless, and worthy of luxury car status, with a plethora of features that are packed into it at no extra cost. Even base models have nearly everything, including a full suite of driver assistance features, an adaptive suspension, adaptive automatic LED headlights, and a surround-view camera. Additionally, all models receive superlatively comfortable Nappa leather seats that are heated, ventilated, and adjustable 22 ways for the driver and 16 ways for the front passenger. And while the rear bench has been optimized for outboard passengers, there's plenty of room back there for three adults.
A suede headliner, power door closures, acoustic laminated windows, and three-zone automatic climate control are also standard, and nearly the entire litany of standard features found on the G90 would be considered optional in any other luxury sedan, dramatically inflating the price of those vehicles.
But perfection is eluded as the interior is offered in only black or beige, the rear seat doesn't fold (a feature that's standard even on the lowly Hyundai Accent and limits the G90's versatility), while – unlike other standard-bearing luxury sedans – no first-class-like rear seat arrangement with individual reclining buckets and a wide center console is offered.
The Best and Worst Things
The best thing about the G90 is the staggering number of standard features they've crammed into it while still keeping the price reasonably low. Most competitors would charge you for the seat belts if they could, but the G90 has no options or packages, and only two trim levels. It's an incredible value for a luxury car.
The biggest downside to the G90 is the amount of body roll experienced during cornering and on highway entrance ramps. While we praise the G90's commitment to comfort, minimizing body roll without compromising ride quality has been largely figured out by now. Additionally, the light steering can make the car feel floaty without much sensation of control, which can be a bit unnerving on curvy roads.
Right For? Wrong For?
The Genesis G90 is the perfect full-size luxury car for someone who wants all the amenities of a luxury car, but could care less about standing out or the overall driving experience. Without advertising wealth, it manages to provide everything that makes luxury car ownership great.
At the same time, the G90 isn't for those who enjoy driving. It's just not fun to drive in any trim, as comfort has been given the priority. If you want a large sedan that meets that need, you'll want to look in the direction of the Germans and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, or Porsche Panamera – but be prepared to spend more money.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 Genesis G90 is bringing the joy of old-school luxury back and is a smart choice for those who just want a luxurious experience, but it does so by sacrificing performance. It has a great set of standard features, straightforward pricing, and the ability to isolate occupants from the harsh realities of the road. It's every bit as luxurious as competitors, but it does so with a much more modest price tag.