When Hyundai decided to take on the premier luxury brands, they directed their assault at the most privileged segment there is the full-size luxury sedan. This a category dominated by the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. It takes gusto to go after such formidable competitors, but Genesis wanted to prove to the world that it wasn't messing around.
The first G90 was up to the task, and it brought the classic Hyundai value play up into that highest strata of motoring. Now, the 2020 Genesis G90 kicks off the second generation.
The new model looks to build upon where the old one left off, starting with a fresh look that comes off as more distinctive than the pseudo-Mercedes styling of the old model. There's also new technology like over-the-air updates for the navigation and a 12.3-inch touchscreen.
Choosing Your Genesis G90
The Genesis G90 is available in two trims: Premium and Ultimate. Pricing starts at $73,195 including destination for the Premium and only climbs to $76,695 for the Ultimate. These prices undercut the competing German sedans by roughly $20,000.
Two engines made the cut for the new Genesis flagship. The 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 powers the Premium, while a 5.0-liter V8 is found under the hood of the Ultimate.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|3.3L Turbo V6||365 hp||376 lb-ft||20 mpg|
|5.0L V8||420 hp||383 lb-ft||19 mpg|
Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available on both for $2,500.
Though the V8 handily trumps the V6 in horsepower, the torque and fuel economy gap between the two is mighty slight. Contributing to the surprising performance of the V6 is its flat torque curve, which is already making peak power at just 1450 RPM.
We'd credit the close fuel economy to the weight of the G90 and the fact that the turbo is constantly at work trying to hustle this big sedan around. The V8 doesn't need to be worked so hard but is the naturally thirstier engine.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The G90 has seating for up to five passengers, but it's really made for four to ride in luxury. Being as big as it is, none of those four will be wanting for space; legroom is especially generous, thanks to its 124.4-inch wheelbase, and there's ample 113.2 cubic feet of total passenger volume.
In Ultimate trim, the two rear seats are heated and cooled with 12- or 14-way power adjustment, with the lesser adjustable seat being the one behind the driver. The Ultimate also gets rear-seat entertainment and other luxuries to coddle passengers.
Trunk volume is a rather small 15.7 cubic feet. This number betters the Audi A8's tiny 14.2-cubic-foot trunk, but the luggage compartments in the S-Class and 7-Series both hold more. The G90 doesn't offer folding seatbacks, so don't think you can drop the rear seats to haul bigger items.
The new G90 ups it's game in terms of safety features. Newly standard equipment in this regard includes adaptive cruise control, lane following assist, forward collision avoidance, and a safe exit assist that alerts passengers if an object is approaching the door.
Other standard safety technology includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, a surround-view monitor, and a driver attention monitor.
The old G90 had started to fall behind on the technology front, but the latest model brings it back to the forefront with an all-new 12.3-inch touchscreen harboring an equally new infotainment unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are finally standard on this system. There's also standard navigation, wireless charging, Bluetooth, 17-speaker audio, and a full suite of connected services.
The V6-powered Premium comes very well equipped. Standard features include 22-way power seats, heated and cooled front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, and the full complement of safety and connectivity features previously mentioned. On the outside, there's 19-inch wheels, LED lighting, and a sunroof.
Unlike most cars of this caliber, Genesis doesn't offer any options or extra features. All cars are built to the same spec, and if you want anything extra you'll have to step up to the higher trim level. The only choice you get is the paint and upholstery color, of which there are seven of the former and three of the latter.
The small price increase to the Ultimate buys the V8 engine and a more opulent back seat. You'll find dual 10.3-inch monitors mounted on the back of the front headrests for rear-seat entertainment, heated and ventilated rear seats with memory function, rear-seat vanity mirrors, and a 14-way power right seat and 12-way powered left seat.
If you're doing the driving, stick with the 2020 Genesis G90 Premium, as the V6 is plenty quick and all the features you'd want come standard. For those with a chauffeur, the Ultimate and its sumptuous rear quarters is the way to go.