Refreshed and ready to compete. In 2017, Hyundai spun the Genesis model off into its own brand, which resulted in the midsize Genesis G80 and full-size Genesis G90. The 2020 Genesis G90 battles the best Europe has to offer, including the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series, and it does so with a refreshed look that includes all-new front and rear ends, and a revamped cabin.
Find out below if this new-look budget luxury rig is a legit alternative to German engineering or if it’s just a bargain-bin knockoff.
Slick and conservative body, but that grille. The G90’s massaged looks stand out for their conservative nature, as it looks incredible but does so without much drama. It boasts creases and lines in all the right places and a cab-rearward stance that looks right at home in its class.
The only area where the G90’s looks may cause a slight grimace is upfront, as the grille is big enough to make BMW blush. Bold grilles are a thing in the full-size luxury space, but this Acura-esque beak may be too much for many buyers.
All told, this new design scrapes off the remaining ties the G90 had to its parent company, giving it a look that can battle in the full-size luxury sedan space. Could it use some more tweaking? Yes, but it's light-years ahead of the previous design.
Space, style, and features. The classy and understated styling of the exterior flows seamlessly to the G90’s cabin. It’s clear this is an interior for the more discerning buyer with its wood and metal trim. Still, Genesis avoids the temptation to get too complicated and instead opts to stick with a more reserved look that focuses on horizontal lines.
Want space? The G90’s got it with 41.5 inches of front legroom and 37.8 inches of rear legroom. Add to that a 15.7-cubic-foot trunk, and this big sedan is primed for a long weekend getaway.
While that's plenty of space for many, the G90’s relatively short body makes its cabin tighter than its rivals. This is especially true in the rear seats, the 7-Series, S-Class, and Audi A8 show they are also great for buyers who prefer to be chauffeured around with 44.4 inches, 43 inches, and 44.3 inches of rear legroom, respectively.
With a starting price of $73,195, the G90 is far from cheap, but it presents a stellar value in the segment, as the S-Class, 7-Series, and A8 start from $95,345, $87,445, and $86,195, respectively.
Adding to this value is a long list of standard goodies that match its German rivals. This list includes a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a 22-way power driver’s seat, heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery, wood trim, tri-zone climate control, premium audio, wireless smartphone charging, and much more.
Though the features match the premium European models, Genesis has a branding issue. Many still see it as a dressed-up Hyundai, especially given you can buy an Elantra in the same dealership.
Loads of power, but does it need two engine options? Straight-line performance is no problem in the G90, as its base engine is a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that pumps out 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This gets the better of the A8, 7-Series, and S-Class.
The G90 makes us scratch our heads when it comes to the optional 420-hp, 5.0-liter V8 engine. Yes, it sounds incredible, but the power gap between it and the V6 just isn’t there. Plus, it comes up well short of its V8-powered and performance-oriented rivals.
The G90 delivers a buttery-smooth ride that easily matches its European competitors. The issue is the G90’s chassis is far simpler than anything from Audi, Mercedes, or BMW, so it lacks the cornering prowess of these Autobahn-tuned luxury rigs.
Final thoughts. For buyers who want that $100,000 look and feel at 75% of the price, and are willing to make a few small sacrifices to get there, the 2020 Genesis G90 is a legitimate option. It’s got the look and feel of its pricier European rivals, features to match them, and the same cloud-like long-distance drivability.
The new look of the G90 propels this Korean luxury cruiser into the thick of the battle, as it severs its stylistic ties with its parent company and gives it an authentic luxury appearance.
For buyers who want this look combined with the brand cachet that goes with it will probably turn their noses up at rolling into a Hyundai dealer to buy the G90. Also, saying “I drive a Genesis” lacks the punch of BMW or Mercedes. Finally, this class caters to buyers who may spend more time being chauffeured around than driving, and the G90’s rear legroom isn't sufficient for these buyers.
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