Many people might dream of owning a top-drawer Mercedes-Benz S-class, BMW-7 series or Lexus LS sedan, but they can cost upward of $100,000 (or possibly much more). Is there an alternative?
Although far from inexpensive, the Genesis G90 can at least keep the dream alive for some with a surfeit of luxury appointments and plenty of gas-pedal snap.
For the unaware, the G90 began as the premium Hyundai Equus, but for 2017 was spun off as part of a separate division along with the Genesis G80 (née Hyundai Genesis) and new-for-2019 G70 sedans.
The flagship 2020 G90 is also the first to receive a major makeover since its initial rebranding, which includes the replacement of nearly every body panel except for the roof and doors. In particular, the V-shaped grille dominates the front end and the headlights and taillights are each split by a thin band of LEDs that extend into the fenders. Like it or not, the new design clearly sets the G90 apart from the previous car, not to mention every other competing sedan.
Elsewhere, the massive rear doors simplify the entering and exiting process for the harried executive, and more than 450 litres of trunk space is enough to tote a foursome’s worth of golf clubs or enough Louis Vuitton luggage for a week’s worth of wardrobe changes.
Despite the external sculpting, the G90 retains the previous generation’s platform. That means all key measurements — length, width, height and distance between the front and rear wheels — are virtually identical to the measurements of the 2019 model.
For 2020, the sumptuously appointed leather-and-wood-trimmed interior includes a 31-centimetre high-definition touch-screen integrated into the control panel (no pop-up-style tablets here). The cabin is also a quieter spot with the addition of active noise control. It functions through the G90’s audio system to cancel out intrusive sounds entering the passenger compartment. Also available are 19-inch wheels that have been specially designed to absorb sounds emitted by the tires as they roll.
Additional comfort is derived from the adaptive suspension that instantly adjusts the shocks to tame the road surface. It also provides added control when cornering by firming up the outside dampers.
The only engine for Canada is a 5.0-litre V-8 that produces 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. By special order only is a twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V-6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. That reduces the G90 V-8’s $89,900 price (including destination charges) by $3,000.
Both engines are connected to eight-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel-drive is standard. In Eco mode, the system disconnects itself from the front wheels for reduced fuel consumption, which for the V-8 is 15.4 l/100 km in the city, 10.2 on the highway and 13.1 combined.
The G90 arrives in a fully loaded state and content highlights encompass multi-position power front and rear Nappa-leather-covered seats, 900-watt surround-sound system and wireless phone charging.
You also get a complete assemblage of dynamic-safety technologies. Some of the more unique features include Auto Speed Slowdown that adjusts vehicle speed according to the posted signs, and Safe Exit Assist that warns of approaching traffic when you’re opening the doors to get out of the car.
As a relatively new player in the premium-sedan category, the G90 won’t have an easy time dislodging buyers from their favourite brands, whether Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. But given the G90’s content and performance, perhaps traveling in grand style while saving a few dollars will be enough motivation to make the switch.
What you should know: 2020 Genesis G90
Type: All-wheel-drive full-size sedan
Engines (h.p.): 3.3-litre DOHC V-6, twin-turbocharged (365); 5.0-litre DOHC V-8 (420)
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Market position: Hyundai’s premium Genesis brand as among well-established luxury automakers and remains a fringe player with far fewer models and no utility vehicles.
Points: Expressive design sets this flagship apart. • First-rate interior appointments convey a strong upscale presence. • Both base turbo V-6 and non-turbo V-8 engines deliver plenty of thrust. • Full assortment of standard active-safety technology. • Selling on quality and appealing price creates a tempting incentive to purchase.
Driver assist: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); emergency braking (std.); lane keeping assist (std.)
L/100 km (city/hwy) 15.4/10.2 (V-8); Base price (incl. destination) $89,900
BMW 750i xDrive
Base price: $123,300
Bolder-looking 2020 sedan is also available as a plug-in hybrid model.
Lexus LS 500 AWD
Base price: $105,850
Flagship sedan is the G90’s nearest competitor. The turbo V-6 makes 416 h.p.
Base price: $114,000 (est.)
Turbo V-6 and V8 versions make up to 453 h.p. AWD is standard in all models.
If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!
-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media