Road Tested: 2017 Genesis G90


SAN FRANCISCO, November 6, 2016 – It was only a matter of time until Hyundai spun off the Genesis moniker as its own brand and this G90 is our first look at a Genesis-branded vehicle. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Toyota has Lexus, Honda has Acura and Nissan has Infiniti – for crying out loud, Ford has Lincoln. So for all those who might be surprised by this move, you shouldn’t be.

There’s little doubt that Genesis will take some time to get used to as its own brand and be able to shake any skepticism the Hyundai brand might have on it, here in America. However, with our limited time in the G90, we found it to be a car that’s rather easy to get excited about. What it offers, for the money, is ultra competitive and does so with rather good execution.

This car is massive – think along the wheelbase length of an Audi A8L or BMW 750iL – there’s so much leg room inside the car, it’s easy to think you’re inside someone’s living room and not inside a car.

The body lines are beautiful and seem to draw inspiration from the likes of Audi, Bentley and Mercedes Benz. It’s a combination of masculine and subtle that go to great lengths of making the G90 quite stunning to look at. The only change we’d like to see is in the Genesis logo itself, which looks too closely like the Chrysler logo – it kind of “cheapens” the car a bit.

There are two engine choices for the G90 – a potent 3.3-liter V6 with 365 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque, like our test model had, or a V8 that ups it to 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. For the most part, the V6 is more than capable of slinging this 4300lb car around and getting it past the legal freeway speed limits in no time at all.

It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that is controlled via a shifter on the center column. The transmission does an admirable job of jamming through the gears while at the same time providing a smooth transition through each gear.

The inside of the car is where the Genesis really does an amazing job of wrapping the occupants in a luxurious environment. The leather surfaces have a very upscale feel to it and the contours in the cabin area give the car a feeling of “Ah, relax time” – well played Genesis, well played.

You can tell that everything inside was built with a pure intent of Genesis to ensure that all occupants are not only comfortable but have an amazing ride experience. Even the rear passengers have their own control system for audio and climate on the drop-down middle arm-rest. With the arm rest up, you can take a fifth passenger, however, the car is ideally setup for four to have the best of everything.

There’s so much room inside this car, you’d swear you could play a game of catch with a football. Even rear passengers have enough leg room for most adults to comfortably sit nearly cross-legged.

Its infotainment system absolutely delivers incredible audio prowess in an easy-to-use format. There’s support for AM/FM/XM Radio, Bluetooth streaming, CD, MP3/WMA and has a good array of built-in apps as well. While the navigation system does take a bit to get entries put into it – that is until you get the hang of things – it does work well and has a decent-looking mapping system, however, it’s still no Google Earth.

If you can think of it, then it’s likely inside this car – except for a wine fridge or massaging seats. There’s a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, multi-zone climate controls, rear seats that are full adjustable, a power rear window blind, rear side window blinds, heated and vented seats, remote car start, on-board navigation, a full trip computer with real-time fuel analysis and various drive modes.

Where the car really shines, however, is when you depress the accelerator pedal to the floor – the V6’s power really hits rather quickly and launches the car off the line or while passing at freeway speeds with ease. Never once did it feel under powered – in fact, with the higher price point, it’s hard to recommend the V8 – unless, of course, you absolutely demand a bit more power. However, the weight savings of the V6 and additional fuel savings – along with its power output would make it this editor’s engine of choice on the G90.

So we do have a bit of sticker shock. At just $70,000 – it’s a bit of sticker shock for a Korean-made auto, right? Well, maybe not. When you consider that the first three years of service, even oil changes, is included and the white-glove valet service where they pick up the car for service and drop it off when done – it’s hard to balk at. Throw in the 10-year / 100,000 mile warranty and you have the makings for a “new car company” that’s comfortable in taking on the luxury auto brands.

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