The Genesis brand is barely a decade old, but the nascent brand’s accomplishments in that relative eyeblink are vast. They have gone from sharing the showroom floor with the cheap and cheerful Hyundai Accent to competing amongst world’s best luxury offerings. As parent company Hyundai has done for years, the Genesis marque trades on one very important metric (amongst others, it should be noted)- bang for buck. While the badge might not carry the same level of cachet the snobs are used to, people are starting to ditch their preconceived notions and give Genesis another worthwhile look. How’s this for perspective: you could buy a G90 Prestige just like our tester and then have nearly enough coin left over to buy a Kia Telluride like we drove last week for roughly the same pricing as a comparatively equipped Mercedes Benz S580. Viewed in that context, the prospect of Genesis ownership doesn’t seem like such a letdown for those who insist on buying one of the luxobarge stalwarts. If we were spending our own hard-earned dollars on a full-size luxury cocoon, the G90 would be our pick.
When we heard that the newest version of the G90 flagship was available for some time to spend under our exacting microscope, we jumped at the chance. We have driven every vintage of G90 since the beginning and swooned at how good they were in the past- would we be swooning once again? To better help you answer that question we distilled the G90’s ownership experience to a handful of important facts. Without further adieu, here are the six crucial talking points you need to know about the Genesis G90.
It Is Ridiculously Comfortable And Refined
Obviously, any car that competes in this rarefied air is going to be comfortable. Even so, we never tired of how decadent the driving experience piloting the G90 lends to drivers and passengers alike. Wafting along the highway at speed, you will be struck by how quiet and serene the top-drawer Genesis is- we actually found ourselves feeling guilty for talking too loudly. It is so hushed that you could easily communicate with those on board using nothing more than a whisper. Our tester was also endowed with pillowy air suspension that does an exemplary job of seeming to lay plush carpet over the scabrous tarmac ahead of you and yet the G90 never feels floaty or nautical- the engineers managed the rare feat of capturing the sweet spot between compliance and cush. The G90’s lavish vibe is even more impressive when you consider it’s riding on 21” wheels and tires with not much sidewall. If you explore the Drive Modes that are available, you will notice that there is a Chauffeur Mode which allows the driver to use the brakes in such a manner so as not to unduly jostle any passengers. You get the sense that every bit of chassis hardware was designed to coddle everyone on board in every conceivable way- all glass is laminated for noise suppression and there’s also noise cancelling software at play too. Genesis engineers gave a subtle nod towards having some fun here and there- put the car in Sport Mode and things do sharpen up slightly but nothing that will raise pulses too much.
There Will Be Fights Over Who Gets The Right Rear Seat, Not Who Gets ‘Shotgun’
Sure, the front seats are still a great place to be when a trip with many hours on the road beckons. You get access the excellent infotainment system and a great view out the expansive windscreen. Trust us, you’ll want to sit in the back, specifically the right rear seat. The lucky recipient of that perch will be treated to a reclining feature, and if shotgun is vacant, they can ask the front seat to move as forward as possible with the push of a button, unlocking the sort of legroom that would make an NBA star grin. Just like the front seats, those out back can dial up heating, cooling and a message program tailored exactly to their liking. There’s even a receptacle back there that will disinfect your phone with ultraviolet light. When it comes to drinking in the exquisite textures and materials that adorn the G90’s state room, it matters not where you sit- there’s buttery soft leather and genuine wood trim that covers nearly every surface. There’s also an etched pattern that is integrated into the wood trim on the door panels that we have never seen before, at least not something this side of a Rolls Royce Bespoke order book (Genesis calls this Forged Carbon Metal G-Matrix Pattern in case you were wondering.) Speaking of Rolls Royce, the Genesis takes a page out of their playbook by offering electronically controlled doors. Since opening or closing ones’ door is terribly uncouth, the Genesis will preform that function for you. It’s a curbside flex that we never tired of.
The Bang And Olufsen Stereo Has More Speakers Than Your Home Theater System
Excited to show off your new man cave with surround sound and the finest cutting-edge speakers? If your friends you’re showing off to own a G90, your excitement will not be as infectious as you’d hoped. The G90 comes with a 23 (!) speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system that must be heard to be believed. We’re not big fans of classical music, but we did play a few concertos through those speakers to hear the rich, full-bodied sound they emit. The kids groaned at our choice of music, so on went TikTok radio (ugh) where they appreciated that the sound didn’t distort even at irresponsible volume levels, and they got a real kick out of watching water droplets on the trunk vibrate in time with the bass. Upon start up, there are motorized tweeters that rise discreetly from the shelf above the dashboard.
There Are Some Very Cool Tricks Up The G90’s Sleeve (And Some Not)
Red light cameras are all over Toronto, and it can be difficult to remember where they are installed. While you most definitely should be obeying any traffic signal you encounter, it’s still nice to know when you approach an intersection that could potentially snag you in an unfortunate situation and then hit you with a heavy fine. Some cars will flash a message on the instrument panel alerting you about that, but the G90 will whisper a warning of caution in your ear courtesy of speakers integrated into the headrests. Similarly, activating the turn signal will ensure that you never leave your blinker on because the soft tock-tock sound it makes plays right into your ears; its kind of like a digital butler whispering suggestions. Other highlights include the slight vibration that confirms when you have selected Reverse using the shift-by-wire dial and a Mood Curator which will offer differing combinations of ambient lighting, sound and onboard scents depending on how you’re feeling. The only trick not up the G90’s sleeve is wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It seems bizarre to be left off such an extensive menu and especially at this price point. Still, we didn’t mind that much because the infotainment system and all its functions were such a breeze to use.
You Can’t Get A V8 Anymore- But It Does Feature An Interesting (And Powerful) Engine
We had to pour one out when we learned that the excellent 5.0 litre V8 from previous G90’s was deep sixed. It made all the right noises and was smooth as a Muskoka lake on a placid summer morning. But it wasn’t meaningfully more powerful than the turbo six on offer, and with ever tightening fuel economy targets it was likely a easy decision to pare it from the lineup. Here in Canada, there’s only one choice for G90 motivation but it’s a good one- there’s a 3.5 litre twin turbo V6 with an electric supercharger which sends power to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The trick engine is not only capable of imbuing the G90 with seamless stop/start behaviour, but it also serves to fill any gaps in the power delivery in the name of smoothness. It is so quiet and bereft of untoward vibration that we thought the remote starting feature was on the fritz when we walked up to it and had to strain to hear if it was even running or not. While it may lack the grunt of the V8 on step off, 405 pounds feet of torque is nothing to sneeze at and it moves around town with the effortless nature befitting an engine of much larger displacement. The only time you ever hear it is when you mat the throttle where a distant snarl from beyond the firewall can be heard. The V6 does nothing to impair the G90’s waftability score and no one will complain that it consumes less fuel than the old eight banger.
Ordering Your G90 Is Insanely Easy
It’s possible that you could take delivery of your G90 without ever having stepped foot in a brick-and-mortar dealership, but however you place your order you’ll find the process to be exceptionally easy. We Canadians get our G90s one way, and that is in Prestige trim (which is fully loaded) so the only choice one has to make is what colour one wants theirs painted in. We mentioned that the G90 represents a colossal value within its segment, and it bears repeating that all this beauty and refinement can be yours for an all-in price of $115,000- a number that wouldn’t even get you into a base model of most of its competitors.
And there you have it folks- have we convinced you enough of the G90’s virtues so that you’ll delete the Audi A8 you just built on the online configurator? Perhaps not. But the stigma that you ‘settled’ on a Genesis is about the only obstacle the brand is facing in trying to get more keisters behind the wheels of their products. That too is changing- the Genesis brand’s street cred continues to improve. Also, how does free top-ups of your onboard scent selections and a ceramic coating prior to delivery grab you? Armed with these facts, we think we have equipped you, dear full size luxury car purchaser, with the means to make an educated decision on how to best navigate what to buy in the segment- happy shopping!
2023 Genesis G90 3.5T Prestige AWD - Specifications
- Price as tested: $115,000
- Body Type: 4-door, 4 passenger sedan
- Powertrain Layout: Front engine/four-wheel drive
- Engine: 3.5 litre twin turbocharged V6, 24 valves, DOHC
- Horsepower: 409 @ 5,800 rpm
- Torque (lb-ft.): 405 @ 1,300 rpm
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Curb weight: 2,340 kg (5,156 lbs)
- Observed Fuel consumption: 12.2L/100km (19 mpg)