2023 Genesis G90 — Taking premium luxury sedans to a new level

By Jim Prueter

(November 13, 2022) One’s expectations of which premium-luxury sedan reigns as the automotive crown jewel ranges from established German brands selling in price from $100,000 to $250,00 including Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera. Most would agree the winner is Mercedes from the auto Barons of Stuttgart with an admirable job at great expense delivering the pampered wealthy elite the most over-the-top, best luxury sedan in the World. 

Numerous manufacturers of long luxury sedans have chased Mercedes to claim the title. The 7 Series has never quite found its status, the A8 tried but struggled to keep up and is now irrelevant to luxury buyers. Then there’s Lexus with its LS that made a spirited, gallant run and nearly caught up but now seems to have lost its way along with its audience.

Now comes the all-new 2023 Genesis G90, the Korean automaker’s flagship sedan that takes the existing and wonderfully stellar G90 to an entire new level. In a word, the new G90 is brilliant and is now as close to the Mercedes S-Class in its refinement as any vehicle in its past. And even though its base price gets a significant price increase for 2023 it undercuts the S-class by thousands.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the new flagship from Hyundai Motor Group’s luxury brand is the G90s focus of maximum luxury and passenger comfort versus driving performance and driving passion that’s the hallmark of premium German luxury sedans. Think of the G90 as a personal limousine while privately owned could easily satisfy with a hired chauffer. It isn’t a reach to think numerous flagship luxury car buyers would prefer the Genesis given its lubricious luxury features and technology that soothes passenger’s emotional desires. More about that in a minute.

Under the hood the G90 has foregone its 5.0-liter V-8 engine of yore in favor of a twin-turbocharged V-6 offered in two dynamic variations, both paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive and rear wheel steering. The base V-6 delivers 375 horsepower and the upmarket E-supercharged V-6 using a 48-volt hybrid system and an electric supercharger boosts horsepower to 409.

Our Uyuni White E-supercharged test G90 felt impressively quick given its size and reached an unofficial 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. There’s an optional air suspension and the G90 also offers a Chauffer driving mode for an even smoother luxury ride experience. The serenity on the road is downright celestial. A plush leather La-Z-boy recliner has nothing over the chairs in the G90.

Unlike the Mercedes and BMW, sporty driving and handling isn’t part of the G90’s DNA but will lavishly satisfy with its library quiet and silky-smooth relaxing demeanor. Still, the G90 drives wonderfully, and the dynamic rear-wheel steering enables cornering with a decided feeling you’re driving a much smaller vehicle. Drivers can select from three drive modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport. There’s also a special extra plush Chauffeur mode.

See additional G90 review at MotorwayAmerica.com

If all that isn’t cosseting enough the G90 brings an all-new feature called Mood Creator that enables four different modes: Vitality, Delight, Care and Comfort. Each mode selects its own ambient lighting, sound system from the 23 speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium sound system, while window shades open or close automatically, and a fragrance spritzes through the air vents to relax you all depending on which mode is selected. For example, Care mode closes the window shades, ambient lighting is a soft lavender color and lavender fragrance smoothly and lightly wafts throughout the cabin while massaging seats engage to enhance the experience.

In furtherance of serene, stately luxury are the two business-class reclining rear seats with motorized footrests, 16-way adjustable/programmable/ventilated/heated and full massaging functions. Lowering the rear seat center armrest reveals a full control panel with buttons, dials and an LED touch screen that allows control of most of the vehicle’s functions including climate, seat adjustment, window shades, audio system, lighting, and more. There’s quilted Nappa leather seating surfaces throughout and a leather wrapped instrument panel along with a microfiber suede headliner and pillars. Various trims are offered if crushed carbon-fiber with metal inlays doesn’t do it for you there’s also real wood from which to choose.

Oh, and yes, you can choose your own rear seat mood fragrance too. Rather than common fragrance names like vanilla, lilies, or spice Genesis uses names like my favorite place and driver’s awakening with settings for strong, medium or light spritzes.

The G90 is loaded with unexpected but much appreciated niceties like door handles that pop out as you approach the vehicle, power-assisted doors with the heft of a bank vault that spring open and close softly at the touch of a button located on the door itself or via a push button on the center console. There’s a  near-absence of exterior cut lines, very cool signature lighting at the front and rear fenders, and out back there’s very distinctive lighting with two separate light bars going across the entire rear of the vehicle.

Genesis’s infotainment interface is delivered sharply on a 12.3-inch display that includes navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio. There’s a second and separate 12.3-inch screen that serves as the digital gauge display for vehicle speed, RPMs and other functions. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included but oddly still require a physical cord to connect. Wireless connectivity is common but surprisingly the G90 doesn’t opt for that. A head-up display and a wireless smartphone charging pad are also included.

Standard safety and driver-assist features abound including forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with lane-centering feature, blind spot and rear blind spot with cross traffic alert monitoring, remote smart parking assist, safe exit assist and pedestrian/cyclist detection.

Overall, the new G90 is a very beautiful car with high quality premium materials everywhere, nicely designed and on par with rivals like the Mercedes S-class, Audi and BMW. And frankly it should be on par with those because pricing is also on par and has a higher base price than the BMW 7 Series or the Lexus LS. We think the new G90 is akin to 95 percent as good as the Mercedes S-Class yet a better value and price and in our opinion better looking than anything in its class. It’s truly that good. This is an exception luxury sedan that must be test driven if you are in the market for a premium luxury sedan.
Vital Stats

Base Price: $98,700
Price as Tested: $100,370
Engine/Transmission: Twin-turbocharged V-6 paired with a 48-volt hybrid system good for 409-horsepower and paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive and rear steering.
EPA Fuel Economy: 17/24/20 mpg – City/Highway/Combined
Seating: 4

Crash Test Safety Ratings: The Genesis G90 has not been crash tested for safety ratings by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as of this writing.

Where Built: Ulsan, South Korea

Competes With:
Audi A8
BMW 7 Series
Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Porsche Panamera

A brilliantly serene, stately, lubricious luxury sedan
Celestial ride
Best-looking vehicle in the luxury sedan class

Not quite as engaging to drive as Mercedes S-Class
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t wireless
Stop/start feature needs to be smoother