2018 Genesis G90 takes on best the luxury segment has to offer

By Paul Borden

(March 12, 2018) The Genesis G90 sedan may not be first on your list if you’re shopping in the full-size luxury segment, but it should be on there somewhere and pretty high up at that. Don’t let its Hyundai roots throw you off. This is a true luxury vehicle with all the trimmings you expect of the segment.

Good looks inside and outside? Check.

Engine strong enough to provide the kind of throttle response to meet demanding situations? Check.

Option of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, V6 or V8 power? Check.

Plenty of standard safety features? Check.

Abundant leather and real wood interior trim? Check.

Enough gadgets and gizmos to satisfy all the but the geekiest of geeks? Check.

Smooth, quiet ride with plenty of passenger room? Check.

Nice touches like a hands-free trunk opener and three-zone climate control? Check.

Complimentary maintenance and service valet? Check.

A car you’ll be proud to have sitting in your driveway and taking to the country club? Check.

An MSRP approaching six figures when options are added in? Well, you can’t have everything. With a base price of $69,325 including the $975 destination and delivery fee, the Genesis G90 isn’t cheap by any means, but it is a bargain when put up against other imports from Asia and Europe. Is it worth $10,000 or more to you, some times much more considering the long list of standard features on the Genesis, to have the brand cachet of a German import?

If so, more power to you. But if you are more interested in product than image, the Genesis G90 offers everything you might desire.

By the way, it no longer is the Hyundai Genesis. The company broke it out as its own brand, similar to how Toyota has its Lexus luxury division, Honda its Acura, and Nissan its Infiniti, in November 2015.

I spent my week in the Genesis RWD 3.3T Premium model, one of two powertrains and trims offered for 2018. With 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque coming to its rear wheels from its 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6, I found this G90 packed plenty of punch for everyday challenges. But you still might want to check out the 5.0 Ultimate edition with a  V8 rated at 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

Both engines are mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted via steering wheel-mounted paddles, and Intelligent Drive Mode allows for setting in four modes — ECO, Smart, Sport, and Individual — to adjust the transmission, throttle responsiveness, suspension, steering and stability control to your liking.

About the only complaint here would be in fuel consumption. The G90 3.3T is rated at 17 miles-per-gallon city, 24 highway, and 20 combined, which puts it at the low end among its competitors. But you can buy a lot of gas with the money you’re saving, even at premium prices!

The G90 looks the part of a luxury car from the outside, and that impression is carried over to the inside. The standard Nappa leather seats coddle you in comfort — they are heated and ventilated — and are adjustable 22 ways for the driver, 16 for the front-seat passenger. If you can’t find a comfortable driving position with that many settings, perhaps you should hire a chauffeur.

Legroom is a generous 46.3 inches in front and a comfortable 37.8 inches for those in back. Those in the back also get their own fold-down console with its own controls to adjust the A/C, for example, or the new rear-seat entertainment system (available only on the 5.0 Ultimate model).

The 12.3-inch display screen for the navigation system is incorporated nicely into the flow of the dash, not sticking up in the middle as seems to be common on many competing models.  The size makes for easy viewing in split-screen mode.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not offered, but there is a front-seat wireless charging port and USB ports in the rear.

Safety features such as lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, adaptable cruise control, electronic parking brake with auto hold, blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, and a multi-view camera are standard as are front and rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers.

Push-button start and head-up display? Of course!

The only extra you’re going to pay for over the MSRP would be the $2,500 for all-wheel drive over the standard RWD. That makes the most expensive Genesis G90 the 5.0 Ultimate AWD model for $74,350. The AWD 3.3T carries an MSRP of $70,850, the RWD 5.0 Ultimate $71,850.

What I liked about the 2018 Genesis G90 3.3T: I loved the big screen and the way it has been placed in the dash. The technology itself is very user-friendly and easy to understand.

What I didn’t like about the 2018 Genesis G90 3.3T: The trunk could be bigger. Cargo volume is listed as only 15.7 cubic feet, which is not a whole lot more than you may find on some midsize luxury sedans.

Would I buy the 2018 Genesis G90 3.3 T? Yes, but I’d be tempted to check out the V8 version first.