Posted on September 3, 2020 by Car Critic Steve Hammes
2020 Genesis G90 AWD 3.3T Premium Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes
Though it left the Hyundai nest 4 years ago, the Genesis brand and its wing-type emblem are still a bit of an enigma. I can tell from the stares that people aren’t quite sure what they’re looking at. And with a thoroughly reworked body and head-turning wheels, the refreshed G90 is a curiosity worthy of attention.
If you walked into a Genesis dealership today you’d see 3 different models – all cars – and this one here is the flagship. If you haven’t kept up with the migration from Hyundai to Genesis, this one used to be called the Equus.
It’s a large car akin to the BMW 7-Series and even more spacious than a Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 L. But while the cheapest of that triumvirate starts in the mid-80s, the G90 lures shoppers with a base MSRP of $72,200.
It offers the most powerful V6 and fastest acceleration and even though its 20mpg ranks last among the group, it doesn’t require premium gas. And if you ask me, this mid-cycle refresh makes it the most attractive.
Better than any of its German counterparts, the G90 now possesses some of the freshest and most inspired style in the segment. Genesis designers outdid themselves here.
Everywhere I go, it’s the 19” wheels that everyone wants to talk about. With what Genesis calls a G-Matrix design, they’re reminiscent of the rims you’d see on a Maybach. Spectacular stuff. And the rest of the car is equally alluring.
Though this is considered a refresh Genesis has completely overhauled the body giving it a brand-new car look, taking it to head-turner status.
As compared to my last G90 test drive in 2017, not a lot in here has changed which is mostly ok. But what it still does especially well is provide that big, executive car driving experience where plushness and isolation is paramount.
If you’ve ever driven one of these large, luxurious 4-doors you know exactly what I’m talking about; seats as soft and relaxing as those in your den, big-time passenger room, a whisper quiet cabin, amenities galore and a proud, unperturbed ride quality.
It’s the strong and silent type, backed by a 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6, adaptive dampers and all-wheel drive.
This class of car has its own unique driving style. It’s big but not ungainly, rides like an absolute dream and is backed by a buttery smooth power train. You just feel the stress melt away as you enter the cabin. And unlike the Germans the G90 is not preoccupied with being a sports sedan – this is perhaps the softest suspension tune on the market. But it’s not sloppy either. I only wish it had some massaging seats.
Authentic materials with a clean, uncluttered look, the G90’s cabin is very comfortable but not the most modern. The new, big display navigation system now incorporates touchscreen controls with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and also includes a unique feature called Smart Posture Care. Input a little info about your size and Genesis will find the most chiropractic-friendly seating position for you. But the heads-up display is excellent and the welcome lighting is very cool.
The G90 has enough rear legroom to satisfy Shaq, power sunshades on all windows, climate and audio controls and power seat settings but not for these for the passenger seat.
The prime passenger spot can control the front seat for times when you’re being chauffeured. But this is all very regal and roomy, just how you want it. There are even soft-close doors. The trunk opens with a proximity sensor as opposed to having to use a kick of the foot and at 15 cubic feet it’s 25% roomier than the S Class’s.
Drive Modes affect all of the key mechanical bits where the G90 can transform from super-soft to slightly less soft but never a slouch when it comes to taking a curve. The drive just feels good…very quick when you want it to be – but I miss having the Smart mode to bridge the gap between Comfort and Sport settings.
Loaded with modern safety tech with some brief hands-off driving capability, everything on this Genesis G90 AWD 3.3T Premium is standard with a very becoming MSRP of $75,695, especially when you consider the no-cost valet services and Genesis’s 4th consecutive 1st place finish in JD Power’s Initial Quality Study. If you’re not a slave to the badge, the G90 is a smart alternative to the expensive stalwarts.