“How much is it?” is a question that I get a lot in this line of work. Something that most civilized people might think is uncouth, but once they find out I’m a journalist-type person doing a review, it’s one of the first things out of their mouth. For those wondering, this new Genesis G90 is $100,370 after “freight and handling”. Regular readers will note that this is typically the part of introduction section where I dramatically say “now let’s find out of it’s worth it”. Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do, since the “that’s a lot for a Hyundai” folks are out there and this car has its work cut out for it.
2023 Genesis G90 Overview
The first generation G90 (HI) debuted in South Korea back in 2015 as the Genesis EQ900. For our market, that debut happened on day one of the 2016 North American International Auto Show. I was there, and covered both press days, but I managed to miss the new G90 completely. Designed by Peter Schreyer, who we interviewed that week, the original G90 shared chassis bits with the smaller G80, as well as the Kia K9. The base engine was a 3.3L turbo six with 365 horsepower, but you could also opt for a 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower.
The OG G90 was updated for the 2018 model year, now penned by Luc Donckerwolke, who Genesis stole from the Volkswagen Group where he was the design director overseeing Bentley, Lamborghini, Škoda, and Audi vehicles. The second generation (RS4) received a styling overhaul and the new base power option is a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 375 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torques. Our tester came with the 3.5T e-Supercharger (e-SC) engine, which uses a 48-volt mild hybrid system that powers an electric supercharger good for a total output of 409 horsepower and 405 lb-ft.
That’s your big, and largely only, choice when you land on the G90’s build page. The base version, sans e-SC power bump, starts at $88,400 while the top spec, like our tester, adds about ten grand coming in at $98,700.
You can check out the specs above, our test car loaner only added $575 for some gray paint. Regardless of which version you choose, you’ll get a metric ton of stuff. The base G90 starts with some impressive standard features like:
- Screens! (12.3-inch driver and 12.3-inch center)
- Front seats with heating, ventilation and massage functions, plus heated rear seats
- 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system
- Dub (20-inch) wheels
- All-wheel drive
Bump up to the G90 with e-SC and aside from more power, you’ll add:
- Power rear seats with recline, ventilation, and massage
- 26-speaker B&O system
- Four-corner air suspension
- Rear-wheel steering
- “Easy Close” doors
- 21-inch wheels
The only option or accessory available is a $45 first aid kit. That’s it. So, the G90 has tons of features to go along with it’s rather large sticker price. Yeah, you know what’s next, let’s get into the details of daily driving a new $100K G90 and answer that all-important question of whether or not it’s worth it!
2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD Inside & Out
The G90 is long. How long, you ask? 207.7 inches long. That’s only three inches shorter than a new Chevy Tahoe. Seeing something this size that’s not an SUV can hurt your brain a little. At 76 inches wide, it’s an imposing thing and you have to keep reminding yourself of where the corners are as you navigate narrow city streets. Up front, the massive pentagonal(ish) grille will easily fill someone’s rearview mirror, and the split headlight feature is now a part of the G90’s new look. Out back, you get matching split-taillights, which is all nicely integrated with matching lighting on the side just ahead of the driver’s door.
The split, split, split spoke wheel is gorgeous and the vibrant finish let’s you see the design and details. It looks a little like something from a Transformers movies, but it’s well done and adds some drama to the exterior. The overall design of the G90, painted in Maluka Gray Matte paint, says “conservative luxury”, while the inside is far less constrained.
Let’s get at it.
My first impression of the interior was “Las Vegas Casino”, and that was in a primarily a positive sentiment. Like, it’s one of the nice ones on the strip, not some of that Freemont Street shit. There are tons of first-class details, from the high-end inlays, to the B&O speakers rising from the dash, to the chunky metal switchgear that actually does feel like it’s crafted from a solid block of metal, as cliché as that sounds. Even the lighting is subtle and classy, and can be adjusted via the system’s “mood curator” section.
The interior is trimmed in Bordeaux Brown, which brings a bit of a reddish hue to the major surfaces. It’s not my favorite hue, but white and black interiors are optional. The damn doors even close for you.
You can choose to press the button on the door, the other button on the center console, or if you choose, the doors will shut automatically when your foot hits the brake pedal. Overall comfort is first rate, I even like how the shift knob vibrates slightly and turns red when you put it in reverse.
But, sort of like the new Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury that I tested in July, the back seat is where it’s at.
Like that LX, the downside of these reviews is that I typically have to spend my time in the front seat, unless I get another driver to sign the paperwork. That meant that my kids got to lounge in the back, and lounge they did. As annoying as it was as a parent constantly saying “stop that”, you can control everything from back there. I was vibing to some 90s rock and all of a sudden my eight year old turned it down. I also wasn’t able to turn off the “beep…beep…beep” that was broadcast across the cabin every time he hit a button. I’m sure it’s in there, I just couldn’t find it, and trust me I was motivated to find it.
You can even control the front passenger seat from the rear passenger “VIP” seat and move it all the way forward to stretch out. At six-feet even, I was just on the edge of not fitting that well, and my six-foot-three son was definitely too large to stretch all the way out. Still, as the massaging seats worked on his lumbar, he didn’t care. Technically the G90 is a five-seater, but with the rear center console down it’s more of a four-seater.
Yeah, there are some downsides to the “Vegas Casino” vibe depending on your taste. The door inlays have some pinstriping built in that looks a little bit like it could have been lifted directly from the side of a craps table. Still, it’s all a very impressive experience across every surface and material that Genesis added to the G90.
Trunk space is massive, it easily handled all of the sporting events we could throw at it including hockey, baseball, and golf club shopping for my youngest.
2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD On The Road
The 2023 Genesis G90 may be driven, but it is very likely to be ridden in. Regardless of which seat you are in, the G90 is incredibly comfortable. The air suspension smooths out just about any road surface and the extra sound deadening makes for near-silent running. All that extra stuff has some weight behind it, unsurprisingly the G90 weighs close to 5,000 pounds. Still, off the line it’s pretty quick, hitting 60 mph in around five seconds. I’m not sure if it’s the weight or the drivetrain, but you have to prepare to dart across traffic as there is a little bit of lag before the big car gets going. There is a “Sport” mode, but the average driver (or passenger) won’t likely make much use of it.
There is a “Chauffeur” mode however, which maximizes comfort for the rear passenger across the suspension, brakes, and more. Speaking of brakes, I was navigating a narrow street through my neighborhood and the Genesis perceived an imminent collision. In reality, I was just snaking around a few parked cars, but it applied some braking, ratcheted up the seatbelt, and alerted me on the dash that I was about to collide with another car. Pretty common in most well-meaning “safety systems”, I made use of the G90s radar cruise and lane-keeping system which performed almost flawlessly on the highway.
Additional criticisms are minimal, the G90 has a start-stop feature that can come back to life a little raucous for such a high-end car. The best systems you don’t notice, but I found myself turning this one off since I could indeed notice it. While I was turning to look over my shoulder to check traffic (even though the G90 has Hyundai’s excellent blind spot camera) I hit my head hard on the ceiling. It hurt a bit more since I had sunglasses on top of my head, front headroom is 39.4-inches which is actually down a bit from the 41.1-inches in the last gen G90.
The G90 got a lot of attention during my week with it, I even had a Hyundai Equus driver pull up and say “beautiful car”. I guess my question is, who is the typical 2023 G90 buyer? I suppose those who do can afford this car could afford a driver, or it will be targeted for limo services and such.
The elephant in the room, as is the case a lot of the time, is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I was told a funny anecdote by a fellow journalist about meeting the logistics person for a big law firm based here in DC. He said that no matter how comfortable the new Genesis was, “no one ever got fired for buying a Benz to save $10,000”. The latest S 500 4MATIC Sedan starts at $111,100 which is almost literally $10,000 more than the G90. So, it will be interesting to track its sales progress, obviously Genesis doesn’t need to sell a lot of them. It’s a statement piece about what they can do. It has to feel special at this price point, and it luckily for them, it just…does.
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