2023 Genesis G90 Review

2023 Genesis G90 - A spa on wheels defining elegance and comfort.


It's only been six years since the Genesis brand officially launched in the United States in 2016.  As the luxury brand of Hyundai, the brand came in with a lot to prove to compete with luxury automakers such as BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes-Benz. Now with multiple awards on the shelves, Genesis has done exactly that. The brand launched with the G80 and G90 sedans, the G90 was a rebranded version of the former Hyundai Equus. The G90 is the flagship full size sedan that seats five. It has evolved quickly as it received its first facelift in 2018 after only two years on the market and then the second generation debuted in late 2021 as a 2022 model. This new model further solidifies Genesis' place in the luxury segment with pure elegance inside and out.

The G90 is available with two powertrains that come standard with all-wheel drive. 3.5T twin turbo V6 models generate 365 horsepower and 376-pound feet of torque with prices starting at $88,400. Also available is a 3.5T E-supercharged V6 that boosts horsepower to 409 with 405-pound feet of torque. Supercharged models start at $98,700. Both come with an 8-speed electronic transmission with paddle shifters. Refined from the outside in, the G90 is loaded with modern technology, premium materials, comfort, and safety all around. Competition includes the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I spent a week in the supercharged model and here's what stood out...

Exterior Style (+)
Genesis has quickly come into their own stylistically with its massive crest grille and use of a sleek two-line LED lighting signature. Up front the crest grille is revised with two separate matrix patterns to create a 3D look. It's flanked by thin two-line LED headlights that wrap around to the fenders with a continuation of lighting on the other side of the wheel. These daytime running lights light up amber when using the turn signals and shine brightly white otherwise. The G90 boasts a clamshell hood that wraps to the fenders and top of the lights for a seamless design and minimal gaps. Its side profile is powerful with large wheels, a simple character line, wide C-pillar, and balanced proportions. Around back the two-line lighting continues with parallel lights that continue from the front of the car and wrap around the trunk. Genesis is spelled out across the center of the trunk while the license plate, various sensors, and reverse lights have all been lowered to complete the clean design aesthetic. Overall, the G90 has a presence that says, "look at me" and on many occasions I witnessed people do just that with this sedan.

Wheels (+)
Either 20 or 21-inch alloys come standard on the G90. Both designs are intricate and dimensional with different finishes. The 20-inch wheels have a sporty flare and look like they are in motion. The 21-alloys on my test car had a detailed starburst style with mixed finishes that complimented the car nicely.

Powertrain (+)
Regardless of the model you choose, the G90 has a balanced power distribution to deliver a comfortable and composed ride. This is not a performance sedan, nor does it try to be. The difference in horsepower between the two models is minimal from 365 - 405. Having been behind the wheel of the supercharged version, it offered a respectable 0-60 time of around 5 seconds. The feeling though, is subtle, and more like the takeoff of an airplane rather than the throw you back in your seat type of feeling. Regardless of the speed you're driving at, the throttle is responsive making this a nice cruiser on the highway. It glides through traffic with ease and never shakes up the passengers inside. An active noise control system helps counter the outside noises to ensure a serene cabin. All around, the G90 drives with an impressively quiet cabin that seems to block out all outside noise.

Handling (+)
As a heavy 5,000-pound sedan, the G90 features impressive handling with direct, balanced steering. Available rear wheel steering on the supercharged model aids in the G90's agility. While not overly noticeable visually, it's felt in the way that the car hugs corners tightly. There is some slight body lean in quick turns, but nothing that harms overall comfort levels. Also standard on the supercharged model is an adaptive suspension that smooths out the ride regardless of the road imperfections. The system uses cameras that read the road ahead to predict changing terrain and adjusts accordingly. Switch between modes that include comfort, chauffeur, and sport to adjust the overall ride at the touch of a button. Sport will lower the car for a more engaging ride and stiffer suspension. And if you're curious about the chauffeur setting, it will focus on comfort with a softer suspension to appease those rear seat passengers that might be relaxing in the reclining rear seats while the massagers are active.

Fuel Economy (-)
One area where the G90 is lacking is in its overall fuel economy as it falls below average among its competition. When it arrived with a full 19.3-gallon tank, it offered just under 400 miles of driving range. EPA estimates are 18/26/21 MPG city/highway/combined for the standard version and 17/24/20 MPG city/highway/combined for the supercharged version. It runs on premium fuel which will also add to the fuel expenses which on average will run around $3,000 annually. The competition fares better with fuel economy as the BMW gets an average of 25 MPG combined and the Mercedes at 24 MPG.

Interior Vibe (+)
From the moment you hop inside, the G90 is calming with its mix of high-quality materials and simple, yet elegant layout. Lined with materials like forged carbon fiber trim, Nappa leather, and microfiber suede it caters to all the senses. It even takes it one step further with a Mood Curator that will adjust the lighting, massaging seats, power sunshades, screen displays, audio content, and scent diffusers that will pump out in the car. Choose from vitality, delight, care, and comfort to address your current mood and let the car treat you as if you're in a spa. Perhaps the best seat in the car to utilize this is in the back where at the touch of a button the seat behind the passenger will recline with a built-in footrest while providing various settings of massage functions.

LED lighting also plays a part in the interior vibe of the G90. An array of ambient lighting choices fills the cabin with different hues and accent lights you'd find in a nice home. Build quality throughout is impressive as Genesis paid close attention to the details everywhere and didn't cut corners.

Technology (+/-)
Drivers will face a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with a screen that can be customized to your personal preference.  A second 12.3-inch touchscreen is at the center of the dash for all other controls. Both are part of one continuous dash piece as they are side by side.  The images and graphics used on the screen are elegant and classy. The system is intuitive and can be controlled via the touchscreen, some buttons, and a jog dial located in the center console. While the system does integrate with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a cord is required. This seems like a miss for a nearly $100,000 luxury car to offer scent diffusers, massaging seats, and mood curator... but not a wireless connectivity to Apple CarPlay found in most cars half the price.

Climate controls can be adjusted via the touchscreen or standalone controls located below the touchscreen which also include a volume dial for audio.  It comes with a 26-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system that fills the cabin with crisp, clean sounds. A virtual venues menu offers a 3D sound experience that replicates the acoustic quality of real-world venues such as the Boston Symphony Hall. A dedicated speaker in the driver's headrest will play sounds from the parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, and turn signals to maximize the serenity in the rest of the cabin. Other technology highlights include the easy close door system with flush door handles that automatically emerge as you approach the car. Once inside, the push of a button or tap of the brakes will close the door automatically.

Comfort (+)
Every seat in this five-passenger sedan is a good one, but the best may be in the back. Outfitted with quilted Nappa leather, the seats offer good support and positioning. All seats are available with heaters and ventilation functions. Also standard on the supercharged model are massaging seats with a mix of settings that include a full cascading massage or just focusing on specific portions of the back. Rear seat passengers can control their own comfort via a fold down armrest that includes an 8-inch touchscreen where passengers can adjust the ambient lighting, window shades, reclining features, massage functions, and audio controls. There is sufficient head, leg, and shoulder room throughout the car.

Cargo Capacity (-)
The focus is on passenger comfort more than it is on cargo in the G90.  The trunk can accommodate 12 cubic feet in the standard G90 and only 10.5 cubic feet in the supercharged version. Comparatively, the Lexus LS offers 17 cubic feet, and the Mercedes S-Class offers 13.8 cubic feet. There is a small pass through between the back seats for longer items, but it's not very large.  Throughout the interior, there are small storage options tucked in the doors and center console, but it is minimal.

Remote Smart Parking Assist (+)
This is a fun, but also useful, feature to show off to friends. The remote smart park assist enables your G90 to park itself without you being in the driver seat. At the touch of a button on the remote, you can back up or pull the vehicle forward into position. It's nice for tight spaces or if you just need to adjust its position in the driveway.

Driver Assist / Safety Features (+)
Genesis includes a comprehensive driver-assistance suite including forward collision warning, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keeping assistance, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, parking obstruction warning, driver monitoring, automatic high beams, rear cross-traffic warning, safe exit assist and more. Many of these features cost extra on German rivals.

One of the features is a semi-autonomous driving technology that is an advanced cruise control that will center the G90 and maintain a set distance from the vehicle it's behind. The system will also automatically change lanes with minimal driver input when it's safe to do so. It pairs nicely with the 3D head-up display that recognizes surrounding vehicles and shows them as 3D blocks on the road. Hands on the steering wheel are required, but the car will do most of the work.

Final Statement:
The Genesis G90 has launched itself to the list of top favorites in my household... my kids really enjoyed the rear massaging seats and mood curators.  Seriously though, this car is built well and offers everything you'd come to expect in a flagship sedan. It has tough competition with some staples in this segment, but the Genesis comes in at a price point that is on par or less than them ($40k less than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class). With striking good looks, a long list of technology, and refined road manners, the G90 is impressive all around. It's exciting to see a new brand join the industry with such stellar products, now they need to get them in front of consumers.

First Impression Summary:
Test Vehicle: 2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger
Exterior Color: Hallasan Green
Interior Color: Glacier White Nappa Leather
Notable Options: Hallasan Green Paint ($575)
MSRP as tested: $100,370 (with destination)

Pros: Striking style, refined ride, serene interior, premium amenities
Cons: Fuel economy, limited cargo, no wireless phone integration

Jim OBrill

Jim is Director of Marketing for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and Chicago Auto Show and a co-host of Drive Chicago Radio on WLS 890 AM Chicago. His passion for cars started young and he’s often referred to as the ‘car-guy’ among family and friends. As a former auto detailer, he has an eye for identifying solid used cars and tags along on many car buying adventures. Early in his career he worked at several car dealerships in various areas of the business. As a co-host on Drive Chicago and member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, Jim has had opportunities to attend track school and drive vehicles on multiple circuits such as Road America and Gingerman Raceway. With a background in photography, taking pictures of vehicles has always been a hobby.

Jim also enjoys the trails and taking trucks like his 4Runner off road. He has a special appreciation for older cars and can often be found spending free time at cruise nights or home washing one his four vehicles. Jim resides in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three kids. Follow Jim on Instagram at @jpcars22 for new vehicle content or @forgotten_survivors.312 for shots of older cars still on the streets of Chicagoland.