Genesis largest sedan, and arguably its technological flagship is completely redesigned for 2023. The G90 is a full-size 4-door sedan that competes with the likes of the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. For 2023, the G90 gets a new chassis, exterior and interior styling, drivetrain and features. It also gets a big price hike with the sole trim level listing for more than $88,000.
Though there is only one trim level, two engines are offered. The G90 3.5T gets a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that makes 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. G90 3.5T E-Supercharger adds an electric supercharger for a power boost to 409 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. Both engines make to an 8-speed automatic and come standard with all-wheel drive.
Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with brake assist, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert with automate braking, driver-attention warning, surround-view monitor, Smart Parking Assist, and rear-seat reminder. Tech equipment includes 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12.3-inch center touchscreen, head-up display, wireless cell-phone charger, 5 USB-C ports, 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, and Genesis Digital Key. Standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors, hand-free trunk release, LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, simulated suede headliner, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats with massage function, heated rear seats, 3-zone climate control, and power rear sunshades. Opting for the E-Supercharger adds 21-inch wheels, air suspension, rear-wheel steering, rear-seat wireless device charger, and 26-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio.
Unless you are an ultimate performance addict, there's almost no reason to get the E-Supercharger. The base engine provides solid acceleration and brisk passing punch. However, opting for the more-powerful engine nets instant throttle response at any speed and a 0 to 60 MPH time of about 5 seconds. The uniqueness of the supercharger/turbocharger combo creates an engine with no dead-spots in power delivery. Simply stomp the go-pedal and the G90 accelerates like a French TGV train.
The downside to performance is usually poor fuel economy and the portly G90 is no exception to that rule. The base engine is EPA rated at 18/26 MPG city/highway. Supercharged models drop to 17/24 MPG. Both ratings are a trifle lower than competitors. In addition, premium-grade fuel is required. The 19.3-gallon fuel tank is appropriately sized to deliver a 400-mile highway range. In routine suburban commuting expect to average about 19 MPG. Throw in some gentle highway cruising and you'll see that number creep toward 20 MPG.
Both engines mate well to the smooth shifting 8-speed automatic. Included are steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual operation, but that's hardly necessary as the downshifts are prompt. The standard all-wheel drive system does an excellent job of delivering power to the wheels with the most traction, but for best all-season drivability it would be smart to swap to snow tires in the winter.
Traditionally, flagship luxury sedans have favored ride comfort over handling prowess and the new G90 is follows that trend. However, with a near 50/50 weight distribution, available air suspension and rear-wheel steering the G90 doesn't mind being hustled into sharp corners and around bending highway on ramps. Another reason to opt for the E-Supercharger is the fact that it comes standard with air suspension and rear-wheel steering. There are three settings for the optional air suspension, comfort, chauffeur, and sport. No matter the setting, The G90 rides with extreme comfort, but chauffeur prioritizes the rear occupants' comfort, while sport stiffens the suspension.
From a driver's perspective, the G90 feels heavy, but not ponderous. The steering is sharp and nicely weighted. Brakes have ample stopping power and an easy-to-modulate pedal. Body lean is nicely kept in check, but quick changes of direction reveal the G90's 5,000-pound curb weight and result in modest aftershocks as the car settles.
Whisper quiet would be a fair description of the interior. There's hardly any road, wind or engine noise when cruising on the highway. Under hard acceleration, there's some intake and exhaust noise, but it's appropriate and not unsettling.
Inside, there's little mistaking the G90 is a premium vehicle. From the Nappa leather seats to the microfiber suede headliner, materials are top notch and every bit the equal of rivals. The forged carbon-fiber trim with metal inlay, which looks and feels elegant and is different from anything we've seen in the industry.
Passenger space is also impressive. Both front and rear seat occupants have ample head and leg room. The seats are extremely comfortable and plenty adjustable. Front seats come standard with a massage feature and that's an option for the rear seats as well. For those in the rear passenger seat, a button on the door panel slides the front passenger's seat forward to make space for a footrest to use as you recline and relax. Rear doors and rear window have sunshades. All-in-all, the feeling is beyond first class. It should be noted that 4- and 5-passenger seating configurations are available.
In another nice touch, drivers can select from four mood curators dubbed Vitality, Delight, Care, and Comfort. Each adjusts the seat position, massage, lighting, fragrance, and melody to suit an emotional goal, while the 12.3-inch infotainment screen displays appropriate graphics. Lasting between 20 and 30 minutes, the mood curator works with four senses -- touch, smell, sight, and hearing.
From a tech standpoint, the G90 almost has it all. Almost because wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto are not yet supported. Otherwise, most will find the infotainment system fairly easy, if somewhat cumbersome, to control. The biggest gripe is you constantly have to go back to "home" to switch to different controls, rather than being able to jump from system to system. Standard safety features abound and work well, though the lane centering included with the adaptive cruise control tends to ping-pong a bit.
From a cargo-carrying standpoint, the G90 disappoints. The trunk capacity of the 3.5T is just 12 cubic feet with Supercharged models dropping to 10.5 cubes. Interior storage is fair with some open and covered bins throughout.
Bottom Line -- Building a flagship luxury sedan is quick way for an automaker to gain respect and credibility -- if they do it right. Lexus is the case study as it launched back in 1989 with the LS and instantly won over buyers with its blend of style, comfort and features. Though the G90 isn't Genesis first large luxury sedan, it's the upstart automaker's first attempt to build a no-holds-barred flagship. It's comfortable, fast and packed with technology. In fact, there's hardly a feature that isn't standard on the new G90. It's also quite expensive, though it is certainly less expensive than a similarly equipped 7-Series or S-Class. Time will tell if the G90 can stand toe-to-toe with class stalwarts, but it is certainly hard to find fault in Genesis' new flagship.