The posh, full-sized G90 flagship sedan undergoes an impressive, second-generation makeover in 2023 within the Genesis brand.
In the past decade, scores of new automotive brand names have popped up (Rivian, Canoo, Fisker, Lordstown Motors) largely concentrated in the emerging all-electric category leaving the average consumer pondering what is what and who is who and just what is this Genesis thing?
Genesis reflects a luxury automotive brand, the upscale division of South Korea’s well-established Hyundai Motors specifically; in much the same way Lexus denotes a step-up experience when side-by-side with its mainstream parent company Toyota. Both Lexus and Genesis target similar clientele with Genesis owning a pricing edge as a value-driven option with a relatively lower entry price.
The Genesis name first came to light as a high-end rear-drive sedan within Hyundai’s lineup. The spin-off Genesis Division debuted in the 2016 model year with the G80 and full-size G90 sedans as its first two offerings. Soon, five-door crossovers joined the lineup and its first all-electric vehicle, the GV60 five-door crossover is due out also in the 2023 model year. Genesis is proceeding full throttle into the electric age, committing to an all-electric vehicle brand by 2030.
One common thread parent company Hyundai shares with its luxury-driven Genesis brand; a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, one of the longest provided by any manufacturer luxury or plebian. This simple, easy-to-remember marketing mantra helped jump start Hyundai’s U.S. sales in the mid-1990s and serves as a peace-of-mind perk at Genesis.
Kudos to Genesis for continued investment with four-door sedans of all sizes and comfort levels. Domestic automakers Lincoln, Cadillac and Buick have all shelved the kindly sedan in favor of all crossovers all the time.
The Flagship G90 continues exclusively as an all-wheel-drive offering in 2023 with a starting price of $88,400. The G90 comes fully-loaded with all imaginable options already standard. With the exception of an exterior color selection and e-Supercharger engine booster, no major decision-making need apply.
This marketing strategy contrasts with those from luxury German Automakers (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz), worthy rivals that offer a cadre of stand-alone and a-la-cart packages that add quickly to an otherwise attractive starting price.
An already generous wheelbase (distance between front and rear axle) grows by an inch compared with Gen One while overall length adds close to three inches. Extended measurements are apparent with limousine-like leg room in row two along with extra stretches for drivers and shot gunners.
The G90 delivers rarely visited nuances such as rear wheel steering, a technological tweak also known as four-wheel steering allowing the rear wheels to swivel through a limited degree range not dissimilar to its front wheel counterparts. It’s not a new brainstorm within the auto industry, but one that’s been quietly tinkered with during the past half century.
At lower speeds, large-frames sedan like G90 with rear-wheel steering can execute tighter turning circles, convenient in tighter parking lots and garages. At highway speeds, stability increases.
Gone from the previous G-90 generation; an optional, naturally-aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 delivering 408 horses. In 2023 G90 offers one V-6 engine, a 3.5-liter, 24-valve with twin turbochargers providing 375 horsepower. A 48-volt e-Supercharger is available to boost the twin turbochargers vaulting horsepower to an impressive, V-8-like 409. Both set ups mate with an eight-speed automatic transmission and recommend premium unleaded fuel for optimal performance when filling the sizeable 19.3-gallon tank.
Consider the performance-oriented 48-volt e-supercharger a mild gas-electric hybrid boost combining together a small electric motor and electric supercharger. The electric hybrid motor assists spooling of the twin turbo’s forced air compressor helping tweak up fuel economy and low-end powertrain torque. It’s self-charging, so no need for nightly plug-ins.
Our tester included the e-Supercharger and a $98,700 price tag. The only option was Hallasan Green exterior premium paint ($575) for a $100,370 bottom line including a $1,095 destination charge. The e-Supercharger version adds a few extras when compared to the standard engine including multi-chamber air suspension, larger 21-inch wheels, ventilated rear seats with massaging functions and 23 speakers (up from 15) with auxiliary amplifier delivering 3D sound.
The long, wide hood meets up with a hulking five-sided, diamond-meshed-filled center grille. By design or coincidence, it’s reminiscent of gravity-defying superhero Superman’s chest-embossed logo. While the G90 can’t fly in superhero ‘up up and away’ fashion (yet) its winged medallion logo ensconces onto the hood above the diamond grille. This Genesis-brand logo beams to the ground in the form of puddle lights projected from beneath side view mirrors when skies grow dark.
Smooth-to-the-touch flush-mounted door handles protrude out for easier grasp once unlocked by the key or approaching with the key fob on person. Dual inboard exhaust pipes adorn the lower back.
Surrounding the grille are two rows of small diamond-studded LED-lighting artwork. The rear LED taillight design features thinner-than-last-season full-width dual-style bands traveling from side to side. The trunk now includes a lip-flip style mini rear spoiler. Side windows receive thick, chrome-like trimming.
A pair of front fender horizontal stripes serve as stylish alerts and blink in amber unison when activating turn signal stalks indicating future intensions to fellow road travelers, a low-tech concept with strong visually effective results.
All four side doors corresponding to the four seating positions include a ‘Smart Closing’ function. Once drivers/passengers are ensconced within their comfort zone, push buttons between the buckets power close the door in a predictable, calm fashion thanks to dampening effects. This comes nicely into play when side doors open so wide, necessitating long uncomfortable arm stretches. Conventional, mechanical interior door handles exchange for an elegant electric push-button variety.
Inside, the whisper-quiet experience mimics that of any ultra-luxury rival thanks in part to noise-reducing laminated glass built into the windshield, side windows and rear window. Light touch steering and air suspension glides G90 along in pillowy fashion rather than experiencing every nuance and bump on the pavement below.
The long, multi-leveled dashboard design combines soft-touch materials and high-tech graphics compliments of the 12.3-inch animated instrument panel screen extending east and intersecting with the 12.3-inch multi-information touch display creating a huge flat black backdrop with the ignition off. Push start the ignition, and graphics start dancing.
Between the ultra-comfortable bucket seats featuring Nappa leather resides the bejeweled electronic transmission dial. A twist left summons reverse while a right twist provides forward gears. To engage park, push a top button with a ‘P’ icon. To the right of this dial, another similar-sized dial with distinct tactile differences helps monitor the in-dash multi-function touch screen. Also in this region, a chrome push button to selection one of three drive modes. The electronic start-stop ignition push button resides on the dash right of the steering column.
Audio controls for the touch screen monitor from a thumb scroll between the front buckets, secondary steering wheel face buttons or voice commands. The large, circular dial right of the rotary transmission also commands an in-screen curser. Two upfront climate zones monitor from a smaller horizontal touch screen lower in the central dash.
Wireless phone charging also takes place between front buckets in a convenient pocket between the vertically orientated armrest/storage bin (hinged at the sides and opening from the center like side-by-side refrigerator doors) and transmission dial. Rear riders also enjoy their own dedicated wire-free charging station within e-Supercharged editions.
The animated instrument panel includes a practical, easy-to-interpret blind spot video feed activated when summoning the turn signals, allowing a visual peek into a pesky region. The video stream appears in circular formats, fading out once the turn or lane change is completed. The 2023 G90 also includes all the latest passive and active safety features standard (lane keep assist, cross traffic alert, etc.) Turn signal blinkers chime in stereo through the fully integrated sound system.
Genesis invites all senses to the party with its ‘mood curator’ delivering pleasant puffs of scented fragrances into the cabin on demand. It’s selectable via the multi-function touch screen. To set the visual mood at night, thin pen lighting adorns the doors emitting a soft-pink hue.
Row two accommodates two riders in comfort and style with a digital command post and screen separating each pod. Seats include pillow-like head rests, tilting back for optimal snooze comfort as backs power fold down. Rear audio and seat requests spring from the high-resolution screen within the command post utilizing easily identifiable and sizeable graphics. Each pod includes its own illuminated ceiling mirror. Guests may overstay their welcome and refuse to exit unless sternly requested. 2023 Genesis G90
Price as tested: $100,370
Engine: 3.5-liter twin turbo V-6 w/Supercharger
Wheelbase: 125.2 inches
Overall Length: 207.7 inches
Overall Width: 76 inches
Overall Height: 58.7 inches
Curb weight: 4,861 pounds
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/20 mpg highway
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years/100,000 miles
Assembly: South Korea