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From Rags to Riches, Getting One Step Closer to Luxury: 2017 Genesis G90 3.3T AWD

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Considering 20 years ago, Hyundai was just a name plate for being a lower economical substituted brand for the average income household, they certainly have proven their worth over the years. In 2015, when Hyundai announced they’ll be dividing up the company and creating a more premium, luxury brand called Genesis – it was a shock and all that we hope will take off. Having been launched in 2017, one of Genesis first addendums is the G90, an Equus replacement.

Oh How Sweet You Are:

Genesis has made things easy on the consumer; choose an engine, an exterior and interior color. There are five colors, two shades of gray, black, white and a brownish that probably won’t execute the G90 exquisite silhouette very well. Depending on the exterior color, the choice between a beige nappa leather interior with ash gray wood and a black nappa leather with walnut is all you’ll get – ours featured the walnut. Then it comes down to an engine; Genesis new twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 or a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8. The difference between the two doesn’t come down to numbers, while the 5.0-liter V-8 develops 420-horsepower, the 3.3-liter twin-turbo’s lesser 365-horsepower packs a punch, enough so to really question the V-8’s integrity; especially when the V-6 can get much better fuel consumption.

Both engines are paired to a shift by wire, smooth-operating eight-speed auto and the choice between rear-wheel or All-Wheel Drive. Our sampler, having the 3.3-liter twin-turbo and all-wheel drive system nailed down a 60 mph run in less than 5.5 seconds – which is pretty ample considering the G90 weighs nearly 5000lbs. Different drive modes adjusts how the Genesis responds in such conditions, primarily being supported in comfort mode, everything is cushy. But we here sometimes like the feel of the road and the Individual mode allowed us to tailor the G90’s behavior to our exact specification – meaning everything got put in Sport Mode but the transmission, which only offers Comfort and Eco.

Genesis has nailed the concept of a large luxury car without over doing it on the performance end of the spectrum. Sure, if the drive mode is left in Comfort, the drive is as isolating as the interior with its dual pane glass. However, invoking Sport Mode or left in Individual Mode, the G90 articulated something we did not expect, road awareness. On some twisty bits, its confident chassis hugged the corners and provided some adequate road feel through the semi-responsive steering wheel. Minimum body lean came from the suspension as it adapted to each situation and managed to provide a controlled environment, but also maintained a certain comfort level one should expect from a large luxury sedan.

A Lover, Not a Fighter:

One may claim that the Genesis G90 may be a German fighter, and while it has all the proper techniques to take on Audi, BMW, and Mercedes; the competition really isn’t there – they’re not only more expensive, but they’ve been doing this much longer. The Genesis targets the more luxury flagships like the Lexus LS570, Cadillac CT6 and Lincoln Continental. Considering those last two starts in the low 50k range, they’re probably not real competitors to our as-tested price of $71,525; however, they both can reach over 75k after options.

It’s all about class and style with the Genesis G90. It doesn’t need radical designs to standout. Our featured G90 in Caspian Black looked every bit the part of a luxury business sedan. And just wait till you see those dazzling rear LED taillights at night! Stepping up in the V-8 will replace the G90’s standard HID headlights with LED’s as well as some interior comfort features like power adjustable rear seats with heated and ventilated functionality along with a few other minor details.

One Step Closer to Luxury:

It’s not like the G90 is short on the features either, everything seen here is standard. The large high resolution 12.3-inch Navigation and Driver Information system is quite the party piece to Genesis that can easily be controlled and accessed through the rotary center console mounted knob (similar to BMW’s i-Drive system.) Its functionality is fairly simple to use once gotten used to. The interior is sublime in providing comfort with a 22-way power adjustable driver seat and both memory seating for the passenger and driver. And then there are the advance safety features that are now typically found in any Genesis product.

The design has been very well executed with radio and climate controls in a horizontal fashion and easy to access. Rear passengers can enjoy the ease of controlling the radio station, and navigation screen through their own control panel, though for reason we can’t understand why, it’s not like they can see the screen. Besides, it quickly got locked when rear passengers filled the seats and started playing with it. At lease they can also control their own temperature through the three-zone climate control system.

Genesis attempt at a full size luxury car has been accomplished quite well; it does however come with a few shortcomings: some of the plastics felt of a cheaper product, like something seen out of mainstream Hyundai, the wood looked faker than my grandmother’s wig, and the adaptive cruise control system was slightly jerky on downhill dissents.

It had to be a difficult decision for Hyundai to branch off into a whole new territory of a luxury car market and the Genesis G90 proves itself as hearty contender against those who have been doing this a lot longer. While some may speculate the power of turbocharged V-6, just know the V-8’s purpose is just there for peace of mind. The G90’s performance and luxury touches are a solid foundation for what’s to come down the line.

Vehicle Specifications:
2017 Genesis 3.3T Base Price: $68,100
As Tested (including Options & Destination): $71,575
Performance Specs:
3.3-liter Twin Turbocharged V-6 – 365-Horsepower, 8-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±5.5 seconds
EPA MPG: 17/24/20 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 21.3 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±530 Miles


  1. 22-way driver’s seat! Sheesh, if you can’t get comfortable in this car, you’re a lost cause. Sure was a treat to ride in exquisite comfort up the twisties of Hwy 153 in this luxo-barge, and I must say it left me very impressed with its chassis composure! Nicely done, Genesis.

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