Drive: Add the 2020 Genesis G90 to your list of refined sedans
In the automotive world, the word “refinement” usually brings to mind Bentleys, BMWs and Cadillacs. But what about South Korea’s finest motorcar, the Genesis G90? It deserves a place on the same list.
Today, a full-sized, full-blown luxury sedan is likely to cost $100,000 or more. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, touted by many as the best in its segment, starts at $94,250. The BMW 7 Series rolls in at $86,800. And the Bentley Flying Spur? Dig deep: $214,600.
The 2020 G90 is a comparative bargain at $72,200. Not only is the G90 thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars less expensive than these magnificent cars, but it leaves nothing to chance. Our G90 Ultimate test car, with all-wheel drive and a 420-horsepower V-8, came with every imaginable feature and a few you probably haven’t thought of — all for $79,195. There were no options.
“The G90 offers a wealth of premium amenities standard,” Genesis says on its website. “Your inner CEO will approve. Your inner CFO will sign off.”
The corporate references apparently refer to the Genesis’ potential as a limousine transporting executives in luxury, in the split back seat. It’s one of the few cars we’ve driven lately with enough back-seat knee room and head room to satisfy tall passengers. And the outboard seats feature heating, cooling and power adjustment. There’s also a monitor on each side for rear-seat information and entertainment.
Any automaker can load up its flagship model with luxury, performance and safety features, but the temptation to save money on interior materials, switches and styling has set back many a fine car. But Genesis has not made any such mistakes, at least, none we could discern. The leathers, cushioned surfaces, even the trunk materials are top quality.
The same goes for performance. The V-8 engine’s horsepower and torque ratings speak for themselves. The car also handles well and treats its occupants to near silence. It even has a self-driving mode, though it’s insistent that the driver keep his or her hands on the steering wheel.
While the G90’s array of cameras leaves no doubt about what’s in the vicinity, a day trip around western Connecticut reminded us repeatedly that this truly is a big car. Parking and navigating tight driveways was challenging because of the car’s length — a little more than 17 feet.
2020 Genesis G90 AWD 5.0 Ultimate
Engine: 5.0-liter V-8, 420 horsepower, 383 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 4,960 lb.
Suspension: multi-link front and rear
Wheels: 19-in. alloy
Tires: P245/45R19 front, P275/40R19 rear, all-season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 15.7 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 21.9 gal.
Fuel economy: 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway
Fuel type: premium unleaded gasoline (recommended)
For people who are impressed with the G90’s many fine qualities, Genesis also offers the G70 (which we felt was a little too small to qualify as a true luxury sedan) and the G80 (which we haven’t driven yet). So there may be a right-sized Genesis for everyone.
Alternatives to the G90, including the models cited above, include the Audi A8, Lincoln Continental, Cadillac CT6, Acura RLX, Kia K900, Volvo S90 and Lexus LS500.
The G90 is rated at just 15 mpg city, 23 highway, and premium unleaded gasoline is recommended. We averaged about 27 mpg in mostly highway driving.
G90 sales are fairly light — just 2,238 units sold last year — but sales are running a little ahead of 2019 for the freshened 2020 model.
The G90 has been rated a Top Safety Pick Plus by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Steven Macoy (email@example.com) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel.