- Glass-smooth ride
- Powerful engines
- Roomy, beautiful interior
- Full suite of safety features
- Plenty of owner benefits
- No established brand cachet
- Somewhat wobbly handling
- V-8 isn't much more powerful than V-6
Powerful, spacious, and luxurious, the 2017 Genesis G90 kicks off Hyundai's new luxury brand in style.
The 2017 Genesis G90 is the first all-new vehicle from Hyundai's new luxury brand. A full-size luxury sedan, it aims for elite competition with a lineup that includes 3.3T Premium and 5.0 Ultimate models with rear- or all-wheel drive.
Had Hyundai not launched Genesis, the G90 would certainly be the second-generation Equus. Competitors include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Lexus LS 460.
We rate the Genesis G90 a 7.8 out of 10, with big points going to its fabulous interior and extreme value. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Genesis G90 styling and performance
Genesis calls the G90's design language Athletic Elegance. It's a long and commanding car, with appropriately regal look. Up front, the G90 features the brand's new "crest" grille, a large chrome shield that is wide at the top and tapers downward. The view from the side shows the car's classic rear-wheel-drive stance, with a long hood, a set back cabin, a short deck, and short overhangs.
Inside, the G90 features a horizontal layout that accentuates its width and luxury. A large 12.3-inch screen dominates the center of the dash, and below it are ergonomically designed metal buttons to help control it as well as the climate functions. The top quality materials--leather, wood, Alcantara, and metal--come together to create an environment that you'd love in your living room.
The Genesis is offered with a pair of powerful engines, though we only see a need for one of them. The Lambda V-6 makes 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. It joins the Tau 5.0-liter V-8, which carries over from the Equus and produces 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are bolted to a Hyundai-produced 8-speed automatic transmission.
The V-6 is smooth and strong, and it works well with the 8-speed to provide effortless passing punch when needed. While the V-8 offers a slightly more masculine engine note when pushed, we'd opt for the V-6. The 0 to 60 mph times for both engines are likely in the low 6-second range. The V-6 is more efficient, too, delivering 20 mpg combined, while the V-8 is an mpg or two lower, depending on if you choose all-wheel drive.
From a ride and handling standpoint, the G90 is at its best on the highway. It's about as comfortable a cruiser as you will find, but it leans into turns and has a bit of trouble righting itself when it resumes a straight path. Steering is too light for our tastes, too, but the ride quality is exemplary. Overall, the G90 is in line with the Lexus LS 460 in terms of dynamics.
G90 quality, safety, and features
Like Genesis promises for all of its vehicles, the G90 rides on a dedicated platform. It's a new architecture that is 80 percent stiffer than that of the Equus and uses far more high-strength steel: 51.7 percent compared to 28.7 percent. Unlike the competition, though, there is no carbon fiber or aluminum. The wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than that of the Equus and the car is 1.8 inches longer overall. It's also an inch wider, and the extra size means it weighs about 200 pounds more comparably equipped, though a new twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 engine saves 120 pounds off the total.
From the driver's seat or any seat, the cabin is quiet, comfortable, and roomy. The standard 22-way power-adjustable driver's seat offers a setting for anyone, and the car's extra wheelbase makes the back seat very spacious. Rear occupants have a fold-down center armrest with a dial to control the audio and climate systems, but Genesis doesn't offer such rear seat amenities as a DVD entertainment system, fold-out tables, an ottoman, or a bottle cooler. V-6 buyers don't get adjustable, reclining rear seats, but V-8 buyers do.
That's not to say the 3.3T Premium isn't well equipped. It comes with such features as heated and ventilated front seats, three-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, heated rear seats, a navigation system, a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, Qi wireless charging, and a head-up display. The 5.0 adds those power rear seats, as well as rear seat ventilation and LED headlights.
Also standard is an extensive list of safety features that includes forward-collision warnings, cameras in just about every direction, lane departure warnings and lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and nine airbags (including a driver knee bag). There are no safety options; all Genesis buyers are well protected. The IIHS has called the 2017 G90 a Top Safety Pick+, but federal testers haven't yet thrown one into a wall.