2020 Genesis G90

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2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
July 6, 2020

Buying tip

We’d tick the boxes for an all-wheel-drive V-6, which is the better value between G90 powertrains.

features & specs

3.3T Premium AWD
3.3T Premium RWD
5.0L Ultimate AWD
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
MSRP
$74,700
MSRP
$72,200
MSRP
$78,200

The 2020 Genesis G90 drops the silly luxury-car pretenses, and puts its smart money down on features and service.

The 2020 Genesis G90 takes on some of the world's best cars—the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8 among them—but does it at a lower price and without as much technological wizardry.

It earns a 7.0 on our overall scale for its serene interior and ride. Other full-sizers do better, but also cost magnitudes more. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

A 2020 update for the G90 gives it new body panels aside for the roof and doors, and a new polished silver shield of a grille that stands out like a knight charging a foe. That mesh grille, along with matrix-style optional 19-inch wheels, stand out as "look at me" elements of an otherwise understated large luxury car.

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The look is updated inside as well, where the ambience embraces premium materials and a new dash design emphasizes horizontal lines. Chrome plating is applied to the switches, leather swathes the center console as well as the seats, double stitching and piping decorate that leather, and open-pore wood accents the high-end look. Interior technology is also updated. 

What doesn't change are the two powertrains that define its trim levels. The 3.3T features a turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 that makes 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The 5.0 is motivated by a 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Like the 2019 model, there isn’t much of a power difference between the engines, but the V-8 simply sounds better.

Buyers will pay extra for that sound, both at the dealer and at the pump. The V-8 is EPA-rated at 19 mpg combined with rear-drive and 18 mpg with all-wheel drive, while the V-6 gets identical 20 mpg combined ratings with rear- or all-wheel drive.

Active noise cancellation and Genesis' adaptive electronic dampers conspire to create a pleasant ride, and the big Genesis sedan still delivers big-car comfort for four, including a 22-way driver seat, heated and cooled outboard rear seats, and wireless smartphone charging. 

The 2020 Genesis G90 comes standard with a wide range of active-safety features, including forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking that can detect bicycles, rear cross-traffic alerts with automatic braking, active lane control that can keep the car centered in its lane when following another car or driving on the highway, and a system to warn occupants not to exit the vehicle when an object is approaching too closely. The 2020 G90 was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. 

The G90’s central 12.3-inch infotainment screen now incorporates touch controls and offers split screens with copper-colored highlights. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility carry over. Genesis gives owners a lovely perk in its 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, and comes standard three years or 36,000 miles of concierge service; they’ll pick up and drop off the car after routine service.

7

2020 Genesis G90

Styling

A BMW-big grille gives the 2020 G90 more presence.

Genesis delivered the G90 with cautious style back in 2017. For 2020 it’s throwing some of its caution to the wind, with a resculpted nose. We give the updated look a 7, with a point extra for the interior and one for the engaging new face.

The new, big grille gives the G90 some character. It’s gigantic, in a good way, with a shield shape and an emphatic presence lacking in the predecessor. It’s paired with reshaped front fenders, thin new LED headlights, and a lower front bumper. 

From other angles, the G90 remains conservative. The scalloped sides, brushed-back fenders, and the rear roofline are country-club apparel compared to the nose bling and the new basket-weave 19-inch wheels—and the GENESIS lettering strewn across the decklid. Yes. We see you.

The interior’s sedate appeal lies in a horizontal design, where nothing gets in the way of a relaxed cruise. A 12.3-inch touchscreen rules the dash, where it’s not smothered in leather or open-pore wood. For risk-takes, Genesis sells a navy shade of leather that’s several shades quieter and less fabulous than a Lincoln Navigator, but it’s trying. The G90 succeeds by not bowing to overwrought style, and if its dated analog gauges and subdued interior could be more engaging, well, couldn’t we all?

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7

2020 Genesis G90

Performance

The G90 excels with its sublime ride and relaxed attitude.

It can cruise along effortlessly with the best luxury sedans, but the Genesis G90 leaves lap times and high-speed handling to others in its cohort. We give it a 7 for performance, thanks to a cosseting ride and the ample strength of either of its drivetrains.

Genesis fits the standard G90 with a 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6. It puts out 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, and shifts via an 8-speed automatic. While the standard car also comes with rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is an option. The V-6’s acceleration is more than ample for a car of its size, especially one that doesn’t make pretense about heady performance.

Still, Genesis sells a V-8 that accompanies its muscular sound with 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The sound’s its better trick; acceleration feels stronger than the V-6, but not searingly so. It’s smoother in city driving by a slight margin, but that’s a hard thing to justify its extra cost. The V-8 also can be paired with all-wheel drive.

With either engine, the G90 delivers a supple ride that drivers can choose via electronically controlled shocks. The front and rear suspensions are both five-link setups, aided by electronic shocks that filter out fussy stretches of road. There’s a Sport mode, which feels a little out of place, though the G90 always has a surefooted air about it; it boosts steering weight and snugs the seat bolsters around the driver. We’d leave it in either of its Comfort modes, and let the G90’s cushy ride and light steering soak up our commute and chew through the ride home, fuss-free.

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9

2020 Genesis G90

Comfort & Quality

The G90 coddles four adults in leather, wood, and silence.

The G90’s serene interior wears its luxurious wood and leather trim with all the authenticity of something you’d see on the autobahn. It sets the same pace as a Lexus LS with its impressive finishes, its storage, its cushy front and rear seats. It’s a 9 for comfort and quality.

The heated and cooled front seats adjust up to 22 ways for the driver, so it’s a snap to find an excellent long-distance driving position. Passengers will have to settle for 16-way adjustment. The G90 doesn’t embarrass with too much shoulder or knee room, but it’s sized fine.

In the back seat Genesis provides more than 37 inches of leg room from a 124.4-inch wheelbase. It’s shy of the longer-wheelbase sedans that hail from Germany, but the difference is hard to notice when the rear seat heaters and coolers are running, when the Lexicon audio system burbles with its dulcet tones. Two adults can nap back there easily; a third in the middle won’t be uncomfortable—but “welcome” is another matter.

The G90 sports 15.7 cubic feet of trunk space, but the rear seat back doesn’t fold down to expand its capacity. The sedan does have lots of cubbies and small-item storage—and it has the rich leather and wood trim that signifies status for a certain kind of driver. There’s nothing exotic about the cabin’s metallic trim, suedes, low-gloss wood and nappa leather—and there’s nothing out of step, either.

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8

2020 Genesis G90

Safety

Incomplete crash-test scores still flatter the Genesis G90.

The NHTSA hasn’t checked in with its report yet, but the IIHS loves the G90—and that helps it to a safety score of 8, even with incomplete data.

The IIHS called the G90 a Top Safety Pick+, thanks to excellent headlights and faultless crash-test scores. That rating may change as the agency updates its criteria this year; we’ll update this section accordingly.

Every G90 sedan has automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors and cameras, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system. New for 2020, it’s added lane-centering control, automatic emergency braking for reverse gear, and a safe-exit system that beeps if the car detects vehicles approaching in the blind spots.

Outward vision is good for a large sedan, and the G90’s standard parking sensors help with parking maneuvers.

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8

2020 Genesis G90

Features

Genesis includes nearly every luxury feature in the 2020 G90.

Every Genesis comes with exceptional standard features, great infotainment, and strong warranty coverage; it earns an 8 for features.

Base $73,195 G90 sedans come with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; 22-way driver seat; cooled and heated front seats; leather upholstery; wood trim; three-zone climate control; wireless smartphone charging; premium audio; and a heated steering wheel. They also come with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and three years or 36,000 miles’ worth of concierge service, during which Genesis will pick up and return your car for maintenance appointments.

Opt for a $76,695 V-8 G90, and a rear-seat entertainment system and cooled rear seats come with it. That’s it; Genesis offers no options or packages on its flagship sedan, not that you’d miss them.

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3

2020 Genesis G90

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Genesis G90 gets mediocre gas mileage.

We give the 2020 G90 a 3 for fuel economy, based on the EPA ratings applied to its base V-6 engine. Those figures check in at 17 mpg city, 25 highway, 20 combined, whether it has all-wheel drive or not. V-8 G90s earn 16/24/19 mpg with rear-wheel drive, 15/23/18 mpg with all-wheel drive.

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$72,200
MSRP based on 3.3T Premium RWD
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7.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 8
Features 8
Fuel Economy 3
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