2021 Genesis G90

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2021
The Car Connection
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2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
October 21, 2020

Buying tip

The 3.3T Prestige performs nearly as well as the 5.0 Ultimate, and comes loaded with features.

features & specs

3.3T Premium AWD
3.3T Premium RWD
5.0L Ultimate AWD
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
MPG
16 city / 23 hwy
MSRP
$75,450
MSRP
$72,950
MSRP
$79,200

Practical and luxurious rarely mix, but the marriage works in the 2021 Genesis G90.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Genesis G90? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Genesis G90 is the South Korean luxury brand’s flagship full-size sedan. Loaded with standard safety and convenience features, the G90 is a rival to the Lexus LS500, Volvo S90, Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8. 

Is the 2021 Genesis G90 a good car?

Review continues below

The G90 earns a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10 for its excellent standard safety and convenience features, potent powertrains with a smooth ride, and stately style. The only thing holding back the large sedan is middling fuel economy. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Genesis G90?

After last year’s refresh with a new front fascia, the 2021 G90 remains mostly the same. Genesis added an adaptive suspension with electronic dampers as standard this year, as well as auto-dimming automatic high beams. 

The G90 floats on a style made less conservative by a massive mesh grille shaped like a shield and available 19-inch wheels with a metallic weave. A band of daytime running lights split the headlights and wrap around the fenders. The attractive if understated styling continues inside, where chrome switches complement open-pore walnut wood trim and oodles of leather. 

Two powertrains simplify the G90 lineup. The 3.3T Prestige comes with a 365-horsepower 3.3 liter twin-turbo V-6, or an available 5.0 flexes a 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 that sounds more muscular, even though the performance difference is negligible. Standard with rear-wheel drive but available in all-wheel drive, the most efficient G90 is not so efficient at 20 mpg combined. The V-8 with all-wheel drive brings up the rear at 18 mpg combined. 

Standard adaptive dampers and active noise cancellation soften the ride for smooth sailing, and a 22-way power driver’s seat that is heated and cooled keeps the cruising comfy. 

Active safety features run the gamut from automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection front and rear to adaptive cruise control that can restart from a stop, as well as a surround-view camera system that costs extra on other luxury sedans. 

Other standard content includes a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an excellent 5-year/60,000-mile warranty that includes 3-year/36,000 complimentary scheduled service with concierge delivery.  

How much does the 2021 Genesis G90 cost?

Unlike nearly every other luxury sedan, the G90 has a limited price spread with two trims tied to the two engines. The 3.3T Prestige starts at about $74,000 and tops out in 5.0 Ultimate trim just over $80,000. 

Where is the 2021 Genesis G90 made?

The Genesis G90 is built in its home country of South Korea.


7

2021 Genesis G90

Styling

Shedding its conservative introduction, the G90 flexes bolder elements inside and out.

Is the 2021 Genesis G90 a good-looking car?

The giant mesh grille and distinctive headlights shed the conservative nature of the G90 for a strong but clean presence. It is indeed a good-looking sedan, and for that we give it a 7. 

The crest-shaped grille appears to have dropped its own jaw while apprising itself. The other big change for last year’s refresh were thin LED headlights split by a band of daytime running lights that wrap around the fenders to create a body line that extends to the rear, where a boldly stamped “Genesis” on the trunk dispels any confusion about the winged badge. Large 19-inch wheels with metal braids complement the big grille. 

Inside, the horizontal layout of the dash welcomes a kind of calm that might make rear seat riders get horizontal in a nap. A large 12.3-inch touchscreen rules over a soft-touch dash lined with wood trim and metallic accents, and an analog clock that seems a nod to other luxury anachronisms more than anything distinct to the G90.

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7

2021 Genesis G90

Performance

Despite capable acceleration, the G90 is built for comfort, not speed.

Either powertrain in the G90 can hustle, but the large sedan performs better at quiet comfort than outrageous acceleration. A point is earned for both the smooth, enveloping ride and potent enough engines to get a 7 for performance.  

Is the G90 4WD?

The 2021 G90 starts in rear-wheel drive but can be had with all-wheel drive for $2,500 extra in base Prestige trim or top Ultimate trim. 

How fast is the G90?

The base 3.3T Prestige employs a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 that makes 365 hp and 376 pound-feet of torque via an 8-speed automatic transmission. There’s plenty of power on tap for nearly all driving situations except racing and doesn’t come with all the alphanumeric bluster and pricey upgrades of its rivals. 

Genesis doesn’t publicize 0-60 mph times.

The 5.0 V-8 churns out 420 hp and 383 lb-ft, and can sound and feel a bit more powerful.

With the adaptive suspension standard for the 2021 G90, the V-8’s softer tendencies around town have been neutralized. Electronic dampers adjust to road conditions and driver inputs without the driver having to change a setting, optimizing the amount of comfort to be had from the five-link independent setup on both axles. The 19-inch wheels are sized right, and Genesis doesn’t need to offer taller rollers just for looks. Sport mode tightens the seat bolsters on the driver as well as the steering feel, but Comfort mode is the more natural state for the G90.

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9

2021 Genesis G90

Comfort & Quality

A fine blend of wood trim, leather seats, and metallic surfaces create a welcoming cabin in the G90.

With its walnut trim, rich nappa leather, and hushed interior, the G90’s cabin could make a fine nook in a fine library of a fine home. It’s not opulent, but it’s all very fine. Comfy seats with nearly as many adjustments as there are vertebrae on the human spine earn a point front and rear, as does its spacious trunk and fine interior. It’s a humble 9. 

Standard heated and cooled front seats adjust up to 22 ways for the driver, 16 for the passenger. In back it doesn’t have the same stretch-out room as the S Class or even the Lexus LS, but the 37 inches of rear leg room is better than most crossovers. A couple of rear-seat riders could be coddled in heated and cooled reclining seats. The G90 seats five, but that fifth wheel would be awkward.

The trunk holds up to 15.7 cubic feet of stuff, but the rear seats don’t fold down for expanded cargo use. 

Review continues below

8

2021 Genesis G90

Safety

The G90 comes with an array of standard safety features considered pricey extras on other luxury models.

How safe is the G90?

The NHTSA hasn’t crash tested the G90 yet, but the IIHS bestowed a Top Safety Pick+ award for its “Good” standard headlights and “Good” crash test ratings across the board. That should stand for 2021, and combined with excellent standard safety features, the full-size sedan earns at least an 8. 

Standard driver assist features include just about everything: automatic emergency braking front and rear; active lane control; blind-spot monitors that sounds a warning or can apply brakes if impact with another vehicle in the blind spot is imminent; a blind-spot camera that projects the image of vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians in the blindspots on the instrument cluster; adaptive cruise control that goes down to a stop and restarts within three seconds; and a surround-view camera system. Most of these systems have adjustable levels of sensitivity or can be shut off completely if they’re too disruptive. The competition charges extra for many of these safety features.

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8

2021 Genesis G90

Features

The 2021 G90 comes loaded with standard luxury features.

With base equipment that includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility with wireless charging, a 22-way power driver’s seat, heated and cooled front seats wrapped in leather, the 2021 Genesis G90 is a loaded luxury value. And it doesn’t nickel and dime every imaginable option like other luxury makes from say...Germany. 

It earns an 8, with a point each for good standard content, good infotainment, and a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty with 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary scheduled service.   

Which Genesis G90 should I buy?

The base G90 3.3T Premium hits a sweet spot for content and value at $73,975 including $1,025 destination, unless you envision being driven around in back. In addition to the standard safety and convenience features mentioned above, the cabin of the G90 comes swaddled in comfort, from a suede headliner to nappa leather seats. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Genesis G90?

The top model is the 5.0 Ultimate that starts at $77,725, or $80,225 with all-wheel drive. It adds a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10.3-inch monitors, power rear seats with memory that recline, and rear illuminated vanity mirrors, in case it was unclear who this model is for. 

The only thing Genesis doesn’t offer on the G90 is an exhaustive (and exhausting) list of options. This can be a benefit for shoppers with luxury feature list fatigue.

Review continues below

3

2021 Genesis G90

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Genesis G90 trails the efficiency of other flagship luxury sedans.

Is the 2021 Genesis G90 good on gas?

Not really. The most efficient version, the V-6, gets an EPA-rated 17 mpg city, 24 highway, 20 combined in all-wheel drive. That’s a 3 in our book. Rear-wheel drive surprisingly clocks in worse at 17/24/19 mpg.

Other luxury flagship sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series earn a 4 with a 22 or 24 mpg combined rating, respectively, in their most efficient gas engines.

A G90 with the 5.0-liter V-8 gets 16/24/19 mpg with rear-wheel drive, or 16/23/18 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Review continues below

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$72,950
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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