What Is It?
In 2015 the G90 was the first Genesis model when parent company Hyundai spun off its top-line model, aptly named Genesis, into a separate luxury brand. Since then Genesis has also launched the G70 and G80 sedans, and this fall the Korean brand will roll out the 2021 GV80, its first luxury SUV. Now in its third generation, the flagship G90 sedan has been redesigned for the 2020 model year. The 2020 Genesis G90 receives a new exterior design, luxurious interior appointments with premium materials, and all the amenities expected in a modern luxury vehicle.
Genesis provided us with a 2020 G90 Ultimate, finished in deep Adriatic Blue with rich Indigo Blue Nappa leather seats, a leather-wrapped dashboard and matte finish wood trim. The G90 Ultimate comes fully equipped with a base MSRP of $75,700 plus a $995 freight and handling fee. The test car did not include any additional options.
The large mesh Crest Grille flanked by narrow quad LED headlights gives the G90 a distinctive personality. The G90 Ultimate features 19-inch alloy wheels with an elaborate mesh design that has a bit of a retro vibe, but also adds to the refinement and elegance of the design, as well as complementing the mesh grille. At the rear, new LED taillights wrap around the corners into the rear fenders and connected at the lower edge with a full-width LED light strip. The fast roofline finishes with a short rear decklid that includes an integrated spoiler.
The 2020 Genesis G90 Ultimate contains an abundance of standard equipment including tri-zone climate control, a 22-way powered driver’s seat, a 16-way power front passenger seat, power outboard rear seats, heated / ventilated front and rear seats, interior ambient lighting, a rearview camera, a head-up display, power door closers, a 12.3-inch HD display screen, a Lexicon 17-speaker surround-sound audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10.3-inch displays.
Under the Hood
The 2020 Genesis G90 Ultimate derives power from a 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 420 horsepower combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC and paddle shifters. All-wheel drive is available as an option, although our test car had standard rear-wheel-drive configuration. Intelligent drive mode with Smart Shift offers a choice of drive modes, and Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension with Electronic Damping Control is also standard.
The Genesis G90 is designed to compete against the top luxury sedans in the market, from well-established luxury automakers with reputations for quality and refinement — a tall order for a new luxury brand. That said, the G90 design hits the mark with the elegant and sophisticated look of a luxury sedan, but with a unique design and personality to set it apart as well. Similar to when Genesis was a luxury model in the Hyundai lineup, the 2020 Genesis G90 continues to offer a good value of luxury and equipment for the price, compared to the established competition.
Comfortable and Luxurious
The elegance and sophistication of the exterior design carry over to the beautifully designed interior, equipped with a high level of luxury amenities. While many designers prefer to emphasis interior screens as design elements, the G90 design seamlessly incorporates the digital instruments and infotainment screen below the leather-wrapped dash. Horizontal lines flow across the dash and into the door panels, as the matte finish brown wood and other brown accents complement the Indigo Blue leather to create a warm, inviting space.
On the Road
The Genesis G90 Ultimate is smooth, quiet and comfortable on the road. The 5.0-liter V8 offers plenty of power and the transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts; even in Sport mode, ride comfort remains the primary target with this vehicle. Sport mode does stiffen up the suspension, increase steering effort and adjust throttle response, but it does not turn the G90 into a sport sedan — the suspension still feels soft and the steering is precise but lacks significant feel and feedback. The wide A-pillars and outside mirrors create a blind spot that can make it difficult to see approaching cars or pedestrians in some situations.
The 2020 Genesis G90 is very enjoyable to drive — as long as drivers remember the emphasis is on smoothness and comfort over sporty performance. The rear seat might be the best seat in the house with power-adjustable heated / ventilated seats and dual screens to access navigation and infotainment. The right-seat passenger can even move the front passenger seat forward for more legroom — a clever touch.
The 2020 Genesis G90 Ultimate is a nicely appointed luxury car with a distinctive, bold design that offers a chance to stand out from the crowd. The interior is comfortable and beautifully finished with a high level of luxury amenities at a competitive price compared to the competition. The updated 2020 Genesis G90 is a worthy flagship for Hyundai’s luxury brand.