Though hardly budget-priced, the 2019 Genesis G90 full-size luxury sedan spells value for shoppers who may not be concerned with value at all.
Quiet and serene, the G90 is a remarkably comfortable full-size luxury sedan, at a comparatively low price. Rather than a well-done imitation of a luxury sedan, the G90 is more like a benchmark that others might be wise to follow.
Genesis introduced the G90 along with its mid-size G80 sibling as a 2017 model. Nothing of consequence has changed for the 2019 model year; a major update comes in the 2020 model year.
As before, the G90 comes in two trim levels: 3.3T Premium and 5.0 Ultimate, differentiated mainly by engine type. The 3.3T version is equipped with a turbo V-6 and just about all the comforts and conveniences a reasonable driver could covet. The G90 5.0 upgrades to V-8 power, adding a complement of back-seat luxury features.
Powertrain specifications are identical to those for the mid-size G80 sedan. The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 develops 365 horsepower and 36 pound-feet of torque. In the 5.0 Ultimate, a 5.0-liter V-8 generates 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet. Both engines work with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for an additional $2,500.
Not many cars have achieved comparably impressive safety status as the G90, though crash-test ratings are not yet complete.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 sedan a Top Safety Pick+, because of its combination of a spotless crash-test record, standard active-safety features, and exceptional headlights. All crash-tests earned a “Good” rating, as did the available headlights.
The IIHS also issued a “Superior” rating for frontal crash prevention, thanks in part to standard automatic emergency braking. The agency noted that the system, which includes pedestrian detection, avoided collision at 12 mph and 25 mph.
Federal testers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not yet crash-tested and evaluated the G90.
Every Genesis G90 is equipped with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, and a driver-attention alert.
Outward vision is generally good, despite its sizable dimensions. Standard parking sensors can help the driver maneuver into tight spaces.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
3.3T Premium ($69,350 with rear-drive, $71,850 with all-wheel drive) is well-equipped with a twin-turbo V-6, Nappa leather, 22-way power driver’s seat, heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, microfiber suede headliner, 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, active-safety features, and power door closers.
5.0 Ultimate ($73,850 with rear-drive, $76,350 with all-wheel drive) steps up to the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, while adding power-adjustable, cooled rear seats; a rear-seat entertainment system with 10.3-inch monitors; and rear vanity mirrors.
Subtlety is the rule with the Genesis G90. This full-size luxury sedan plays it safe with design, shunning even the slightest inclination toward flamboyance. Nothing is trendy about the G90, yet it hits all the luxury-level marks, starting with a long hood and scalloped bodysides.
Its headlights and taillights reflect elegance. Swoopy fenders fit right into the refined body shape. The rear roof pillars and tall windows seem like a throwback of sorts, to an era when interior functionality, not current fashion, dictated exterior design.
Serenity reigns inside the G90. Simply put, it’s an exceptionally comfortable sedan. In stark contrast to contemporary trends, the cabin is airy and light, centered upon a horizontally configured, subdued dashboard.
Among other virtues, the G90 earns plaudits for good seats (both front and rear), ample storage capacity, plus impressive fit and finish.
Nothing impedes stretch-out space for passengers in the G90. Four adults ride in superlative comfort. The 5.0 Ultimate model is especially packed with comfort features in the rear, including an entertainment system and cooled seats. In every G90, front seats are heated and cooled.
The G90’s rear seats are no less impressive, providing more than 37 inches of legroom. That’s a tad short compared to big German sedans, but rear seats are all-day comfortable. Two occupants fit best, but three-across is a possibility for adults.
Unlike some rivals, the G90 doesn’t present wild leather hues or a flurry of display screens. Instead, it takes a refreshing approach â€“ precisely the sort of dashboard that a luxury sedan should have. Layers of glossy wood and durable metallic trim are beautifully executed. The Nappa leather is soft. The G90’s fit and finish compares favorably with well-known luxury cars.
Fitted with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the base infotainment system is bright, sharp, responsive and easy to use. The trunk holds 16 cubic feet of luggage, though seatbacks don’t fold down to expand space.
No apologies are needed for G90 performance, even if its primary goal is a relaxed, refined attitude, not stirring takeoff action.
Luxury-level acceleration is amply strong, if undramatic, with either engine. The twin-turbo V-8 mates especially well with the 8-speed automatic. Although the V-8 emits a satisfying, burbly sound when accelerating, it’s not especially quicker â€“ but comes at a substantially higher price.
The G90’s sophisticated independent suspension sets a standard for supple responses, guaranteeing sublime ride quality. Two â€œComfortâ€ mode settings suggest the sort of experience to be anticipated. Electronic dampers help the sedan ease through troublesome road surfaces.
â€œSportâ€ mode doesn’t whip up much sporty behavior. In fact, the G90 feels somewhat out of place even on ordinary curvy roads. The big sedan leans more toward service as an expressway cruiser, breezing along at a relatively relaxed pace. Its brakes impart a sense of cool confidence.
Because the V-6 version is comparatively frugal for its class, fuel economy ranks well among rivals. The twin-turbo V-6 is EPA-rated at 17/24 mpg City/Highway, or 20 Combined, with or without all-wheel drive. V-8-powered G90 sedans are rated at 16/24/19 mpg with rear-drive, and 15/23/18 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Weighed against other luxury sedans, the 2019 Genesis G90 delivers incredible value â€“ not exactly a common occurrence in this category. Other full-size sedans best the G90 in some respects, but those cost far more. Options are absent, but few cars are as well-equipped for their price.
Driving impressions by Aaron Cole, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.