At $76,695 fully loaded, the Genesis G90 seriously undercuts similarly sized luxury sedans from Germany. [credit:
Jonathan Gitlin ]
When Genesis was spun out as its own brand, the G90 luxury sedan was chosen to lead the way. A flagship sedan makes sense when the point was to show that Korea could mix it alongside the Germans. And the G90 did that, feeling solid and over-engineered. Now the big car has had its midlife makeover, gaining a whopping new grille and some other distinctive styling details that better align the G90 with Genesis’ design language. It has also received a bit of a tech upgrade, with some new advanced driver assistance systems.
And yet, despite the car’s competence it felt out of step, like it belongs to a reality close to ours but subtly different. In this alternate universe, there’s no climate change, and so the naturally aspirated V8 in the $76,695 G90 5.0L Ultimate still makes plenty of sense. Its 420hp (313kW) and 383lb-ft (519Nm) is more than enough to move the big rear-wheel drive sedan via an in-house eight-speed automatic transmission. And it’s only 1 mile per gallon more thirsty than the twin-turbo V6 version we tested last time, at 24mpg (9.8l/100km) on the highway and 17mpg (13.8l/100km) in the city.
Just as importantly, in this alternate timeline, the SUV never reached ascendancy. Instead, executives still flock to the sedan as their preferred form of conveyance, and the G90’s newly sharpened jawline offers a more classic look alongside the power bulges of a BMW 7 Series or the crisp folds and creases of an Audi A8. The high points are the intricately detailed headlights, a new family look for the Genesis range, and the 19-inch alloy wheels that go from flat disc to G-Matrix crisscross pattern to tire, seemingly skipping the rim altogether.