The Genesis brand may be new, but it’s already out to make an impact in the luxury segment with strong entries, like the G80 and new G70 sedans. At the top of the family, the 2018 Genesis G90 is the brand’s answer to heavyweights like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series. The Genesis has the space, luxury features and feel that you expect from a large flagship luxury sedan, but with a price tag that will annoy your financial advisor a little less.
On paper the 2018 Genesis G90 checks most boxes that luxury sedan buyers demand. The G90 is available with either a 5.0L V8 or a turbocharged 3.3L V6. The 3.3L V6 generates 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torque, while the V8 has a healthy 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is optional. The big V8 accelerates the G90 with the same ease as large luxury sedans from the past, while the V6 does sound a bit busier under the hood thanks to its twin turbochargers.
After spending time with both engines, the 3.3L V6 generates nearly the same performance as the V8, but it’s slightly more efficient at 17/24 mpg vs 16/24 mpg if you choose the rear-wheel drive version. The 3.3L V6 with all-wheel drive is also rated at 17/24 mpg, while the V8 with all-wheel drive is rated at 15/23 mpg.
On the outside, the 2018 G90 has a more reserved, classic style than its more flashy rivals. It doesn’t stand out like the S-Class with its flashier duds or look as techy as the new Audi A8. At the front it does look a bit Audi-esque with its large grille. Plus the front and rear LED lights give it a classy look.
Inside the G90’s interior is all about comfort and luxury. The seats are wrapped in Nappa leather, the headliner is covered in suede and the dash is covered in leather and wood. There’s a 22-way driver’s seat and 16-way front passenger seat that provide first class accommodations. The G90’s interior does without the multiple digital screens that you’ll find in some of its rivals, which does make it feel a bit boring, if you like the latest tech features. On the road, the G90’s interior feels plush and the cabin keeps out most of the ruckus around you.
Just as “plush” is the theme for the interior, the same can be said for the way the G90 drives down the road. The G90 is tuned for more comfort than spirited performance. The suspension soaks up nearly every imperfection on the road, which is great, but find a back country road and you’ll be disappointed with the lack of steering feel and pronounced body roll. The eight-speed automatic is also not quite as responsive as we’d like, since it’s a little slow to kickdown, although the Sport mode does help a little.
In only its second year, the Genesis brand has put the luxury segment on notice. The Genesis G90 starts at $68,350, which is $15k cheaper than the starting price for the 7 Series. While the Genesis name may not carry the same weight as BMW or Mercedes-Benz, you can’t deny that the Genesis brand is a true luxury brand.