A mid-cycle refresh of an automobile can be of just as much significance as the original introduction, and that can’t be any more true than with the 2020 Genesis G90. As a flagship intended to disrupt the luxury car market, the pre-facelift G90 (2017-2019) was simply too afraid to make a scene. Thankfully the Genesis design team has been allowed to unleash the “G-Matrix” design language, an avant-garde style that will shape the future of Genesis.
Key exterior styling points have been massively reworked, so much so that only doors and the roof are a carryover from the pre-refresh model. Expansive all-new LED lighting features take on a dramatic aesthetic, creating depth and significant character. The front and rear turn signals wrap around the corners of the body, and a fender-mounted repeater is huge, and visibly informs individuals to simply move from your way. Quad beam LED headlamps are fitted as standard and include automatic high beams. This new lighting system contrarily does not include items such as active curve illumination or low-speed cornering lamps, key features we’ve come to love and expect in this territory.
While Genesis has clearly been aiming at the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Lexus, the packaging approach is unlike anything else in the large luxury sedan segment. Nearly everything you want comes as standard! A 22-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and 16-way passenger seat both come with heat and ventilation. With Genesis elbowing its way into this market, seeing the right front passenger achieve the same level of adjustability as the driver wouldn’t have been a bad thing. The losses to the passenger include articulating backrest, inflatable backrest bolsters and extending thigh support. Two-stage heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, power rear, and rear side window shades are also standard fare.
Along with a long list of standard creature comforts comes an even longer list of standard safety items packaged up as “Genesis Smart Sense”. This grouping of some of the most impressive and user-friendly drivers assist systems made driving the G90 long distances and in congested traffic an absolute dream.
- “Smart Cruise Control” – full-speed range adaptive cruise, including stop & go
- Lane Keep Assist – lane departure warning, and corrective steering
- Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
- Forward Collision Warning
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Head-Up Display
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Blind Spot Monitoring, with Blind Spot Camera and information in HUD
Our test car was fitted with the standard-issue 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 365hp and 376 lb/ft of torque, driving power to only the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Sharp G-Matrix design 19″ wheels come in a staggered fitment with 245/45R19 Continental ContiPro Contacts up front and 275/40R19 in the rear. This Continental tire choice certainly plays into the exquisite ride characteristics, but often did not seem quite up for the torque the Genesis was ready to put down. Under moderate to heavy accelerations, you could both hear and feel the tires clawing for traction. This is by no means a sports car, but a slightly stickier tire may be appreciated.
The EPA fuel economy for the 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 returns 17 miles per gallon city, 25 highway and 20 combined, with or without all-wheel drive. While the fuel filler door didn’t have giant labels indicating the use of premium fuel, but I’ll take a stab in the dark and say it’s for the best. Cruising range reported by the EPA indicates 438 miles from the 21.9-gallon tank. In our test, I found this absolutely obtainable, and certainly an acceptable range for this class of vehicle.
The ride is absolutely brilliant, adaptive dampers are capable of providing comfort, and stability in a way that I’m familiar with, but without the use of an air or hydraulic suspension configuration. Truly a highlight of this platform is how it wafts down the road, eating up the miles in a senseless manner. A huge plus here is the suspension service expenses are likely to be fractional of the German or Japanese competitors once your Genesis G90 exceeds the expansive 5 year/60k-mile basic or 10 year/100k powertrain warranty.
Few cars we’ve driven have ever been so frequently miscategorized. Not a single day went by without a pedestrian or other individual in traffic making a remark or taking a photograph, often asking if it’s a Bentley. While not quite aiming for the truly bespoke market, the design language certainly says that it’s something special. A few other Genesis owners acknowledged the car immediately and even offered congratulations.
An executive sedan is far more than Nappa leather and gizmo’s to ease the driver’s experience but to also create a sanctuary for the rear passengers. This is truly where the G90 starts to impress, rear-seat comfort is absolutely off the charts, even without the power adjusted seats that are standard issue in the G90 5.0 Ultimate. The superb ride quality along with noise-isolating efforts really shine from the right rear seat. Materials in the rear continue to be just as nice as the front, with soft leathers, contrast piping, and gorgeous wood throughout. Soft-close doors all around and standard three-zone climate control further amplify the value of the Genesis brand.
Bright aluminum speaker grilles throughout the cabin tie in with brightwork design features, but conceal a brilliant Lexicon 900 watt, 17 speaker audio system that will satisfy nearly any potential buyer.
Finished in Porto Red over the Black and Walnut interior and absolutely zero optional equipment, we come in with an as-tested MSRP of $73,225 including dealer destination. Dramatic styling, brilliant creature comforts, and a crazy value proposition, there is no getting past the fact that this is a modern luxo-barge that you absolutely need to consider. It’s bold “large and in charge” attitude paired with crazy styling make it something you’ll certainly come to appreciate. Much like Lizzo.