CHATHAM, Mass. – “I don’t think any car is worth $100,000 . . . but at least this one rides like a $100,000 car.”
My partner who is underwhelmed by today’s automotive technology, of which the 2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD was filled, continued with her commentary as we motored West on the Mid Cape Highway (U.S. Route 6) describing it as “quiet, smooth, supremely comfortable.”
Her assessment virtually mirrors the Korean brand’s description of the G90, which was redesigned for the 2022 model year, “Driving specifications offer the utmost in terms of comfortable mobility along with many new features designed to enhance the experience for drivers and passengers of the G90.”
The comfortable mobility is provided by a very competent driver’s car, one with virtually every advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) as well as amenities, conveniences, in a LARGE four-door package (at 208 inches long the same size as a Mercedes-Benz S Class and nine inches longer than a Ford Explorer).
In essence, the 2023 Genesis G90 is a true flagship luxury sedan.
The G90 represents the top of the Genesis offerings and like its German counterpart, was engineered with both the driver and passengers – including those in the rear seat – in mind.
Interior prioritizes driver and passengers
The G90 doors are substantial, heavy, taking a bit more oomph to open, but thanks to a simple push of a button (or tapping of the brake pedal), they close with a solid thunk.
Napa leather-covered seats with heating, ventilation, massage and electric adjustment beckon all passengers. Everyone has their own automatic climate-system controls for the three-zone setup (the rear’s via an LCD screen-plus switchgear in the pull-down center armrest which also facilitates seat lighting adjustment).
Speaking of lighting, the colors of the interior’s mood-enhancing illumination can be tailored by either the driver or rear-seat passengers. Further modification to the interior environment can be accomplished by activating the air-freshener system with one of three air scents (I passed on this feature).
The G90 is a large automobile with room for five, though it is optimized for four occupants. The right-rear seat is called the VIP seat by Genesis which declares the G90 was designed both for the driver and for its rear passengers, with engineering to ensure a smooth, comfortable ride for those in the second row.
One of the engineering exercises along these lines was the adaptation of the three-level brake mode. This function allows adjustment of the braking feel according to the customer’s driving tendency. Three modes – comfort (the normal setting), sport (more aggressive) and chauffer (to designed to provide rear-seat passengers with the least intrusive braking action without diminishing functionality).
I did not ride in the back, so I cannot attest to how the various amenities and features might enhance the being driven characteristics, but I did sit there. The seats are comfortable with plenty of room for one’s legs, hips and head. I could easily imagine being whisked from point to point, with full command of my environment.
One of the features controllable from the VIP position is the comprehensive infotainment system. But the true heart of this system is the 12.3-inch color multi-touch screen atop the dashboard in conjunction with the large, console-mounted rotary knob.
The system mirrors those of other top-end members of the Hyundai/Kia family (which is a very good thing!), offering easy-to-understand menus for controlling most of the aspects the infotainment system as well as the G90’s technology, features and ADAS.
The system has it all — interactive navigation; SiriusXM satellite radio and traffic; Apple CarPlay; Android Auto; AM/FM; Bluetooth streaming audio – broadcasting through a 26-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D Premier audio system with active noise control to minimize the intrusion of sounds from outside the vehicle.
Platform for a true luxury vehicle
Barely audible within the cabin is the 3.5-liter V6 T-GDI w/ 48V e-Supercharger engine producing 409 horsepower and 405 pounds-feet of torque. Operating through an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, the silky, smooth-driving G90 can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in a high-performance-car 5.1 seconds (according to Car and Driver).
A new for 2023 multi-chamber air suspension and rear wheel steering help provide solid, drama-free handling along with comfort and luxury.
The G90’s Modern automotive engineering also means returning 20-plus miles per gallon of fuel economy is the norm, despite the 5,156-pound curb weight and 400-plus horsepower. The federal Environmental Protection Agency rates the G90 Supercharged at 20 mpg overall, 17 in urban driving and 24 on the highway. My heavy right foot and disdain for the engine-start-stop system (which auto makers say can make a major difference in fuel economy) could not get the G90 to return less than 23 mpg.
No skimping on ADAS
Genesis groups the G90’s advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) within its collection of advanced safety technology.
The basic list includes: forward collision-avoidance assist; lane-keeping assist with lane-following assist; blind-spot collision-avoidance assist; blind-spot-view monitor; rear cross-traffic-collision-avoidance assist; highway driving assist II; smart cruise-control with stop-start; high-beam assist; surround-view monitor; rear-camera with dynamic guidelines; parking-distance warning front, side and rear, and parking-collision-avoidance assist.
The definition of a flagship
The 2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD sits atop the Genesis brand representing the pinnacle of Hyundai (parent company) engineering and design. And in a world where automobiles are being supplanted by SUVs and pickup trucks for every and all functions – even in defining luxury – the G90 reminds us that the ultimate in luxury might still be in the large, four-door sedan engineered for comfort, quiet and serenity.
At one time it was these vehicles, which had virtually unlimited top-end pricing (it seems the price is determined after a vehicle’s design and features were assembled) which introduced the newest features, amenities and equipment.
The G90 is that type of vehicle. The base version with turbocharged engine is priced at $88,400 without any options (beyond special paint). The more comprehensively equipped version I drove tips the scales at $98,700 (it also had $575 in UYUNI White paint so with the inland freight & handling totaled at $100,370).
Considering the competition in this very small segment (virtually all German in origin), the Genesis G90 offers a solid value.
For someone looking for a modern limousine experience and does not want to appear as if they are being chauffeured by government law enforcement in a large SUV, the G90 may just be the way to go.