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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2018 Genesis G90 3.3T Premium

      The equivalent of a fancy dinner at a Wal-Mart price

    When you’re buying a luxury flagship sedan, you are making a statement to the world. Drive an S-Class, 7-Series, XJ, or other sedans and the impressions can range from being someone important to just having a lot of money. But for some people, they don’t want their luxury sedan to make itself known to the world. They want to enjoy the features available on their sedan, but without making so much noise. That’s where the Genesis G90 could make some inroads. Part of Hyundai’s new luxury brand, the G90 has its sights set on the stalwarts of the flagship luxury class by offering many of the features and luxury appointments found in them at a very low price. We spent a week in a G90 Premium to see if this ploy could work.

    Genesis has injected a bit of style into the G90’s design. The key traits are a distinctive character line running the whole length of the vehicle and fenders that bulge out slightly. The rear end is slightly boring. However, the G90’s front end doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the design. The flat nose and large grille borrowed from the smaller G80 seems a bit out of place.

    Step inside and the G90 seems to have the design and materials nailed down. It is quite handsome with a simple dash design, genuine wood trim, and a mix of Nappa leather and soft-touch plastics. But take a longer look and you begin to notice some glaring issues. The steering wheel is a good example as it doesn't feel like it is covered in leather. Instead, it feels like textured vinyl. This is odd since a couple of months after the G90, I spent some time in the G80 Sport and found the steering wheel to feel like leather. Another issue is the center stack's button and knobs which appear to be borrowed from Hyundai’s parts bin. I’ll admit I’m nitpicking, but it's the little things that can make or break a flagship luxury sedan. 

    Settling in the G90, you cannot help but be impressed by the front seats. Upholstered in Nappa leather, the seats offer the right mix of cushioning and support for long drives. The driver’s seat comes with 22-way power adjustments, while the passenger has to make do with 16-way power adjustments. One nice touch is the seat moving back whenever the door is open to allow for easier entry and exit from the vehicle. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints as there is a large amount of head and legroom on offer. A folding armrest has controls for climate control, audio, and heated seats. Ultimate models add more luxuries such as power adjustments and a rear-seat entertainment system.

    A large 12.3-inch screen houses Genesis’ infotainment system. This is controlled through either a controller knob on the center console or a set of buttons below the screen. Using the system is a breeze thanks to an easy to understand interface and the various control methods on offer. The screen is vibrant and allows you to have two functions up at the same time - having audio on one side and the navigation on the other. There are some areas Genesis can improve on. For one, the G90 doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility - something most of the competition does. Also, it would be nice to have more than two USB ports - one in the front and the other in the rear - so that people are not fighting over who gets to charge their phone.

    Genesis offers two engines on the G90. Our base Premium tester came with the 3.3L twin-turbo V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The uplevel Ultimate features the 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is equipped with either engine and there is a choice of rear-wheel or HTRAC all-wheel drive - our test car had the latter. Unless you want the rumble of the V8, the twin-turbo V6 is the engine to go for. For one, the V6 feels just as fast as the V8. Outlets who have timed both say the V6 can match the V8 in 0-60 mph. Plus, the V6 feels more eager to accelerate thanks to torque arriving at 1,300 rpm. The eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts and doesn’t show any hesitation to downshift when more power is needed.

    EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 G90 3.3T HTRAC AWD stand at 17 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed around 20.2 mpg.

    The G90’s ride is similar to big 70’s Buick or Cadillac, soft and pillowy thanks to the standard adaptive dampers. Even with the G90 set in Sport mode, the dampers were still able to keep road imperfections at bay. In terms of noise isolation, the G90 is towards the top. Road and engine noise are nonexistent inside. Only a little wind noise is noticeable. This makes the G90 a perfect car to take a long road trip. 

    The trade-off to the soft ride is a fair amount of body roll in corners, even in the sport mode. Steering is light, but has a precise feel. If you’re looking for a luxury sedan that is a bit fun on a winding road, we are happy to point you in the direction of a Cadillac CT6 or Jaguar XJ.

    The 2018 Genesis G90 significantly undercuts the competition when it comes to price. Our Premium tester came with a base price of $70,850 with the HTRAC AWD system. Add a $975.00 destination charge to get our as-tested price of $71,825. Considering that includes the 12.3-inch infotainment system, three-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and surround view camera system, it makes the G90 very much a steal.

    The Genesis G90 may not shout out its intention of being a flagship sedan, but it goes about its business quietly. It delivers the smooth ride, long list of equipment, and understated looks a number of folks are looking for. The punchy twin-turbo V6 and low price are just the cherries on top. However, the G90 does cut some corners in terms of the materials. Considering the competition that the G90 is going up against, this is a big black mark for an otherwise excellent sedan.

    As they say, the devil is in the details.

    Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90 Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Genesis
    Model: G90
    Trim: 3.3T Premium HTRAC
    Engine: 3.3L Twin-Turbo DOHC 24-Valve V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
    Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300 - 4,500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/24/20
    Curb Weight: 4,784 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
    Base Price: $70,850
    As Tested Price: $71,825 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)

    Options: N/A

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    I've only seen a few of the new Genesis branded vehicles in person(not sure if they were G80 or G90s) and they are damn good looking vehicles.

    I would absolutely drive a Genesis and feel no shame, unlike driving a Hyundai 10+ years ago.  

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    They seem pretty nice, kind of like how a modern Buick could be...without the styling issues that arise from FWD.   There is definitely a place for 'soft luxury' cars--where comfort and amenities are the top concern-- not everything should be measured by Nurburgring track times. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I don't understand why Genesis would not offer Apple Car Play or Android Auto when Kia UVO and Hyundai BlueLink both come with it.  

    I've been seeing a lot of G80s and G90s around here.  The do catch the eye... they have presence on the road. 

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    23 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I don't understand why Genesis would not offer Apple Car Play or Android Auto when Kia UVO and Hyundai BlueLink both come with it.  

    I've been seeing a lot of G80s and G90s around here.  The do catch the eye... they have presence on the road. 

    Funny you say that as the G80 Sport I had only a few weeks finally got Apple CarPlay. Why the smaller car gets it before their flagship is still causing me to scratch my head.

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    On 5/7/2018 at 2:58 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

    Yea, so what's the holdup on the 90?

    Perhaps they figured the older crowd wouldn't use it.

    Otherwise, the G90 is a pretty impressive luxury sedan. Check out this comparison from an ex-S-Class owner:

    https://genesisowners.com/genesis-forum/threads/first-impressions.22939/

    It may not be a fair comparison as the owner of the S-Class came out of the previous generation. However, it'll give you a solid idea how close Hyundai/Genesis is to the leader in the game...

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    Having sat in the Genesis cars, you can definitely see and feel where they cut corners on the interior to save money vs some other luxury cars, but they do have a lot of room and get a lot of features in there for the price.  So you get what you pay for but you pay a lot less than you would on a European luxury car.

     I feel like the G80 is almost as big and roomy as a G90 and has the same powertrains so the G90 seems semi pointless.   My big complaint with the Genesis cars is the engines are from a generation ago.  That 5.0 V8 came out in the 2012 model year and has had no updates since then.  

     

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      Genesis has come a long way since it was spun off to its own brand back in 2015. We have heaped praise on the G80 and G90 sedans, but it needs to be noted that these were badged as Hyundais before becoming Genesis models. The real test would be seeing how an original model stacked up. Our chance came in the fall when a 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport was dropped off for a week. This new entrant into the compact sport luxury sedan appears on paper to have the goods, but how would fare in the real world?
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      Power in this G70 is the optional twin-turbo 3.3L V6 engine providing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This is mated with an eight-speed automatic which routes power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is an option. Having some experience with this engine in the Genesis G80 Sport and Kia Stinger GT, I knew this engine would pack quite the punch. Step on the accelerator and the V6 provides a massive wallop of power for any situation needed. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth gear changes.
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      Crisp Handling
      Premium Interior
      Jeers:
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      Cramped Rear Seats
      Fuel Economy Trailing the Pack
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      Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
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      Curb Weight: 3,774 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
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      The Heart & Bones
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      Outside In
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      Cheers:
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      Crisp Handling
      Premium Interior
      Jeers:
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      Cramped Rear Seats
      Fuel Economy Trailing the Pack
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    • By William Maley
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      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RC F
      Trim: -
      Engine: 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 467 @ 7,100
      Torque @ RPM: 389 @ 4,800 - 5,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 3,958 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $64,900
      As Tested Price: $89,654 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
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      Premium Triple Beam LED Headlamps - $1,160.00
      Flare Yellow Premium Paint - $595.00
      Intuitive Parking Assist - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sills - $449.00
      Orange Metallic Brembo Brake Calipers - $300.00
    • By William Maley
      The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen radio featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  Trying to find a comfortable position the 86 took longer than I expected due to the limited amount of adjustments on offer. The sport seats provide excellent bolstering to hold you in during enthusiastic driving but falter in terms of comfort when it comes to long drives. As for the back seat, I would only recommend it for either very small kids or extra storage space. We come to the key weak point of the 86, the engine. It is the 2.0L Flat-Four from Subaru which produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the six-speed manual - figures drop by five when equipped with the automatic. Not much has changed in the performance department. At low speeds, the 86 goes along merrily. But then the power band falls off a cliff and you're left wondering when it will come back.  It doesn't help that the engine note of the 2.0L sounds like a bucket of bolts dumped into a dryer. This doesn't encourage wanting to climb higher in the rev band and giving the illusion of going faster - something Mazda does quite well with the MX-5 Miata. On my test car, an optional TRD exhaust was fitted and it somehow makes the noise worse. It sounded like a group of cats fighting one another to get that prime spot in the box from an Amazon delivery. The manual transmission does not like being shifted quickly as it becomes slightly stiff and bulky. Go slowly and the gear lever responds with a smooth and positive feel. An option that was ticked on this vehicle was the TRD handling package which adds a set of SACHS dampers. The SACHS do make an improvement in terms of body control as the 86 doesn't really exhibit any sort of roll. What you get a vehicle that is fun to toss in the corners. Helping out is the steering that responds quickly and provides a decent feel. But there is a downside to the TRD Handling package and that is the ride quality. I found the FR-S to be quite stiff and transmit most bumps and road imperfections. This package only increases the frequency and impact them. I would highly recommend driving a standard 86 against one with the Handling Pack to see which one you would prefer. The 86 GT starts at $30,115 and my tester with the two TRD options and some other items stickers at $34,783. If you drop the TRD options, then it becomes slightly better at just under $32,000.  Who is the 86 for? The obvious answer to this is someone who wants something fun to drive but doesn't have that much to spend. Of course, there are other options that offer more performance, the 86 shines on a winding road. But as someone pointed out in our interactive review, the 86 is a good option for someone who wants a blank canvas. This and the BRZ have a large aftermarket which means an owner can build their coupe to their desires. Want to upgrade the suspension and brakes? There are parts available. Feel like dropping in a larger engine? That is possible. It's a blank canvas ready for someone to make it their own. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 86, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: 86
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
      Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
      Base Price: $30,115
      As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
      TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
      TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
      Special Color - $425.00
      Center Armrest - $199.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00

      View full article
  • Posts

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