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Review: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate


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Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?

The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.

Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.

Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.

EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.

The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 

On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.

But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.

Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

Year: 2019
Make: Hyundai
Model: Santa Fe
Trim: Ultimate
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
Base Price: $38,800
As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)

Options:
Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00


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Like the looks of this version of the Santa Fe, shame they cannot get a properly powerful engine that has smooth linear delivery of power.

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They have a new 2.5L turbo 4 in the works, it will be on the Sonata N-line, around 290hp and a little more than 300lb ft torque.  Maybe a version of that will replace the underwhelming 2.0L in a few years, might get better fuel economy as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, frogger said:

They have a new 2.5L turbo 4 in the works, it will be on the Sonata N-line, around 290hp and a little more than 300lb ft torque.  Maybe a version of that will replace the underwhelming 2.0L in a few years, might get better fuel economy as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully it will come sooner than later as a mid year update.

They need that motor in this CUV.

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22 hours ago, frogger said:

They have a new 2.5L turbo 4 in the works, it will be on the Sonata N-line, around 290hp and a little more than 300lb ft torque.  Maybe a version of that will replace the underwhelming 2.0L in a few years, might get better fuel economy as well.

even if they lightly turbo it like Dwight has made posts about, it could probably be good for mazda turbo like power. lots of torque and some more HP.
https://www.thecarconnection.com/car-compare-results/hyundai_santa-fe_2019-vs-mazda_cx-9_2019  

no 3rd seat row, it's shorter. but the mazda  is rated better MPG.

Edited by loki
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I wonder if when people go into a Hyundai showroom (or any car dealership), the goal of the manufacturer is to have 9 SUVs there to pick from so the customer is just so overwhelmed, they just cave in and buy something there rather than going to a 2nd dealership to look at another SUV.

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there is getting to be quite of few of these with dealer plates on them (just sold) driving around here now, I am sure Hyundai has opened the deals and credit tap on these things.  And then Chevy has the 50,000 dollar Blazer, and I don't see very many of them.

Edited by regfootball
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16 hours ago, regfootball said:

there is getting to be quite of few of these with dealer plates on them (just sold) driving around here now, I am sure Hyundai has opened the deals and credit tap on these things.  And then Chevy has the 50,000 dollar Blazer, and I don't see very many of them.

I honestly have only seen a few blazers on the dealer lots here and not a single one in the wild. So I have to say that for $50K people are buying other autos over it.

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These are everywhere in the northeast, which is expected. Enjoyed a last model year last gen base model Santa Fe I had last year for a few thousand miles, so these are just better in every way.

Still adjusting to the looks, but good ute. The 2.0T has gotten strange over the years, and isn't very well balanced, but the 2.4L is fine.

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1 hour ago, frogger said:

I've seen at least three Blazers on the road so far.  Caught a view of my first XT6 on the road yesterday, looked a little like a cheap copy of an XC90.

 

Yea, still not seen a Blazer in the wild, see plenty of XT6 out and about, selling well here, but not impressed.

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Mary and GM clearly want the poor people to stick to buying the Equinox and Terrain.  Then, the 'privileged' who really want a true mid size vehicle, the figured they could charge 55k for a loaded Blazer instead of the 40k Impala it functionally replaces.  In addition to that, make it in Mexico, too.

Honestly the Blazer would sell big in volume at lower prices, but clearly volume is not the goal.  GM is fine with letting inventory sitting on their lots for a year or two before they get an actual clue that they might need to adjust prices to market.  

I just think its sad that GM opens the door for competitors like Hyundai to gain volume in the market, and in this case even more and more.

 

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^ newsflash: Blazer starts at $28,800. Neither Mary nor anyone else is forcing anyone to buy a top-trim/fully loaded version of ANY vehicle.

Same way hyundai isn’t forcing anyone to pay $40 grand for a $25K sante fe.

Edited by balthazar
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20 hours ago, dfelt said:

Yea, still not seen a Blazer in the wild, see plenty of XT6 out and about, selling well here, but not impressed.

Quite a few Blazers out my way but have not spotted one XT6 and don’t care if I ever do. 

On 12/14/2019 at 10:14 AM, smk4565 said:

I wonder if when people go into a Hyundai showroom (or any car dealership), the goal of the manufacturer is to have 9 SUVs there to pick from so the customer is just so overwhelmed, they just cave in and buy something there rather than going to a 2nd dealership to look at another SUV.

You mean like Mercedes does with their cars? Sounds about right to me.

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

^ newsflash: Blazer starts at $28,800. Neither Mary nor anyone else is forcing anyone to buy a top-trim/fully loaded version of ANY vehicle.

Same way hyundai isn’t forcing anyone to pay $40 grand for a $25K sante fe.

I would like to add that the dealership, where I used to work, had a half a dozen in the mid 30s.

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9 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

I would like to add that the dealership, where I used to work, had a half a dozen in the mid 30s.

My local dealer has 19 from mid 30's to mid 40's.

https://www.leejohnsonchevrolet.com/search/new-camaro-kirkland-wa/?cy=98033&tp=new&md=541

Not selling though.

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you will rarely find an AWD blazer for much less than 34-35 right now, and that's basically cloth seats.

Enjoy that FWD blazer with 4 banger if you like.

The Santa Fe has the size of the Blazer and admittedly with its 4 cylinders, but the truth is they can add lots of options to the Santa Fe that it will have at the 35k price that Chevy won't have.  So from a utlity standpoint the Santa Fe is the size of the Blazer and offers lots more options and amenities for a lower price.  The only advantage the Blazer would have is powertrain but in 2020 Chevy will load up the sales floor with much more of the new 2.0 turbo models at that price range than the v6's which they want to eventually only offer to those shopping in the 50k range.

1 minute ago, dfelt said:

My local dealer has 19 from mid 30's to mid 40's.

https://www.leejohnsonchevrolet.com/search/new-camaro-kirkland-wa/?cy=98033&tp=new&md=541

Not selling though.

WHICH IS MY POINT EXACTLY.  those 19 blazers have likely sat on that lot since early this calendar year.  Hard to run a business with stagnant inventory.

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If the Blazer sells 80-100k copies a year compared to 100-120k for the Santa Fe that is not too bad considering how awkward looking it is in comparison.  The Traverse will get more volume based on looks and value for families.

Edited by frogger
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2 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

Quite a few Blazers out my way but have not spotted one XT6 and don’t care if I ever do. 

You mean like Mercedes does with their cars? Sounds about right to me.

They do have a lot but Mercedes 7 SUVs span $100k compared to the 7 at Hyundai that span $20k in base price.  But either way I think it is a method to overwhelm consumers.

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1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

None of the MSRP's are under 35k at my dealership(17 Blazers) but they're all discounted. 

https://www.steveschmittauto.com/VehicleSearchResults?make=Chevrolet&model=Blazer

 

the 35k i refer to is discounted price.  usually those msrps will be 40ish.

 

there are Blazer Premiers out there, stickering for 55 grand.  That is stupid ludicrous expensive. In spring 2020 when some of those 19 premiers are still on lots (after 18 months), maybe then they will go out the door for 42,000.......

Edited by regfootball
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      Hyundai IONIQ 5 Redefines Electric Mobility Lifestyle
      IONIQ 5 all-electric, midsize CUV debuted today in a virtual world premiere event Design explores new experiences only possible with dedicated BEV platform …Evokes the daring attitude of Hyundai Pony, the company’s first production car, highlighting 45-year journey of Hyundai design and looking ahead to the future …Exterior achieves unique proportions on a 3,000-mm wheelbase emphasizing EV specific typology .…Interior raises bar of comfort and usability with flat floor and Universal Island Reflects commitment to sustainability by utilizing eco-friendly materials and nature-inspired colors in many touchpoints Delivers powerful performance and ultra-fast 400 V and 800 V multi-charging Provides Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function, which can turn the vehicle into a charger on wheels SEOUL, February 22, 2021 — Hyundai Motor Company today launched the IONIQ 5 midsize CUV during a virtual world premiere event. As the first model in Hyundai’s new IONIQ brand dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEV), IONIQ 5 sets the benchmark to redefine the electric mobility lifestyle with sustainable and innovative features.
      IONIQ 5 is built upon Hyundai Motor Group’s dedicated BEV architecture called Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), enabling it to have unique proportions on an elongated wheelbase. With E-GMP, IONIQ 5 offers innovative interior design with eco-friendly materials in many touchpoints, strong performance mated with ultra-fast charging and a Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function as well as advanced connectivity and driver assistance features that will offer the ultimate in-car experience while ensuring safety.
      “IONIQ 5 will accommodate lifestyles without limits, proactively caring for customers’ needs throughout their journey,” said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer. “It is truly the first electric vehicle to provide a new experience with its innovative use of interior space and advanced technologies.”
      Heralding a new era for EV design
      IONIQ 5’s progressive design represents a departure from past norms, exploring a new design freedom offered by a dedicated BEV platform. By evoking the daring attitude of Hyundai Pony, the company’s first production car, IONIQ 5 highlights Hyundai’s 45-year journey to become a part of customer’s lifestyles, creating a common thread from past to present and future. This is the redefinition of timeless design, a theme that will expand as the IONIQ lineup grows.
      IONIQ 5’s unique exterior design is characterized by the Pony-inspired profile over a 3,000-mm wheelbase. This extended wheelbase requires a more sophisticated approach to translate this new proportion into a contemporary EV typology.
      The front of the car is equipped with Hyundai’s first clamshell hood that minimizes panel gaps for optimal aerodynamics. The front bumper is defined by an eye-catching V-shape incorporating distinctive daytime running lights (DRLs) that provide an unmistakable light signature unique to IONIQ 5. These small pixel-like clusters also appear at the rear of the vehicle.
      On the sides, auto flush door handles provide clean surface styling and enhanced aerodynamic efficiency. The front and rear forms of the vehicle merge together at its doors, offering another example of Hyundai’s ‘Parametric Dynamics’ design first seen on the all-new Tucson. The strong C-pillar shape, inspired by Hyundai’s ‘45’ EV concept, gives IONIQ 5 a commanding presence clearly identifiable from a distance.
      Aero-optimized wheels further echo the Parametric Pixel design theme and are offered in a super-sized 20-inch diameter, the largest rims ever fitted to a Hyundai EV. These complete IONIQ 5’s perfected proportions, optimized for Hyundai’s E-GMP.
      “A new mobility experience for the next generation—this was the mission from the first day we began this project, to look ahead towards the horizon, but stay fundamentally Hyundai,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. “IONIQ 5 is the new definition of timeless, providing a common thread linking our past to the present and future.”
      The ‘Living Space’ theme runs throughout the interior, most notably embodied by the Universal Island, a moveable center console that can slide back as much as 140 mm. Universal Island, along with the flat floor where the batteries are stored, allows more freedom of movement inside the vehicle.
      IONIQ 5 is also equipped with electronically adjustable front seats. The seats recline to the optimum angle, offering a weightless feeling for the occupant. Hyundai reduced the thickness of the front seats by 30 percent, providing more space for those seated in the second row.
      Many of its interior touchpoints — seats, headliner, door trim, floor and armrest — use eco-friendly, sustainably sourced materials, such as recycled PET bottles, plant-based (bio PET) yarns and natural wool yarns, eco-processed leather with plant-based extracts, and bio paint with plant extracts.
      Customers can choose from nine exterior colors[1], including five nature-inspired hues exclusive to IONIQ 5. The interior has three color options[2].
      A range of power electric systems to suit every customer
      IONIQ 5 is available with a range of power electric (PE) configurations to fit the mobility needs of every customer, with no compromises on performance. Customers can select from two battery pack options, either 58 kWh or 72.6 kWh[3], and two electric motor layouts, either with a rear motor only or with both front and rear motors. All PE variations provide outstanding range and deliver a top speed of 185 km/h.
      At the top of the electric motor lineup is an all-wheel drive (AWD) option paired with the 72.6-kWh battery, producing a combined power output of 225-kWh and 605 Nm of torque. This PE configuration can go from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds.
      When equipped with two-wheel drive (2WD) and 72.6-kWh battery, IONIQ 5’s maximum driving range on a single charge will be around 470~480 km[4], according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standard.
      Ultra-fast battery charging along with innovative Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function
      IONIQ 5’s E-GMP can support both 400-V and 800-V charging infrastructures. The platform offers 800-V charging capability as standard, along with 400-V charging, without the need for additional components or adapters. The multi-charging system is a world’s first patented technology that operates the motor and inverter to boost 400 V to 800 V for stable charging compatibility.
      With a 350-kW charger, IONIQ 5 can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. IONIQ 5 users only need to charge the vehicle for five minutes to get 100 km of range, according to WLTP.
      IONIQ 5 also provides an innovative V2L function, which allows customers to freely use or charge any electric devices, such as electric bicycles, scooters or camping equipment, serving as a charger on wheels.
      The V2L function can supply up to 3.6 kW of power. The V2L port is located under the second-row seats, and it can be activated when a vehicle is on. Another V2L port is located at the charging port on the vehicle exterior. Using a converter, customers can charge high-power electric equipment. The outside port provides power even when the vehicle is turned off.
      Innovative connectivity and driver assistance for safety and convenience[5]
      IONIQ 5 seamlessly integrates advanced technologies for an enhanced digital user experience. The wide, configurable, dual cockpit features a 12-inch, full-touch infotainment screen and hoodless 12- inch digital gauge cluster that can be customized to meet customers’ needs.
      For the first time in Hyundai, IONIQ 5 features an Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR HUD), essentially turning the windshield into a display screen.
      IONIQ 5 is also equipped with the next level of Hyundai SmartSense, advanced driver assistance system, ensuring the highest levels of safety and convenience on the road. IONIQ 5 is the first Hyundai model to offer Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2). Other driving assistance systems include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), and more.
      IONIQ 5 will be available in selected regions starting in the first half of 2021.
      Dimensions
      Wheelbase
      3,000 mm
      Length
      4,635 mm
      Width
      1,890 mm
      Height
      1,605 mm
      Cargo
      Boot/trunk space
      531 L / 1591 L (when second-row seats are fully folded)
      Front trunk
      North American (NA) model: 24 L (both AWD and 2WD)
      Non-NA model: 57 L (2WD) or 24 L (AWD)
      Performance
      Platform
      Electric-Global Modular Platform
      Maximum Driving Range
      (according to WLTP)
      470~480 km
      (When pairing 2WD with 72.6-kWh battery option)
       
      Long Range
      72.6-kWh Battery
      (77.4-kWh for NA)
      AWD
      Power
      225-kW (Front and Rear combined)
      Torque
      605-Nm (Front and Rear combined)
      0-100 km/h
      5.2 seconds
      2WD 
      Power
      160-kW Rear
      Torque
      350-Nm Rear
      0-100 km/h
      7.4 seconds
       
      Standard Range
      58-kWh Battery
      AWD
      Power
      173 kW (Front and Rear combined)
      Torque
      605 Nm (Front and Rear combined)
      0-100 km/h
      6.1 seconds
      2WD
      Power
      125 kW
      Torque
      350 Nm
      0-100 km/h
      8.5 seconds
      Features (Please see additional details section below table for more information)
      Supported Charging Infrastructure
      400 V and 800 V (No need for additional adapters)
      Ultra-fast Charging
      10 % to 80 % in 18 minutes of charge
      100 km of range (WLTP) in 5 minutes of charge
      Vehicle-to-Load
      Max. Output
      3.6 kW
      Port Locations
      Inside: Under second-row seats
      Outside: vehicle charging port
      Infotainment
      Screen
      12-inch, full-touch infotainment screen
      Hoodless 12-inch digital gauge cluster
      Bluelink® connected car services
      Remote Profile Management
      Remote Start Enhancements
      Vehicle Status Notifications
      POI Send to Car Now with Waypoints
      Maintenance Alert Enhancement
      Dynamic Voice Recognition
      Safety and Convenience Features
      Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
      Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
      Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
      Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)
      Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
      High Beam Assist (HBA)
      Surround View Monitor (SVM)
      Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
      Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA)
      Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2)
      Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA)
      Available Colors
      Exterior: Gravity Gold Matte, Shooting-Star Gray Matte, Digital Teal-Green Pearl, Lucid Blue Pearl, Atlas White, Cyber Gray Metallic, Phantom Black Pearl, Galactic Gray Metallic (not available in NA region), Mystic Olive-Green Pearl (not available in NA region)
      Interior: Obsidian Black and Dark Pebble Gray/Dove Gray, Dark Teal/Dove Gray, and Terra Brown/Mud Gray (only available in Korea)

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    • By William Maley
      Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. 
      Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becoming a point of contention. Other changes include new wheels and a restyled rear end that makes the G90 look a bit cleaner. No changes of note for the interior. It still is very luxurious to sit in and the controls are logically laid out. The only item I'm sad not to see is the new 12.3-inch digital cluster that is found in the all-new G80 and GV80. Opting for the Ultimate means back seat passengers get their own screens mounted behind the front seats. This allows you to tap into the G90's infotainment system to play audio, check various information, and look at the navigation system. Ultimate models come with the larger 5.0L V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is a bit of a tough sell when compared to the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 as it slower off the line and not as flexible whenever you need to accelerate quickly. Both engines also are similar in terms of refinement, offer a muted engine note. The only place I found the V8 to be slightly better than the V6 was in my average fuel economy. The V8 returned 24.7 mpg, while the V6 only got 20.3 mpg. A combination of the V8 G90 being rear-wheel and not all-wheel, along with more miles being done on the highway likely contributed to the better fuel economy figures. Ride quality is still on the hallmarks of the G90. With the adaptive suspension in either SMART or Comfort, the G90 glides along any road surface with nary a bump or pothole coming inside.  Around bends, the G90 doesn't feel at home with a fair amount of body roll. There is a Sport model to help reduce this, along with adding more weight to the steering. For the as-tested price of $76,695, you are getting quite a lot of equipment. There are LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, power sunshades, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, memory settings for seats, and much more. The only way I could recommend the G90 Ultimate is either if you're operating a livery service or just want a V8 engine no matter what. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the G90 Premium and its twin-turbo V6. That said, the current G90 is starting to show its age, especially when compared to some of the new Genesis models such as the G80 and GV80. A new model is coming down the pipeline and if the recent models are any indication, the G90 has a real shot of becoming one of the best luxury sedans. Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 5.0 Ultimate
      Engine: 5.0L GDI V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 4,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $75,700
      As Tested Price: $76,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. 
      Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becoming a point of contention. Other changes include new wheels and a restyled rear end that makes the G90 look a bit cleaner. No changes of note for the interior. It still is very luxurious to sit in and the controls are logically laid out. The only item I'm sad not to see is the new 12.3-inch digital cluster that is found in the all-new G80 and GV80. Opting for the Ultimate means back seat passengers get their own screens mounted behind the front seats. This allows you to tap into the G90's infotainment system to play audio, check various information, and look at the navigation system. Ultimate models come with the larger 5.0L V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is a bit of a tough sell when compared to the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 as it slower off the line and not as flexible whenever you need to accelerate quickly. Both engines also are similar in terms of refinement, offer a muted engine note. The only place I found the V8 to be slightly better than the V6 was in my average fuel economy. The V8 returned 24.7 mpg, while the V6 only got 20.3 mpg. A combination of the V8 G90 being rear-wheel and not all-wheel, along with more miles being done on the highway likely contributed to the better fuel economy figures. Ride quality is still on the hallmarks of the G90. With the adaptive suspension in either SMART or Comfort, the G90 glides along any road surface with nary a bump or pothole coming inside.  Around bends, the G90 doesn't feel at home with a fair amount of body roll. There is a Sport model to help reduce this, along with adding more weight to the steering. For the as-tested price of $76,695, you are getting quite a lot of equipment. There are LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, power sunshades, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, memory settings for seats, and much more. The only way I could recommend the G90 Ultimate is either if you're operating a livery service or just want a V8 engine no matter what. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the G90 Premium and its twin-turbo V6. That said, the current G90 is starting to show its age, especially when compared to some of the new Genesis models such as the G80 and GV80. A new model is coming down the pipeline and if the recent models are any indication, the G90 has a real shot of becoming one of the best luxury sedans. Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 5.0 Ultimate
      Engine: 5.0L GDI V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 4,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $75,700
      As Tested Price: $76,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      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?
      The Heart & Bones
      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.
      Where the V6 falls apart is in fuel economy. EPA figures for the G70 3.3T RWD are 17 City/26 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed at a disappointing 19.2 mpg. The standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder is better at 22/25/30 with the automatic.
      Handling is where the G70 shines. My 3.3T Sport comes with a couple of extra goodies - an electronically controlled suspension and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires. On the test route I use to evaluate handling, the G70 felt nicely balanced and provides the driver a big grin when going into a corner. The steering provides the right amount of weight and feels needed for enthusiastic driving. 
      When it comes time to do the daily commute, the G70 surprises here. Turn the drive mode knob into either Comfort or Smart, and the suspension softens up to provide a mostly smooth ride. I do wish the Pilot Sports had a slightly taller sidewall as some bumps do make their way inside. Also, barely any outside noise comes inside.
      Outside In
      While it may share the same bones as the Kia Stinger, I find the G70 a little bit easier on the eyes. Some of this comes down to the G70 being shorter in overall length (about a foot), and wheelbase (around three inches). Details that will catch your eye are gloss black wheels which come as part of the Sport package; the large front grille, and slim headlights.
      The G70's interior is very well done. Genesis' designers were able to craft an interior that not only looks nice but is also very functional. Many of the materials used are some of the best in the class with leather, aluminum, and soft-touch plastics. I also appreciate that the center stack is angled slightly towards the driver, allowing for easier access to the various controls. Speaking of that, there are a fair number of them for the audio, climate control, and other systems - primarily made up of large knobs and buttons. It may lack the minimalist look many are trending towards, but the ease of use cannot be beaten.
      For those sitting up front, Genesis provides a set of supportive sport seats with adjustable bolsters. I found the seats to do an excellent job of holding you in place while driving aggressively, but also providing the support and comfort needed on long trips. The back seat is a different story as there is barely any head and legroom available. The limited legroom also makes entry and exit difficult.
      Another issue with the G70 is the infotainment system. It's the same eight-inch system you'll find in several Hyundai vehicles such as the Kona and Venue, not the one seen in the G80 and G90 sedans. While the system is very easy to use and snappy, it doesn't fit the luxury image that the G70 is portraying. The good news is that the G70 will get a new infotainment system more fitting of its image as part of a refresh for 2022.
      A Threat?
      For a first attempt at the highly competitive luxury sport sedan class, Genesis knocked it out of the park. The G70 provides a triple threat of excellent performance, sharp handling, and a design that stands out. But now comes the big challenge for Genesis; luring buyers from the old guard. If they can do that, then the G70 can lay its mark.
      Cheers:
      Potent Twin-Turbo V6
      Crisp Handling
      Premium Interior
      Jeers:
      Infotainment System Hampers Luxury Ideal
      Cramped Rear Seats
      Fuel Economy Trailing the Pack
      How I Would Order a G70: Basically I would order the vehicle seen here, but in blue. That brings the as-tested price to $51,245.
      Alternatives:
      Kia Stinger GT: The sister model to the G70, the Stinger is more daring in its design with a hatchback shape. This also makes it slightly more practical than the Genesis. Where the G70 clobbers it is in the interior as the Stinger lacks the design and quality of materials. Performance and handling is a dead heat. Alfa Romeo Giulia: The G70's closest competitor when it comes to driving fun. No matter which version you choose, the handling is sublime and the steering is slightly better. I also find the Giulia's looks to be towards the top of the class with an elegant shape. But being an Alfa Romeo, the Giulia's reliability is very questionable.  Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G70, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G70
      Trim: 3.3T Sport
      Engine: 3.3L Twin-Turbo GDI V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/26/20
      Curb Weight: 3,774 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $44,650.00
      As Tested Price: $51,245.00 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Prestige Package: $2,850.00
      Elite Package: $1,450.00
      Sport Package: $1,300.00

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