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Quick Drive: 2020 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate

William Maley

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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

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@William Maley Is that Sport Mode or a Sport Model if you want less body roll?

In regards to the body roll, is it like the older Cadillacs and Lincolns of the 70's to 90's being a cushy lux cruiser so body roll was expected?

Is the adaptive suspension like the Magna ride of Cadillac or just a quick responding traditional shock suspension?

Rear door looks much longer than the front, does this equate to more leg room inside or just an easier time getting in and out?

How was the tactile feel of the knobs and buttons?

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Bloated, dated look and I'll say it again that Genesis grille is cringe worthy 🤮  Far too much hype with Hyundai/Genesis for sure.

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