Road Test: 2023 Genesis G90 Performance
The Best Luxury Sedan?
The elegant 2023 Genesis G90 makes people stop and ask—What is this? Without hesitation, the reply is—The best luxury sedan they can buy. When matched against the perennial standard of the Mercedes-Benz S500, the G90 equals or bests this iconic German luxury car in many ways.
Genesis began as a stand-alone company in 2015 and is just now hitting its stride with a line-up of sedans and SUVs that get rave reviews. But things are changing for them. After 2025 they will come out with no new internal combustion engine models and, by 2030, will only sell cars and SUVs powered by a battery. Clean Fleet Report has been impressed with all Genesis models we have driven. The G90 did not disappoint.
The potent power from the turbocharged and electric supercharged 3.5-liter V6 is something that needs to be experienced. Smooth and instant, the linear power from 409 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Running on premium, the EPA rates fuel economy at 17 mpg city/24/highway/20 combined. In 217 miles driving mostly on Southern California freeways, we averaged 25.3 miles per gallon, with a high of 30 mpg over a 40-mile stretch with the adaptive cruise control set at 65 miles per hour. The take away is—when on a long road trip, it is possible to drive the G90 in a manner that delivers respectable efficiency.
Smooth and Sublime
The all-wheel drive G90 delivers a pleasant driving experience with responsive steering. The cornering was aided by rear wheel steering, and the ride by a multi-chamber air suspension. Road imperfections were smoothed to the point of feeling cushiony but not floaty.
There are four driver-selectable drive modes—Eco, Comfort, Sport and the customizable My Mode. The Eco and Comfort modes are where the best fuel economy will be found. Selecting Sport tightens the steering and inflates the driver’s seat side bolsters to make for a snugger and more secure feel when cornering. My Mode allows for customizable settings for the accelerator and steering, making it possible to find the exact feel for your driving style.
The smile inducing silky power and torque was strong, especially in Sport mode, where we turned 0-60 mph times of about 4.9 seconds. There are paddle shifters to go through the gears manually, but we did not find using them offered an advantage over the smooth and quick shift-by-wire automatic.
The G90’s well-distributed 5,190 pounds and 17.3-foot length felt balanced, with the all-wheel drive and rear wheel steering giving a sense of gliding through turns. The Michelin Primacy Tour all-season tires, mounted on 21-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, were staggered with 245/40 in the front and 275/35 on the rear. This combination provided ample grip, even when pushing corners to their limit with the all-wheel drive system automatically sensing grip level and undetectably sending power front-to-rear and side-to-side. There was limited body roll and the ride was comfortable and confident.
The G90 has limited wind and road noise partly due to the low 0.27 coefficient of drag, acoustic laminated glass and sound deadening insulation. It also has Active Sound Design, which pumps virtual driving sounds through the audio speakers. They fluctuate with the drive mode, the speed and accelerator pedal pressure.
The exterior styling is distinctive and makes no mistake it is a full-size luxury sedan. The signature Crest Grille is framed by the iconic two-line LED headlight design. The smooth body surface has tasteful chrome around the windows, along the lower edge wrapping the sides and rear, and on the flush door handles. The rear takes the two-line LED tail light design further as it wraps from fender-to-fender across the trunk. A power sunroof and rear seat fixed glass roof, along with a body color shark fin antenna, complete the exterior’s clean design.
Pampered. Need we go further? The supple nappa leather seats, leatherette and real wood dash, cut-pile carpeting, and a microfiber suede headliner are only the beginning of the premium touches. As would be expected, there is power everywhere, including opening and closing the front doors with the push of a button, rear side and rear window shades, rear seat recline, a rear passenger-side foot rest, and inflatable suede rear headrests that are pillow-soft.
The 18-way (for the driver) and 16-way (for the passenger) power front seats are heated and ventilated, have massage and adjustable side bolsters. The wide and soft center console contains the gear selector, command wheel for the touchscreen, and buttons for the drive mode, auto hold, the seat climate selectors, the volume and channel selection wheels, and cup holders. Just above, on the lower dash are controls for the three zone climate system that also has an air fragrance icon. Press it and a refreshing aroma softly wafts through the cabin.
The rear leather seats, with heat and massage, have generous leg room, especially when reclined. The center folding armrest has far more going on than cup holders, as there are controls for lighting, wireless device charging, seats, climate and window shade operation.
Thedash has dual 12.3-inch horizontal color display screens that look like one piece. One screen is for the digital instruments, and the other for the infotainment system. Our G90 came standard with a 23-speaker, 300-watt amplifier, 1,400-watt, 14-channel Bang & Olufsen 3D premium audio system. Music is provided by AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM/HD Radio, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth connection for up to two devices, USB C-type power and data ports, wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi Hotspot complete the technology. If you need to wind down at the end of the day, sit in the G90 and get completely immersed in this outstanding sound system.
The leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel has physical and haptic controls for audio, telephone and the adaptive cruise control with Stop-and-Go. The radio can also be controlled by touchscreen or volume and channel selection wheels on the center console. There was a very short learning curve for this outstanding, great-sounding entertainment system.
Other features are driver selectable Mood Lighting (as shown here on the GV60), Mood Curator, rain sensing windshield wipers, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a color Head-Up Display, heated and power side mirrors with turn signals and Genesis logo puddle lamps, wireless phone charging pads (front and rear) and a hands-free trunk.
The 2023 G90 is packed with technology. Will you use them all? We believe you will.
Technology features include the Digital Key which provides access to vehicle systems including lock and unlock, remote start, and parking through a smartphone. Connected Services links to Apple or Google phones, and the Homelink auto-dimming rear view mirror is an integrated transceiver (a transmitter and receiver) that can be programmed to activate radio frequency (RF) devices such as garage doors, estate/community gates, entry door locks, home/office lighting, security systems or other RF devices.
Remote Smart Parking Assist can move the G90 forward and reverse by using the key FOB. This helpful feature comes in handy when someone parked too close and you can’t open the doors. It also can find an available parking space on the street or in a parking lot, and then self-park parallel or perpendicular.
The Surround View Monitor is an important safety feature when parking, or backing in an area where there may be vehicles or pedestrians appearing suddenly.
The G90 comes with the Genesis Service Valet that covers the first three years of ownership where your vehicle will be picked up wherever you choose. You will also receive a loaner vehicle and select when and where your Genesis will be returned.
Safety, Warranty and Pricing
The G90 comes with an extensive and standard list of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and a semi-autonomous driving system, the Genesis Highway Driving Assist. A helpful feature is when using the right or left turn signal, a camera comes on showing the sides of the G90, depending on which direction is being turned. Ten airbags, vehicle stability management, electronic stability and traction control, along with four-wheel anti-lock brakes are part of the safety suite on the G90.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the G90 as a Top Safety Pick+, its highest rating.
The 2023 G90 comes with these warranties:
- Powertrain – 10 years/100,000 miles
- New Vehicle – Five years/60,000 miles
- Maintenance – Three years/36,000 miles
- Roadside Assistance – Five years/Unlimited miles
- Anti-perforation – Seven years/Unlimited miles
The G90 is available in two models, with these base prices that include the mandatory $1,095 freight and handling fee.
3.5T AWD $89,495
3.5T AWD/Supercharger $99,795
Clean Fleet Report drove the 2023 Genesis G90 3.5T AWD E-Supercharger, with one option of the Makalu Gray exterior paint for $1,500. The final price was $101,295.
Observations: 2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD
The 2023 Genesis G90 3.5T AWD will be compared to its keenest competition–the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Lexus LS and BMW 7 Series, which are all very nice luxury sedans. When everything is considered, the Genesis G90 holds its own, and then some.
Climbing behind the wheel of the G90 provides a quick appreciation of a fine automobile, possibly the nicest you have ever sat in. The impressive interior, distinctive exterior, outstanding performance, a long and deep features list, a full safety suite and an industry-leading warranty, make the G90 the luxury sedan to buy.
Built in Ulsan, Korea, the G90 represents what a luxury sedan can be, while not costing as much as similar cars. If you are at the stage in life where a full-size luxury car is a reward for success, then the Genesis G90 should be on your consideration list.
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Story and photos by John Faulkner.
The luxury competition we tested:
Road Test: 2022 Mercedes-Benz S500
Road Test: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580
Road Test: 2019 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid
Road Test: 2019 BMW 745e PHEV
Road Test: 2021 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid
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