Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai takes aim at prestigious competitors

Roseville, CA- A new supersized grille is one of the first things folks should notice about the 2020 Genesis G90.

It’s a giant grille that resembles a home-plate in baseball. If this was a ploy to garner some attention, it’s mission accomplished – a home run. One can’t take a front-end look at the Genesis G90 without noticing the distinctive grille, which is framed by two new thinner headlights.

The Genesis brand, Hyundai’s luxury division, is still looking to make a statement. Hyundai unveiled its two luxury division vehicles (G80, G90) under the Genesis flag in 2017. Hyundai will add to its fleet by launching the new 2021 GV80 – its first SUV. Like this year’s G90, the 2021 G80 will also be redesigned.

Hyundai is certainly making an effort to break through in its goal of the Genesis becoming a strong competitor of BMW, Lexus, Infinity, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and a few others. But sales of the two inaugural luxury full-size sedans have been modest at best, hence the need for redesigns.

After sales of 4,398 for the G90 in 2017, the next two years combined for meager totals of 4,478. The G80 has enjoyed better results, yet sales for 2019 (7,094) were less than half of its 2017 sales when 16,214 vehicles were sold.

Priced from $73,000

One important aspect regarding the Genesis brand is price. The G90 starts at just over $73,000 and the upgraded Ultimate model driven here goes for roughly $78,300. The entry-level G90 costs roughly $10,000 to $25,000 less than a German luxury sedan. While deserving of a good look, let’s not kid ourselves, the Genesis brand can’t match the prestige of its more established competition.

The redesigned 2020 G90 also includes 19-inch wheels that have been characterized as 1990 throwbacks. Unlike the exterior, interior changes are not as significant. Some color has been added to the cabin with five new choices, while material upgrades were done on things like controls, trim pieces and buttons.

We’re fans of the G90’s V6 engine, a twin-turbo 3.3-liter that generates 365 horsepower and 376-pound-feet of torque. It travels a very quick 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. If more performance is preferable, the Ultimate model is the way to go. It’s a 5.0-liter, V8 with 420 horsepower that produces 383 pound-feet of torque and outperforms the V6, going 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

AT A GLANCE – 2020 GENESIS G90

  • Performance: 3.3-liter, V6, 365 horsepower; 5.0-liter, V8, 420 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 17-25 mpg; 16-24 mpg
  • Price estimate: $72,300 to $78,300
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; corrosion: 7 years/unlimited

In terms of fuel economy, there’s not much difference between the standard and upgraded engines – 17-25 mpg for the V6 vs. 16-24 mph for the larger engine. The G90 has a large gas tank that’s nearly 22 gallons and should provide more than 400 miles per fill-up.

While performance is highly regarded, the handling doesn’t match much of the competition. We noticed the G90 is not as willing to take on challenging roads with ease. It does come with an array of safety features that include lane-following assist, rear cross-traffic, forward-collision alert systems, safe exit and highway driving assist.

Interior

There’s plenty to admire about the G90’s interior that accommodates five passengers. We love the driver’s seat that has 22 adjustments. The interior features comfy leather seats, soft-touch features in abundance, a terrific 17-speaker audio system, and the cabin is fundamentally sound and well thought out.

The new 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is quicker and features functionality like a split-screen setup. We applaud that it’s intuitive and not difficult to master, yet that might not be a plus for people who love their techy features. Cargo space is a bit small for a full-size sedan (15.7 cubic feet); a tall opening makes it easy to load items.

One more thing of note regarding the G90. It offers a terrific five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain. Genesis also provides free maintenance for the first three years/36,000 miles.

If an affordable luxury, full-size sedan is on the shopping list, it’s smart to give the cost-saving 2020 Genesis G90 a look. It doesn’t possess the cache of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but it’s hard to argue with the sticker price.