In an arena dominated by the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, this G90 starts with a glaring lack of notoriety. This second opus nevertheless gives a serious stylistic boost. Spanning the same length as a Ford Expedition (5.3m), the large sedan cultivates undeniable panache. The visual identity is reinforced by headlights with superimposed lines which seem to be interrupted only by the wheel arch to extend on the side. Genesis also employs a front hood incorporating the fenders to reduce the amount of gaps. The large inverted ridge pentagonal grille is otherwise properly proportioned and the liftback roofline matches the boot lid well. The rear diodes pierce the darkness with long horizontal filiform lines blending with oblique lights. It’s very elegant.
From its very first outings, Genesis made it a point of honor to stand out with its warm and skilfully crafted interiors. Its expertise in the field reaches remarkable levels with this G90. Finely cut to renew the theme of exterior horizontality, the materials present beautiful variations of textures and the presentation rests the eye with its visual balance. The keys have a solid feel and are very ergonomic. The forged carbon fiber adds a touch of modernity without a flashy varnish. However, we would have liked more customization in the assembly. The space in itself is obviously large and the massaging seats are designed to accommodate many types of physique, failing to offer really soft padding. Like any self-respecting large sedan, rear passengers are pampered by the presence of infinitely adjustable seats and a touch screen controlling various functions.
Genesis only offers one engine in Canada to power its G90, a 3.5L V6 supercharged by two turbochargers and a 48V electric supercharger that fills the low-rpm dips. Its 409 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque may seem modest to move 2.4 tons, but the flexibility of this mechanism is impressive for the displacement. However, it is somewhat restrained by an automatic transmission (8 gears) that seems to lag behind at times in its decisions. This V6 will never be able to compare to the supercharged V8s used elsewhere in terms of pure performance, but that is not its aim. Its smoothness goes well with the spirit of the work, but its consumption is too high, which could have been limited by the use of an electric motor in support. Never mind, there is a serenity that emanates from it.
The great lady sets off in a silence that is only broken by the short bursts of the V6. We quickly notice the presence of the directional rear wheels, giving an impression of sideways sliding that is sometimes too marked. The car fits quite well in curves for its dimensions thanks to a steering correctly dosed in its assistance as well as its all-wheel drive. But this G90 shines above all with its damping, ensured by a pneumatic system which can adjust the ground clearance automatically to overcome obstacles or negotiate with asperities. It works surprisingly well when crossing the many potholes in Quebec. The winter tires with very thin sidewalls fitted to the test vehicle, however, did not allow us to assess the ride at its best, as it seemed a little too rough for the cause.
This Genesis G90 is equipped with the latest version of the automaker’s infotainment system. Navigation can be done from the steering wheel as well as by a wheel fixed on the central console or on the screen itself. This last option is the least pleasant because of the distance that separates the driver from it. The system as such is among the best offered by luxury manufacturers. Well defined and fast as desired, it allows us to quickly take our ease in well-constructed menus that we select by large vertical tabs. The configuration of the various functionalities is also very intuitive, based on a 3D representation of the car on which pads are placed to select the elements. No wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto though, which is a must for a vehicle of this price.
Despite its great qualities compared to its price, this Genesis G90 will always come up against a fundamental question: is it an aspirational vehicle? Faced with competitors who have become masters of aspirational marketing in a segment that thrives on this idea of accessing a higher social hierarchy, the Korean still has difficulty joining the front runners. However, it is a much more complete creation than before. Who’s going to want to shell out $115,000 for a big sedan anyway in today’s environment? Probably purists of the genre, because the G90 takes us back to a probably simpler and more authentic expression of luxury not too built on technology. It’s a question of balance here and of harmony when many manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz in the lead, seem to want to turn their vehicles into giant tablets.
Probably to look even more luxurious, this G90 has doors that close by pressing a button. It’s not really useful, we agree.
A Bang sound system
By emphasizing the interior, Genesis has somewhat forgotten the practical aspect of the trunk, which has a volume of only 300 L, in addition to having a fairly high and not very large opening.
By relying on a camera at the front and on the navigation system, this G90 can adjust its suspension 100 m in advance in order to reduce the effect of bumps on the peace of mind of passengers.
The 3.5L V6 uses two turbochargers and an electric supercharger to increase smoothness, and uses two injectors per cylinder, one in the intake manifold and the other in the combustion chamber.