AUTO REVIEW: The 2023 Genesis G90: a First-Class Interpretation of First-Class Mobility

By Larry Printz

The 2023 Genesis G90 (Kelly Serfoss/Genesis/TNS)

(Tribune News Service/TNS) — It’s been a long time since Hyundai introduced the 1999 Equus, its first rendition of a world-class luxury car. It would take another decade, and a couple of generations, before the vehicle reached the U.S. and another seven years until Hyundai launched its new luxury brand, Genesis, with the former Equus becoming its flagship sedan, the G90.

For 2023, Genesis is launching an all-new G90, and it’s truly a first-class interpretation of first-class mobility. Intended to compete with the Lexus LS, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in this exclusive sector of the luxury-car market, the 2023 G90 is the first Hyundai luxury model that truly competes fender to fender with the world’s finest sedans.

While the 2023 Genesis G90’s distinctive appearance enhances and further distills the design cues from the previous G90, it now has a more significant air due to its lengthy 125.2-inch wheelbase. Its exquisite lines are enhanced by the front end’s dual horizontal lighting theme and a more refined, yet still unmistakable, shield grille. It has a mature presence overall, which is a welcome break from the frivolous excesses that characterize modern car design.

The accommodations are what matter when it comes to large luxury cars, and once inside the G90’s cabin, you’ll be spoiled senseless. As on Rolls-Royce vehicles, the doors shut with the press of a button. Look around and you’ll find a steering wheel with a distinctively sculpted 3-D appearance. Not surprisingly, the interior is richly decorated with a chic combination of leather, wood and other materials, but its appearance lacks the flashiness of its German competition. Instead, there’s a knowing, sophisticated calm to its design.

As you’d expect, there is ample head and leg room, and the chairs are wide and comfy. Both the seat back and the seat bottom have massagers. Thanks to active noise cancellation, you’ll soon discover that the G90 is quieter than a college library on a Saturday night once underway. There’s even an onboard aroma diffuser, a thoughtful touch nicked from Mercedes-Benz.

The instrument panel is comprised of a pair of 12.3-inch screens behind a single sheet of glass, one a digital instrument cluster and the other a 12.3-inch high-def multimedia screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is an exceptional Bang & Olufsen sound system. There’re also front and rear wireless smartphone chargers, a head-up display, and a fingerprint authentication system that can be used to start the car without the key fob.

The all-wheel-drive G90 sedan is powered by a 3.5-liter double-overhead-cam twin turbocharged V-6 and an 8-speed automatic transmission that generates 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. It carries an EPA rating of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. But whereas last year Genesis offered a V-8 engine as a performance upgrade, for 2023 it’s been replaced by the base V-6 engine augmented with an electric supercharger and powered by a 48-volt mild hybrid system. With 409 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, fuel economy suffers, but not much, coming in at 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.

(Kelly Serfoss/Genesis/TNS)

Genesis is acutely attuned to what’s expected of the G90 by eschewing any boy racer Nürburgring tendencies. Instead, it uses its front camera to take stock of the road ahead and adjust the air-dampened suspension accordingly to ensure a relaxing ride. Thankfully, this is not a sports sedan, nor does it aspire to be one. Even so, acceleration is ample while remaining well-composed when cornering — a remarkable and rare combination of traits. But Genesis engineers also provide a chauffeur driving mode that optimizes the G90’s ride to prioritize rear seat passenger comfort.

Its personality is at once modern and cutting edge, yet reassuringly traditional with its urge to indulge, delight and pamper. The 2023 Genesis G90 is the true essence of lavish luxury motoring.

Of course, this won’t matter to some, as the Genesis brand has yet to achieve true luxury brand cachet despite its excellent vehicles. And luxury label cachet is as much the essence of luxury as what the brand actually delivers. But after experiencing the new G90, such status doesn’t seem to matter, as Genesis’ newest flagship sedan continues to deliver exceptional pampering at a price that undercuts its competitors.

And in era of raging inflation, that’s something even the wealthiest car buyer can appreciate.

2023 Genesis G90 3.5T

Base price: $98,700

Engine: 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6

Horsepower/Torque: 409/405 pound-feet

EPA fuel economy (city/highway): 17/24 mpg

Fuel required: 92 Octane

Length/Width/Height: 207.7/76/58.7 inches

Ground clearance: 5.8 inches

Payload: 1,003 pounds

Cargo capacity: 10.6 cubic feet

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