Genesis, the luxury brand from Hyundai, hasn’t sold many cars yet but it has won an ample and growing number of plaudits from any number of judges of automotive metal.
The accolades, by the way, are well deserved since cars such as the G90 from Genesis that I recently had the opportunity to drive, are well-designed inside and out, loaded with technology, handle well and provide almost all the power anyone would ever really need away from a racetrack.
With its 124.4-inch wheelbase, the G90 is something of a disappearing breed — a genuine full-sized sedan with ample room in both the front seat for the driver and a passenger and the rear seats where the passengers can relax in comfort almost as if they were riding in a vehicle driven by chauffer, which probably is the point.
The overall length of the of G90 from the tip of the front grille to the rear badge comes out to 204.9 inches, which underpins the car’s long character lines that amplify its graceful, low-slung exterior appearance.
(Upstart Genesis wins Motor Trend Car of the Year with G70 sports sedan. Click Here for the story.)
On the outside, the G90 is only 58.9-inches high or shade under five-feet tall, which is short by contemporary standards where boxy vehicles have come to the fore to cater to the advancing age of the motoring public in the United States, the European Union and Japan.
The G90, however, is quite comfortable and easy to climb in and out on the way and the generous track or width, 64.6 in the front and 64.5 in the rear, amplifies the spacious interior, giving driver and passenger plenty of elbow room once they settle into the seats.
Designers across the auto industry are acutely aware of the science of ergonomics and work diligently to make cabins safe and easy to use within the confines of a budget. The materials, layout and overall design of the G90 is very well done and completes with a dashboard, steering wheel and seating surfaces wrapped in Nappa leather.
The overall simplicity, which I suspect is one of Genesis overarching design objectives, works well even in the spacious cabin where traditionally work would have gone into filling up the space with some extra plush features that never quite worked.
Genesis, or rather Hyundai, has paid for a full complement of the latest technological features, starting with the 12-inch HD center-stack screen, heated seats, an easy-to-use Bluetooth connection and the advanced driver assistance features that help keep the car’s pilot alert to both every day hazards and even potentially larger threats.
(The Genesis G70 is a stunning mix of power and comfort. To see our review, Click Here.)
The list of features available on the G90 is lengthy and impressive and includes forward-view cornering camera, smart cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert as well as front and rear parking sensors, bending headlights, tinted glass with solar controls, auto-defogging windshield and humidity controls, acoustic laminated glass to help reduce noise in the very quiet cabin and three-zone climate controls for the driver, passenger and rear-seat occupants.
The G90 comes with rear-wheel-drive layout, giving the car impressive balance traditionally found in high-end German-made sedans. It also is available with a 3.3-liter V6 with 365 horsepower or the 5.0-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic, which I drove.
The power from the V8 comes on instantly and was great in both city and freeway driving. But as large as it was – the G90 weighs 4,600 pounds – the car is equipped with features such as an electronically adjusted suspension that sense the road surface and a nicely tuned power-steering system.
The result was a car that seemed nimble and sure-footed and drove likes a smaller, sporty sedan rather than a traditional full-size sedan. The overall drivability of the G90 was most impressive and the overall ride quality, even on the rough-surface roads that are common throughout the Detroit area was notable.
Genesis is facing a diverse set of challenges, starting with a set of well-established and well-heeled set of competitors that have built up loyal, affluent followings. But even the most loyal customer can be lured away by something new, different and offers better value, even when the price tag is $70,000.
(To see why Genesis tops J.D. Power’s APEAL survey, Click Here.)
Nonetheless, anyone willing to spend the money for a traditional, full-size luxury sedan should be willing to take a look at the Genesis G90. It is very impressive even if hasn’t yet built up the cachet of its rivals.