The G90 - A Perfect Car To Ride To Your Gulfstream G800
The Genesis G90 offers a plethora of convenience and comfort features wrapped in a superbly elegant ambiance. Money buys a lot of luxury, especially in a Genesis - might it be within reach?
By J-F Wright
Tue, Jun 6, 2023 12:58 PM PST
The G90 is Genesis’s flagship model and this one is tricked out with pretty much anything you can think of. Even though the driver’s seat is extremely nice and comfortable, the back seat is where the owner is supposed to sit. Unfortunately, as the designated reviewer of this fine automobile, I am the only person allowed to drive it. So, to put the G90 through a fair test I enlisted a co-reviewer to ride in the back: “Good day sir, I’ll be your driver today”.
Let’s get this out of the way up front. Yes, the Genesis is an expensive car. Yes, you’d get a lot for your money. Yes, it rivals the other, more expensive, full-on luxury vehicles. Yes, it will get you looks, especially with the matte finish our review vehicle is sporting. Yes, you’ll want to ride in the back. No, a driver is not included. Yes, getting used to hitting buttons to open and close doors takes some time. Yeah, the back seat is nicer than my sofa. Yes, you can sit three people abreast in the back, but that means you don’t have access to the fold-out control panel hidden in the center seat’s back. Yes, the blinkers look really cool, thanks! Yes, I can sense that the rear wheels are turning, helping out in cornering. No, the turning rear wheels are not for crab-style parking, it’s for high-speed cornering. Yes/No, this is, and is not, a Hyundai…
And yes, all of the above were asked during our week-long review.
Who Is The Genesis G90 For?
The G90 is a special car. By the look (and feel) of it, the G90 is the kind of car that picks up a hedge fund manager from their castle and takes them to work in Manhattan. It’s the kind of ride you’d expect as your airport shuttle when arriving in Zurich with an HON-level frequent flyer status with Swiss (Airlines). It might not seem like the kind of car you’d find a family with three kids cruising around in, one of them strapped in with a full-size child-restraint.
The price-tag might seem to be the main limiter - a $100,000-wide valley between most car buyers and the Genesis G90. However, let’s keep in mind that the highest trim Suburban - you know, that one your neighbors with three kids has - sports a very similar sticker price. So, in some skewed reality, the G90 is within reach for a lot more folk than it appears. But do we want - and/or need - it? (My kids wouldn’t mind it one bit, if I came home with our own G90. My wife might, but that’s only due to her having better insight into our finances than our kids do.)
As I see it, there are a couple of buyers who might consider a Genesis G90:
The Lady/Gentleman Who’ll Never Drive It
This is the most obvious buyer, although I doubt they actually buy their cars. Really, I have no idea what car ownership if like for the ultra-rich who have drivers. I assume the car would be purchased by a company that then employs a couple of drivers to drive thy lady and gentleman to their country club. I’d say that’s a waste, having someone else drive your awesome automobile, but that’s just my personal opinion (which nobody asked for).
The True-Luxury Seeking Car Connoisseur
We all know at least one - if you don’t, you’re probably the one - person who loves their car(s) and will gladly talk about anything with wheels (forever). They might have already owned a Mercedes S-class or a BMW 7 series, or maybe even an Audi A8. They are ready for something new, something that will stick out - in an elegant way - from the run-of-the-mill luxury vehicles. The Genesis G90 will rank high for anyone looking for a really nice ride - one that is sure to be a conversation starter.
The “Because We Want To And We Can”-Family
In my dream world I would fit into this category. Unfortunately, only the first half of this subtitle applies to my family.. Yes, we want to, but - alas - no, we can’t. So if I’m not a part of this cohort, then who is? Well, let’s reference the $100k-Suburban again… The G90 would be for a (pet-free) family of four who prioritizes sheer luxury over vast space. A family where the main driver(s) want the thrill of driving a sporty sedan with hundreds of horses under the hood, but don’t want to skimp on features like massage, button-opened doors, and the like. Roadtrips with kids would take on an entirely different meaning in the Genesis G90. I would assume G90-parents rarely - if ever - hear the classic question “Are we there yet?”. Why would anyone want to reach their destination? That just means they’ll have to end their massage, put their chairs back to the upright position, and exit their private four-wheeled jet.
Is A Genesis A Hyundai?
Kinda. But not in the sense that you’ll feel like you’re driving around in a $100,000 Hyundai, no. Sure, just like Lexus is a high-end Toyota, Genesis is a high-end Hyundai. It’s really only noticeable in some small details - like the blind-spot camera that turns on whenever you start a blinker (looks just like the ones we know from Hyundai’s upper trim levels). The interior, like the buttons, screens, dials, etc, are not Hyundai-esque, they’re in another league completely. The same goes for the exterior styling - nobody will see a Hyundai in the Genesis G90. (The car-geek might mention it, but that’s just to flaunt his/her car knowledge.)
Drive & Ride Comfort
The 2023 Genesis G90 is massive. Park next to a pickup truck and you might notice that you’re sticking out almost as much as the truck. The huge hood and the generous legroom - both front and back - as well as a not-to-be-forgotten trunk all add to the length.
The massive size of the G90 helps in assuring the extremely smooth ride. So smooth, in fact, that when accelerating to pass someone on the freeway you’ll be surprised to see tripple digits on your speedometer. Yeah, this beast is really quick. To avoid tickets, you’ll need to make good use of the cruise control - your senses won’t pick up on how fast you’re going (nor will your passengers who are busy getting a massage).
A sedan of this size could potentially bring up memories of large sedans from decades past - I’m thinking of vehicles like the boat-like Lincoln Continental (note: the last few model years sold in the US lacked the boatesque handling). The Genesis G90, like its Mercedes, BMW, and Audi counterparts, does not handle like a boat (the Germans never did). Thanks to rear-wheel steering ,among other features, the G90 will hug corners with the best of them. In fact, with so much power flooding to the tires, it’s impressively hard to get any kind of risky slip-n-slide tendencies from the G90. It’ll go where you point it.
Now, even with all this power and impeccable handling, the Genesis G90 is not meant for racing around tracks. The luxury offered to the rear passengers will be a bit lost if they have their face in a bag. But it’s good to know that this luxury limo can and will give the more enthusiastic driver the kicks they’re after.
Obviously a subjective comment; this is a really nice vehicle. The Genesis G90 will turn heads, and it’s not just because there aren’t many around. Even the average not-so-car-interested person will take a second look, probably finding some exterior detail that appeals a little extra to their eye. Our test vehicle sports a matte finish, further accentuating it.
But, let’s note that it’s not a “screamy” car. It’s not “in your face”, nor does it look like something straight out of a bling-bling YouTube video. No, even with a matte finish, the Genesis G90 is much too classy for that.
The front is well-rounded - yet with a very wide stance - and slim headlights (which magically double as blinkers) swoop around to the sides. The Genesis emblem adorning the hood will draw folks in as they try to figure out what they’re looking at.
Look at the silhouette of the G90 and you’ll be able to pick out small design cues that remind you of other vehicles, large and small. Interestingly, most will have differing opinions on what other car(s) the G90 reminds them of. The rear (seen from the side) might be bit Mercedes-Benz S-class. The flush door handles make most think of a Tesla, even though more and more cars are using this “disappearing handle” feature. But, since the masses don’t seem to all point to one competitor model’s design, I’d give the Genesis designers a huge win for doing their own thing. This is a special car, even on the outside.
It’s said that “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” and that “it’s the inside that matters”. Even though the exterior is elegantly appealing, it’s definitely on the inside that the Genesis G90 shines. White leather everywhere, knobs and dials that look like diamonds the size of a child’s fist, contrast stitching, elegant trim with gold engravings, and seats that will both hug you tight and wish you good night are just the beginning.
The cockpit has an array of technology available through both the dashboard and steering wheel controls, not to mention the center infotainment screen. The steering wheel does a nice job at straddling the line between modern luxurious elegance and that classic look - without going too far towards the latter. The driver and the front seat passenger both enjoy comfortable seats with a variety of massage routines and snugness settings.
However, it’s in the rear seat, especially the right-side passenger, where passengers will have their mind blown. Push a button and the seat reclines enough for a real nap, even extending a leg support large enough to rival those found in business class onboard international airlines. The headrest is topped by a pillow - who ever said safety (headrest) and comfort (pillow) can’t coexist?! - and the right rear seat passenger can move the front passenger’s seat forward as needed to stretch out. Once you get settled in you’ll want the trip to last a while.
With a vehicle like the Genesis G90 there is no point in us trying to review every little detail - there are just too many! Apart from the exceedingly long list of features the serious buyer will peruse (for hours) on the Genesis website, there are still some worth giving an extra note.
Mood Settings (Including Perfume)
Yeah, perfume. My first thought was “why?”, but after playing around with the different mood settings, it’s easy to see why… Setting the mood in the car using lights and colors, background noise, and window curtains will get you far, but engaging the sense of smell will take it up yet another notch.
For those who are wondering: The perfume used is not anything like what you might wear on your body. No, this is more of a background scent, just hinting your nose in the right direction. It’s also easily controllable - select from two scents and three levels of intensity. Take it from someone who is usually first at picking up on even the slightest smell and has a hard time sitting next to cologne over-users without getting a headache, this is a really elegant way to elevate an already nice ambiance.
Noise Cancelling In Back Seat
We noticed an abundance of little buttons lining the ceiling of the G90, each with “Acoustic Control” printed on them. After playing around with the different settings we (yeah, reviewing the G90 is a two-person job) turned on something called “Silent” - not thinking too much about what that might entail. The moment that “Silent” was engaged the back seat asked about the music we had been listening to. The front seat hadn’t noticed a difference in volume and looked back with a puzzled expression - growing more puzzled as the rear passenger explained that the music had almost disappeared completely - it was now a faint background noise. Impressive!
We had found the reason for all the acoustic control sensors. The rear passengers are able to enjoy a very quiet ride whilst the front seat occupants can listen to music - or that pesky traffic update.
Door Open Buttons
My kids would hate me if I didn’t mention the door buttons. Being too small to really enjoy the sofa-like seats - much less the massage - their attention quickly gravitated to the ins and outs of opening and closing a car door. Because, just like much else in the G90, it’s not like in other cars. No. Who wants to reach out and pull closed the car door if there are better ways? In the G90, just hit a button and the door will close for you. All four doors have this feature, and the driver’s door closes automatically once you hit the brake pedal (yes, there is still a button too).
Primarily meant as a convenience and luxury feature, it also offers endless fun for anyone - young or old - showing off all the awesome tricks the G90 can do. Honestly, by the end of my week with the G90 I had grown accustomed to not having to close my own door. It’s kinda nice to just get in and sit down.
Would I want a Genesis G90? Yes, who wouldn’t? What category of buyer would I fall into? All three - although since I really enjoy driving this limo I wouldn’t want to relinquish that to a chauffeur altogether. Do chauffeurs enjoy being chauffeured?
The G90 - the flagship of the Genesis lineup - definitely leaves a lasting impression. The design, the comfort, the driving characteristics, and the sheer fun of all the elegant features make this a very strong contender for those in the market for a luxury sedan. Maybe even for those who are eyeing a large SUV - ready with $100,000. It’ll save you a buck or two when compared to the luxury sedans offered by the German counterparts, putting it within reach of quite a few more buyers.
About The Author
John-Fredrik Wright was born in Sweden, but raised on both sides of the Atlantic. His experience in the automotive industry starts with a summer-job as a host at Volkswagen’s premier showroom in Stockholm. Later, he worked as an instructor at Swedish Active Driving, teaching safe driving (among other things the renowned "elk-avoidance maneuver") and advanced driving techniques.