Emma Jayne Williams

Genesis G90 is a loaded luxury sedan from Hyundai’s new premium brand

The Genesis G90 is the flagship sedan of the new luxury brand from South Korean automaker Hyundai. It's available in two models -- V-6 and V-8 -- and comes with a long list of standard features, depending on the model.
The Genesis G90 is the flagship sedan of the new luxury brand from South Korean automaker Hyundai. It's available in two models -- V-6 and V-8 -- and comes with a long list of standard features, depending on the model.

Genesis split from Hyundai for 2017, becoming its own luxury brand featuring a long list of standard features on its models.

For 2018, the Genesis G90 sedan remains largely unchanged, with a few additions – adaptive LED headlights for the Premium model, a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10.3-inch screens for the Ultimate model, and a new CD/DVD player in the glovebox for both models.

Two models are available: the 3.3T Premium with a 365-horsepower V-6 and a 5.0 Ultimate with a 420-horsepower V-8, both with an eight-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and paddle shifters, and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

Intelligent Drive Mode brings Smart (everyday driving), Eco (fuel efficient), Sport (sharper), and Individual (driver selected parameters) drive modes. It provides unique settings for suspension, steering, stability control, engine, and transmission to allow the driver to determine driving character based on preference, road quality/condition, or traffic conditions.

The 3.3T Premium starts at $68,350 with rear wheel drive and adds $2,500 for all-wheel drive. The 5.0 Ultimate, the model I drove, starts at $71,850, with $2,500 extra for AWD.

Both models have four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution. Adaptive Suspension allows the G90 to easily tackle curves.

The G90 is a beautiful luxury car, inside and out, without being “in your face.”

Special exterior features included approach lights, which illuminated as the key fob was detected. The power folding/heated/auto-dimming outside mirrors assumed a resting position (folded in) when the engine was turned off, then glided out and lit up with a Genesis logo projected on the ground.

A bold, hexagonal chrome grille with seven chrome-trimmed blades and a chrome-trimmed lower grille with integrated horizontal LED turn signal lights and gloss black air intakes, and full LED automatic headlights with LED accents, dynamic bending lights, high beam assist, and LED daytime running lights dressed the front in elegant style.

A hands-free Smart Power Trunk opened automatically when the key fob was within the detection area for more than three seconds. The opening was wide and the width continued toward the rear seats. A fairly low liftover height made loading heavy bags easier.

LED taillights swept from the top of the rear quarter to the top of the bumper, with distinct vertical lines. A chrome strip trimmed the trunk lid between the taillights. Chrome trimmed the rocker panels, the top of the door handles, and the side windows. What sounds like a lot of chrome was actually just right, like jewelry for an elegant lady.

Impressive 19-inch hollow chrome-alloy wheels with a semi-gloss finish had 15 turbine-style spokes. Hollow wheels help decrease road noise. Dual trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips were discretely integrated with the rear bumper, highlighted by a chrome strip from wheel well to wheel well.

A windshield-wiper deicer, rain-sensing wipers and auto-defogging windshield were especially nice on cold mornings and rainy afternoons. After unlocking the door with just the touch of a button on the door handle, doors closed easily and quietly with power assist.

My G90 was Casablanca White, one of seven exteriors including Serengeti Brown (dark), Santiago Silver (light), and Himalayan Gray (dark). G90 offers only a beige interior with dark piping on the seats and Ash Gray wood trim (mine, luxurious) and black interior with walnut wood trim with metal touches (dramatic) on the dash, doors, center console, upper back of the front seatbacks, and rear armrest/console

Seating surfaces and dash were Nappa leather, the headliner was microfiber, and the leather-wrapped, heated, multi-function, power tilt-telescopic steering wheel was dark, trimmed with touches of gray and chrome.

The front seats were plush and supportive, with 22-way power adjustment for the driver including lumbar, shoulder and bolster. The ergonomic seat supports the lower back, upper back, shoulders, and head to help prevent driver fatigue. The front passenger seat had 16-way power adjustment including lumbar.

The driver also has the world’s first Smart Posture Caring system to help achieve an optimal driving position. The driver enters his/her height, sitting height, and weight on the digital cluster at the center of the instrument panel. The program automatically adjusts seat angle and location. The seat also has an adjustable thigh support for even more comfort.

Rear seats were also power adjustable, 14-way for the right and 12-way for the left. Both rear seats had a “rest” button to recline and slide to a nearly flat position. The right rear seat passenger could move the front passenger seat fore and aft as needed for more legroom, with buttons on the front seatback or the rear center armrest. All four seats (outboard rear) had integrated memory, heat and ventilation. Controls for the seats were on the center armrest.

Entry into the G90 was easy, with comfort access in the front to move the seats back when the door opened and return them when the door closed, and extra-wide rear openings and higher seat cushions.

The well-executed cabin was very quiet, with very little ambient noise and only a mild amount of road noise at cruising speeds. Controls were well placed and easy to figure out and use, with textured buttons on the center stack.

Three-zone automatic temperature control with air quality sensor and CO2 sensor maintained temperature and humidity at a preset level, which helps prevent window fogging, and measured pollutants in the outside air, activating air recirculation mode to keep the pollutants out. The preset levels are maintained, even when the vehicle is turned off for extended periods. Rear passengers had separate climate controls with four vents.

Rear passengers also had some additional amenities, including illuminated vanity mirrors, a power rear sunshade, power side-window sunshades and bag hooks on the “B” pillars. The entire cabin was treated to ambient LED interior lighting with intensity adjustment and seven colors to choose from.

Small-item storage was limited – a flip-lid bin with USB and Qi wireless charger (wouldn’t close with an iPhone plugged in), a small armrest bin with two 12-volt outlets and a movable tray, slim felt-lined door pockets, and small door handle holes that could hold very small items. The 15.7-cubic-foot trunk is smaller than others in the class. There is a ski pass-through behind the rear center armrest.

Infotainment central was a 12.3-inch screen with a control knob near the shifter. Rear passengers had controls for the navigation, audio system and climate control on the center armrest/console. The screen showed the multi-view camera bird’s eye view and the forward-view cornering image.

A Lexicon 17-speaker 7.1 discrete surround-sound audio system with Quantum Logic Surround and Clari-Fi music restoration technology had beautiful silver decorative metal grilles, while producing crisp, exquisite sound. Voice control offered basic commands for tuning, media playback, Bluetooth hands-free phone, and inputting destination addresses.

The navigation system was not new, but was easy to use with nice graphics and clear directions. Turn-by-turn directions were displayed in the full-color HUD (head up display) along with traffic information, speed, smart cruise set speed and distance, blind spot warning lights, and audio information. The HUD had a choice of colors, height selection, size, and brightness.

Genesis Connected Services provided three years of services, including Connected Care, Remote, and Guidance Packages, accessed from buttons on the rearview mirror and center stack, via the Web or Genesis owners’ smartphone app.

Connected Care included Automatic Collision Notification and Assistance, SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification and much more. Remote Package brought Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Horn and Lights, Stolen Vehicle Recovery/Slowdown/Immobilization, Geo Fence/Valet Alert/Speed Curfew Alert, and more. Guidance Package included Destination Search powered by Google, and Send to Car by Google.

Safety highlights include a Driver Attention Alert (monitors driver’s habits and signals time for a break, with an “attention monitoring bar” to keep track), Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection and Lane Change Assist (uses blind-spot detection warning to alert driver of vehicles approaching quickly from the rear).

The Genesis G90 is a true luxury car without the snob appeal, a premium experience at a discount, with lots of special features, a hushed, smooth ride, and excellent cornering at speed. It also has very good front visibility with large front side windows and windshield, and mirrors mounted on the doors instead of the front pillar.

With $975 destination charges, my G90 delivered for $72,825.

The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.