2020 Genesis G90 3.3T Premium new car reviews

Introduced in 2015 in Korea (around the same time the Genesis brand was created), the G90 would be first seen in our neck of the woods at the 2016 North America International Auto Show, officially going on sale that same year.

Since then, two engine options have been available, a 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 and a 5.0-liter V8. The power output for the engines is 365 horsepower and 420 horsepower when run on premium fuel, respectively.

Rear-wheel-drive is standard, though all-wheel-drive can be had for either engine. No matter the configuration, however, all models send power to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic.

We recently got the keys to a V6-powered, rear-wheel-drive version of Genesis's flagship model. Keep reading below to find out for yourself what it's like to drive.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Let’s say that you want a full-size luxury car yet not quite Benz, BMW or Audi money. That usually means the big Lexus, a personal fave. It’s smooth, fast and loaded. I could drive one for days and never tire.

But then here comes this Genesis G90.

Genesis? Like a fancy Hyundai?

Yup.

Is it good?

Yup.

Like the Lexus, it’s all the smooth.

And like the Lexus, the numbers are close. Really close.

The latest Lexus LS 500 delivers 416 horsepower from a twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V6. It’s backed by a 10-speed auto, with a listed curb weight of 4740-4949 pounds depending on configuration.

And the challenger, the Genesis G90. In 5.0 Ultimate guise, its V8 delivers 420 horsepower through an eight-speed auto. Depending on setup, figure 4751-4905 pounds–again, that’s with the V8 configuration.

Our tester, the Premium RWD 3.3T, had the smaller engine–the twin-turbo, 3.3-liter V6 that delivers 365 horsepower–and yet it still felt really impressive. Is more power great? Of course. Did this version still feel plenty fine? Yep. Felt great in town and on the highway. No waiting, nothing lacking.

And that’s one of the big take-homes: While not a scientific, back-to-back test, the big Genesis left me wondering about my unwavering love to the full-size Lexus. This one delivered plenty of power, plenty of luxury and, let’s be honest, some striking looks. The wheels look unconventional yet I dug them. Kinda looked like something out of the Rotiform catalog. (Check out the LHR-M.)

But then to hear that Genesis has more waiting in the wings? Can we call this one game, set, match?

The other thing: The price seems fair for the market. Our tester, after all of the options and even delivery, stickered at $73,195. I know, that figure buys a lot of NA Miatas, but it also undercuts the Lexus by a bit.

One more thing, and I know that we’re not a luxury sedan magazine but stay with me. Pop the Genesis’s hood, and there’s a thick rubber gasket running around the entire perimeter of the inner hood. That gasket perfectly seals against the engine compartment. So, in raw materials, we’re talking a few bucks–plus the engineering. But when you wonder why certain cars deliver that quiet ride, you notice the details.

One small nitpick with the Hyundai: the shifter. Park is engaged via a button, with another button activating the sport mode. Just put all of that in a single stick, and I’m all in.

Can’t think of any other complaints. If looking for an Asian full-size luxury sedan, this ticked all of the boxes.

One question: Does a Genesis badge carry enough panache–but if not today, what about in a few years?

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Comments
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300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
10/6/20 9:19 p.m.

Wheels......the UK called and they want their dartboards back.  Okay, I've used that line before, but it's just so fitting.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
10/6/20 9:28 p.m.

A family friend just retired and decided to get himself a retirement gift. He went from a barely running, hit-everything-but-the-lottery 2007 Civic sedan to one of these with the 5.0L V8. Talk about a leap! I got to take a ride in it. The thing was incredible. I was able to sit in the back and cross my legs in comfort. It's an impressive car. 

fanfoy
fanfoy SuperDork
10/7/20 8:17 a.m.

Sat in one of those at the local auto show last year and I was really impressed with the interior. It was a nicer place to spend time then all the German cars that were there. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
10/7/20 9:39 a.m.

The back seat looks like a nice place to be.  "Sir, your Uber Black has arrived."

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/7/20 9:42 a.m.
300zxfreak said:

Wheels......the UK called and they want their dartboards back.  Okay, I've used that line before, but it's just so fitting.

Our test car had these wheels. I dug them. 

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