“That car’s got stature!” exclaimed a neighbor of mine, as I was parking the G90. “Nice to see somebody still making big sedans. So, Genesis – that’s Hyundai, right?” Yes. The luxo flagship formerly known as Equus now gallops under the premium Genesis brand.
The G90 as originally launched lacked distinctiveness, so the designers in Namyang revamped the big steed’s exterior. Its grill is now more enormous than the Lexus LS’s, with a quartet of LED headlamps bisected by secondary LED strips. The car’s overall stance (on 19-inch wheels) is, to my eye, more elegant without looking like it was derived from a previous-gen German sedan.
My tester, in “Ultimate” trim, packed Hyundai’s naturally-aspirated 5.0-L V8, home-grown A8R50 8-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, though AWD is optional. The powertrain is virtually inaudible and so smooth it’s invisible, other than at start-up. Road-noise isolation is excellent. The G90’s driver’s seat is sophisticated indeed, offering 22 settings based on the driver’s inseam, height and weight as uploaded through the car’s flatscreen display.
But as befitting a limo, the G90’s rear cabin area – with 14-way adjustable right seat and 12-way on the left – are where the G90’s ultimate comfort resides. With a center console to please fussy CEOs and more legroom than even my 37-inch inseam requires, I felt more comfortable and cosseted being driven in the G90 5.0 as I did in driving it. The $78,000 G90 Ultimate is a genuine alternative to an A8 and 7-Series. Just don’t expect everyone to know what it is.
2020 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate
Base price: $75,700
As tested: $76,695
Highs: Physical presence; silky ride; back-seat cabin comfort
Lows: Brand still obscure
The takeaway: A lot of luxury sedan for the money