Despite its size, the G90 is not boring to drive. Our test car came with the base twin turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 that produces a healthy 365 horsepower. Mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission with multiple drive modes, it was plenty quick when pressed.
I was skeptical when Hyundai first announced it was going to sell high-end luxury cars. Not just more luxurious versions of their existing cars, but new cars designed to compete against those by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Although the South Korean automaker had long proven it could make very good cars and SUVs with premium options, there's a big difference between that and genuine German luxury car.
I'm a lot less skeptical after driving the 2017 G90, the flagship car of Hyundai's new upscale Genesis brand. Although not quite as refined as the German executive class cars it is targeting, most owners won't notice much difference in the kind of day-to-day driving that happens in the real world.
For starters, the G90 is a large, stylish car that could pass for a full size Jaguar sedan at first glance. The length allows for an abundance of room for front and rear passengers, especially in the back seat, where owners are likely to carry important clients. The long wheelbase also helps create a smooth ride that is not upset by broken pavement.
But despite its size, the G90 is not boring to drive. Our test car came with the base twin turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 that produces a healthy 365 horsepower. Mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission with multiple drive modes, it was plenty quick when pressed. Although the ride was soft, it was well controlled and stayed relatively flat through corners. And owners who want even more performance can choose an optional 5.0-liter V8 that up the output to 420 horsepower.
But the G90 is more about comfort, convenience, luxury and technology — and it hit high marks with all of them. The leather-lined interior is comfortable, the controls are easy to find and use, the infotainment display is a full 12.3 inches, and the 17-speaker Lexicon surround-sound system is concert hall quality and includes satellite radio, a USB input and an auxiliary audio jack.
Safety features are also among the most advance in the business, and include a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a drowsy driver warning system, and Genesis Connected emergency telematics.
And, just like Hyundai promised, the Genesis G90 costs a lot less than those cars it is competing against.
Upping its game even more, Genesis offers a 5-year new-vehicle warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The warranty includes a "Roadside Concierge" service for things like flat tires, dead batteries and lock outs. And owners can also have problems diagnosed over the phone or remotely through a car's built in telematics connection.
Although the Genesis brand was only announced in 2015, it now offers two models, the G90 and the midsize G80 sedan. By 2020, plans call for it to add another luxury sedan, a sports coupe, and two SUVs, bringing the number of Genesis models to six. Obviously, Hyundai was thinking ahead when it announced it intended to conquer the luxury car world.
2017 Genesis G90
Base price: $68,100
Type: Full-size luxury sedan
Engines: Turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 (365 hp, 376 lbs-ft - as tested); 5.0-liter V8 (420 hp, 383)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 17/24
Overall length: 204.9 inches
Curb weight: 4,630 to 4,905 pounds
Final assembly: Ulsan, South Korea