Mainstream, affordable brands have been trying to shoulder their way into the premium segment for some time now, and while a few do this by simply improving the quality of their existing vehicles, others create whole new subdivisions. One of the greatest success stories of this approach is the Genesis G90, which is the flagship model of Hyundai's premium division. It goes toe to toe with established European rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. That is to say, it delivers a comparable level of luxury and, in many cases, more advanced tech. It also offers a choice between a 365-horsepower V6 or a 420-hp V8. Nevertheless, it struggles to keep up in terms of sales for a single reason - pedigree. The new Genesis G90 sedan may be the same as it was last year, but that just means it remains one of the best luxury execs in the class. But will consumers in the USA finally realize that they can have everything the German luxo-barges offer without needing to spend quite so much?
The 2022 G90 enters the new year with no noteworthy changes as the automaker is planning a redesigned model for 2023.
It's refreshing to see an entire model range that sticks to five figures in a class filled with six-figure competitors. The rear-wheel-drive 3.3T Premium has an MSRP of $72,950 in the USA, while the 5.0 V8 Ultimate will cost $76,700. In both cases, the Genesis G90 price will increase by $2,500 if you add all-wheel drive. These prices exclude the destination charge of $1,025 in the US.
See trim levels and configurations:
Enormous executive sedans are not particularly athletic cars, despite having oodles of power on tap and all the latest technology in terms of suspension and steering. The G90 can be had with either a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft, or a 5.0-liter V8 with 420 hp and 383 lb-ft, with both options paired to an eight-speed automatic. There's enough power to get to 60 mph in the mid-five-second range. There is a Sport mode, which coupled with the adaptive damping, firms the suspension and activates the seat's bolsters. This means that comfort is never sacrificed, even when the G90 is rolling through the bends at speed. However, this is not where the vehicle shines.
The sheer luxury of the cabin and the fact that it totally separates you from the outside world is what really impresses. If you close your eyes, you wouldn't even realize that you're moving, just don't try it from behind the wheel. If you're piloting the barge rather than simply enjoying the ride, you'll notice that the steering is light but precise and that throttle responses are quick. Supreme comfort and easy access to power make for one of the sweetest experiences in the segment, if not the most engaging.
The 2022 G90 remains an excellent offering in the luxury classification, but the lack of changes for the new year won't do much to bridge the sales gap. Despite an extensive list of standard features, plenty of power from a pair of capable engines, and a top-notch safety rating review, the Genesis G90 lags behind competitors who have more established reputations. Einstein may have classified insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, but the line between madness and genius is very thin.
The G90 easily matches the competition on just about every front, except one - it's far more affordable. Now, there will be some who see paying a small fortune as a badge of honor, but truly successful and savvy business people know that getting the same for less is always smart. That's not to say you won't have to accept a few compromises, but they are in areas that don't really matter for an executive sedan. It now falls to the public to accept that there is finally a real alternative to the dominating German brands and that switching allegiances now may be the smartest thing they can do. If the 2022 Genesis G90 isn't enough to convince the doubting Thomases, then perhaps the brand-new 2023 model will finally silence the naysayers.
There's a $3,750 price gap between the two models, so you might as well go for the Ultimate G90. While we prefer the mid-range punch and better fuel efficiency of the twin-turbo V6 engine, the V8 isn't that far behind. A big, lazy, yet powerful engine with an alluring low-down burble also feels more suitable in a luxury vehicle. For the additional $3,750, Genesis includes a lot of rear-seat features. Whether you'll be using them yourself or simply getting them to make life more comfortable for the kids, it's a worthwhile investment.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Genesis G90: