Is The 2020 Genesis G90 Better With The V8 Or V6?

Opinion / Comments

The G90 has two excellent engine options.

The 2020 Genesis G90 received a major facelift, giving the once understated sedan a more distinct appearance. But despite the all-new styling, Genesis didn't actually make any changes under the hood where the G90 still houses either a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 or a naturally aspirated V8. Both of these engines are great options but there is one that we'd recommend over the other.

Pricing for the 2020 Genesis G90 starts at $72,200 for the 3.3T Premium model with rear-wheel-drive while the 5.0 Ultimate is a tad pricier at $75,700. For just $3,500 more, we think the 5.0-liter V8 is the engine you should have in your G90 and not for the reasons you might think.

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The 3.3-Liter Twin-Turbo V6

When Genesis sent us a Portos Red G90 to test for a week, it came powered by the base 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. This engine is set to be replaced by an upcoming 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 but still produces a healthy 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque going out to RWD or AWD through an eight-speed automatic. The V6 pushes the G90 along effortlessly without any intrusive engine noise but quickly wakes up when you mash the throttle. It even sounds pretty nice while doing so.

With the V6, the G90 manages respectable fuel economy for a full-size sedan with 17/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined with RWD or AWD. In all respects, we loved the V6's effortless passing power, refinement, and efficiency, but there are still a few reasons why we prefer the V8.

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The 5.0-Liter V8

For an additional $3,500, the 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine produces significantly more power than the V6. The output is rated at 420 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque but because it weighs more than the V6, both cars have an identical 5.3-second 0-60 mph time. Fuel economy is also marginally worse with the V8 at 16/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined with RWD or one mpg worse in each category with AWD. So while the V8 offers more grunt, there isn't actually a benefit in performance. Where the V8 shines is sound quality. The exhaust note alone is probably not worth spending $3,500 but there are other benefits on the 5.0 Ultimate trim.

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5.0 Ultimate Trim

Genesis gives you a bit more than just a V8 engine for your $3,500. All G90 models come pretty well-equipped but the 5.0 Ultimate trim includes some cool tech toys in the back seat that the 3.3T Premium model doesn't have. Rear seat occupants in the 5.0 Ultimate have access to electronically adjustable seats, which are heated and ventilated (the 3.3T Premium only has heating). In addition, passengers can play with the dual 10.3-inch HD monitors mounted on the front seatbacks to adjust the infotainment settings of the car.

Packages like this can often cost several thousand dollars separately, so getting a V8 tossed in is just a bonus. People who buy full-size executive sedans like the G90 expect the rear seats to be top-notch, which is why they should opt for the V8. It may not be the reason you expected but the improved rear seat amenities are the main reason why we think the G90 5.0 Ultimate trim is easily worth the upgrade.

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