Particularly in upscale vehicles, loyalty is a thing. If you’re an Audi, BMW, Lexus or Mercedes-Benz owner, chances are you’re a repeat customer or you will be. The Hyundai G90 doesn’t have the pedigree of its competitors, but it’s making a strong effort to change buyers’ habits.
Two years ago, Genesis joined (Lexus) Toyota, Infiniti (Nissan) and Acura (Honda) as a stand-alone brand emerging from its founding family. Genesis was formerly part of the Hyundai lineup and it was positioned on the price plateau one notch below the top-line Equus. The latter is gone; the former is finding its with an expanding presence and well-deserved praise.
As the brand’s flagship, the Hyundai G90 is a five-passenger sedan available with a new twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 with 365 horsepower or a 5.0 liter V8 with 420 horsepower. The most powerful option was my review vehicle. Both trims have eight-speed automatic transmissions with paddle shifters.
Like Hyundai, Genesis likes simplicity. The choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive was the optional feature last year. For 2018, there’s an optional wireless device charging function. New standard features include adaptive LED headlights.
Returning standard features include a head-up display, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and 12.3-touchscreen for the infotainment features. Safety features from the debut year are also back and include lane-keeping assist, a driver-attention monitor and active cruise control with full stop and start.
Fuel economy is 17 miles per gallon in city driving and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. The G90 and G80 are designed for premium-grade fuel. As a luxury sedan, acceleration is impressive with the 0-60 miles per hour standard achieved in 5.0 seconds.
Driving the Hyundai G90 further adds to the new vehicle’s luxury status. It’s a smooth operator, confident on the road with a calm personality best appreciated on long stress-free, open-road treks. Road imperfections are absorbed; exterior noise is non-existent.
Front and back seat passengers ride on Nappa leather and in family room comfort. The G90’s walnut and glossy ash trim is handsome and complemented with stainless steel, synthetic suede and semi-aniline leather. Quality is top-notch and the decorating style is classy.
A monster-sized infotainment screen features a multiple-view camera that includes around view. While passengers have it in style, the driver get the best of it with 22 seat settings.
The superior Lexicon audio system further adds to the luxury. There are 17 speakers, including two jumbo-sized stainless steel speaker grilles inset on the front doors to prove it. The console between the two back seats has several individual functions, including audio controls.
The Hyundai warranty extends to the Genesis and is the best in the industry. The bumper to bumper warranty is 5 years/60,000 miles; the powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; and Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles.
Genesis also includes a three-year “experience” of complimentary maintenance, service valet, Sirius/XM satellite music, traffic information and map car, road assistance and concierge assistance.
One oddity: Upon its debut, Genesis announced its small but expanding lineup (a new G70 in a 2019 model is expected soon) would eventually be sold only in stand-alone dealerships. But the plans were rescinded and now all Hyundai dealerships can apply for licenses to sell Genesis vehicles.
With its manufacturer’s suggested retail prices of $71,850, the 2018 Genesis G90 is priced more than $25,000 less than some of its competitors. It’s a keen alternative to the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Cadillac CT6 and Lexus LS. And it’s a luxury vehicle whose future should include brand loyalty.