2023 Genesis G90 puts a pretty face on BMW

2023 Genesis G90 puts a pretty face on BMW

six years. That’s the short span of time Genesis has thoroughly reconsidered the G90 flagship luxury sedan three times. As the saying goes, the third time is the charm.

Exuding elegance and style, the 2023 Genesis G90 slides into the next phase of its young life with fewer cylinders, an optional mild hybrid system, new styling inside and out, and new mechanical tricks, while apparently targeting a slice of the luxury market left behind by Lexus.

2023 Genesis G90

Electrified but not electric

The smooth 5.0-liter V-8 of yesteryear is gone. REST IN PEACE.

The base 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 developing 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic is found across the Genesis lineup. It’s a gem of a powertrain that makes a decent imitation of a Bavarian-born Turbo-6. The new E-Supercharger trim engine takes that turbocharged V-6 and pairs it with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. It adds an electric supercharger designed to help deliver boost at low revs (like an electric supercharger) before the turbo kicks in. Genesis rates the whole shebang at 409 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.

For those keeping track, it’s 11 hp less but 22 lb-ft of torque over the V-8.

TL; DR: The smooth power delivery and build of the outgoing V-8 are missed, and that complicated powertrain felt like proof the G90 should have just gone all-electric (which this platform can do; see the 2023 Genesis Electrified G80). .

The G90 has enough power for quick freeway passes, but it never feels like there’s over 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque on tap. The reason? The G90 weighs between 4,861 and 5,192 pounds. Put two adults in the front seats and it’s almost as heavy as a base Chevrolet Tahoe. Electric assistance is smooth and power transitions are seamless, but hard hits of the accelerator require the transmission to downshift a gear or three, which it does in quick succession.

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

There is a lack of coordination

Ironically, the biggest downside to the luxury flagship is its handling and lack of control. The E-Supercharger model tested featured a multi-chamber air spring system paired with adaptive dampers. The ride is floating, uncoordinated, and feels like a boat at times. My wife, who suffers from motion sickness, quickly noticed that the Genesis made her nauseous on the highway in Comfort mode. Sport mode’s firmer suspension tune helped, but goes half a step too far for true Lexus LS-like ride quality and old-school daily driving.

The rear-wheel steering system, which is the highlight of the smaller G80 Sport, is one of the G90’s downsides. It can turn the rear wheels up to 4.0 degrees versus the front wheels below 60 km/h and up to 2.0 degrees in phase with the front wheels above 60 km/h, and while it shrinks the G90’s footprint around corners, it can exaggerating the uncoordinated feel of the G90.

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

Eye-catching style

It’s hard not to underestimate the elegance and presence of the latest G90. The overall design is simple in an era of the facelifted BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS flagships. The front end is low, yet apparently meets pedestrian crash test standards. Eat your heart out, BMW.

That low front end gives way to a simple clamshell hood that wouldn’t look out of place on a million-dollar Aston Martin, and the front and rear horizontal LED lighting is distinctive and jewel-like. The high greenhouse refreshes in times of small glass windows and high waistlines.

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

Germans should take notes, because inside the G90 are knobs, knobs and fixed controls in a digital age where someone told someone the biggest iPad slammed on a dashboard wins. The buttons are finely textured, while every surface is soft and many feature delicate stitching. Genesis doesn’t go for cheap gimmicks or a flashy crystal ball here (hint: check out the smaller GV60 for that). It just all feels and looks like simple but quality pieces that belong in a lounge. Those in search of cheesy carbon fiber or ridiculous amounts of wood will need to head to other showrooms, as this is a soothing interior created for relaxed cruising from point A to point B.

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

But some of the G90’s internal functions are compromised. The touch-sensitive pad on the two-spoke steering wheel can accidentally change songs with a swipe of your finger. The layout of the 12.3-inch digital instrument is amazing in its formats and information displayed, which is limited to the status of the driver assistance system, the on-board computer or a map. It all feels like a waste of digital real estate. The pillars supporting the digital instrument cluster are a snazzy design statement, but have controls that obscure the instrument cluster and feel like a poor use of space that could be better utilized for other vehicle controls. The 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system lacks wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although it costs $100,370 as tested; that borders on amazing. After all, the doors close automatically at the touch of a button.

The 2023 Genesis G90 retails for $89,495 in base form, so it’s not quite the value game it once was. But even at $100,370 tested, the latest iteration of the fledgling luxury automaker’s flagship feels like it’s beating above its class.

It’s not so much that the G90 offers features that rivals lack, it’s that it does so with the kind of class that BMW and even Lexus seem to have forgotten while leaning on both style and substance. Now give it the electric powertrain it deserves and refine that suspension, Genesis.

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