With the introduction of Genesis being the newest luxury offering in an established market, the biggest obstacle they face is themselves and to break away from the parent brand, Hyundai. Yes, Hyundai offered Genesis models over the past several years but now, the Genesis is a standalone brand.
True, there’s something to be said for being fashionably late and in this case, it’s definitely been worth the wait.
Starting with their Genesis At Home concierge-style service, where the car is brought to you (home or office) to test drive and purchase via their website, www.genesis.ca as there are no physical dealerships, Genesis has pulled out all the stops here in an attempt to make a big splash in a big pond.
There’s one set price for the 2017 G90 3.3L, which is $84,000 and the G90 5.0L is only marginally higher at $87,000. A 5-year/100,000 km term, from scheduled maintenance is also included and they’ll pick up the car from your location, give you a loaner until the service/repairs are completed. For a company to go to such lengths to avoid inconveniencing the customer ranks high in my books.
Outward appearances are absolutely beautiful with minimal and modern design lines throughout, a waterfall-esque and flowing tail lights with short overhangs, plus LED/HID headlights and a smart looking crest grille up front give the Genesis an unmistakable luxury look. 19 inch wheels fill out the wheel wells nicely and the light beneath the rear view mirrors project the Genesis logo at night.
With an overall length of 5,205 mm, the G90 fits right in with the 7-Series and LS’s of the world.
Powering the G90 comes in two flavours.
First up (and the one we test drove for a week) is the 3.3L turbocharged V6 churning out 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torgue through an 8-speed automatic transmission through an all-wheel drive system.
There are 4 drive modes: Smart, Eco, Sport and Individual depending on what you want the drive feel to be. The Smart mode is, well, pretty smart because it analyzes the drivers driving style and creates a customized drive mode based off driver inputs.
Acceleration is brisk, steering feel scores high marks and the ride quality is luxurious. There’s certainly a “floating” feeling (in a good way, of course) that comes from large luxury sedans and the G90 is clearly punching within its weight-class here.
Getting up to highway speeds is a breeze and since there’s very little turbo lag, keep any eye on the speedometer as you just may find yourself eclipsing that 100 km/h mark sooner than expected.
If you’ve got an extra $3,000 in the couch cushions, the 5.0L engine may be what you’re after as it offers 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft. of torque through a V8 engine.
There are a few other toys that come with the 5.0 which we’ll get into in the next chunk but expect to see the majority of G90 buyers lean towards the 3.3L offering since the value offering is quite high.
Once inside, the G90 is loaded with top-line materials, including premium Nappa leather seats, textured aluminum and a microfiber suede headliner, along with real open pore natural wood trim. The 22-way power driver seat and 16-way adjustable passenger seats ensure that regardless of shape or size, you’ll find an optimal seating position. Oh, and those comfortable front seats are heated and cooled, while the rear seats are heated.
The option of 7 different ambient LED interior lighting colours are a nice touch of class.
There’s a massive 12.3” infotainment screen that’s relatively easy to navigate, although I would’ve liked to see a few more audio control buttons. The 900-watt, 17 speaker 7.1 surround sound Lexicon audio system is crystal clear, complete with beautiful speaker covers for an elegant look.
The physical gear shifter lets you select between reverse, neutral and drive, while Park is a button just above it, which can make it slightly difficult to access…but I’m sure you’ll get used to it after a few days behind the wheel like I did.
The rear seats (there are only two with a massive middle console separating them) allow the right seat to move 14-ways and the left to move 12-ways.
Simply put, the G90 oozes luxury, as it should.
Safety-wise, the Genesis Smart Sense, which comes standard, includes Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, Multi-view Cameras, High Beam Assist, Pre-Safety Seatbelt, Driver Attention Assist and a heads up display.
If you opt for the 5.0L engine, you’ll also get benefits for the rear seats (there are only two with a massive middle console separating them) that allow the right seat to move 14-ways and the left to move 12-ways. Also, ventilated rear seats and rear seat illuminated vanity mirrors. So if you want your rear passengers to have a slightly better in-car experience and a few extra horses, pony up the $3,000.
Jumping into any new market isn’t easy and first impressions are oh-so crucial. The heavy-hitting BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Infiniti, Acura, etc. have made the barrier to entry high but Genesis is determined to attract buyers to their side of the room through a high quality, great looking and luxurious vehicle.
The stigma of formerly being a Hyundai product (the G90 replaces the outgoing Equus) will be hard to shake initially but if they keep churning out vehicles like the G90, they should be just fine.
Enjoy the full gallery below: