Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: February 21, 2017
From the moment that I pulled the door handle, I already knew this G90 was going to be something special. It's all about first impressions and the new Genesis G90, the replacement of the outgoing Equus and the introduction of Hyundai's luxury sub-brand, hits the bullseye.
Genesis is eager to follow in the footsteps of the original Lexus LS, whose value and reliability proposition catapulted the start-up brand into stardom. Genesis is aiming to accomplish the same feat by luring in buyers with a convenient dealer-free buying experience, unequivocal and masterful craftsmanship, and above all else, value.
In an effort to rid the G90 of any old habits, the new model adopts the massive hexagonal grill first introduced in the outgoing Hyundai Genesis, now the G80, along with sleeker headlights and a winged badge perched on the hood – no more flying hood ornament here. But when passerbys ask if this is the new Bentley, you know it’s got the winning complexion. And those swooping waterfall taillights seem to be ripped straight off a Jaguar XJ. But it’s the way that Genesis amalgamates these design cues together that makes the G90 so imposing on the streets, though a little bit generic.
What will surprise you, though, is the refinement of the all-new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6. It delivers a creamy 365 hp and 374 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed transmission, and all-wheel drive comes standard (no RWD available). The six-cylinder is smooth, relentless, and there’s barely any indication of turbochargers when prancing around town. Power delivery is progressive and more than enough to get this 2,170 kg yacht rolling without feeling laboured.
The G90 is based on the G80’s platform, elongated to come within a few centimetres of long-wheelbase luxury sedans like the BMW 750Li and Lexus LS. Though it would have greatly benefited from rear wheel steering like the Cadillac CT6, its turning radius is acceptable and body control does without the wallowing that one would normally associate with large floaty sedans. The ride is sublime, offering that “hovering” feeling over rough surfaces. Oh, was that a pothole we just hit? I barely felt a thing.
The G90 offers four driving modes to choose from via a button on the center console: Smart, Eco, Sport, and Individual, each programmed to change the firmness of the suspension, throttle response, transmission mapping, and all-wheel drive bias. The Smart setting was the most intriguing, analyzing our inputs to provide a Goldilocks compromise between all modes. Dynamically however, the G90 is not quite there. Its AWD system is too conservative and though it becomes rear-wheel bias in Sport Mode, it skips and scampers around in corners and doesn’t take the weight transfer too well under duress.
There is still a carryover 5.0-litre V8 engine that is available for an extra $3,000, but it only has marginally more power, 420 hp and 383 lb-ft to be exact. It’s the V6 that you want in your stable, but if you do plan on being chauffeured around, opting for the V8 does come with a few extra back seat features that you can’t get on the V6. This includes ventilated and power adjustable rear seats and head restraints, rear memory seating, and illuminated vanity mirrors. LED headlights also replace the Xenons up front.
This brings me to the next talking point: the interior. It’s almost in a league of its own, trumping the CT6 in quality, and S90 in durability. The materials used here are substantial and sourced right from the top shelf, from the ergonomic switchgears to the shiny rotary dial. Quality is here without question.
The dashboard layout is neat and nicely elevated, and the new 12.3-inch widescreen display offers 720p definition. Even though the G90 utilizes a rotary dial with Back/Home/Menu hard buttons, the menus are a little confusing and the system relies too heavily on knocking the dial left and right rather than scrolling and clicking. The audio menu is especially frustrating since there are no dedicated hard buttons to store your favourite stations.
The lit-up analog clock situated in the center stack is a nice touch, though it awkwardly sits below a bright red hazard hat. The HVAC panel is button intensive – you rarely see two rows of massive buttons dedicated just for the fan controls. I would have gladly substituted a row for dedicated audio ones instead. The placement of the gear shifter is at a good ergonomic angle but it deceivingly hides the Park push button and makes it hard to reach.
Minor nitpicks aside, the rest of the G90 feels expensive and right on par with the upper echelons of German luxury, everything from the leather-wrapped steering wheel to the sofa-like seats. The front seatbacks can adjust multi-way just like BMW’s Comfort Seats too – now that’s called learning from the best.
However the real gem of the G90 is in the back - hire a chauffeur because the two rear seats are something special. A control panel drops down from the center armrest to operate everything from the air vents to the side and rear sunshades. Disappointingly, there are no rear display screens but I assume the front display is so big you won’t need it. The rear right passenger can also adjust the front seat via the side bolster for some VIP leg-stretching treatment (think 750Li Executive Lounge, just without the elevated footrest).
Genesis also took note to streamline the buying experience – there are no options to be checked here other than the paint colours and engine choice. Everything else comes standard, from a crystal clear Lexicon audio system to soft-door closing. Weird that there’s no air suspension, panoramic sunroof, massaging seats, or rear seat entertainment systems – isn’t this G90 meant for being chauffeured around in, after all?
Genesis have also modernized their services, offering all-inclusive pre-set pricing for the G90 3.3T ($84,000) and G90 5.0 ($87,000). This means everything is included for a 5-year/100,000 km term, from scheduled maintenance, satellite radio, navigation, to a new offering called Genesis at Home, a concierge-style service where you can order and purchase a Genesis straight from the automaker, no dealer involved. This can be done online or through the phone, and they will then deliver the car to your doorstep and pick it up later if ever needed for maintenance. This means there is no dealer haggling or bargaining involved – just a simple and relaxing transaction without salesmen peering into your wallet.
No one said it would be easy building a luxury brand overnight. It takes years to build cachet and decades more to solidify a position amongst the upper echelon. Cadillac, Lincoln, and Volvo are trying to do the same, all of them with the same wild card of value up their sleeves. Keep in mind that an equally optioned-out BMW 750Li runs around $150,000, nearly double the price of the G90.
Genesis has made a grand entrance, though I do wish they were a little more extravagant. In this ambitious segment it pays to stand out, and it pays to send a message. The G90 shows that Genesis can do luxury, and better yet they can do luxury as good or even better than the rest. But it will take a lot more than on-par amenities before BMW and Mercedes-Benz buyers will cross-shop here. When that day comes though, they will find a first-rate executive sedan with all the trimmings.
The G90 may not have that sex factor just yet, but the seeds have been sown and its roots have only begun to grow.
型号 Model: 2017 Genesis G90 3.3T AWD
顏色 Paint Type: Manhattan Brown
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $84,000
試車售價 Price as Tested: $84,000
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,160
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,205 / 1,915 / 1,495
車重 Curb weight (kg): 2,170
引擎 Engine: 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 365 hp @ 6,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 1,300 - 4,500 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 13.7 / 9.7 / 11.9
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 13.2
輪胎尺碼 Tires: Front P275/40R19; Rear P275/40R19