If nothing succeeds like excess and moderation is truly a fatal thing, as Oscar Wilde once said, then the Genesis brand is modern validation.
This large sedan by the newly formed luxury division of Hyundai makes a perverse value statement with its entry model priced at $69,000. And in this year of big sedan debuts, the G90 is the cheapskate’s choice. The competition ranges from about $75,000, popularly equipped, to more than $100,000. And there are several new big sedans this year, including the Lincoln Continental, Volvo S90 and a new 2018 Lexus LS later this year.
The G90 is absolutely loaded with features and advanced technologies, and the immaculately tailored interior has a Cary Grant coolness. The decor is traditional automotive luxury with no trendy gimmicks or flash. It is a true gentleman’s cave of riches.
Genesis is a new brand starting out with significantly reworked top-line models from parent donor Hyundai. The G90 takes the role of the Equus, and the G80 replaces the Hyundai Genesis large-midsize sedan. There are also seductive designs on the way for a rakish G70 compact sport sedan and, possibly, a big coupe.
The G90 is sold in rear- and all-wheel-drive models with a choice of a V-6 or V-8 engine and one eight-speed automatic transmission. Starting prices range from $69,050 for the rear-wheel drive G90 3.3T Premium to $73,150 for the G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD. Today’s tester is a G90 3.3T AWD, which starts at $71,500. It had no options.
The 3.3T has a 365-horsepower direct-injection and twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6. Fuel-economy ratings are 17 mpg city, 24 highway and 20 mpg combined on the preferred premium fuel. I was averaging 20 to 21 mpg. The power is more than adequate to heft the curb weight of 4,784 pounds.
Besides a little more power, the G90 5.0 includes all the content of the V-6 model and adds a few limo-class enhancements, such as ventilated rear window seats, a 14-way power adjustable rear, right-side window seat (including the two-way fore-aft movement for the front passenger seat) and a 12-way power adjusted left rear seat.
But drill down into the standard equipment list for the 3.3T and it gushes with greatness. Highlights include smartkey locking and push-button ignition, Nappa leather upholstery, bi-Xenon turning headlights, power rear and rear side sunshades, 17-speaker Lexicon QuantumLogic surround sound audio system, 12.3-inch high-definition display screen, 22-way power driver’s seat (including power bolsters, cushion extension and shoulder adjustment), 16-way power front passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats and a multiview camera.
The lineup of standard safety technologies is even more prominent: automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention alert, smart blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, smart cruise control with stop-start and rear cross-traffic alert. And that’s with nine air bags, large disc brakes (14.2-inch front rotors, 13.4-inch rear), headlights that turn a few degrees with the steering wheel, and traction and stability controls. Every piece of technology worked seamlessly and invisibly for the all-wheel-drive tester.
The styling is big and believable as a luxury liner, yet it handles with the nimbleness of a midsize sedan. It has a turning circle of 39.2 feet, which is tight for a car that is almost 18 feet long and 6.3 feet wide.
The spacious cabin — fragrant of rich leather — has tall headroom of 41.1 inches with the sunroof and a very long legroom of 46.3 inches. At first perusal, there appears to be an overload of buttons and switches — three tiers of them — with a central controller for more options, but the organization is intuitive and rational. A handy e-bin for charging on the shift console includes a USB, aux-in port and wireless charging pad. And there are two 180-volt plugs in the armrest console.
The second row is also a first-class cabin. Even with the front seats all the way back, there is gracious legroom (37.8 inches total), and the window seats seem as full-bodied and comfortable as those in front. The fold-down armrest packages a large control center for seat heaters and climate control, with a second control dial for audio-media functions. The space is executive material for two, but there is little shoulder room and legroom for a center occupant.
The alignment of panels is precise, down to matching the line of double-needle stitching that transfers from the door tops to the instrument panel. There is satisfying heft and substance to every element, from the vacuum-sealed “thunk” of a door closing to the soft pile of the carpeting, the radiant luster of the wood trim and the high-quality appearance of the plastics top to bottom.
Add it all up and you might think somebody made a pricing mistake.
Mark Maynard is online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage