2017 Genesis G90: Monthly Update for March 2017
by Will Kaufman, Associate Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Genesis G90 had a pretty mild first month as we eased through the break-in period. Mostly, it handled daily commuting duties, with one weekend getaway a hundred-some miles up the California coastline. In that time, we've started to form an impression of the big Genesis, which boils down to "we're mostly impressed, but the twin-turbo V6 isn't anyone's favorite engine."
Now that the engine's broken in, future updates will tell whether liberal application of the go pedal changes our opinion of the engine — or our already-worse-than-EPA-estimate fuel economy.
As we mentioned in the G90's introduction, it's priced in direct competition with our Lincoln Continental. There's some disagreement in the office as to which we'd buy if it was our money on the line, but at least one editor is in the bag for the Genesis (who has two thumbs and is typing this post?).
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Although we were carefully respecting the G90's break-in period, and were therefore being very gentle with the throttle, the car fell short of its EPA estimates in its first month with us. Over 1,364 miles with the Genesis, we used a little more than 73 gallons of gas, for an average of 18.6 mpg. That's off the EPA combined rating of 20 mpg.
More troubling is that our worst fill came in at 16.7 mpg. Small turbo engines moving big, heavy cars do have a tendency to underperform in real-world situations, but that worst fill was during the break-in period. Only time will tell how the G90 handles life with Edmunds editors behind the wheel.
Average lifetime mpg: 18.6
EPA mpg rating: 20 combined (17 city/24 highway)
Best fill mpg: 20.8
Best range: 366.4 miles
Current odometer: 1,365 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I had only driven the V8-powered G90 before this long-termer showed up, so I'm glad we got the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 to compare. This is a significant new engine for Hyundai — er, Genesis — and I'm afraid there's still some work to be done. I was initially thrown off the scent by the baritone engine note, which masks the expected V6 graininess, but there's no hiding the vibrations beneath your feet at higher rpm. I'm talking from maybe 4,000 on up; meat of the powerband. A car like this should be all refinement, all the time, and the force-fed 3.3 doesn't currently meet that standard. I don't know if it needs fancier motor mounts or what, but I can tell you that Audi, for example, has tamed the V6's inherent thrashiness with its supercharged 3.0-liter unit — so it can be done. Hyundai/Genesis just hasn't done it here. But here's the good news: The G90's 5.0-liter V8 is righteous. Sounds great, revs smoothly and pulls like a champ. I wouldn't bother with the V6 as long as those extra two cylinders can be specified." — Josh Sadlier, Content Strategist
"If you put it in Sport mode, it actually feels tight. I've whipped down a couple freeway on-ramps at speed and it handled them well. The Equus couldn't do that." — Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
"There are so many soft-touch surfaces and luxury appointments in this vehicle. Why is the driver armrest so hard?" — Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing
"The G90 does a very credible S-Class impression at highway speeds. This kind of car needs to have that boss-of-the-road character — wide, weighty, supple, confident, hushed — and Genesis has nailed it here. I took a 7 Series on a similar trip about a month ago and can tell you that the G90 certainly holds its own in such company. Quite the debut for Hyundai's premium brand, wouldn't you say? With the G80 and G90, Genesis has a pair of bona fide luxury barges right out of the gate." — Josh Sadlier
"Lots of stuff to talk about on this car, but here are a couple first impressions. It's dead quiet inside. Everything on the outside is muffled to the point of irrelevance. It makes for a soothing environment no matter what kind of road you're on. The other big thing I noticed is the ride quality. It's far more buttoned-up than the Equus (predecessor to the G90) ever was. It's forgiving but not so soft that it feels like it's going to bounce off the ground over every bump in the road." — Ed Hellwig
"The G90 makes sense to me. It pulls off the luxury trick of making you feel separate from the world. Ensconced in the comfortable driver seat (now my favorite in our LT fleet, handily beating the much more adjustable seats in our Continental) in the whisper-quiet cabin, you exist in your own little world." — Will Kaufman, Associate Automotive Editor
"The interior has some clear influences from BMW and Lexus ? but I wish it didn't. I understand benchmarking brands that produce excellent products, but 'benchmarking' and 'cribbing' are different things. As much as I enjoy spending time in the G90, it feels like Genesis hasn't quite found its own identity yet." — Will Kaufman
"There are certainly a few low-rent materials to be found in the G90's interior, but none of the surfaces I touched bothered me. Instead, what got me was the seams. The one that really stood out for me was on the underside of the shifter. The top of the shifter has a nice leather pad on it, but the underside has a noticeable, and very cheap-feeling, seam where two pieces of plastic meet. I couldn't stop touching that seam, and it kept breaking the car's wonderful illusion of supreme quality." — Will Kaufman
"I'm a sucker for analog clocks in cars, so I was glad to see one in the nouveau-luxury G90. Unfortunately, the chrome-finished numerals and hands look plasticky and cheap in the sunlight — like they belong on a $5 desk clock. Thankfully, when the sun sets and the lights go on, the edge lighting for the G90's clock hides the cheap-looking finish on the hands and highlights the interesting texture of the dial. Giving the numerals and hands a brushed finish would really have classed up a clock that's already mostly a very nice addition to the car." — Will Kaufman
"We usually leave styling to the beholder, but I can't help myself in this case. I'm so impressed by how the G90 drives — and so underwhelmed by how it looks. It's weird, because I think the G80 is a beautiful car. Love the proportions; might tweak the headlight design a bit, but that's it. But to my eye, the G90 is soft and ungainly by comparison. To be fair, I don't think BMW did a great job with the new long-wheelbase 7 Series, either. Only Mercedes and perhaps Audi have mastered the art of making stretched sedans look graceful. But since the taut and tidy G80 came first, I expected the G90's styling to be a reason to buy the car. As things stand, it would be a reason to think twice for me." — Josh Sadlier