Read the 2017 Genesis G90's introduction to our long-term fleet.
See all of the 2017 Genesis G90's long-term updates.
What We Got
The names might not ring a bell, but the Genesis G90 came around once before. Back then it was called the Hyundai Equus, a flagship luxury sedan that demonstrated the Korean automaker's resolve to play in the same yard as established European, Asian and American luxury brands. The Equus wasn't quite ready for prime time, nor was the comparable K900 from Hyundai sub-brand Kia.
Now half a decade later, Hyundai's newly spun-off luxury division, Genesis, comes with the G90, a more refined successor to the Equus. In its transition from a Hyundai model to full-blown luxury division, Genesis gave the G90 a thorough overhaul: a handsome new style, an upgraded interior, and a potent new 3.3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
We'd done long-term tests with the Equus and the K900, both equipped with powerful V8 engines. Although the G90 offers a V8, we wanted to try the new turbo V6 since that's become a more standard configuration, along with all-wheel drive, among large luxury sedans. Choosing a G90 was easy since there are just two trim levels: Premium and Ultimate. Or read another way, V6 and V8.
Our test got off to a slow start. Could a $71,000 Genesis sedan really hang with rivals from Audi, Cadillac and Lexus? We were skeptical. Then we warmed to it (note, in particular, Mr. Sadlier's enthusiasm for the big silver slab). Genesis still has work to do, especially with its tech and electronics, but overall we found it was a fantastic car for melting away miles.
"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. A car like this should be all refinement, all the time, and the force-fed 3.3[-liter V6] doesn't currently meet that standard." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager, content strategy
"The G90's powertrain takes a few beats to put the power down, especially when you aren't in Sport mode. But when the stars align and you're in the right gear at the right time, the throttle responds quickly and the all-wheel-drive system seamlessly transfers power to the axle that needs it." — Calvin Kim, road test editor
"The G90 reminds me of the car that I first learned to drive, a 1979 Cadillac Eldorado. The G90's linear power delivery feels just like the Eldo. The Genesis's 3.3-liter turbo six-cylinder couldn't be more distant from the old GM engine, but feels so similar. It's this long band of torque as you stomp away from a stoplight, then it's just percolating below the surface when you need a quick hit on the highway to pass, merge or antagonize the 7 Series driver next to you." — Dan Frio, staff writer
"Taking this thing around pretty much any corner is a lackluster experience at best. It doesn't feel buttoned-down or confident in any way ... just ungainly and sloshy through the turns. There isn't much natural fun to be had in this big sedan." — Travis Langness, staff writer
"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
"The suspension does good work. It's hard to upset this large chassis. It maintains composure over large and hard-edged bumps in the road, and it keeps the cabin fairly level and the passengers isolated." — Calvin Kim
"I'm frustrated that the G90 defaults to Smart drive mode on startup. I have an Individual profile that I like: It keeps the chassis soft and the throttle sharp. Smart mode will tighten up the suspension if you start driving a little aggressively, and I really don't need to start feeling bumps in the freeway just because I wanted to pass a slow-moving car. If I drove this car every day, I'd be annoyed at having to change drive modes at every startup." — Will Kaufman, associate staff writer
"We had the Genesis packed to the gills for a Las Vegas trip: four occupants, luggage and several bags of provisions. I wasn't concerned about setting a fuel economy record . . . but even so, I used the adaptive cruise control most of the time to hit a decent highway number. The G90 achieved 22.7 mpg from our starting point to Las Vegas, with a few miles of city driving thrown in before we left. This wasn't far off the EPA highway rating of 24 mpg — reasonable, I thought, given the [cargo] and uphill grades." — Cameron Rogers, staff writer
"One thing absent in our G90 is an auto stop-start function, which usually helps boost city mpg value. I'm typically not a fan of these systems because they usually delay a car's response off the line and make my mechanically sympathetic heart cringe with the high frequencies of restarts. Not needing to shut off that feature every time I fire up the engine is a luxury in itself." — Jonathan Elfalan, senior road test editor
"We're approaching the 10,000-mile mark and I'm growing fonder of our G90. The cushy suspension is refreshing. Hyundai — er, Genesis — understands that a car like this doesn't have to corner like a sport coupe, and that empowered the suspension engineers to dial in a magic-carpet ride. I love the way this thing wafts down the highway. Great sound insulation, too. The road-trip game is strong with this one." — Josh Sadlier
"I've noticed that car seats are getting firmer in terms of cushioning. It seems like manufacturers are adopting Audi's construction by concentrating more on the shape of the seats rather than masking them with pillowy compliance. Not the Genesis. This is old-school soft cushioning. It feels like you sink into the seat, almost like an Eames lounge chair. That's neither good nor bad; it just comes down to what you prefer. These seats are plenty comfortable." — Mark Takahashi, senior writer
"Have we had the same car three times now? First the 2011 Equus, then the K900, now the G90? This G90 is the best of the batch so far. Leaps better interior than the Equus and a much better ride than the K900. The Kia was right on the bubble, but ultimately its ride quality sank it. You just couldn't take it seriously as a luxury alternative with a suspension that was so prone to crash and bottom out on big road upsets. I don't feel any of that with the G90. With some of the garbage roads here in the Southland, the G90 feels much more dialed in than either the Equus or K900." — Dan Frio
"When the new BMW 5 Series joined the long-term fleet, I wondered if it might challenge the G90 for seat comfort. We'd been fond of the seats in a short-term tester, but those were the Perfect Position seats, and our standard 5 Series seats are distinctly less perfect. The G90's seats are softer and more supportive, and for me at least they're simply a nicer place to spend time than the comparably priced Bavarian's." — Will Kaufman
"The Genesis is an ideal car for my elderly, 52-pound dog, Mya. She has a very hard time walking due to joint issues and cancer, so I use a ramp to load her into any vehicle. The Genesis' low seat height (compared to any SUV or crossover) keeps the angle shallow so Mya can more easily amble up the ramp. Plus, the big sedan's large rear door apertures also ease access. The retractable sunshades are great for keeping her cool. Oh, and backseat vents! ... I don't think there's a better car for dogs out there!" — Caroline Pardilla, senior copy editor
"I took the G90 to Vegas to watch the Evo fighting game tournament with three friends. We fit three carry-on suitcases, a duffel bag, two backpacks and a fight stick (so that we could have our own tournament) in the trunk. This big luxury sedan took us down the road with confidence. My passengers in the back seat were probably the most comfortable since they had a sunshade to shield them from the sun and 112-degree heat. The G90 was a great car both for the chauffeur and the coddled passengers in the back." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Had the G90 for a few nights in a row and came away really impressed by how easy this executive sedan is to live with. There's not much of a learning curve with the electronics and everything just makes sense pretty quickly. The sheer bulk of the thing can make it a handful in the city, but insofar as it's possible to build a user-friendly luxo-barge, Genesis has pulled it off." — Josh Sadlier
Audio and Technology
"I recently found a stereo I like as much as the G90's: the 23-speaker, 2,400-watt Mark Levinson stereo in the new Lexus LS 500. That's a pricey add-on in a pricey car, and I really couldn't say that it sounded any better to me than the G90's standard Lexicon system. Somewhere a guy with $15,000 worth of tube amps in his basement is screaming bloody murder, but for my money, the G90 is where I want to be when it's time to crank some tunes." — Will Kaufman
"A hands-free trunklid gains a new level of usefulness when it's power-operated. Just stand at the back of our G90 with the key in your pocket, wait about 3 seconds as the system beeps a few times, then the trunklid automatically opens. It's slower than opening a trunk with your hand, and you still have to push a button to close the trunklid. But if you've got your hands full of stuff, the G90's automatic opener is pretty cool." — Brent Romans
"I can't remember a car, especially not one that clocked in at more than $70,000, that had less responsive voice commands than our G90. I tried to give it commands, select radio stations and input navigation destinations while on the road, but all of it was a disaster. When it did understand my basic commands to start the prompts, the menus were confusing and impossible to sift through. More than once, I had to pull over, put the car in Park and manually type in an address for my destination. A deal-breaker." — Travis Langness
"The G90 is a big vehicle and has a feature I wish more large vehicles had: a forward-facing camera for parking. In a perfect world, all drivers could accurately estimate the distance between their front bumper and the parked car in front of them. And although I think I'm pretty good at parallel parking, the forward-facing camera helped me park more quickly than I would have on my own." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor
"I keep finding new things to admire about the G90. This time it's the stereo. What impresses me is the richness of the sound itself, including a rare surround-sound mode that actually enhances the experience (these modes usually sound artificial to me). And the whisper-quiet interior is a perfect place to enjoy it." — Josh Sadlier
"The G90's electronic shifter is worse than others. There must be a software glitch because I cannot imagine the transmission is behaving the way it's supposed to. On multiple occasions, I will reverse out of my driveway and move the shifter to Drive, only to have the transmission revert to Neutral. The G90 is due for regularly scheduled maintenance, so we'll add this to the to-do list when we bring it in." — Cameron Rogers
"I didn't have much luck scheduling our first G90 service. After 15 minutes of searching for a Genesis dealer near me, I confirmed that the nearest Genesis service center was a Hyundai service center. Based on the Genesis-specific websites I found, this was a bit misleading. After 15 minutes on hold, trying to schedule an appointment at my nearest dealership, I hung up feeling frustrated.
"Another 10 minutes passed before I found the G90 concierge phone number. After 15 more minutes on the line with a very friendly concierge, I had an appointment at the same dealer that had originally put me on indefinite hold. I arrived at Huntington Beach Hyundai early the next day. A porter walked out, greeted me and walked me to the service adviser, who was equally polite. We started the paperwork, which is where our experience detoured from that of the typical G90 owner.
"Genesis offers three years/36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance, available from the dealership where you bought the car. Our adviser explained that he would honor the service plan even if the G90 had been purchased at another Hyundai/Genesis franchise. Since this was a test car, it wasn't in the database and we paid out of pocket.
"It cost $109.55 for the oil, filter and tire rotation. We really can't count this against the car, so we won't. But counting the five-minute drive from my house to the dealership, I devoted a full hour just to making this service happen. That is unacceptable. Perhaps G90 buyers are handed a neat folder at the time of purchase with all of the information I had to search for online. I hope that's the case because this didn't feel like the special experience I expected." — Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing operations
"There's an auto recirculation feature in the climate control, but I'd hate to see what it takes to trigger it into activating. While stuck in traffic, I figured I'd give it a whirl and turned off the standard recirc, only to get a big whiff of every diesel truck in the vicinity. Not only did diesel stink come through, but so did cigarette smoke, medicinal vapors and everything remotely catalytically challenged. I think I even got a whiff of someone's cologne. Ugh." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor
"Let's talk about climate control. Automatic recirculation, to be precise. One would presume that such a system would automatically switch to recirc mode when it detects nasties in the air. Well, all I can tell you is that the Genesis — when in auto recirc mode — did absolutely nothing to prevent the stench of a particularly foul Lancia Fulvia from entering the cabin. I had to manually switch it to recirc. Which is no big deal, but then what good is having automatic recirc?" —Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer
Maintenance & Repairs
For its 7,500-mile service, the G90 went in for an oil and filter change, a tire rotation and brake inspection. It cost us $109.55, although for Genesis owners, this service interval would be covered. (Genesis lent us this car, thus we picked up the maintenance out of pocket.) For owners, scheduled maintenance is covered for three years/36,000 miles, or about five or six scheduled services.
Service Campaigns: None.
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy:
The G90's EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway). In slightly more than 20,000 miles of driving, we achieved 19.6 mpg — nearly dead-on the EPA money, and impressive given our local traffic conditions and our heavy feet.
We also managed the more astonishing feat of squeezing 488.9 miles out of a single tank. We refilled that tank with 19.6 gallons, suggesting there were 2.3 gallons remaining (the G90 has a 21.9-gallon tank). In theory, we might've been able to stretch that tank out to almost 530 miles.
Resale and Depreciation:
The MSRP on our 2017 Genesis G90 AWD 3.3T Premium was $71,550. After rolling a bit more than 20,000 miles on the odometer, the Edmunds TMV Calculator values the G90 at $52,033 based on a private-party sale. That's a pretty steep depreciation of about 27 percent. Nice as the Genesis is, it's clear that, in the minds of buyers, the brand still has a long road to establishing itself as a true luxury marque.
That said, another large luxury sedan that recently departed our fleet and a key competitor of the G90, the Lincoln Continental, fared even worse at 37.5 percent.
Most of our staff came around to the swift, if ever-so-unrefined, nature of the 3.3-liter turbo V6 engine. It returned pretty good fuel economy, too, for such a big sedan. The whisper-quiet interior, huge trunk, old-school comfort seats, absorbent ride, and crisp, clean stereo system made it a favorite not only for making road trips but also for alleviating brutal spells of urban commuting.
The G90's tech and electronic features proved glitchy on several occasions. We had problems using the voice controls, Bluetooth and wireless phone charger. The car wouldn't remember our preferred drive mode and its auto recirculation was less effective than cheesecloth. There wasn't much life in the handling. And our sole service experience was a time-soak for one of our editors, undermining the exclusive, customer-centric model Genesis strives to foster.
The 2017 Genesis G90 is a promising disruptor to the established class of full-size luxury sedans. It's a distinct improvement on its Hyundai Equus predecessor, but it isn't quite fully baked. Even so, it represents tremendous luxury value for the keen-eyed buyer.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||None|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||$109 (but free to G90 owners)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||None|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||1|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||0|
|Days Out of Service:||0|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||0|
|Best Fuel Economy:||24.9 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||15.3 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||19.6 mpg|
|Best Range:||488.9 miles|
|True Market Value at Service End:||$52,033|
|What It Sold For:||Not available|
|Depreciation:||$19,517 (27% of paid price or original MSRP)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||20,291 miles|
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.