2018 Genesis G90

2018 Genesis G90 Sedan Review

The Genesis G90 delivers a premium luxury experience at a tantalizingly affordable price.
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Will Kaufman
Edmunds Editor

Genesis' flagship sedan carries over almost entirely unchanged from its debut last year as the new company focuses its energy on expanding its product line. Though that means the G90 retains a few faults, we think there are plenty of reasons luxury sedan shoppers should give it a careful look.

The 2018 Genesis G90 delivers a spacious and luxurious interior that's backed up by a blissfully hushed and smooth ride. Add a giant list of standard features that will satisfy all but the most tech-obsessed buyer and the option of a robust V8 engine, and you have all the building blocks of a traditional luxury sedan.

As noted, it's not all wine and roses. Although the interior makes a strong first impression, most of what looks like metal is actually plastic, the genuine wood trim looks a bit fake, and there are a few sharp edges to be found where the generally impressive build quality slips just a little. Genesis also lags behind most other dedicated luxury brands in terms of gadgets and gewgaws.

The BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S Class, especially with a few options, undoubtedly offer more upscale interiors with finer materials. But both are significantly more expensive, and that price difference can easily more than double with the addition of features such as adaptive cruise control and an upgraded sound system.

Overall, we highly recommend taking a look at the 2018 Genesis G90. It may not have a premium badge, but in most of the ways that count, the G90 delivers a premium experience at an significant discount.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Genesis G90 as one of Edmunds' Best AWD Sedans for 2018.



what's new

For 2018, the 3.3T Premium gets adaptive LED headlights, while the 5.0 Ultimate adds a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10.3-inch screens. Also new is a CD/DVD player for both trims.

we recommend

There's no wrong answer here since even the base 3.3T Premium trim is an impressive luxury sedan with just about all the bells and whistles. Considering there's only a small difference in sticker price and fuel economy between the trims, we'd opt for the 5.0 Ultimate. The eight-cylinder engine sounds great, and you get a significant upgrade to the rear seats. We also have to admit to having a soft spot for a stately, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan powered by a substantial V8.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Genesis G90 is a large luxury sedan with seating for five. Other than colors, shoppers have only two choices to make: V6 or V8 engine and rear- or all-wheel-drive. The 3.3T Premium model has a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 (365 horsepower, 376 pound-feet of torque) under the hood, while the 5.0 Ultimate sports a 5.0-liter V8 (420 hp, 383 lb-ft). Both engines use an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and either model can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

Standard features for the 3.3T Premium include 19-inch wheels, adaptive automatic LED headlights, LED running lights, heated and power-folding mirrors, soft-close doors, a hands-free power trunklid, adaptive suspension, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming mirrors, and keyless entry and ignition.

Inside, you get a head-up display, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a 22-way power-adjustable driver seat (16-way front passenger seat), memory functions for the front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping and heated steering wheel, a simulated suede headliner, wood interior trim, adjustable interior ambient lighting, power sunshades for the rear windows, rear seat climate and audio controls, a wireless charging pad, and USB ports in front and back. Infotainment duties are handled by a 12.3-inch screen and a knob mounted by the gearshift. This system includes Bluetooth, navigation voice controls, satellite and HD radio, a CD/DVD player in the glovebox and a 17-speaker Lexicon premium surround-sound system.

On the safety front, the G90 comes with a multi- and surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, a forward collision warning and mitigation system (with pedestrian detection), lane departure warning and intervention, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a drowsy driver monitoring system and Genesis Connected telematics services.

Stepping up to the 5.0 Ultimate upgrades the rear seats with power adjustments (14-way right rear seat and 12-way left rear seat), ventilation and memory functions. New for 2018, a pair of 10.3-inch HD screens have been added to the rear-seat entertainment system.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Genesis G90 3.3T Premium (turbo 3.3L V6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Genesis G90 has received some minor revisions but our findings remain applicable to this year's Genesis G90.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.5 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use4.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Driving position5.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0

Technology

3.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation4.0 / 5.0
Smartphone integration2.0 / 5.0
Driver aids3.5 / 5.0
Voice control3.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
Not all luxury sedans are optimized to be road-going missiles, but that doesn't permit them to be slugs, either. The G90's base turbo V6 engine is more than sufficient to get the job done, and the adaptive suspension and AWD system allow the G90 to easily tackle a curve or two.

acceleration

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The twin-turbo V6 has enough low-end thrust that you won't miss having a V8. It sprints to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, which keeps pace with the rest of the segment. But the automatic transmission lacks response on full-throttle kickdowns, so you have to time those passing maneuvers carefully.

braking

edmunds rating
The G90's brakes have a light effort and make it easy to perform smooth, jerk-free stops. At maximum effort, the G90 remains stable, but it pitches forward a bit when the softer suspension settings are selected. Emergency braking distances are competitive for a big luxury sedan.

steering

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Steering feel is relatively sensationless. However, there's a nice balance of assist and directness in the various drive modes, and we didn't encounter any stability deficiencies out on the open highway.

handling

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The G90 does a fairly good job of cornering at speed when asked. All-wheel drive helps put all that power to the pavement, though the stability control steps in and shuts the party down if a whiff of wheelspin occurs.

drivability

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Overall drivability is great. The fuel-efficient Eco mode is conservative but not so anemic that you never want to use it. Normal mode delivers smooth but alert characteristics for everyday driving, and Sport sharpens everything by an enjoyable degree. The kickdown lag is the only shortfall.

comfort

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Genesis has the comfort game figured out. Highly adjustable seats with ventilation and heat, a plush suspension, an effective climate system and a whisper-quiet cabin create a business-class environment for your commuting pleasure.

seat comfort

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The power front seats are supremely comfortable and come standard with ventilation and heat. The adjustments for dialing in personalized comfort are numerous but functional, and not just a superfluous marketing gimmick. All seat cushions achieve a pleasant balance between firm and supple.

ride comfort

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The G90's adaptive suspension is soft and pillowy in its plushest setting. Sharp bumps are properly muted, though some roads can make the ride feel floaty rather than stable and buttoned-down. Even in its sportiest setting, the G90 lacks some body movement control, but the ride is never harsh.

noise & vibration

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The G90 cabin is serenity in a nutshell. Engine idle is extremely soft, no interior squeaks or rattles, virtually zero wind noise and very little ambient noise. There is a mild amount of low-frequency road noise at cruising speeds, but it's easily erased by the powerful 17-speaker sound system.

climate control

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Once set, we didn't have to adjust the climate control system to maintain a comfy environment, even when returning to a hot cabin after lunch. Seat ventilation could stand to be stronger, but the seat heaters provide effective and even heat. The rear seat has its own climate controls and four vents.

interior

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The full-size European luxury sedans set a high bar, but the G90 holds its own when it comes to the fundamentals of a well-executed cabin. The controls and interfaces aren't overly complicated; you can climb in and out with ease, and passenger space is comparable to the rest of the class.

ease of use

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With the exception of navigating through your smartphone media library, the G90 controls are easy to figure out and use without a user manual. There isn't anything unique or innovative about the infotainment system, but from the driver aids to the climate controls, everything is easily accessible.

getting in/getting out

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Entry is easy through any door, but extra-wide rear openings and the higher cushion position make slipping into the back especially easy. Both the driver and front passenger seats have comfort access that moves them back when the doors open and returns them to position after closing.

driving position

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The 22-way driver seat provides a ton of adjustment in seat height and fore-aft position; it also has an extended thigh cushion for long-legged pilots. The electronic steering column is adjustable for both height and reach, and it provides sufficient range to suit nearly anyone.

roominess

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The front seats have good stretch-out room, and even with a raised center console, the G90 doesn't feel claustrophobic. The rear seats have generous amounts of leg- and headroom, and the fold-up center armrest/control center makes it possible for three adults to sit abreast in relative comfort.

visibility

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Forward visibility is excellent with large front windows, a wide windshield, and sideview mirrors mounted lower on the doors, instead of the front pillars. The view out the shorter rear window isn't really obstructed but feels mildly limiting. But you do have an array of cameras at your disposal.

quality

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The cabin of the G90 isn't as nice as that of a Mercedes S-Class, but it still may pleasantly surprise you. The leather upholstery is soft and supple, and all the surfaces that are wrapped in it are tight and wrinkle-free. The switchgear lacks a little heft but achieves the right look.

utility

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Despite their size, large luxury sedans don't have as much storage as you'd expect, often because they prioritize passenger comfort and interior elegance. The G90 follows form here and offers nothing special, with the exception of its hands-free automatic trunk opener.

small-item storage

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There isn't a ton of small storage up front. A flip-lid bin with USB and wireless chargers won't close if an iPhone is plugged in. Armrest storage is modest, and the door pockets are slim but felt-lined to minimize noise from objects rolling around. The door handle holes can store things in a pinch.

cargo space

At 15.7 cubic feet, the trunk is slightly smaller than those of rivals. But it is wide at the entry and preserves most of its width toward the rear seats. There's a fairly low liftover and a ski pass-through, too. Few, if any, cars in the segment have folding rear seats, and the G90 is no exception.

child safety seat accomodation

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There are two pairs of LATCH anchors tucked away in the rear outboard seat creases, which make them slightly harder to access. The rear tethers are easier to access, behind the headrests under flip-up lids. The large rear door opening provides a wide berth for installing a baby seat.

technology

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The G90 comes fully stocked with tech, and it's all included. The Lexicon audio system should please just about any audiophile, and the suite of active driver aids and telematic functions show how bullish Genesis is on technology. Now, we just have to wait for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

audio & navigation

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The decorative metal grilles are a nice touch to the 17-speaker premium audio system, which produces exquisitely rich sound. The navigation system breaks no new ground but is easy to use and search out points of interest using the power of Google.

smartphone integration

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There's USB and Bluetooth connectivity, but navigating the media folder is frustrating because the menu structure varies depending on how your device is connected, and there is no good way to back out of folder menus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are coming, and they can't arrive soon enough.

driver aids

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An extensive suite of driver aids is standard and includes the usual adaptive technologies and a surround-view camera system with multiple viewing modes. Many driving aids work well and have multiple settings so they can be tailored for driving style. The lane keeping assist needs some refinement.

voice control

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The voice controls offer basic commands for radio tuning, media playback, and inputting an address or destination. The native voice recognition works well and provides easy-to-follow voice prompts that you can turn off after you become familiar with the system.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.