Genesis G90 5.0L V-8 AWD

Genesis G90 5.0L V-8 AWD

Genesis has been a brand for more than two full years now, and its G90 flagship has established itself as a viable member of the luxury-sedan club by employing the same formula that has worked for parent company Hyundai time and time again: lots of car.

The G90 can be perceived as the peak expression of that strategy. Most of the traditional elements of rolling hedonism are baked into this big sedan. For 2018, Genesis enhances the content only a little, making adaptive LED headlights standard on the 3.3T Premium trim (they were already standard with the 5.0-liter V-8 Ultimate model tested here), providing a standard glove box-mounted CD/DVD system, and adding a new rear-seat entertainment system for the 5.0-liter model with 10.3-inch HD monitors integrated into the backs of the front seats.

We are not immune to hedonistic comfort. Our road test of last year’s G90 lamented the relatively small sunroof and the absence of a rear-seat massage system, although the multi-adjustable rear seats are otherwise beyond reproach, and many of us are completely indifferent to sunroofs. Neither element has changed for 2018.

The list of standard features in this G90 V-8 with all-wheel drive rivals the introduction to War and Peace in terms of sheer length. Some highlights include 22-way power adjustability for the driver’s seat, 16-way for the front passenger, 14-way for the right rear passenger, and 12-way for the left rear. Does that seem excessive? Think of all the wriggling you do on long trips; those tiny adjustments keep kinks at bay.

The Equus Connection

Dynamics? The G90 owes some of its mechanical heritage to the Hyundai Equus, an ambassadorial sedan that many regarded as Korea’s interpretation of the Lincoln Town Car. Big, quiet, and dignified in a yesteryear sort of way, it had a limousine persona. It never tempted drivers to push a little deeper into a corner or drag-race the punk in the next lane from a stoplight—that stuff just wasn’t in its job description.

The Genesis provides more driver reward than did the old Equus. Its steering, although a little numb, is remarkably quick (just 2.5 turns lock to lock) and nicely weighted. And the chassis feels as solid as those of other top-tier machines. The G90 doesn’t handle or respond quite as crisply as most modern flagships do, though, feeling a little unhurried, particularly compared to those with autobahn heritage. There’s a little more up-and-down floatiness than we associate with sports sedans, even with the Sport driving mode engaged, and understeer shows up early in corners.

Then there’s the V-8. While it’s smooth and makes seductively muted music at wide-open throttle, the 5.0-liter doesn’t provide quite the sense of urgency to be found elsewhere in this class. Although hefty, at 4972 pounds the G90 is lighter than some of the other big luxury sedans, yet it turns out to be less quick. On the other hand, taking 5.1 seconds to reach 60 mph isn’t slow, and neither is a quarter-mile pass in 13.7 seconds.

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