Saturday, February 4, 2023
Reviews 2021 Genesis G90 5.0 Prestige AWD Review: The Return Of True Comfort

2021 Genesis G90 5.0 Prestige AWD Review: The Return Of True Comfort

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newest great American luxury sedan: the Genesis G90

  • Base pricing for the Genesis G90 starts at $89,750 in Canada, $72,950 in the US.

  • The G90 is available in one single completely loaded version in Canada.

  • Like the G70, brand recognition is its only real shortcoming.

Many of us have forgotten what the definition of “comfortable” actually is. If our couches were as “comfortable” as the average automobile, we’d throw them out or not buy them at all. It will have taken Hyundai’s luxury brand to remind us all what it truly means to be in a comfortable car. This is the new 2021 Genesis G90.

Comfort evolved

2021 Genesis G90 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Comfort, like all things automotive, has evolved over the last few decades. As cars got more powerful and heavy, changes had to be made to their chassis to enable them to handle, quite literally, these extra burdens. One direct consequence was a near-complete loss of plushness even for luxury cars priced below $150,000 or so. With today’s new structures, the game has changed.

But even so, less than a handful of OEMs have gone as far as Genesis to deliver a car that hovers above the ground as does the G90. While this luxury sedan’s extensive wheelbase helps level out the road’s surface, it’s the included adaptive control suspension whisks occupants away to a more civilized time. Coupled with the extensive use of sound-deadening techniques and the Genesis G90 becomes a quiet and comfortable retreat from the outside world.

Luxurious to drive

2021 Genesis G90 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Drivability and handling have also progressed which is why the Genesis G90 is also a competent driving car. It doesn’t float about or roll onto its sides, or ever feel out of sorts even when driven “hard.” But, the fact of the matter is that the G90 never begs to be pushed.

Despite the presence of its creamy-smooth naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8, I simply desired to bask in the princely task of driving the G90. The engine’s 420 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque are far more potent than the power-to-weight ratio suggests. At 5,000 lbs, the G90 gets up to speed with authority, and a soothing hum, thanks to the 8-speed automatic transmission. At the risk of losing credibility, the 2021 Genesis G90 is fun to drive.

Luxurious comfort

2021 Genesis G90 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Spending time within the cabin rivals and may even surpass being the driver – this is one of the rare cars that I would not mind driving or being driven in. The acres of Nappa leather, Havana Brown for this test unit, is quilted to perfection and beautifully matched to the open pore olive ash wood trim. The attention to detail and fit and finish are on par with anything that comes from Germany. All four outboard seating positions are heated, cooled, and multi-way power-adjustable. You might imagine that the seats are also quite comfortable, and you’d be right. Driven or driving, the G90 is pure serenity.

The level of standard features included with the G90 5.0 Prestige AWD is huge. The 12.3-inch touchscreen display with navigation is certainly a highlight, as is the 17-speaker 900-watt Lexicon surround-sound audio system. The driver seat even features Smart Posture Care, through the 22-way settings, the seat ergonomically calibrates an ideal seat positioning for you. Once set up, the technology auto-adjusts the steering wheel, outside mirror, and Heads-up Display specifically to your configuration.

Genesis doing its thing

2021 Genesis G90 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The Genesis G90’s interior design, technology, and layout are at the crossroads between technology and conventional luxury. This blending of ways is progressive and one that will not alienate anyone.

As for styling, the 2021 Genesis G90 goes one of two ways. At first, I will admit that the diamond-inspired Genesis Crest Grille was beyond bold, as in far too exaggerated. I have however come to see that this car is distinct and sports its own language. Details like the G-matrix patterned quad headlamps, LED side repeaters, and superb also G-matrix patterned inspired staggered 19-inch wheels further distinguish the G90.

What Genesis has done and is doing is taking chances with design elements that are slightly outside of the comfort zone established by the German automakers. For taking these risks, Genesis deserves a par on the back.

The Genesis approach

Boldly taking on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8 is a challenging task, to say the least. And while flagship luxury sedan buyers may scoff at the Genesis, the truth is that the G90 is every bit as premium and refined as its competitors, for far less money. Sample it and you’ll get it.

The final element about Genesis and the G90 is how simple true luxury can, and should be. With only one trim offered in Canada and an all-encompassing price (with 5 years of included maintenance, plus At Home Valet Service with courtesy car), the whole transaction process can literally be done in minutes. If time is luxury, then it doesn’t get more premium than Genesis.

2021 Genesis G90 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2021 Genesis G90 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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