Wednesday, August 10, 2022
First Reviews 2023 Genesis G90 First Drive Review: Hear What it Has to Say

2023 Genesis G90 First Drive Review: Hear What it Has to Say

The Genesis G90 sedan will never be the brand’s best-selling car. At over $100,000 a pop (price to be announced soon), the average person will never be able to afford it.

So why are you interested? Because this car has a lot to tell us. In fact, as the flagship of the company that brings it to life, it points to where Hyundai’s luxury division is headed.

And if you think you know the answer, read on; nuances matter.

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The Signature

The Genesis signature is singular and recognizable. This was necessary to create a strong image. You can recognize a model by the shape and size of its grid, but especially by those double vertical strokes everywhere. It’s visible in the headlights but also at the lights and the mouldings. And with this G90, it extends across the width at the rear. It’s a success.

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The challenge

The big challenge for Genesis is to carve out a niche in a market where it’s not easy to break into. Luxury product buyers are often loyal and very seduced by image. This is where Genesis wants to stand out. The company is not necessarily targeting the buyer of the competition, but rather a new customer interested in luxury, but above all, in being different. A G90 won’t try to be a Mercedes-Benz S-Class; it wants to define itself as a Genesis. This is how we are told that the buyer is not looking to impress his friends but to satisfy his own ambitions. And the Genesis approach is there to meet them.

That’s why we don’t talk about dealerships but kiosks, boutiques, and Genesis stores. Call it what you will. The majority of sales are made online. In Canada, four facilities are completed, seven are under construction, seven are in development, and plans are on the table for more. With what is being studied, we will soon be talking about 30 Genesis stores.

We are far from a flash in the pan here.

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The difference?

Is the G90 that different from other luxury cars? Not in the sense that they try to offer us everything to sustenance, but yes, because they also try to create an atmosphere unique to the brand. How do we do that? With doors that can be closed remotely, a compartment that disinfects personal belongings, perfumes for the cabin, seats that massage in every position, a first-class seat behind the front passenger’s chair with custom woodwork, and forged carbon accents. Oh, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 26 speakers.

Of course, some of these elements can be found elsewhere, but with the audio system, for example, they’ve managed to recreate specific moods. One of the settings allows you to listen to your favourite music as if you were in Boston’s Symphony Hall.

Your ears may not notice it, but it does sound different and there are even microphones that allow you to join in the atmosphere by clapping your hands and turning the system on.

Unique, yes. Useful, no. Different, attractive, for those who want to be seduced by the difference? YES!

Then, another singular approach shows where the brand wants to go. In Canada, the first 50 buyers of a G90 will receive special treatment. When the car is delivered, they will receive a winter tire and wheel package, free home fragrance refills (2 years), additional body and appearance protection (5 years), as well as seasonal tire changes and tire storage.

If the response to this offer is strong, it could migrate to other models for an additional fee.

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Oh, the car

Let’s not forget the car in all of this, even if it’s more about its powertrain and chassis that get the attention. In Canada, only one version will be offered. We’re talking about a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 that offers 409 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque (thanks to a 48-volt mild hybrid system). An eight-speed automatic transmission is also paired with the V6.

With a new, much stiffer chassis, the driving experience is improved compared to the previous generation. However, the G90 has not become a sports car. It’s a heavyweight and its gearbox isn’t the most “sporty”, let’s put it that way. The air suspension filters out road imperfections beautifully, especially since a front camera anticipates these imperfections so that adjustments can be made BEFORE contact. Mercedes-Benz offered the technology in 2015 with its S-Class.

The steering doesn’t provide a strong connection to the road, and the braking feel isn’t interesting due to over-sensitivity. All in all, it’s as pleasant to be in the back of the G90 as it is to be behind the wheel. That, too, tells us a lot about its purpose.

The soundproofing is just right, though, and it’s in the greatest of comforts that we rack up the miles.

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Conclusion

Genesis has been growing since its arrival on the market. That’s normal, because its products are excellent and they’re multiplying, too. The G90 will never be the brand’s best seller, but it will be more successful outside Canada. Miami, where we tested this model, is one of the best markets for this car, by the way.

So you have to look at the G90 for what it is. A test bed, a flagship model, a product that demonstrates the company’s know-how. It is the GV70 (electric version to come), the electric GV60 and G80, as well as many other products that will contribute to the brand’s success.

By 2025, every new Genesis product will be electric. By 2030, the firm will sell only electric models.

The G90 is expected around mid-August.


Strong points

  • Successful and eye-catching design
  • Exceptionally smooth ride
  • Luxury level and quality of finish
  • Value for money, despite the anticipated significant price increase

Weaknesses

  • Very sanitized ride
  • No wireless connection to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Transmission, braking, steering: some fine-tuning to be done

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

2023 Genesis G90 | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

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