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By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

The all-new Genesis G90 is a full-sized sedan loaded up with so much premium style and features it can rival any European counterpart. It’s also a contender in the performance category thanks to a response set of engines, from a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 to an upgraded 420-horsepower 5-liter V8.

I drove a 2017 Genesis G90 featuring the 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission featuring SHIFTRONIC technology. Available in two trims by engine – the 3.3T Premium with a V6 or 5.0 Ultimate with a V8 (standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel) – the long list of highlights on my G90 test drive included: twenty-two way power driver’s seat and sixteen-way power passenger seat; Nappa leather upholstery with Microfiber suede accents; wood trim; heated and ventilated front seats; heated steering wheel; navigation system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen; upgrade Lexicon seventeen-speaker audio system with Quantum Logic music restoration technology; Qi wireless device charger; Bluetooth connectivity; seven-inch multi-information instrument panel display; power trunk; sunroof; rear power sunshades; multi-view camera with parking sensors; Bi-Xenon headlights with Dynamic Bending Light; nineteen-inch alloy wheels; high-performance gas shock absorbers; Land Departure Warning; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Total price as described comes to $68,100.

I hesitate to mention the brand stems off from Hyundai, but this should only impress you more. BMW and Mercedes are the obvious brands competitors if we’re talking supreme luxury and performance, but similar worthy models include the Lexus LS 460, Lincoln Continental and Volvo S60. (See a side by side by side by side comparagraph)

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Stylish But Comfortable Results: I’ve never heard of power seating with twenty-two ways of adjustment – these are the extreme conveniences designed to impress you on the Genesis. Second-row passengers receive first-class treatment with plenty of leg and shoulder room, plus access to heat and audio controls. Seats are divine, with an available air-pressure pump and controller valve for unique bolster adjustment for the driver (the 5.0 Ultimate adds rear seat power commands). With a 12.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen, graphics and commands are vivid and easy to access, and you’ve got a master dial on near the armrest to further scroll through your media needs. Light, airy, and with an excellent contrast color scheme, the message inside the cabin is clear: opulence is obtainable outside European brands. However, the heavily lacquered non-wood trim does pull your head out of the clouds momentarily.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The vehicle is a Top Safety Pick with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for featuring ratings of “Good” in every category for a large-sized sedan. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has not yet rated the model year at the time of publication. Standard safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and an advanced airbag system.

Cost Issues: The Genesis G90’s 3.3T Premium starts at $68,100 with the bigger and more feature-rich 5.0 Ultimate at $69,700. The 2017 Lexus LS 460 starts at $72,520 – more affordable full-sized sedans with a luxurious feel include the 2017 Lincoln Continental at $44,720 and the 2017 Volvo S90 Momentum at $46,950. A recently loaded Volvo S90 Inscription test drive reached $66,105 with all the packages.

Activity & Performance Ability: Compact crossover or full-sized sedan, it all seems to be about turbo power these days and the 3.3-liter V6 delivers it ready and steady. Under the 5-liter engine, the Genesis’s acceleration is commanding with excellent handling. An additional performance benefit is the rear-drive layout that encourages spirited driving, backed by a solid chassis consisting of ultra-high tensile strength steel for a body that displays exceptional strength and rigidity. I am however fond of the Volvo S90’s twin-turbocharged power that brings cadence and quick action to your every driving situation, plus better fuel economy.

The Green Concern: With 17-city/24-highway driving from the V6 engine, combined estimates are at 20 miles-per-gallon. The smaller turbocharged 2-liter on the Volvo S90 gets some excellent fuel economy at 25 miles-per-gallon combined (22-city and 31-highway).

Presented in something of a perfect package – from performance to “power” everything – the 2017 Genesis G90 is an impressive full-sized sedan choice. And a long history of existence isn’t required when pulling off a fresh take on modern luxury.

©2017 Katrina Ramser