2023 Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD – Review by David Colman +VIDEO
The best in its luxury class
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Only a few numbers in the automotive world carry the cachet of "409." 60 years ago The Beach Boys immortalized that number with their smash hit, Giddy up, giddy up 409. Back then, they were singing the praises of Chevy's Bel Air Sport Coupe, a 409 cubic inch, 409hp demon that clocked a quarter mile time of 105.88mph in 13.59 seconds to win the 1962 Pomona Winternationals.
Well, move over Chevy, because there's a new 409 sheriff in town, and this one's built by Genesis, the luxury brand of Hyundai. The G90 AWD we tested has been completely revamped for 2023 with a new body, new underpinnings, new interior, and an all-new 3.5 liter V6 engine making 409hp. Twin turbos and an electronic supercharger boost the output of this tiny 212 cubic-inch powerplant to levels unthinkable back in 1962. And how does the new Genesis 409 pencil out at the dragstrip? With a time of 13.7 seconds and a speed of 105.4mph, the 2023 G90 AWD virtually duplicates Dyno Don Nicolson's winning run in Chevy's hot rod 409.
Of course, you'll have to 'save your pennies and save your dimes' a little more assiduously than the Beach Boys did, because the top shelf G90 will set you back a cool $100,370. While that is indeed a tidy sum, bear in mind that this newly revised Korean limousine is competing against the very top echelon of luxury sedans available today: Lexus LS, Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series. Compared to those competitors, the all-in price of the G90 looks like something of a bargain. The only option added to the $98,700 base price of our test sedan was Makalu Gray Paint ($575). Similarly equipped competition from Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW carries a base price over $100,000, to which you will add many thousands more in options. By comparison, the G90 is so loaded with features that you won't want for anything else.
Let's examine the immersive, spell-binding interior of this palatial chariot. White Nappa leather covers every imaginable surface inside, including the face and top of the instrument panel. The oversized front and rear seating surfaces are intricately patterned, micro-perforated to maximize heating and ventilation at all four positions, and equipped with upper and lower power bolsters. When you adjust your seat, a full video screen depiction appears to guide you. In the over-the-top department, Genesis has fitted the G90 with a "Mood Curator" panel display which allows you to tailor your seating position to a quartet of available choices including Vitality, Delight, Care, and Comfort. These choices include video presentations on the dash screen (Sunrise, Hot Air Balloons, Seaweed, Moonrise) accompanied by suitable musical accompaniment. Full body massage adds to the "Care" package.
In addition to all the visual, sensual, and audio fireworks inside, the G90 is an impressive looking beast from the outside. The frontal aspect is daunting, with a cavernous grill making a predatory visual statement that is reinforced by a squadron of 48 tiny projector headlights arrayed in clusters of 24 above each side of the grill. A pair of separately triggered front and rear panoramic roofs brighten the already festive interior, and each oversize wheel well is set off with a 21-inch alloy rim bearing staggered Michelin Primacy Tour A/S radials (245/40R21 F: 275/35R21 R).
The G90 AWD is equipped with standard air suspension which is quite magical in its ability to maintain equilibrium over all sorts of road imperfections. The only time you're aware of its presence is when the Genesis arrives at a red light and you notice the body sinking ever so slightly as the suspension resets for the next set of challenges. For a limousine weighing 5,156 pounds, the top Genesis is remarkably adept at mastering any kind of paved road challenge you can throw at it. I wouldn't go so far as to call anything weighing two and a half tons a sport sedan, but the G90 comes surprisingly close to deserving that accolade.
In the luxury car market today, there are a bewildering number of ways to spend a hundred grand. If you really want to get your money's worth, the upstart Genesis G90 AWD currently offers the best bang for your buck.
2023 GENESIS G90 3.5T E-SUPERCHARGER AWD
• ENGINE: 3.5 liter V6, twin-turbocharged, supercharged and intercooled, DOHC, 24-valve, aluminum block and heads
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 17MPG City/24MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $100,370
HYPES: Fast But Not Furious
GRIPES: Soft Close Doors Will Drive You Nuts
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10