2023 Genesis G90 named Motor Trend Car of the Year
I received a 2023 Genesis G90 for testing just a few weeks after Motor Trend named it their Car of the Year. The news had surprised me. The last G90 I tested — a 2017 version — was a very good car, but mostly impressive for offering high levels of performance, luxury and technology for thousands less than even more sophisticated German competitors.
But Motor Trend decided the completely redesigned 2023 G90 is actually better than such world class standard setters as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi 8. If true, that would be a huge advance for the upscale brand that Hyundai launched in 2015. Especially considering that it still costs less than them.
I haven't tested every version of the newest German competitors, but after a week of daily driving, I have to say the top-of-the-line Genesis dazzles with striking styling, uncompromising luxury, advanced technologies and performance. The base turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 has been replaced by a more powerful 3.5-liter version, but the real star is optional one that adds an electric supercharger. It replaces the previous 5.0-liter V8 but feels both smoother and faster. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive.
The exterior styling is what everyone will notice about the G90 first and it is remarkable. The 2017 version tested looked like a large Jaguar sedan, which is to say, handsome. The second generation looks like a space ship. It is longer and sleeker, with a clamshell hood, hood shield grill, and flush headlight and taillights that help it look fast sitting still. Seeing it every morning was always a revelation. The German luxury sedans look absolutely stodgy in comparison.
The interior is even more impressive. As an executive car, you expect a lot of room in both the front and rear seats. Especially the rear seats, which has more leg room that a full-size Crewcab pickup. But none of it is wasted in the G90. Every surface blends into the next to create a cohesive whole. All of the materials are of the highest quality. The design is both bold and tasteful. Although it has a large horizontal display screen, it does not overpower the dash. The previous manual shift has been replaced with a space saving dial that cleans up the center console. And the seats are even more comfortable than those found in Volvos, which have historically set the benchmark.
Despite its size, the redesigned G90 is thrilling to drive. The electronically-driven supercharger gives it extra oomph off the line before the twin turbochargers spool up. Shifting into the Sport mode provides even better acceleration. The ride is incredibly smooth, given the large Genesis a surprisingly light feel on the road. Rough pavement is easily absorbed by its supple suspension.
I was able to drive the G90 through the first snow fall in Portland. It was mixed with rain for much of my drive, creating a slushy mix. The standard AWD worked effortlessly to keep the big Genesis planted, including on the freeway, where the drivers of several large trucks pressed their luck more than me and passed me in the outside lane. Not only did I not feel them, the G90 is so well insulated I didn't even hear them.
As a top-of-the-line luxury car the G90 is available with some features that might seem a little, well, over the top. Like four massaging seats. And push buttons for closing and opening the doors from the inside (I never quite got the hang of them). It also includes redundant controls for adjusting the volume and changing the channels on its excellent stereo.
But that's the market Genesis has decided to compete in with its flagship sedan. And they are doing it as well — or, according to Motor Trend — better than anyone else for less.
2023 Genesis G90 3.5T Supercharger AWD
Base price: $89,495 (base)
Price as tested: $100,370 (E-Supercharged)
Type: Full-size luxury sedan
Engines: Turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (375 hp, 391 lbs-ft); Turbocharged and supercharged 3.5-liter V6 (409 hp, 405 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport
EPA estimated mileage: 17/24
Overall length: 207.7 inches
Curb weight: 5,156 pounds
Final assembly: Ulsan, South Korea
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