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2018 Genesis G90: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Genesis G90, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Genesis G90 Review

Hyundai has moved into uncharted waters with the creation of its new Genesis luxury division. However, if the 2018 Genesis G90 is any indication of the company’s commitment to the craft, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac had best watch their backs. As the Genesis flagship, the G90 has to be every bit as powerful, opulent and tech-savvy as the best luxury sedans in the world, but with a price tag that puts them all to shame. The G90 places comfort and pampering over sheer performance and exhilarating handling, however, making it more of a threat to cars like the Lexus LS and Audi A8 rather than the BMW 7 Series and Infiniti Q70.

What’s New for 2018?

The Genesis G90 3.3T Premium gains adaptive LED headlights, while the 5.0 Ultimate now includes a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10.3-inch HD monitors. A glovebox-mounted CD/DVD player is now standard on all trims. See the 2018 Genesis G90 models for sale near you

What We Like

Almost every luxury feature is standard; powerful engine options; quiet cabin; numerous standard services; unbeatable price; great warranty

What We Don’t

Some interior bits don’t feel as premium as the G90’s competitors; soft suspension not suited to aggressive driving; somewhat generic styling; Genesis name doesn’t have the same clout as BMW, Audi or Cadillac

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The Genesis G90 3.3T Premium is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 good for 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels by an 8-speed electronic automatic transmission with a manual shift mode, and all-wheel drive is an option. Fuel economy for this engine is rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for both drivetrains.

The G90 5.0 Ultimate is equipped a 5.0-liter V8 producing 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. When powered by its rear wheels, the G90 5.0 attains 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy, while the all-wheel-drive version earns a slightly lower 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The Genesis G90 is offered in two trims: the 3.3T Premium and 5.0 Ultimate.

The Genesis 3.3T Premium ($69,325, RWD; $71,825, AWD) includes adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, 19-in wheels, power-folding and heated auto-dimming side mirrors, power door closers, a hands-free power trunk with remote open, a Nappa leather interior, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power tilt-telescopic heated steering wheel, a power panoramic sunroof, a 22-way power driver’s seat, a 16-way passenger seat with power lumbar support, 17-speaker 900-watt Lexicon audio, a 12.3-in navigation screen with SiriusXM NavTraffic and data services, Bluetooth, integrated rear center armrest climate and audio controls, 3-zone automatic climate control, a power rear sunshade, power rear side-window sunshades, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver-attention alert, a multiview surround camera, a forward-view cornering camera, a wireless charging pad, a head-up display (HUD), an adaptive suspension, three years of scheduled maintenance, a valet service that picks up and returns your car when service is needed, SiriusXM Travel Link, free map updates and roadside assistance.

The Genesis 5.0 Ultimate ($72,825, RWD; $75,325, AWD) adds a V8 engine plus a few more features, including a rear-seat entertainment system, a ventilated 14-way power right rear seat and a 12-way power left rear seat with memory.

The G90’s standard warranties include 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and 7-year/unlimited-distance anti-perforation (rust) plans. Also standard is 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance and valet service, plus three years of free map upgrades, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link (N/A in AK and HI), Genesis Connected Services and roadside assistance.


The Genesis G90 comes with every imaginable safety feature, including nine airbags (front, front side-impact, side curtain, rear-seat side airbags and driver and passenger knee airbags). Also standard are such driver assists as autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2018 G90 its highest rating of Good in all crash tests, including a Superior in the crash avoidance and mitigation tests. The G90 also earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Behind the Wheel

The 2018 Genesis G90 is a Mercedes-Benz S-Class-sized car that puts luxury ahead of all-out performance but still feels like a proper luxury sedan. Two engines are offered: a 5.0-liter V8 and a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. The G90 is rear-wheel-drive, but all-wheel drive is offered as well.

Virtually every feature and device you can think of comes standard on the G90. Smart cruise control, lane-keep assist, a 360-degree parking camera, power-side and rear window shades and a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system are all standard. On the road, the turbo V6 makes plenty of power — most buyers will get this engine. The V8 is nice if you’re really after the sound and feel of a traditional large sedan.

The cabin remains quiet nearly all the time, though some road noise makes its way to the driver’s ears on rough or worn pavement.

Handling is good for a car this size. The BMW 7 Series feels sharper, but the G90 is more comfortable for everyday driving. Even though the G90 is a really great car, however, it’s a little light on wow factor once you’re behind the wheel.

Inside, the switches and gauges look and feel appropriate for a luxury sedan. The seats are comfortable — in fact, the driver’s seat offers 22-way adjustment.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Audi A8 — The A8 costs a bit more and offers the same ride comfort with better handling. The A8’s interior design and materials are superior to those of the G90, though the G90 offers more front-seat legroom, a more powerful V6 and a larger trunk.

2018 Lexus LS 500 — The Lexus LS has a nearly impeccable repair and resale history, plus it offers a choice of gasoline or hybrid models. The G90 offers a more powerful engine when equipped with the V8 and more luxury features, however, and also costs less than a comparably equipped Lexus LS.

2018 Cadillac CT6 The Cadillac CT6 has a lower starting price, though it also doesn’t have as many standard features. The CT6 offers more rear-seat legroom and a more powerful V6, plus better handling and a more dynamic look.

Used BMW 7 Series A 2014-2016 BMW 7 Series will get you more power, better handling and a nicer interior, although it doesn’t have the same 10-year/100,000-mile warranty and long list of standard services.

Autotrader’s Advice

We think most customers will be satisfied with the G90 3.3T Premium, as it provides plenty of power and almost every available feature. However, the 5.0 Ultimate’s V8 does emit an intoxicating rumble, and brings additional luxury features such as the power rear seats and rear-seat entertainment. For those seeking the ultimate luxury experience, the V8-powered Ultimate is probably the only way to go.

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