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2021 Genesis G90 Review

The 2021 Genesis G90 full-size luxury sedan has all the right high-class ingredients, yet avoids fuss. There are no long and involved options lists that turn an entry level flagship sedan into a financial liability. Most features are standard, including an impressive array of advanced driver aids.

The G90 has a perfectly comfortable cabin that’s plush without being overdone. And according to Genesis, this is the quietest car in the large luxury sedan class. These attributes are not the most remarkable things about the G90, however.

It’s the price. The 2021 G90 starts at around $74,000. And the sheer mountain of equipment included in that price. Plus the free service valet, the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and the great build quality. Everything comparable is more expensive. In the case of the Germans, way more expensive. The word “bargain” is rarely used in the flagship sedan world, but the G90 most definitely qualifies.

What’s New for 2021?

What used to be real leather on the dashboard and door panels has now been replaced by simulated leather. A new multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheel design joins the (short) options list. Cyclist detection is added to the forward collision mitigation feature. Drivers can pre-configure memory settings and heating or ventilation for the seat using the Personalized Remote Start function. And the infotainment system receives cloud-based voice recognition and navigation routing, along with over-the-air map updates. See the 2021 Genesis G90 models for sale near you

What We Like

Low starting price

Competitive luxury content

Silent cabin

Simple controls

Abundant and effective safety features

What We Don’t

V8 engine lacks the power of the class leaders

Fuel consumption

A value alternative in the luxury segment might be missing the point

How Much?

$73,975-$77,725

Fuel Economy

The 2021 G90 range starts out with a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque.

The top-of-the-line G90 5.0L Ultimate has a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 developing 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

An 8-speed automatic transmission is the sole transmission. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, all-wheel drive (AWD) is available with either engine.

Both engines have quite a liking for premium gasoline. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the V6’s estimated fuel consumption is 17 miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in combined driving (RWD and AWD). The V8 returns 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined (RWD and AWD).

Standard Features and Options

The 2021 Genesis G90 full-size luxury sedan comes in two versions, distinguished by their engines. Adding all-wheel drive is an extra $2,500.

The 3.3T Premium ($73,975) has the turbocharged V6 engine and almost every luxury feature this class can offer. Highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights, powered tilt/slide sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, power-closing doors, hands-free trunk lid operation, keyless entry/ignition, Nappa leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable steering wheel, 22-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 16-way power adjustable front passenger seat, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, powered rear window/side window shades, multi-colored ambient cabin lighting, 360-degree camera system, front/rear parking sensors, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian/cyclist detection and automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop/go, safe exit assistance, parking collision-avoidance assistance, lane keeping/lane following/lane centering assistance, wireless charging, 12.3-in infotainment screen, navigation, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, satellite radio, and a Lexicon 17-speaker/900-watt surround-sound system.

The 5.0L Ultimate ($77,725) brings the V8 engine, then adds a rear-seat entertainment system with two 10.3-in screens, heated/ventilated/power-adjustable (14-way on the right, 12-way on the left) rear seats, power-adjustable rear headrests, and memory settings for the outboard rear positions.

As well as the optional all-wheel drive system, there’s a new design of multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels. Genesis also offers five different leather finishes and four wood trims.

Safety

The G90 has a comprehensive set of active driver aids, all of which are standard. These include forward collision mitigation with pedestrian/cyclist detection and automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring, safe exit assistance, driver attention monitoring, 360-degree camera system, and ultra-sonic parking sensors with audible alerts.

Naturally, the basics are here as well. There are 10 airbags, including a front passenger-knee airbag, anti-lock brakes, rearview camera, and stability control.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not crash-tested the G90. But the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has, bestowing the accolade of Top Safety Pick+ after the car took top scores in all the major categories.

Behind the Wheel

Despite a relatively low price of entry, the 2021 G90 has all the essential elements of a luxury car. Its silent cabin and smooth (yet adjustable) suspension meet the high expectations of the flagship sedan class with ease.

After testing the G90’s interior noise levels against the best in the business, Genesis claims it is class-leading. And although the G90 doesn’t have the sophisticated chassis systems of some competitors (air springs and active anti-roll bars, for example), it gives up little in ride comfort.

Four distinct drive modes enables the driver to fine-tune the experience. A custom mode even allows cherry picking of favored settings, such as steering weight, throttle response and suspension damping. The Genesis G90 is hardly a sports machine, nor should it be driven like one. But it retains its composure on the back roads, despite its size.

The V6 costs thousands less than the V8, yet delivers nearly identical torque at lower engine speeds. And since the G90 isn’t the kind of car that will be revved to its redline on every trip, it makes more sense to have abundant, usable torque providing low-end thrust.

Genesis has refrained from making unnecessary changes for change’s sake, like so many rivals. Its gear shifter remains simple, functional and intuitive.

It’s the G90’s rear seats that really shine, though. Leg room is good for the class (enough for adults to sit behind adults), and passengers can control the infotainment and rear ventilation systems. And if anyone wanted to install child seats, the LATCH fasteners are reasonably easy to access.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class — As the gold standard of luxury sedans, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is typically considered the most advanced car in the world. It’s fantastic to drive and ride in, with a large, silent cabin and multiple powertrain options. But it is expensive. A new generation for 2021 should only cement that fine reputation.

2021 BMW 7 Series — At slightly less than the S-Class (though still substantially more than the G90), the 7 Series offers a typically German onslaught of tech and safety features, as well as inline 6-cylinder, V8, V12, and a plug-in hybrid.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class — If less cabin space is not a deal-breaker, the midsize Mercedes-Benz E-Class is still incredibly roomy and tech-rich. It also has impeccable road manners and starts almost $20,000 lower than a G90.

2021 Audi A8Audi’s flagship sedan has electrically assisted V6 and V8 engines, plus an active chassis with the ability to raise and lower itself, control body roll and compensate for bumps. It also looks arguably gorgeous inside and out.

2021 Lexus LS — A new, more user-friendly 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen comes into the 2021 LS, which might sway some buyers. Otherwise, the LS is suitably spacious, serene and well-stocked. It’s also a resale values champ.

2021 Volvo S90 — Smaller and less expensive than the G90, but incredibly comfortable and safe. Some people will prefer the looks, others will find the plug-in hybrid version intriguing. The cabin is sumptuous. A potential G90 buyer is already thinking about interesting alternatives to the usual luxury crowd. Here’s one more.

Used Lexus LS — For luxury without lavish spending, a used LS would be one alternative to a new G90. A 2018 LS 500 can be acquired for just under $52,000. Check out the Lexus certified pre-owned (CPO) program.

Questions You May Ask

Is the 2021 Genesis G90 as good as a BMW or Lexus luxury sedan?

On paper, the 2021 G90 compares well with luxury cars like the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Audi A8. It offers similar power, performance and features, yet does so for thousands less. Neighbors will be more impressed by an Audi in the driveway than a Genesis, however.

Who makes the 2021 Genesis G90?

Genesis is the luxury division of Hyundai.

How reliable is the 2021 Genesis G90?

Genesis is still relatively new, yet it has already earned a good reputation among its owners for reliable service. Genesis owners also report a good experience with the dealer network, especially when fixing unexpected repairs.

Autotrader’s Advice

Unless buyers really want the extra rear-seat luxury that accompanies the V8 engine, the 3.3T Premium with its twin-turbocharged V6 is the smarter buy. Find a Genesis G90 for sale

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