USED: 2017 Genesis G 90 3.3T AWD Review: This Luxury Sedan Has Everything

A Girls Guide To Cars | Used: 2017 Genesis G 90 3.3T Awd Review: This Luxury Sedan Has Everything - Genesis G90 Feature Image

You Like to Be Spoiled, Right? Genesis Thought So.

The highlight of spring break in college was visiting my girlfriend’s parents in Ft. Lauderdale and tooling around in her dad’s Cadillac Coupe de Ville. He probably didn’t appreciate that we left the seats slick with sunscreen and sand in the carpets, but was gracious to allow us to take it to the beach.

Cruising out to Las Olas, we loved how on top of the world we felt; it was like driving a bubble of privilege that protected us from the indignities of the road and made us safe and happy with luxuries that included electric windows, a sunroof and a great stereo system.

But, it drove like a master: it accelerated into traffic easily and I felt completely in command behind the wheel (yes, he let me drive, too!). That’s the feeling you want when driving a luxury car, and the Genesis G90 gives you all that—and more.

Luxury Sedan Genesis Seat ControlsWho the Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan is For

  • Singles, couples or small families
  • Buyers who want or need a luxurious car
  • Buyers who want a sedan
  • Drivers who want to impress or pamper back seat passengers, especially in sales, real estate or premium livery service
  • Buyers who might BE the back seat passenger
  • Couples who road trip, often with another couple
  • Buyers who value service in car ownership
Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The 2017 Genesis G90 Sedan. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What it Costs

  • 3.3 liter turbo 365 horsepower rear wheel drive $68,100
  • 3.3 liter turbo 365 horsepower all wheel drive $70,600
  • 5.0 liter turbo 420 horsepower rear wheel drive $69,100
  • 5.0 liter turbo 420 horsepower all wheel drive $72,200
  • Delivery charge: $950
  • Price of the 3.3 liter turbo model we test drove: $71,550
Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The gear selector in the Genesis G90. The box to the right has a USB port, an AUX port and a wireless phone charge pad. Photo: Scotty Reiss

With 5 Drive Modes You’re In Command Of This Ship—And It Feels Great

One of the things I loved about driving the Genesis was how in command I felt behind the wheel. While not quite a performance sedan, the 365 horsepower of the 3.3 liter turbo I drove felt plenty powerful, and though I haven’t driven the model with the larger engine, I’d expect it to deliver even more wow.

The Genesis is outfitted with 5 drive modes: regular, eco, sport, smart and individual, which lets you customize your experience. And, it has paddle shifters, allowing you to add a little more to the fun if you feel like it.

However, unlike many sedans with larger engines designed to thrill the driver, the Genesis G90 is designed for comfort, so even when the power kicks in, the experience for driver and passengers is easy and confident; there is very little ‘jostle’ factor; you don’t feel every iteration of the engine changing gears or the bumps and turns in the road.

If you’re considering this car, you should also look at the Cadillac CT6

Like to Spoil Your Back Seat Passengers?

There’s nothing I love more than tossing the key to my husband and letting him drive while I relax in the back seat and catch up on Facebook. And the Genesis is the perfect place to do that.

But there’s a bonus: In addition to climate control, window screens, power ports and heated seats, I can also command the infotainment screen with the arm rest command center. This allows me to pick a station, sync my phone via Bluetooth, play my Spotify play list or turn the thing off altogether. As a back seat passenger I have almost as many luxuries as front seat passengers.

Luxury Sedan Genesis G90 Wide Screen

The wide screen in the Genesis G90 is big enough to feature several images at once. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Look—No Fingerprints on the Info Screen!

One thing I really, truly loved was the wide screen infotainment system. NOT a touch screen, this system is controlled by a dial system that lets you toggle through the car’s entertainment, information and settings options. It was easy to use, intuitive and I loved having controls at my fingertips rather than having to lean forward to touch the screen.

Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The front cabin of the Genesis G90 is elegantly appointed and everything is within easy reach. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Nicely Organized Controls and Hefty, Shiny Metal Buttons

I really loved how nicely laid out all the controls were in the front seat. The infotainment dial is central (and reachable even when your arm is resting on the arm rest) and three buttons in front of it get you quickly to your desired control (home, back and menu). There are buttons under the entertainment system that also let you select stations, climate and more. Or, scroll through your selections with the dial, which I found convenient and easy to use.

The shiny buttons have a raised knobby surface, giving them a distinct, tactical feel and a diamond-like gleam; reaching for controls becomes natural and instinctual so you don’t always have to look away from the road to find a command.

I also loved that next to the gear shift is a small storage spot with a USB and AUX port. And it’s more than a storage spot: it’s a wireless charging pad for your phone.

Be sure to Look at the Jaguar XF S, too.

Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The Genesis G90’s rear end also carries the logo. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Electronic Gear Shifter: Smart, but With a Caveat

I found the gearshift to take a little extra concentration, however. An electric shifter, it doesn’t need a physical position to function (like the old school gear shifters that had an actual position for drive, neutral, low and reverse). The Genesis gear selector sits in a neutral position, so when you pull it back to select drive or push it forward for reverse, it pops back into its central resting spot. You can’t tell what gear you’re in by looking at the shifter’s position; you have to look at the illuminated indicator and/or the dashboard.

One detail that is designed to protect you against choosing the wrong gear is a button on the side of the gear selector that has to be pushed when shifting gears. If you don’t push it, the car will prompt you to.

The Push Button “Park” Mode Took Getting Used To

The one missing feature on the gear shift, and one that took some getting use to, is the push button park mode. “Park” is not a drive mode; it’s not on the selector. To put the Genesis in park requires pushing the Park button. This is a bit of a controversial design that is popular with car makers, so it’s one that buyers of cars with this gear selector design should be aware of.

Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The Genesis G90’s front end is graced with the brand’s winged logo. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Steering Wheel Controls and Driver Information Screen Allows Control of Safety Features and More

As it should, the Genesis comes outfitted with every safety feature you can think of. And, it lets you turn them on or off. So if the lane keep assist drives you nuts, you can turn it off. If you don’t want head up display, you can dim it. All these controls are on the Genesis steering wheel, which is lusciously covered in leather, has radio controls, voice activation and hands free phone, adaptive cruise and paddle shifters.

To set the active safety features, click the ‘page’ button and scroll through the options with the tactical chrome dial on the right side of the steering wheel; push the button to make your selections. You can also choose what is displayed in the center driver feedback screen, such as range to empty or the music being played on the sound system.

You Should Also Look at the Kia K900.

You Might Have to Upgrade Your Spotify: This Sound System Demands to Be Used

Genesis features a premium Lexicon sound system and while *some people* might take the sound system for granted, don’t. This system fills the cabin with deep, rich mood-lifting music, which, even at low volume, soothes (or excites). I thought the Genesis particularly demanded jazz tones, but it accommodated pop, guitar and strings well, too. See the Spotify list (below) we put together based on our drive.

Luxury Sedan Genesis Puddle Light

The Genesis flashes a ‘puddle light’ on the ground to welcome you. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Genesis Promise: Value, Luxury and Service

Not long ago, Genesis branched off from its parent company Hyundai as its own stand-alone brand. While it takes up the luxury factor by a lot, Genesis stands behind the Hyundai values of delivering more for the money, doing everything better and standing behind its name. The result?

Here’s what buyers can expect from Genesis:

  • Top luxury details, including innovative technology
  • Fine grade interior features including a suede ceiling headliner, leather seats and wood trim
  • A 5 year basic warranty, 3 year free scheduled maintenance and 10 year power train warranty
  • Complimentary Genesis Connected Service (navigation and guidance, remote start and climate control, diagnostics, car finder) and SiriusXM radio for 3 years
  • Service appointments at your leisure—schedule through the Genesis Connected Service, valet service at the dealer or a come-to-you with a loaner service appointment

Where I Put My Handbag

In some cars the rear seat is close enough for me to plop my handbag on the back seat and reach it when I need to. Not so here. The rear seat is quite a ways from the front, so if I put my handbag there I had to get out of the car to get it.The good news is the rear floors are wide enough to put it there and not crowd the feet of my passengers— as long as their feet are not wet or muddy. But mostly I put my bag on the front seat; not the ideal place but it was the only place I could easily reach it.

Luxury Sedan Genesis Rear Seat

My dog Eli was right at home in the back seat of the Genesis G90. He could hang out on the floor and had plenty of room. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Takeaway: Quite a Car for the Price

Keeping in mind that the Genesis G90 is a luxury car, and the top of the line for Genesis (the absolute top of the line being the 5.0 model), this is not a  bargain priced car, but it is a lot for the money. Competing with the BMW 740i (price starts at $83,000), Cadillac CT6 (price starts at $54,000) or the Mercedes-Benz E43 AMG (price starts at $72,000), Genesis delivers many of the features high end luxury car buyers demand, often at a lower price. And factoring in the luxury of the service promise, it’s clear that Genesis wants to insulate you from the indignities of the world around you and put power and luxury in your hands. 

Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The head up display in the Genesis G90 projects key information onto the windshield, making it easy to see. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Loved:

  • Head up display with navigation and music display
  • Wide display screen
  • Display is a dial control, not a touch screen (no fingerprints!)
  • Screen for the rear window and rear side windows
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Paddle shifters
  • Drive mode selector, offering sport, eco, smart mode and custom mode
  • Full suite of safety features
  • Rear seat controls that operate the touch screen, entertainment and climate
  • “Proximity” auto open trunk (opens when you stand behind with the key in your purse or pocket)
  • Surround view camera
  • Wireless phone charge pad

What you Need to Know

  • 17MPG city/24MPG highway
  • Seats 5 comfortably
  • Gear shifter requires a button push to set
  • Two USB ports—one up front and one in the rear arm rest—and 5 12V cigarette adapter style power ports
  • Premium fuel recommended
  • 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty
  • 10 year/100,000 mile power train warranty
  • 3 year complimentary maintenance and connected car services

What We Listened to in the GenesisG90

The cabin and sound system delivered jazz notes and robust vocals superbly; here is the playlist I enjoyed during my test drive of the Genesis G90.

Disclosure: Genesis provided the G90 for my test drive; opinions expressed here are all my own.

Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The 2017 Genesis G90 Monroney

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss