Live Like the 1 Percent (but Spend Less) in the 2023 Genesis G90

Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan Featured Image

You’ll get used to this. Fast. 

You see them on the road and on the ‘gram, living the elegant, refined,  pampered lifestyle of the rich and famous. But what is life like in a luxury car, behind the tinted windows ensconced in the soft cream hues of the 1 percent? Does the leather smell different (yes)? Do their cars do different things than your car or mine (yes)? Does the radio sound different (of course)? Do they get where they are going faster (maybe … probably). And do you need to be truly rich to live like that? Well, yes, but probably not as much as you think. And that is the magic of the 2023 Genesis G90 luxury sedan. 

It can at once be described as the best priced luxury car on the market and a luxury car that will teach you what the luxe life is all about. 

Related: 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Goes For A Less-Jetsons Approach to Electric Cars

Buttons On The Door Or On The Center Console Panel Let You Recline Your Seat, Extend The Footrest And Push The Front Passenger Seat Forward

Buttons on the door or on the center console panel let you recline your seat, extend the footrest and push the front passenger seat forward. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Would You Like a Massage, Madam?

The exquisite G90 experience starts in the rear seat, which if you really want to know what the pampered life is all about, is where you should look first. As you settle into the seats you notice you sink in just a bit more, aided by the microsuede pillow attached to the headrest (an accessory that can be purchased separately) that invites you to put your head back and relax.  Then, you’ll notice two sets of buttons: one on the door and one on the side of the center console. Each will allow you to power on the massaging seats, to recline your seat and on the passenger’s side, to extend a footrest and push the front passengers seat forward out of your way. 

The center console also has a touch screen that, tap it twice and swipe up, allows you to set your massage specifics, choose what’s playing on the sound system, close the window shades and more. Open the console to find two USB charge ports and a UV sanitizing box; just tap the UV button, stow the item you want cleaned (your phone, probably), and close the lid and it will be sanitized. The UV box isn’t huge; my large iPhone Pro Max fit, but barely.

Related: When Elegance is a Necessity, Not a Stretch: Genesis GV80 Luxury SUV Review

&Quot;Newsprint&Quot; Wood Panels In The Genesis G90 Sedan

Even the “Newsprint” wood panels light up when bathed in ambient light. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Allow Me to Set the Mood

This is a feature we LOVE in cars and wish more had: A fragrance diffuser! Genesis is new to this lovely idea and still mostly alone in its thinking (though Mercedes-Benz has been offering this feature for a while). A built in diffuser allows you to add a scent to the cabin via the climate system. 

To further enhance your experience you can use the “Mood Curator” setting to create the full experience: Seat massage, ambient lighting and music. Heading to a meeting and need to get your energy up? Set the system to Energize; on your way home from that meeting after crushing it and need to relax? Set it to calm. Or, customize the system how you like by switching out the fragrances. We just love this feature.

Related: Genesis GV 60 Electric SUV First Drive: The Tech Will Wow You, the Luxury Will Woo You

Rear Seat Controls On The Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

Rear seat controls on the center console of the Genesis G90 luxury sedan; the console can be folded into the seat back to accommodate a fifth passenger. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Rear Seat Built for …. 3? 

Get this, and this might be a first for such a high-tech rear seat console: the center console can be flipped up and stowed in the seat back, like pretty much any other rear seat arm rest. This means you can accommodate a fifth passenger if you need to — there’s plenty of leg room. Since there are seat control buttons on the door panel you can still turn on the massage function, recline your seat and slide the front passenger seat forward. You won’t be able to control the music or sun shades, though; you’ll have to ask the chauffeur to do that.

The Bang &Amp; Olufsen Premium Sound System Includes Tweeters That Rise From The Dashboard When The System Is On

The Bang & Olufsen premium sound system includes tweeters that rise from the dashboard when the system is on. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Sound System Worthy of the World’s Greatest Concert Halls

You may be tempted to take a nap in the rear seat, but don’t. Instead, use the media controller in the center console to tune to your favorite radio station  or pop a USB drive with your best playlist into the system port and enjoy a concert. A virtual Boston Symphony Hall concert; the Genesis G90 worked with Bang & Olufsen to design the sound system and the acoustics in the car to replicate Boston Symphony Hall. The sound is so realistic that it with the system activated, the sound up and the music paused it sounds as if you’re standing center stage talking to an audience. Cue the applause, please. 

A View Of The Front Seat In The Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

A view of the front seat in the Genesis G90 luxury sedan. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Front Seat Designed for Those Who Want to Drive

While I do appreciate having a driver, I also like to be in control (that’s a true one percent thing, right?). And Genesis didn’t overlook the delight of control.

The driver’s seat experience starts with the same plush and pampered feeling delivered in the back seat, and then builds on it with innovative designs on the steering wheel and front dashboard. The steering wheel is a dual-toned 3-D design with three distinct areas to focus on: the center with the Genesis badge, the driver controls on the right and left sides, and the leather wrapped steering wheel. Despite being 3 dimensional, the effect is subdued. Not so subtle is the leather wrapped dashboard that extends into the flat panel screen, dividing it to create two distinct screens: A driver information screen and a multimedia screen. 

From there, drivers will find more functions at the fingertips on the center command console: the dial gear selector, media controller and a series of buttons to control your experience, from the drive mode selector to auto hold (push this button and after applying the brake, the car will hold its position until you tap the accelerator; I’m a huge fan of this function) to the surround view camera and heated and cooled seat controls. Also on this panel are the door close buttons; just push the button to close your door, or, even more conveniently, the passenger’s side door. This function is SO helpful for the passenger’s side door that I’m inclined to say that it should be relegated to ALL cars, not just the luxury set.

Graphics On The Multimedia Screen In The Genesis G90

Graphics on the multimedia screen in the Genesis G90. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Redesigned Screen Graphics for an Even More Modern Feel

Genesis has taken the flat screen design and given it a huge graphic upgrade. The driver’s information screen features crisp, easy to see icons and information. And the multimedia screen features photo-visual tiles; swipe right or left to find the function you want.

I particularly love the redesign on both these screens as well as the rear passenger screen on the center console. The look is intuitive and more like the screens we see in daily life: Far more Instagram than analogue, familiar and fitting with our daily lives and the aesthetics we surround ourselves with.

The Center Control Panel Includes A Dial Gear Selector, Media Dial And Buttons To Close The Front Doors

The center control panel includes a dial gear selector, media dial and buttons to close the front doors. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Just, Drive.

Get into the G90, put it in gear and you’ll get the true feeling of luxury: unapologetic acceleration. The G90 isn’t a sports car, though it sports a performance-like engine in the base model, which generates 375 horsepower, and a super-charged performance, with 409 horsepower, in the top of the line model. From there you can put it into sport mode and get an even sportier experience. 

Or you can ride in comfort and, when in traffic, use the driver assist features (adaptive cruise and lane keep assist are the core functions) and let the car do most of the heavy lifting. I used these features a lot during my test drive and loved it. I could relax my hands on the wheel and the car kept us nicely centered and a safe distance from traffic ahead. A graphic in the driver’s information screen lit up to show the systems at work, our position in the lane and the car ahead.  

The G90 was confident and pleasant to drive but not overwhelmingly speedy or assertive. And I liked that; I always felt completely in control. 

The Interior Of The Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan Is Simply Luscious

The interior of the Genesis G90 luxury sedan is simply luscious. Photo: Scotty Reiss

An Interior From the Heavens

Redesigned for the 2023 model, the interior of the G90 brings some innovative new ideas, such as the steering wheel, and builds on some of the defining details that are Genesis, such as the center console with a rotary gear selector, finely tooled and textured metals and a layering of leather, metal and wood. 

To this, Genesis added the flat panel media screen, then layered part of the center leather panel over it to integrate it into the dash board. It was a detail I noticed immediately from the rear seat; in the front seat I didn’t notice it as much. 

The dashboard and media screen are framed with wood and metal inlays that lend a very distinct and elegant feel. Our model featured a wood called “Newsprint” which is made from… I never would have guessed it… newsprint. Actual, real newspaper that has been repurposed into this composite wood. Then, Genesis has tooled metal inlays that accent the dashboard and highlight the wood panels on the door. Add to that the ambient lighting (pick your color!), which is even more vibrant at night, and the entire cabin becomes a luxury cocoon. 

The Genesis G90

The Genesis G90’s elongated shape tells of the luxury that it holds inside. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A More Elegant, But Still Distinct, Exterior Design 

On the outside, the G 90 subtly relaxes into its DNA, showing more of the modern markers of Genesis: The wide front grille, our model sporting a dark metal mesh, headlights that frame the front end like strands of diamonds, and the signature Genesis dual side lights that both reflect and illuminate. The rear end sports a new tail light design and light bars that span the sizable trunk; the Genesis is framed by the lights.

Still, the size, shape and silhouette of the G90 is distinctly Genesis; it’s large but not huge, it’s toned but not overly sporty, and it exudes luxury and modernity, and without being overly ostentatious. It gives the idea that you might find a chauffeur behind the wheel, or you might find the owner, because either is fitting. 

The Rear End Of The Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

The rear end of the Genesis G90 luxury sedan. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs

Here is where Genesis really shines: Available in two trims and featuring most features standard, you don’t have to make a lot of compromises when buying this car. Here’s how it shakes out:

  • Genesis G90 3.5 twin turbo V6 with 375 horsepower, all wheel drive, Nappa leather, digital phone-as-key, premium Bang & Olufsen audio, Mood Curator, massaging front seats, panoramic sun roof, head up display and park assist remote parking, $88,400
  • Genesis G90 3.5 twin turbo super charged V6 with 409 horsepower, enhanced air suspension, rear wheel steering, rear seat features including massage seats and right passenger seat ottoman, 21” wheels and easy close power doors, $98,700.

And isn’t that the appeal of the 1 percent life, having it all without making compromises? Getting everything you want in a single package, or getting just a bit more for just a bit more? 

And being clever about how you spend your money: you could spend $30,000 more on other luxury sedans that have most of these features. That leaves a nice tidy sum to invest on a destination that is just as luxe as the car that gets you there. 

Disclosure: I was a guest of Genesis for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.

The Front Lights And Wide Front Grille Give The Genesis G90 A Distinct Look

The front lights and wide front grille give the Genesis G90 a distinct look. Photo: Scotty Reiss

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