2018 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate Test Drive

“2018 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate RWD”
An Affordable High Performance Luxury Sedan

Hyundai introduced the first Genesis in 2009 as its flagship model, which continued as part of the Hyundai family until 2014. Rather than introducing an evolutionary enhancement to the first generation model, Hyundai chose a more revolutionary path, coming up with a “clean sheet of paper” for an emotion stirring design, that was based on a stiffer, more stable platform architecture tuned by Lotus Engineering, with a mind-boggling level of vehicular technology – certainly more than most of its rivals, at a price thousands of dollars less than the majority of its competitors. The Genesis became its own brand in 2017, dropping its association with Hyundai and producing the Genesis G80, G80 Sport and G90.


For consumers in the market for a premium luxury sedan that’s out of the norm and that comes with the latest state-of-the-art safety and connectivity technologies along with an extremely attractive and appealing design form both inside and out, based on a global platform, with mechanical attributes capable of providing dynamic performance, consideration should definitely be given to the 2018 Genesis lineup of luxury sedans featuring the G80, G80 Sport and G90 available in either Rear-wheel drive or HTRAC AWD. All Genesis models are four-door, five passenger luxury sedans.

Engine choices are: a 3.3-liter, 365 horsepower twin-turbo GDI V6; or a 420 horsepower 5.0-liter GDI V8 engine that produces 383 pound feet of torque. Both engines gear power to the driving wheels via an electronically controlled 8-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission with skip shift capability and a lock-up clutch from gears 2-8 and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Visually, the exterior of the 2018 Genesis G90 leads off by displaying a modern look, with the Genesis signature hexagonal “Crest Grille”, flanked by 3-dimensional LED headlights with an auto-leveling system and elegant fluidic lines that address surface forms and volumes, and wrapping up with a high-tech sculptural surface rear design that completes the character line flow. Hyundai originally referred to this form as “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0”. The G90 has a longer wheelbase than the G80, is longer overall and is wider and taller as well.

Packaging for the new Genesis stable is simple, actually offering a limited number of buildable combinations that factor in engine, drive configuration and option packaging. Trim levels include the base (not really) Premium and Ultimate (an understatement). The overall styling showcases a balanced blend of athletic elegance and luxurious functionality.

The interior design and execution represents a further reflection of the sophistication and attention to detail displayed by the car’s magnetic exterior appeal.

The 5.0-liter V8 Ultimate RWD model features 19” alloy wheels shod with P245/45R19 tires up front, and P275/40 R19 tires in the rear, LED fog lamps, Quad exhaust tips, Illuminated door sill plates and genuine matte finish wood trim and aluminum trim.

My test 2018 Genesis G90 Sedan was powered by the 5.0-liter GDI V8 in Ultimate trim and a RWD configuration, with a Casablanca White metallic exterior and an interior executed in Black with white contrast piping and polished genuine wood trim accents. The base price was set at $71,850., which with the Inland Freight and Handling charges., came to $72,825. There were no optional costs as it came with everything available except AWD, which would have tacked on an additional $2,500.

SUMMARY: The 201 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0-liter sedan in Ultimate trim represents an incredible offering that surpasses the majority of luxury class competitors in both content and price. It is what a luxury sedan is meant to be, with more than satisfying performance attributes thrown in for good measure.

Safety features abound, as does connectivity and infotainment technology, with virtually all the latest bells and whistles. In fact, I don’t believe that there’s a vehicle in the Genesis’s market segment that delivers as much – and definitely not more in its price range. Listing everything in the extensive inventory would take up entirely too much space here.

The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 delivers stellar acceleration. The sumptuousness and luxury exuded by the interior delivers lofty levels of comfort and convenience features, and the ride quality is smooth and planted without any harshness, but also without being mushy. The steering is readily responsive for agile handling characteristics.

Attention to little details such as puddle lamps that project the Genesis logo on the road surface, activated by the key fob.

In the final scheme of things, the 2018 Genesis G90 in either of its trim levels or drive configurations is without question an amazingly satisfying luxury sedan, that provides stunning good looks along with spirited performance capability at an unheard of price, especially when one considers all that it has to offer. The G90 is considerably more luxurious and elegant than the G80 and there are 5 new models planned to bow by the 2021 model year, but why wait?

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate RWD

Base Price: $71,850.
Price as Tested: $72,825.

Engine Type and Size: 5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve Tau V8 with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, Drive-by-wire throttle and Gasoline Direct Injection.

Horsepower (bhp): 420 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 383 @ 5,000 rpm

Transmission: Electronically controlled 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and Intelligent Drive Mode with SmartShift – Smart, Eco, Sport and Individual drive modes.

Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine –RWD

Suspension: Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension with Electronic Damping Control and Intelligent Drive Mode
Front – 5-link Suspension with high performance gas shock absorbers, coil springs and 25-mm Stabilizer Bar.
Rear – 5-link Suspension with high performance gas shock absorbers, coil springs and 17-mm Stabilizer Bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel ventilated discs with Pad wear warning device, 4-wheeel, 4-channel and 4-Sensor ABS and EBD.

Tires: Continental ProContact – 245/45 R19 98W front / 275/40 R19 101W mounted on 15-spoke alloy wheels (5-“V” with chrome separator spokes).

Wheelbase: 124.4 inches
Length Overall: 204.9 inches
Width: 75.4 inches
Height: 58.9 inches
Curb Weight: 4,751 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.2 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 21.9 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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