Fast Take: 2018 Genesis G90 Sport 5.0

 

Words by: Adam Allen

 

 

What is it? If this Genesis looks familiar, it should- we tested its twin-turbo V6 powered twin a little over a year ago. We’ve been on a bit of Genesis tear recently, having driven both the G80 and G70 Sports (each were mightily impressive, we should hasten to add) and thought that if we were close to completing the brand’s hat trick we should spend some time in the G90 again, this time motivated by a creamy 5.0 litre V8. That is a chore we willingly embrace because the G90 is very good at spoiling driver and passengers alike, and who doesn’t like being soothed and pampered during the banality of errand running and commuting? As the Genesis nameplate begins to build recognition in the wild, there are still some folks who would cautiously approach it to take it all in, half expecting some dignitary or Captain of Industry to exit its luxurious confines. In fact, the G90’s understated extravagance and presence would be the perfect juxtaposition to the pomp and circumstance of say, a world leader’s meeting at some far-flung locale.

What’s it like inside? Those who have logged countless hours in a Gulfstream Executive Jet will feel right at home- actually, the G90 is likely the better furnished of the two. Deliciously supple Nappa leather seats cosset occupants gently and the real metal grates covering the sublime Lexicon speakers begged to be touched. So many manufactures drop the ball when it comes to making wood trim look halfway decent in their cars, but not the G90- it’s exquisite. The gauges are simple but effective to glance at for all pertinent driving information and are crisply backlit, and the massive infotainment screen is nicely turned out and so easy to use you’ll likely never need to consult your owner’s manual. The pillars and ceiling are ensconced in Microsuede, and the switchgear glides with an oily precision. Want every single driver assist, a colour Heads Up Display and doors that shut softly for you? Yeah, it’s got all that. More accurately, it’s got everything- aside from choosing your colour, there are no options. The S-Class offers a little refrigerator for rear passengers and while the G90 does not, only those who complain about the undesirable vintage of the bottle of Chateau Lafite they’re forced to drink in an upscale restaurant would care about that omission anyway. If we were going to lobby a complaint, we might ask why the sunroof is on the small side and why the ventilated seats aren’t as effective as the G70’s but we’ll take the high road and simply tell you that the interior of the G90 is a really nice place to add kilometers to the odometer.

What’s it like to drive? V6 or V8, the G90 is smooooooth, like Barry White smooth or dram of the finest single malt smooth. Sometimes, after you thumb the start button you wonder if the engine is actually on (it is) and at lights you’re fooled into thinking the auto start/stop system has kicked in (it hasn’t, because it isn’t so equipped.) All the controls work in tranquil fashion, and even in Sport mode the G90 effortlessly wafts down the road, all this happening in complete silence. Although we’d like to hear it a little more, the V8 bares its teeth a bit when you leg the throttle and the G90 all of the sudden picks up and charges ahead without much effort. Although the G90 will dance when you want it to- somewhat nautically, we might add- that is so not the point of this car and you find yourself abandoning missions of apex carving, instead seeking out the comfortable ease of normal driving. This is one of those cars while being very nice to drive, the best seat in the house might be the rear ones- there is a vast expanse of room, there’s the fancy digital interface and controls integrated into the armrest and you feel life get decidedly better when you fall back into the Nappa seats.

Why you should care: Seriously- for your own dollars, would you really spend over $25,000 more for the base price of an Audi A8L? All the full-size Germans including the big Audi are really nice and better to drive than the G90, but realistically that pricing gap is ridiculous when you think about it. Whether you like the G90 or not, you simply cannot ignore what a massive value it is. Another plus: with the Genesis At Home program, you needn’t ever step foot in a dealership from the test drive to scheduling complimentary vehicle maintenance- someone comes to your home or office and leaves you with a Genesis courtesy vehicle- you can smugly turn your nose up at Bentley owners who must be subjected to such a hardship (take that, prols.) Could the Genesis G90 be a little more daringly styled and could it learn to nurture its aggressive side a bit for those private blasts down your favorite back road? Perhaps. None of that matters when you slide behind the wheel and immediately feel a gentle calm wash over you. Take one for a drive and you’ll see.

 

2019 Genesis G90 Sport 5.0 AWD– Specifications

  • Price as tested: $87,000
  • Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger Sedan
  • Powertrain Layout: Front engine/all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Engine:  5.0 litre V8, DOHC, 32 valves
  • Horsepower:  420 @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque (lbs-ft.): 383 @ 5,000 rpm
  • Curb weight: 2,255 kg (4,972 lbs)
  • Observed Fuel Consumption: 13.4L/100km (18 mpg)