2017 Genesis G90: First Impressions

img1067945304 1452542131143 jpg 2017 Genesis G90 | photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — The Hyundai Genesis is no more; it has become the Genesis G80, and the Hyundai Equus has transformed into the flagship 2017 Genesis G90. The G90, revealed at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is tasked with launching Hyundai’s luxury brand as a separate entity, one that will eventually encompass a G70 rear-wheel-drive sport sedan and at least one SUV.

More 2016 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The G90 is a perfectly nice luxury sedan, but not a particularly exciting one. Exterior styling is attractive, but more formal than competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 Series. There’s more than a passing resemblance to the Cadillac CT6 in the roofline and taillights, but obvious nods to the S-Class as well.

img1122433043 1452542141591 jpg 2017 Genesis G90 | photo by Evan Sears

Inside is an interesting mixture of high-tech digital display technology a la Mercedes-Benz, and luxurious materials that wouldn’t be out of place in a Jaguar or Bentley. The leather upholstery on the seats is some of the finest I’ve ever felt in an automotive application. Its buttery-soft feel makes the hides in a high-level BMW seem questionable.

img1129821211 1452542186349 jpg 2017 Genesis G90 | photo by Evan Sears

There’s a ton of space inside the G90, both front and back. Supportive seats with aggressive adjustable bolsters are fitted up front, while the long wheelbase gives backseat passengers plenty of room to stretch out. The V-8 models get some rear seat controls to up the ante in terms of luxury content, creating an even more posh experience. As luxury flagships go, this one gives the Germans some legitimate competition, and it makes the Cadillac CT6 feel like it needs an interior update before it’s even gone on sale.

img1130744732 1452542186813 jpg 2017 Genesis G90 | photo by Evan Sears

The Genesis G90 seems to have the luxury side of the equation handled quite well, and now the proof of whether the Genesis brand deserves to be considered alongside the industry’s best is up to how it drives.

The Equus was not known for being a featherweight, splitting the difference between the 4,300-pound BMW 7 Series and the 4,800-pound Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Genesis has not provided any weight specs for the new model, but neither did it emphasize any weight reduction efforts or lightweight materials in its construction. If the brand can finally deliver a car as dynamically good as its competition, then Genesis may be considered a viable competitor in the luxury class.

Photo of Aaron Bragman
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

Latest expert reviews