On The Road

Genesis rocks: Power and interior make G90 special

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Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The 2020 Genesis g90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate has a lot going for it, according to reviewer Mike Hagerty, who was impressed with the throwback style, powerful engine and lavish interior of the sedan.

Never before have I been as conflicted about a car as I am the 2020 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate.

Don’t get me wrong – I love it. Made by the luxury division of Hyundai, the Genesis G90 is officially on my list of cars that if I had the money, I’d buy. If they forgot to come get it after a weeklong test, I’d be just fine driving it every day for the rest of my life.

What’s driving me crazy is my brain trying to position it. Is it a one-third-of-a-price Bentley? Is it simply a head-to-head but completely different competitor to the similarly priced ($250 less at base price) and similarly powered (2 horsepower less) Lexus LS 500?

Or is it – and I mean this in the best possible way, though someone will certainly take it as heresy – the 2020 interpretation of the 1970 Imperial LeBaron?

Both the ’70 Imperial and the 2020 G90 are huge, physically imposing luxury cars that have seriously powerful engines under their hoods, yet are stunningly smooth and quiet machines.

The Imperial came with a 440-cubic-inch V8 engine; the G90 Ultimate features a 5.0-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. It also boasts an eight-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and paddle shifters, intelligent drive mode with smart shift, an adaptive control suspension with electronic damping control and 19-inch alloy wheels on P245/45R19 tires up front and P275/40R19s at the rear.Zero to 60 happens in five seconds. The Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimate is 16 mpg city, 24 highway.

Interior accommodations are top-notch, and this is where the Bentley comparison starts to outweigh the Imperial.

The base price of the Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate is $75,700. The standard features at that price include Nappa leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped dash with genuine matte finish wood trim, a 22-way power driver’s seat, a three-zone automatic temperature control and a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system.

And – that’s it. There are zero extra-cost options.

So, with $995 inland freight and handling, the as-tested price for our Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate is $76,695. While the G90 started out $250 more expensive than the 2020 Lexus LS 500 we drove earlier this year, it ended up being nearly $32,000 less expensive after Lexus piled on the options. That’s right – the Lexus ended up at $108,490.

And yet, it’s the G90 that feels more special. Even at roughly even prices, I’d go with the Genesis. I’ll sort out the Bentley/Imperial quandary over many years of ownership.

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