Not every buyer with money need flaunt their wealth. Sure, a well-heeled individual might outfit themselves in the latest, hottest brands — and pay out the wazoo to do so. But for every person who does that, there’s another who’s comfortable rocking a white t-shirt and a comfortable pair of jeans.
The 2017 Genesis G90 is the car for those who fall into the latter category. The full-size luxury sedan segment is filled with stalwarts that command high prices — the, and . And for many buyers, these are the only choices.
But the G90 makes an interesting proposition. It’s loaded with many features present on the regular players, but its starting price is leagues below the competition. This is the car for the t-shirt-and-jeans crowd, and they’re going to like what’s on offer.
Not the prettiest swan in the pond
During our three-car Rivals film, which saw the G90 take on theand , it was apparent that the G90 was the least visually impressive of the three. While I think the G90 does a good job of adapting to the Genesis design language, I understand it’s not for everyone.
Really, it’s all a bit anonymous. Badging is barely there, and its hexagonal maw gapes like every other car in this (and many other) segments. The rear end is far less interesting than the front, with some swoopy taillights and body panels largely devoid of creases or interesting angles.
Then again, buyers looking to avoid the trappings of the segment stalwarts probably aren’t looking for a car that will break necks on the road. The G90 is demure, operating under the radar.
Can’t see it from the inside
Thankfully, as the adage goes, you don’t have to look at it while you’re driving it. The interior is more enticing, with ample wood trim front and rear, and thin strips of aluminum helping emphasize the G90’s capacious cabin. It’s not for everyone — especially if you dislike glossy wood trim — but it’s welcoming and comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, there is so much rear legroom. At 6 feet tall, I had no problem getting comfy in the back, even with taller passengers up front. Even though my tester lacked the executive rear seat package, there were still rear-seat controls that move the front passenger seat. The middle seatback also hides a controller that rear-seat occupants can use to adjust the climate control and change media settings. It’s a nice touch that doesn’t require thousands of dollars in extra packages.
The infotainment system can be controlled with the rotary dial beneath the shifter, but there are plenty of physical buttons for both the climate control and infotainment system. The shifter is… not ideal, with a separate P button for Park, but it’s easier to understand and commit to memory than similar offerings from Audi and BMW.
Plenty of tech, but not all of it
The G90’s list of standard equipment is impressive for a car costing just a bit more than $70,000, and while not every piece of tech is along for the ride, it’s still offering eight or nine pounds of stuff in a five-pound bag.
I’ll start with the omissions. In terms of safety tech, the G90 lacks automatic parking capabilities. That said, parking isn’t too hard, thanks to front and rear parking sensors, as well as a 360-degree camera system that offers a bird’s eye view. The other major absence is smartphone connectivity. The G90 lacks both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which may be an issue.
But the G90’s infotainment system is plenty capable on its own. Based on Hyundai’s Blue Link, the car packs a 12.3-inch widescreen with two sets of physical controls — no touch here, much like the S-Class. After about an hour, I felt comfortable swapping between menus, inputting nav destinations and pairing phones. It’s snappy, responsive and capable of getting you around traffic jams. What’s not to like?
Its suite of active and passive safety systems is excellent too. The steering wheel will work to keep the car between the lines, even when adaptive cruise control is turned off, as long as it can detect markings on both sides. It feels odd when the steering wheel moves on its own, as there’s an immediate lightening of the steering feeling, but you can always turn it off. Adaptive cruise control was nice and smooth, too, never bucking as it accelerated or decelerated.
To keep distraction at bay, there’s a lovely little head-up display. It’s dense with information, displaying active-steering capability, speed limits and blind-spot-monitor warnings all at once. I never had to divert my attention from the road in order to make sure the area around the car was clear. It’s one of the best head-up displays I’ve seen in a car.