Genesis makes some knock-out luxury vehicles, from the comparison test–winning GV70 crossover to the excellent G80 sedan. The only exception is the outgoing full-size G90, which debuted in a time before the brand had really found its mojo. The 2023 Genesis G90, due in the US later this year, should rectify that oversight with new technology and wonderful styling, giving the company a true flagship that can really take on the establishment.
We got our first peek at the new G90 a few days ago in pre-production form and came away highly impressed with the car’s comfortable, spacious cabin and its finely detailed exterior styling. We liked the car in photos, but it’s all but impossible not to be smitten in person. From stem to stern, the G90 is a thoughtful, restrained exercise, proving that the Genesis brand knows how to build classy cars without resorting to the kind of overwrought design that some automakers think flagship customers want.
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That starts with the exterior. The outgoing G90’s 2020 facelift ushered in some of the first uses of the brand’s so-called G-Matrix mesh design, which appeared on the grille and lacy wheels, but it lacked the four-lines headlights that we’ve come to expect from Genesis. That was an odd omission considering the G90’s 2020 facelift arrived only a few months before the GV80 and its now-signature lighting elements. The 2023 model, however, now fits in beautifully with the rest of the Genesis lineup, with crisp quad-LED headlamps that use an intricate array of cube-shaped projectors.
The headlights also wrap around the front bumper, interrupted visually by the wheel arch before resuming in the form of a “fender-vent” lighting signature. This motif first appeared on the lovely Genesis X concept car, and we expect it to proliferate through the Genesis lineup. It also allowed Genesis designers to hide the shutline of the clamshell hood, which meets the headlights, side lighting, and wheel arch seamlessly.
The Genesis X also donated its angular rear light design and softly contoured decklid styling, which give the G90 a sort of bustleback appearance that recalls luxury cars of both the 1930s and the 1980s – all that is old is new again. Big 21-inch wheels (likely optional) give the G90 a planted stance, though the design looks like a modernized update of the old G90’s retro-fabulous wiry rollers. Although Genesis may be pursuing a slightly more performance-oriented customer for the new G90, it still recalls a big, cushy mid-century American sedan in some respects.
The interior represents the greatest departure from both the preceding G90 and other Genesis products at large. The 2023 model retains a two-spoke steering wheel, but the design is more three-dimensional and intricate. The high, wide touchscreen display found on the GV70, G80, and GV80 is gone, replaced with a more conventionally shaped and positioned 12.3-inch unit that is much easier to reach.
The dash design seems to take some inspiration from an airplane with a trapezoidal binnacle separating the infotainment and digital instrument cluster, and a distinct ovoid theme appears on the door release buttons, HVAC controls, speaker grilles, and center console. Genesis also includes some unique trim and materials choices, including the crushed carbon fiber with an aluminum G-Matrix inlay that we saw in person.
The G90 also bundles some gee-whiz tech and convenience features, like an 8.0-inch screen in the rear seat, exceptional massage on all four outward seating positions, a UV-powered phone disinfector in the center rear armrest, and electrically operated doors – push a button either on the door panel or the front or rear center consoles, and the doors gracefully motor shut.
Genesis was mum on pricing and powertrain details, but we think the brand’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 will be standard, hopefully with a bit more horsepower than the 375 found in the G80 and GV80. The 2023 G90 will likely hit dealers in the latter half of the year, and pricing should start at $80,000 or so – meaning it should offer a great value proposition to Lexus, Audi, and BMW shoppers, to say nothing of the six-figure Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Hopefully we’ll have more specifications soon, but until then, we’re very excited by the prospect of a world-class Genesis flagship.