Just how serious is Hyundai at tackling the luxury market? Very. Not only have the Koreans created an entire Genesis sub-brand, they also built a world-class luxury sedan with the G90. Reconciling upscale luxury with the Hyundai brand's budget-minded origin is a tough sell to consumers. The solution is a separate brand, a-la Toyota's Lexus division. Unlike Hyundai's previous luxury sedan, the Equus, the G90 is a thoroughly capable and competitive luxury sedan that if you ignore brand cachet, can challenge the world's best. It undercuts most ultra-luxury flagships by a good $20,000, yet cedes very little to them.
Two different engines are available: a smooth and effortless 365-horsepower, 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 and a 420-hp, 5.0-liter V8. We opted for the V6 which feels more powerful than the V8. Both engines use an eight-speed automatic, which shifts extremely smoothly. We also chose the all-wheel-drive option, which is available with either engine. This rectifies a shortcoming of the G90s predecessor, the Equus, which came only as a rear-wheel drive. As such, our G90 proved thirsty, and achieved 18 mpg overall -- which is not stellar, even for this class.
In terms of dimensions and specs the G90 is positioned to go head to head with the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, ultra-luxury sedans that hover around the $100,000 mark. Price wise, however, at just over $70,000, the G90 is positioned closer to high-end mid-sized luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. That cost savings might be a significant enough allure to some buyers that it compensates for the perceived lack of brand prestige.