A Work In Progress: The 2017 Genesis G90 RWD 3.3T Premium

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Genesis G90 RWD 3.3T Premium
The 2017 Genesis G90 RWD 3.3T Premium.
Two and a half years ago, I wrote about the Genesis G90's predecessor, the 2015 Hyundai Eqqus, saying that it wasn't quite there yet ("there" being a no-excuses luxury sedan that Lexus' flagship LS 460 should fear), but that it was, in a vacuum, a remarkable achievement and that I might well be writing about how the 2019 model had well and truly arrived.

We may need to adjust that to 2021.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Genesis G90
2017 Genesis G90 RWD 3.3T Premium.
Don't get me wrong.  The Genesis G90 is a fine luxury sedan, and a major leap beyond the old Eqqus. But at a base price of $68,100, it doesn't feel like the threat to the $72,250 (base) Lexus LS 460 the way its little sister, the G80 does (even though the G80 is more properly positioned against the Lexus GS 350).

Somehow, what makes the G80 a revelation and a breakthrough at $55,000...the magic that allows it to punch above its weight...to impress above its price class...isn't fully there in the G90.

Interior view of 2017 Genesis G90
2017 Genesis G90 interior.
 It's all very nice, mind you...nice materials, good fit and finish...lots of room (five of us spent most of a very rainy weekend on a run from Folsom to Ukiah then into the Russian River country of Sonoma County with zero complaints whatsoever), more than adequate power and good fuel economy (an EPA estimated 17 city/24 highway).

Your $68,100 (plus $950 inland freight and handling for a bottom line of $69,050) buys you an encyclopedic list of standard features, but it just doesn't dazzle the way the G80 does...and if you're like me, it'll drive you nuts trying to figure out why.

Ultimately, it just doesn't kill the segment.  The G80 does that.  But if we've learned anything from Hyundai the last decade or so, it is that it not only learns, but learns quickly.  I'd be willing to bet that I'll be writing a different review for the next generation of G90...or maybe even the mid-cycle refresh of this one.