After an extensive facelift, is the 2020 Genesis G90 a formidable competitor to the Lexus LS and Audi A8?

When we first saw the Genesis G90 at its debut, we know that Hyundai’s luxury arm was onto something, but the G90 suffered from the same thing most new models fall victim to – there was definitely some room for improvement. For the 2020 model year, Genesis revamped the G90 rather extensively, and we finally got a chance to check it out in person. Does the G90 finally live up to the Halo it’s meant to wear in Genesis’ lineup? And can the Genesis G90 wholeheartedly compete with cars like the Lexus LS and Audi A8? It’s time we find out!

Genesis G90 Powertrain – Performance and Fuel Economy

How Much Power Doe the Genesis G90 Have?

2020 Genesis G90 - Driven
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The 2020 Genesis G90 is available in eight different trim levels with three different engine choices that range from the entry-level 3.8-liter Lambda V-6 to the Tau 5.0-liter V8. Sitting nicely in the middle is a 3.3-liter, Turbocharged, V-6. The base V-6 is good for 315 horsepower while the 3.3-liter delivers a cool 370 horsepower and the range-topping 5.0-liter V-8 pumps out an impressive 425 horsepower.

Our G90 tester sat in the sweet spot with the 3.3-liter turbocharged engine, so we got to enjoy 370 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque – all of which is delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Gensis G90 specifications
Engine 3.3-liter V-6
Horsepower 365 HP
Torque 376 LB-FT
Transmission 8AT
Driveline AWD
Fuel Premium
Steering Electric
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent
Tires P275/40R19
Curb Weight 4663-4960 LBS
Fuel Economy 17/25/20
2020 Genesis G90 - Driven
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This specific setup put the Genesis G90 between the two most likely competitors. On one hand, you should cross-shop the Lexus LS, which comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 that’s good for 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Your other choice is the Audi A8 L, and in this case, you’d want to look to the L55 with a 3.0-liter hybrid V-6 that delivers 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Genesis G90 Fuel Economy

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The Genesis G90 with the 3.3-liter, turbocharged, V-6 is rated at 17 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. Those figures might be a little low based on some of the cars on the road today, but remember this is a heavy executive sedan, so it doesn’t exactly have the lightest footprint out there. In comparison the Lexus LS with the 3.5-liter V-6 manages 18 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. The Audi A8 L55 is clearly the best highway cruiser, however, with a rating of 17 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined.

How Does the Genesis G90 Ride?

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While cars like the Lexus LS are designed to be a bit sportier on the road, the Genesis G90 follows the likes of the Audi A8 and – to a somewhat lesser extent – the BMW 7 Series. It’s not a car that’s designed to be hustled, but it’s not exactly slow, either. Its entire purpose is to accommodate comfort and luxury, and in those categories, it performs admirably well. You’ll love the luxury-light steering but bear in mind that there’s next to no feedback, a move intended to make the car feel more luxurious and smooth on the road. The four-wheel independent suspension handles just about anything the road can throw at it with ease, and both front and rear seats are impressively comfortable even on longer journeys. If you want something that’s luxurious and sporty, the Genesis G90 might not be for you, but for something that is just downright luxurious and comfortable, the Korean-built Genesis G90 is most certainly worth a look.

Genesis G90 Interior Design – Technology, Comfort, Amenities

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At a glance, you might not notice a difference between the 2020 G90 and 2019 G90 on the inside, but that’s because Genesis already knocked it out of the park when the G90 was first launched. That means, the name of the game in 2020 was to fine-tune and tweak all the little things that just weren’t quite right, and Genesis nailed it.

For 2020, Genesis has included a touch-screen, 12.3-inch infotainment system

(pre-2019 models couldn’t be controlled by touch). That same system also went through a GUI overhaul to make the menus more intuitive to the point that it just might make Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system weep for an update. Other highlights include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirror Link as standard, and the digital instrument cluster now features modernize graphics. Finally, the Genesis G90 is the first model in the range to benefit from over-the-air (OTA) updates for both maps and system software!

How Much Interior Space Does the Genesis G90 Have?

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The Genesis G90 sits firmly in the full-size luxury car segment, but it’s not the longest executive sedan on the market. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of space, though. In fact, the Genesis G90 beats out both the Lexus LS and Audi A8 L in almost every interior dimension save for rear hip room (down by 0.1-inches) and rear legroom. The Audi A8 dominates in rear leg room, but it’s designed to be more of a limousine than the G90 or LS Check out the table below to see how it stacks up:

Gensis G90 vs competition interior dimensions
Gensis G90 Lexus LS Audi A8 L55
Front Headroom 41.1 37.3 38.3
Front Shoulder Room 59.1 58.8 59.1
Front Hip Room 56.5 55.5 TBA
Front Leg Room 56.3 41 41.5
Rear Headroom 38 37.3 38.5
Rear Shoulder Room 57.9 56.4 57.6
Rear Hip Room 55 55.1 TBA
Rear Leg Room 37.8 38.9 44.3

How Much Cargo Room Does the Genesis G90 Have?

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The Genesis G90 offers up a maximum cargo area of 15.7 cubic feet. Like most luxury executive sedans, you can’t lay down the rear seats, either so what you see in the trunk is what you get. In comparison, the Lexus LS is designed the same way, but offers a bit more at 17.0 cubic feet. The Audi A8 is the loser here with just 12.5 cubic feet, the deficit coming from all that extra legroom in the rear, of course.

Does the Genesis G90 Have an Easy-To-Use Infotainment System?

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Thanks to the latest update, the Genesis G90’s infotainment system is beyond easy to use. The system is easy to navigate, the menu pages are intuitive and easy to comprehend, and the whole system is designed in a way that it won’t distract you from the road when driving. We suspect that most drivers will be able to learn and understand the G90’s infotainment system will little issue, so in terms of technology, it’s a perfect fit for just about anyone in any age bracket.

Is the Genesis G90 Meant for Chauffeuring?

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In all honesty, the Genesis G90 was designed to accommodate double duty. It’s super comfortable and easy to drive, but with the rear seat infotainment and design of the rear passenger area, we wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to hire a driver and enjoy al that first-class space. With this in mind, sure, you’ll be more than comfortable if you ride in the back all of the time, and you’ll look fancy doing it too. But we recommend that you spend some time behind the wheel too because the driving experience itself is just as enjoyable.

Genesis G90 Exterior Design – Luxury All The Way

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When Genesis introduced the G90 for the 2016 model year, it felt as if the brand was trying to make the G90 sportier than it should have been. There was a weird blend of luxury with some sporty cues, including a big, almost rectangular grille that looked like it was borrowed from an old Audi parts bin. In 2020, Genesis took the path it should have and gave the G90 a full-on luxurious appearance, and this is the way it was mean to be.

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Changes for 2020 include:

  • New Grille
  • New sleeker headlights
  • New Daytime LEDs
  • New front fenders
  • New Hood
  • New Front and Rear Facias
  • New Modern Taillights
  • New Rear Deck Lid

In short, the only thing didn’t change with the transition into 2020 were the G90’s doors and roof. Everything else on the outside was revamped in the best way possible.

How Big Is The Genesis G90?

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The Genesis G90 measures 204.9-inches long, 75.4-inches wide, and 58.9-inches tall. It also rides on a 124.4-inch wheelbase. These figures make it shorter length-wise than both the Lexus LS and Audi A8 but taller than both. In terms of width, it sits in the middle, with the Audi A8 being just a bit wider. In terms of garaging, you’ll definitely need a big garage to accommodate this executive sedan. You’ll have to pay special attention to garage depth as the sheer length of the G90 can make for a tight fit in some older two-car units.

Gensis G90 vs competition exterior dimensions
Gensis G90 Lexus LS Audi A8 L55
Length 204.9 206.1 208.7
Width 75.4 74.8 76.6
Height 58.9 57.5 58.6
Wheelbase 124.4 123 123.1
Front Track 64.6 64.29 64.7
Rear Track 64.5 64.45 64.3

What Size Tires Does the Genesis G90 Have?

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The Genesis G90 comes standard with P275/40R19 tires all the way around, however, there are optional sizes that you can select when ordering.

Genesis G90 Competition – Fighting Older Brands With Grace

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The Genesis G90 has only been around since 2016, so it’s forced to compete with models and brands that have been around a lot longer. It might have started at the bottom of the ladder, but it’s working its way to the top rung by rung. Today, we’re comparing the G90 to the Lexus LS and Audi A8 – a tough fight but not impossible if you have an open mind.

Is the Genesis G90 Better Than the Lexus LS?

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If you want something that’s sporty but can accommodate your needs to a higher degree of luxury, the Lexus LS is probably more your style. Thanks to Lexus’ current design language, the Lexus LS can be spotted from a mile away. Between the aggressive bodylines, angry front end, and wheel arches, it’s hard not to look at the LS as a big sports sedan. When you look inside, however, the term luxury really comes into play. You’ll find healthy doses of leather almost everywhere, an attractive infotainment display, and seats that are beyond comfortable. Like the G90, you’ll enjoy both driving and riding in the LS, and if you’re more about riding, you’ll probably enjoy the 38.9-inches of rear legroom – 1.1-inches more than what you get in the G90.

The LS is offered with a range of engines, but the most ideal and the sweet spot between performance and economy is the 3.5-liter V-6. It delivers a cool 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, 51 horsepower and 66 pound-feet more than you’ll get in the Genesis G90 with the 3.3T. In this form, the LS manages to return 18 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined – figures that beat out the G90. You can get into a Lexus LS starting at $76,600 as of the time of this writing, which makes it $3,650 more expensive than the base G90.

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Gensis G90 vs Lexus LS
Gensis G90 Lexus LS
Engine 3.3-liter V-6 3.5-Liter V-6
Horsepower 365 HP 416 HP
Torque 376 LB-FT 442 LB-FT
Transmission 8AT 10AT
Driveline AWD AWD
Fuel Premium Premium
Steering Electric Electric
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Tires P275/40R19 P245/50R19
Curb Weight 4663-4960 LBS 4696-4960 LBS
Fuel Economy 17/25/20 18/27/21

Read our full review on the Lexus LS

Is the Genesis G90 Better Than the Audi A8?

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The Audi A8 is the lonest of the bunch we’ve discussed here today, coming in at 208.7 inches, and it has tons of rear legroom thanks to that length combined with a reduced cargo area. If you’re someone that wants to be driven around everywhere then the Audi A8 is the most spacious vehicle on the planet short of six figures. Interior materials and technology are comparable to what you’ll get in the Genesis G90 or Lexus LS, and thanks to a recent update the exterior looks relatively stylish for a full-size executive sedan.

If you really want to keep in the same price bracket as the Genesis G90, however, you’ll have to skip the V-8 model and go the with 3.0-liter hybrid powertrain. This powertrain will net you 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, so it’s not as spunky as the G90, but at the same time, the A8 is meant for you to ride in, not straighten corners at 130 mph. You can get into an A8 with a starting price of $86,500, so it starts out $14,000 more expensive than the G90 and $6,000 more expensive than the range-topping G90.

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Gensis G90 vs Audi A8 L55
Gensis G90 Audi A8 L55
Engine 3.3-liter V-6 3.0-Liter Hybrid
Horsepower 365 HP 335 HP
Torque 376 LB-FT 369 LB-FT
Transmission 8AT 8AT
Driveline AWD AWD
Fuel Premium Premium
Steering Electric Electric
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Tires P275/40R19 P255/45R19
Curb Weight 4663-4960 LBS 4773 LBS
Fuel Economy 17/25/20 17/29/21

Read our full review on the Audi A8

Final Thoughts

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Overall, the Genesis G90 is an amazing luxury vehicle and packed full of great materials for the price. It might be hard to believe that a company spawned from Hyundai – who has also made great strides in quality – can produce a car worth of competing with brands like Audi and Lexus, but it really is the case. If you want something that’s luxurious, comfortable, and fun to drive without having overly high expectations for performance, you can’t go wrong with the Genesis G90.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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