2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD review: It’s not what you think it is

2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD

Like an expensive house in the suburbs, the 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD will hold its value.

Visitors to the Hyundai consumer website will notice something different this year. For starters, the Hyundai Equus is no more.  Second, the Hyundai Genesis isn’t around anymore either. The Genesis still exists, but it’s not a Hyundai. Rather its’ Genesis. Instead of pretender to the Hyundai throne, Genesis is now a separate nameplate. It replaces the Equus as the top Hyundai model. Except it’s just not a Hyundai.

Got that? Hyundai Genesis gone. Hyundai Equus gone. Genesis replaces Equus with a model named Genesis G90.


Except it’s more than that. Genesis also has more than one model. There’s the aforementioned Genesis G90, a luxury full-size sedan, either turbocharged V-6 or V-8, the latter the subject of this review. The Genesis G80 is a mid-size sedan, powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 or 5.0-liter V-8, or a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 called the G80 3.3T Sport.

2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD nose badge

The badge on the nose of the 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD looks like that of an Aston Martin or a Chrysler. Take your pick.

We’ll discuss the G80 variants another time. For now there’s the 2017 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate, the—need we say it—ultimate Genesis so far. It’s big, with a 124-inch wheelbase (204 inches overall length). That compares to 126 inches for the BMW 7-Series (206 inches overall), and 123 inches (207 inches overall) for the Audi A8 L.

The interior is large as well. The front seats have generous dimensions while the back has enough space that a soccer mom wouldn’t have to drive the kids to soccer practice. They could just use in the back seat to kick the ball around.

2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD front interior

Even the dash on the 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate AWD is stitched leather.

Not that the driver’s seat is bad. Even the standard G90, it has 22 adjustments (you read that right) and was approved by the German campaign for healthier backs (Aktion Gesunder Rücke, or AGR, is case you didn’t know). The front passenger has to make do with only 14-ways, but it’s also approved by AGR. The front seats are wide but at least for the driver with sporting intentions, short on side bolsters, though those are variable as one of the 22 adjustments.