By on October 18, 2018

Image: Genesis Motors

A tweet inspired me to write this. Hey, stop running away! This has nothing to do with Elon Musk or Tesla or #mobility. Well, mobility in the nerdy, Jim-Hackett-on-a-Bird-scooter sense, anyway.

Yesterday, Corey Lewis took to social media to drip saliva all over a large, dignified, rear-drive, V8-powered sedan (or at least one that can be configured as such). This vehicle brought together enough pleasing elements, enough ingrained appeal, to cause our picky resident perfectionist to cast a sultry online gaze at this seldom-seen contemporary sedan.

No doubt about it, I shared Corey’s feelings towards this car. It looks good, it’s a comparative bargain in its class, and it will make a great used vehicle one day thanks to depreciation that’s surely greater than that of its German and Japanese competitors. And yet it’s one of those available vehicles that never turns up in real life. To me, it may as well be a ghost that exists on the internet and in the pages of magazines. It is a vehicle I only laid eyes on once, 26 months ago, at a first (and perhaps last) drive event.

Image: Genesis Motors

That vehicle is the Genesis G90, a rear- or all-wheel drive luxury sedan available with a 5.0-liter V8 or a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, each mated to the smoothest eight-speed I’ve ever driven. The proportions are correct, as is the styling and content. A long, elegant hood and large (but not obscene) grille, a formal roofline, and abbreviated trunk. Wheels like high-bypass turbofan blades.

Upper-crust traditionalists nod appreciatively, drink in hand.

After that Vancouver first drive event back in the summer of 2016, the media testers were bundled back to where they came from, the journalists flew home, and the model itself soon went on sale. Somewhere. Genesis sales data tells me that the issue here might be one of regional demand. In the U.S., total G90 sales since the start of sales amounts to 7,164 vehicles. Not exactly vanishingly rare. Just rare. In Canada, however, the country that has no time for sedans but all the money in the world for trucks and SUVs purchased just 178 G90s over the same time frame.

Image: Genesis Motors

178 vs. 7,164. Clearly, a good G90 sales month in Canada breaks into double-digit volume. I may as well have been on the lookout for Amelia Earhart, the Loch Ness Monster, or civility in political discourse.

A far more endangered beast is the rare albino eleph— er, Kia K900, which makes the G90 look as popular as free Taylor Swift tickets at a teen protest march. Genesis’ Korean cousin unloaded just 26 Canadian K900s in 2016, then watched the spectral sedan’s volume plunge the following year. Volume stands at seven vehicles for 2017. So far this year? Four. Americans seem to be in agreement that the K900 is a rumor and not a car that can actually be purchased — year to date, just 260 found buyers south of the border.

I have never laid eyes on a K900 and I suspect you haven’t, either. Maybe it’s the same story for the G90, or perhaps another vehicle that only appears on milk cartons. Tell us, which vehicle did you have ample reason to believe you’d see in the wild, but haven’t?

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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50 Comments on “QOTD: Missing in Action?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’ve seen both in the wild, the Genesis is far more impressive then the K900. The first Genesis I saw was completely debadged and it took me quite a bit of googling to figure out what it was. It looks more like an exotic Merc then any Merc does, but here’s the thing, these are certainly the right cars for 1998 and probably would have been huge hits (remember the first Lexus and Infinitis?)but in 2018 their relevance is waning and won’t be back soon if ever

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      K900 is up to $20,000 off on autotrader or $50K. The G90 being new is only $10,000 off MSRP or $60K.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      To be fair, the Kia Quoris/K9/K900 is still in its first generation, and is thus comparable to the Hyundai Equus (which you could call the precursor to the Genesis G90). There is no 2018 model year for the K900, so all of the ones on the ground are leftover 2017 units.

      Kia revealed a 2nd-gen K900 earlier this year, and it has been confirmed for the U.S. market for 2019. It shares an architecture with the G90 and addresses a lot of the shortfalls of the previous model. It’s slated to hit dealerships any minute now.

      New K900: https://bit.ly/2NLRJfX

      Still, the G90 is more impressive, and offers a V8. The new K900 will only have the 3.3T.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Domestic K9 cars get 3 engine choices (including the 3.8L V6), which is unfortunate as I’ve liked driving the Tau V8 cars.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        I’d say the “new” K900 has the better/more modern interior design and according to the reviews, is the more dynamic driver of the 2 (Kia really should have equipped the K900 w/ better tires).

        A major reason why the (old) K900 doesn’t sell better up north (not that it would be a big seller) is that due the outdated platform, is not available w/ AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        The new K900 looks much nicer, but unfortunately they’re fitting a sports suspension for the US market instead of the cushy comfort ride suspension it gets in the KDM.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I saw an Equus today in the dark coming in to work, it honestly has more presence in person than the current S class or 7 series Bimmer. I’m also keeping a close eye on Genesis prices, the earlier Hyundai badged cars of this generation are an incredible value right now IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Yes! Like all luxury rides the value plummets. The Hyundai’s drop farther faster which is great news for those of us who like a bargain!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      If I were in the market for a large rear-drive V8 sedan the Genesis would be at the top of a very short list, but then there are only 6 or 7 cars that could be on that list, two being Rolls Royce and Bentley

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      I say this as one of the converted – having been well-served by multiple Hyundai vehicles in the past – but the first-gen Genesis is less of a “luxury bargain” once you’ve experienced its floaty-yet-jarring suspension on a potholed road.

      The current generation hits closer to the mark, but good luck finding used inventory at the ultra-low prices to which we became accustomed.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I’m talking about the 2015-2016 Genesis sedans, which are the current G80 but before being spun off as their own Genesis brand. I’ve heard a lot about the harsh riding gen 1 sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      A neighbor has an Equus. Definitely has the size, shape, and proportions of a proper luxury vehicle. Makes you wonder what a Hyundai Chrysler merger could have done considering both “get” the appeal of big V8 RWD vehicles in a way that Fiat never will.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    My neighbors down the street adult son purchased one of these and I see it periodically on Sundays for Sunday dinner.

    Here is the weird part…he is younger than me by 14 years and I am only early 40’s. He makes good money, engineering or something and is single. His other car that he drives over on Sunday is a spectacularly georgeous 67′ Firebird covered in black cherry paint. I mention the Bird’ as he is not, as far as I can tell the target audience for this car. According to his dad the car is pure luxury.

    As for the car I expected to see and have not: NSX….lots of hype but nothing. I see McLarens almost weekly, my neck of the woods is not afraid to drive ‘unicorns’, but not once have I seen the Honda er Acura.

    If I were in the market for a foreign luxo barge ala MB, Lexus, or BMW I would put this car on the list as well. I think it looks better than the Lexus for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      I actually see a pair of K900s regularly, as two someones who work in two different office buildings that I pass on a daily basis own them. The G90…I think I’ve maybe seen one once or twice in the real world.

      I’ve only seen the new NSX once on the road, and it was about two weeks ago on the freeway, wearing manufacturer plates. But since I work about 20 minutes from the factory it’s more of a surprise that I haven’t seen more of them.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        The new NSX is super rare. I work in Boca FL where exotics are somewhat normal, for example I’ve seen multiple Fisker Karmas. I’m also a track guy so I see lots of high end performances cars every few months, like Noble and Atoms. However to date I’ve seen just ONE NSX which is equal to the number of Veryons I’ve seen.

        The Kia’s in the article don’t exactly stand out when painted in typical German Sedan Grey, honestly they appear to be some kind of Benz at first glance. So I don’t pay much attention to them. After watch a Doug review my wife saw one in a parking lot and snapped a picture of proof since she knew it was rare sighting.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Kind of sort of related: a new neighbor of mine (younger guy in his late 20s like me, works in tech) drives a ’14ish Cadenza. I was trying to help him diagnose his non-functioning A/C. It also has a mean timing chain rattle on startup…

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If these were crossovers they’d be everywhere

    Unfortunately by the time Genesis gets some crossovers on the road it will be too late.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      True, yesterday we all read about BMW’s new V8, rear drive crossover the X7 at a $100K. I predict BMW will sell 3-4 times as many X7s as Hyundai sells Genesis

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      At least you can give Hyundai credit for playing the long game. To build a luxury brand, you need to build a good car. Constantly improve it, and eventually sales will come. It takes time to build a reputation in this class. Ford needs to understand this. After releasing one decent Lincoln, they think it’s a failure because it didn’t sell 600k units in a year.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Again, the Genesis CUVs will be on a new platform which will also underpin the next gen G80.

      The current G80 needs to lose weight; a CUV based on that platform would have been too heavy.

      Late 2019 or early 2020 is the ETA for the first of the Genesis CUVs, the GV80 (there are spy shots floating around).

  • avatar

    I live in southern New England I have seen both in the wild several times. Have a distant cousin who recently traded in his first generation Genesis on a new G90.

  • avatar
    RSF

    I’ve seen K900’s and they are no different than the typical 2 or 3 year old Kia- run hard and put up wet! The one I saw last week was missing the rear bumper cover, had body damage on several panels, and mismatched tires.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    My Hyundai dealer occasionally has off lease or demo Genesis (Genisie?) and even Equus vehicles available. Once even an R-Spec sedan.

    They are impressive in person, and being allowed to ‘test drive’ some, they are just impressive during the time I have spent behind the wheel.

    However since I ‘came of age’ during the reign of the large rear wheel drive V8 vehicles, I am acquainted with their limitations. Therefore, I prefer a FWD SUV/CUV for everyday use due to its ride height, road clearance, entry/egress, and carrying capability (utility).

  • avatar
    volvo

    I have sat in and driven the new gen G90. Sitting new on the lot it is an understated beautiful car. Seems well put together. I have not seen one in the wild.

    IMO the G90 has two major problems

    1. The target demographics mostly live in crowded urban areas and unless you have a driver it is just too big.
    2. The discount is just not enough to be a real bargain the way the Lexus LS series was when introduced. The price the dealer was asking was in MB e series, BMW 5 series, Audi 6 series range. Price coupled with lack of depreciation/reliability/prestige history makes purchase somewhat of a gamble.

  • avatar
    boozysmurf

    Ottawa (fairly, a capital city, with the associated out-of-country dignitaries) has a number of Equus/G90 around. Hard to tell if I’m seeing a different one, or the same one over and over, as they’re ALL black. But I think different ones (I’ll have to start checking plates). Most seem to have the red/white diplomatic plates on ’em.

    I’ve seen one K900.

  • avatar

    I’m very pleased I could inspire today’s QOTD with my G90 tweeting. It’s an impressive vehicle, and to my mind has more desirable qualities than the current Lexus LS.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That’s just it. Now that the LS has taken a sportier bent—almost becoming a pseudo-Panamera—the G90 has filled in to become the soft dignified luxury car that earlier LS generations were.

      I’ll look at a G905.0 Ultimate in another two years, once they dip into the $35K range, because that’s when most of the depreciation will be finished.

      • 0 avatar

        Value value. Right there.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        The G90 Ultimate stickers for around 75k, no? Assume someone negotiates to the upper 60’s and leases it. Using your math – 68k – 35k = 33k in depreciation in 2 years or 44% depreciation off of negotiated price or 47% off MSRP.

        Is that typical depreciation for Hyundai these days?

        My memory sucks, but I thought the Gen 2 Genesis sedan took a 50%+ hit in the first 2 years.

        Maybe brand perception is improving for them after all.

        The G90 seems like an incredible car. It reminds me of how the Phaeton came across, but with nowhere near the engineering reliability bugaboos.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Alex Dykes has a video review of the next gen K900.

    There are two trim levels, one engine/transmission/AWD only, and very few colors. He said basically he was told “inventory management” because Kia knows they won’t sell too many. (Oddly local CarMax had one for a while V8 model)

    They’re only selling it here because it is popular in Korea and China, they see little risk in selling it in the US.

    I wouldn’t mind one as long as I had GAP insurance, god forbid I should have an accident with it and it be quickly totaled out because of the exorbitant repair costs.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I own a 3.3T and although I think it’s appropriate for the Stinger, G70, and G80 ‘Sport’ I must emphatically state that it is *not* a proper luxury car engine and does not deliver the premium experience of the 5.0L V8 (even if acceleration times are comparable).

    So skip the K900 altogether and if you do a G90 go for the V8 version.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I know I’ve seen a few Equii/G90 around, but only because I work directly adjacent to an airport (they’re all black, and with the little livery plate). Nice cars, I’m sure (and if the fleet discounts are good enough, that’s about as close to a modern Town Car as you can probably expect), but not the shock to the luxury car system that the LS400 was.

    Locally, I started seeing the XC40 often enough (it helps I drive by a Volvo dealer on my commute), but I feel like they all disappeared after about a month. Strange, because the rest of the lineup is ubiquitous enough.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I was given an Equus for a week while in Korea a few years ago. I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve seen a few of those around DC, mostly as livery vehicles. Only one G90, and one K900 so far.

    I’d be glad to have either one, but it’s probably better to ride in the back of a car like that, than drive it.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I don’t think anyone who wants to drop $70k on a car cares to set foot in a Hyundai dealership. Imagine the reaction of Joe Moneybags when he inquires about a G90 and the salesman whips out a foursquare paper and asks, “How much did you want to pay per month?”

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      You’re right, this experience is regrettable but ultimately no different than spending the same or more on a Corvette, Viper, high trim diesel truck, etc.

      The key as always is knowing what you want ahead of time and spending as little time as possible in the dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        The flip side was when I took my 25-year-old, $2500 Integra to the Acura dealer for an oil change (because I *could*), I was treated like absolute royalty.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        I’m not so sure about this. I’ve been treated pretty well by Chevy dealers when looking at vettes. My friends who own super expensive trucks rave about their dealers they bought from (I’m from tx)

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Anecdotal, but each time I call ahead to tell a dealer I’m coming, the difference in how I’m treated is noteworthy.

  • avatar
    EX35

    The equus/k900 looks great on paper. And then you drive one. Extremely disappointing. Terrible directional stability. Weak steering. Floppy suspension with zero of the bank vault feeling you get with the Germans. Save your money.

  • avatar
    bd2

    What this article overlooks is the limitations of the new distribution/sales model Genesis undertook for Canada (Genesis USA has its own issues in that dept.) which has impacted sales.

    For Canada, Genesis took a one price/direct-from-manufacturer approach.

    While such a distribution/sales model may be the wave of the future for auto sales, it still is atypical for prospective buyers.

    Adding to the problem is that there are presently only 3 or 4 Genesis boutiques located at high end malls (prospective buyers still want to see and touch vehicles) in Canada.

    This change in distribution/sales has really impacted sales volume.

    For instance, when the Genesis sedan was sold at Hyundai dealerships, it regularly sold over 3k/yr (best year being nearly 4k) which dwarfed Lexus GS, much less Infiniti Q70, sales.

    Under the direct-from-Genesis approach, the G80 is on pace to sell around 400, which is a far cry from the 3k+ the Genesis sedan did.

    The G90 has yet to best the Equus in yearly sales and the unlike the Equus, the G90 is available w/ AWD.

    There are plans for more Genesis boutiques and for Genesis dealerships, but until they are built-out, sales will be limited.

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