By on November 27, 2018

Image: Genesis Motors

Representing a good value among the premium full-size sedan set, the Genesis G90 remains thin on the ground — and not just because of America’s fondness for crossovers and SUVs. As it begins its roll-out of standalone Genesis stores, the fledgling brand planned to kick off the new dealer strategy by fielding only 2019 model-year vehicles. That meant a sell-down of existing stock throughout the summer and fall.

For the 2020 model year, the second model launched by Hyundai’s luxury division, the G90, undergoes a significant refresh, though the marque’s future hinges on a trio of yet-to-be-seen crossovers.

Unveiled today in Seoul, the second-generation G90 dons a new face and taillights, with its grille now sweeping south to touch the bumper’s lower lip. A little Acura-esque, in this writer’s view. Headlights are now bisected, a la Volvo, and a newly carved fender port carries on this motif.

Image: Genesis Motors

Out back, the previous model’s staid, vertically oriented taillights transform into two decks of LEDs, splayed out horizontally across the rear fascia and trunklid. Character lines and formal roofline carry over unchanged. Two additional changes can be found in the extra hood creases and the “Genesis” lettering replacing the brand’s logo on the trunk.

The 19-inch lace alloy wheels seen above are optional units meant to mimic the light reflected by a cut gemstone, Genesis tells us. Inside, things remain pretty much the same, though a new interface for the 12.3-inch touchscreen allows users to zoom in and out.


What Genesis doesn’t tell us is what to expect under the hood. The previous U.S.-spec model saw a 5.0-liter V8 and twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic, in either rear- or all-wheel-drive guise. It’s hard to imagine the top-flight motor disappearing. That tranny, it should be noted, was exceptionally smooth, as was the model’s Adaptive Control Suspension. Sound insulation was also top notch.

Image: Genesis

That said, it’s a difficult feat to enter a pricey segment as a new brand and sell cars, even if quality is up to snuff. Between the G90’s launch in September 2016 and the end of October 2018, just 7,269 examples found U.S. buyers. Last month’s tally amounted to 104 vehicles.

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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30 Comments on “2020 Genesis G90: Korea’s Flagship Tries a Bolder Look...”

  • avatar


    Loving that part of this refresh. The rest is eh. Seeing Fusion and S90 angles at the front, with an RLX grille. And the rear heckblende, though desirable, is too sporty and aggressive – and somehow dated. It loses some of the formality of the prior model.

    The fender vents carrying along after the headlamps are a bit extra as well. Very Ford/Lincoln, like the 2008 Taurus.

    All this being said, it’s still more desirable than the LS500. Gimme a 2019 5.0L RWD.

  • avatar

    It looks very stately.

  • avatar

    Those wheels are excellent. That design needs to be offered across the entire Genesis line.

  • avatar

    Loving those alloys, and liking everything else aside from that silly fender vent. Looks like one I could pick up for $15 at Pep Boys.

  • avatar

    For some reason, my mind immediately goes to those weird sedan concepts Bugatti came up with in the 90’s, like the EB112. Probably just how blobby this is and the ridiculous (in a good way) wheels.

  • avatar

    Genesis owner here. I HATE that front grille drooping below the bumper line, but I like the mesh. Also hate those front fender vents. The rear end I can’t really judge from the birds’ eye view shown. I love that interior. Sign me up for that brown, in lieu of the “black like a funeral” usual interior. Except for Tesla S, here in L.A., I see fewer and fewer of the big luxury sedans than ever. I don’t know if its shifts to SUVs in this price point, shifts to smaller sedans or if their intended customers are dying off. (People are usually older to be that well set in life, after kids’ college, home purchase, retirement funding, etc., to plunk down $100K for a rapidly depreciating car.)

  • avatar

    The past Genesis models look better in person than in photos, so maybe it’ll be the same with this one? The front grille looks fully out of place on an otherwise attractive front end. Googling images of the rear, it just doesn’t look premium. The parallel striped tail lights make me think Lincoln Intrepid

  • avatar

    This thing looks like a cheap Chinese knock-off product. Front grill from an audi or a lexus, headlights from a volvo, side scoops from a bmw, wheels, rear fenders and hood emblem from a bentley.


  • avatar

    The rear looks like a 2000’s Honda Accord

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I can’t figure out how Hyundai is making any money on the Genesis line with all the NRE going into it for a measly 1500 – 3500 cars a year.

    • 0 avatar

      Sales have artificially been depressed since May due to the lack of inventory of 2018 models.

      Since the launch of the Genesis brand, Genesis has sold (thru Oct.) 207k vehicles (which isn’t counting G80 sales when it was known as the Genesis).

      That’s w/ artificially depressed sales in the US (and also in Canada due to the new direct-from-the-manufacturer sales channel) and sales recently having started in Saudi Arabia and Russia.

      The bulk of sales have come from the G80 (127k) followed by the G90 (52k).

      Genesis sells more G80’s/yr worldwide than Lexus does the GS and more G90’s than Lexus does the LS despite its being available in fewer markets (neither the GS or LS are big sellers in Japan).

      And then there’s also cost-sharing w/ Kia (Stinger and K900).

      Not that it’ll have any appreciable impact on sales, but the G70 was crowned Motor Trend’s 2019 Car of the Year.

      • 0 avatar

        The current G90 will likely hit 100k in sales by the end of its run, which should be enough for a decent ROI (esp. as powertrains are shared w/ other models).

        The LS 500 likely won’t hit that no. unless Lexus extends its life-cycle beyond the norm.

  • avatar

    I agree. There is some economy of scale, in leveraging the engine/transmission over the G70, 80 90 vehicles, but is that enough to repay development costs?? Also the biggest problem is the falling resale value. This will necessitate an increase in the monthly lease payment to cover the heavy depreciation. An increase in monthly lease costs will negate the major reason that people (like me) choose a Genesis over something else.

  • avatar

    “Last month’s tally amounted to 104 vehicles.”

    Can’t really go by those nos. as Genesis had stopped shipments of 2018 models back in April (production had already switched over to the 2019MY) as the roll out of Genesis dealerships was supposed to start in the spring.

    But issues arose and the roll-out and launch of 2019 models (including the G70) was delayed, and hence, dealerships selling the 2018’s had to make due to what inventory they had on hand (basically having to stretch it out over 6 months or so) and Genesis stopped supporting sales during that time (no advertisement or incentives).

    Alex goes into it in this video.

  • avatar

    Looks nice but…. Please see “Sales of Culled GM Sedans Tell the Story”

  • avatar

    Reminds me quite a bit of the Chrysler Imperial Concept from not too long ago. Good looking.

  • avatar

    Genesis owner here. Love this look, and props for a very comprehensive restyle for what is basically a midcycle refresh. The G90 has lost some of its staid blandness for a more edgy, contemporary look. That’s a good thing. The fake fender vents – those are not a good thing.

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