Picture this scene that actually happened to your humble reporter.
I’m zooming along the 10 in about Palm Springsish early one recent morning in a Santiago Silver 2017 Genesis G90 AWD 3.3T Premium, listening to a recording of a phone call between Richard Christy and his farmer dad that Howard Stern has slowed down for maximum comic effect. The coffee has not yet kicked in, my plush leather seat and headrest have wrapped me like a cocoon, and all outside noise has been silenced due to double-paned windows and the engineering wizards at Hyundai.
But something is not quite right. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see out the passenger side window the knee of a motorcyclist who is very close to my car. Thinking it rude to make eye contact, I continue driving for a bit but then notice out of the corner of my eye, no, it is not one set of knees but two sets as two motorcyclists are riding side-by-side and close enough where one jerk of the steering wheel would turn them into pavement pancakes.
It was in that split second that I decided to make eye contact. To my horror, I locked eyes with a CHP officer with an angry look on his face. With his and his partners blue lights flashing, the Chippy mouthed something at me, although I could not hear what he was shouting due to the double-paned windows and engineering wizards at Hyundai.
I turned to look at the speedometer and discovered to my utter shock that I was clocking 87 mph. I then looked back at the officer, who was still mouthing something, and mouthed back, “Oh, you want me to pull over?” although he could not hear me because … well, you get the idea.
So I slowed down to let Jon and Ponch get in front of me and lead us to the destination where my $350 speeding ticket would be filled out. But the guys instead weeeen-weeeeened their bikes way ahead of me and up to the next knucklehead who was soon treated to the sight of a CHP officer screaming into the passenger-side window for the driver to, and I quote now that I’ve figured it out, “SLOW DOWN! SLOW DOWN!”
By the way, this is meant as both a compliment to G90 makers for creating such a quiet, comfortable, smooth riding car and a warning to whoever drives one that being lulled can have its consequences. Worry not, I kept that baby in cruise control and at the speed limit for the rest of the nine- or 10-hour drive to southern Arizona. But the thing is, I didn’t mind because it was such a pleasure to drive. I actually looked forward to the three-hour stretch a couple days later to Mesa, and even the next night’s planned six- or seven-hour trip back home that was extended another hour still by a traffic nightmare gripping the 91 west once you reached Orange County.
As far as driving machines go, I couldn’t find anything I did not like about the G90. What’s not to love? As my personal CHiPs’ episode shows, the all-wheel drive 3.3L Twin Turbo V6 with 365HP, eight-speed automatic is a speed demon. But that fast ride is smooth because of the Genesis adaptive control suspension with electronic damping control. It’s also a heavy car, something you immediately notice when you open a door and feel the burn in your forearm due to the weight. Fortunately, there is power door closure. Speaking of which, the second-trippiest moment of my test run came when I tried to close the trunk door—and couldn’t. Thinking I’d somehow locked the door into the open position, I immediately tore into the owner’s manual, which informed the power trunk not only automatically opens but you close it with the push of a button.
Yep, we’re talking luxury, folks: Nappa Leather seating surfaces, 22-way power driver seat (and 16-way for the front passenger), the leather-wrapped dash, real wood interior trim and microfiber suede headliner. No exterior noise fills your ears, which you can choose to treat to the sounds coming out of 17 Lexicon speakers and 7.1 Quantum Logic surround-sound and Clari-Fi music restoration audio system that can play AM/FM/HD radio, MP3s and SiriusXM that you set on the “Electroluminescent Cluster” with 7-inch color HD LCD multi-info display. It’s also where you control the 12.3-inch HD navigation system with DIS multimedia controller.
You can set different driving modes like Standard, Sport and Eco, but one small step short of driverless was putting it in Intelligent mode with the cruise control on. The car would maintain the speed you set it at unless its sensors picked up that traffic was slowing ahead, in which case it automatically calculated what your cruising velocity should be to maintain a safe distance, slowing down and even stopping if necessary. Once the obstruction was out of range, the car gradually accelerated back to the chosen speed. All the driver had to do was keep a finger on the steering wheel to stay within the lane. It’s like magic.
Going to Zonerland would negate the use of the seat heater but boy did I crank up the seat ventilator while driving under the scorching hot sun. Ventilation is only available—for the bottom, lower back, upper back or all three—on the front seats, but all seats in the car can be heated. And like those in the front, the rear seats can tilt back. I don’t know if I accidentally activated it or it’s automatic but the rear and rear side windows became covered by the power sunshades, and they stayed down while I was parked to keep the inside cooler. Something one rear passenger appreciated were the controls dividing the left and right sides that allowed him to take over control of the audio system. That makes the G90 the perfect car for an online ride service.
Other features include: front seat wireless device charger (Qi); high beam assist & LED daytime running lights; three-zone automatic temperature control and CO2 sensor; Bi-Xenon HID headlights “with Dynamic Bending Light;” power tilt-and-slide sunroof and acoustic laminated windows; and 19″ alloy wheels ringed with P245/45R19 (front) and P275/40R19 (rear) tires.
Safety is enhanced due to the rear cross-traffic alert, smart blind spot detection, lane keep assist/departure warning, nine airbags (including one for the driver’s knees), automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and electronic stability control with traction control and brake assist. There’s even a driver attention alert that activates based on your speed, traffic and lane drift. The multi-view camera system not only shows the rear view on the dash’s display screen as you back up but, for the first several yards, the view in front of you as you first pull out going forward. A split-screen graphic gives an overhead view of your car as it moves through the obstacles around it.
In many of these Ride Me reviews, many features like those mentioned above are considered pricey add-on, but on the G90 they are all included in the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $71,550. OK, so now I have found something I don’t love. That price is about $10,000 more than the luxury brand Genesis replaced in November 2015, the Hyundai Equus. Then again, it’s still less than cars our neighbors at Hyundai’s North American headquarters in Fountain Valley aim to compete against with the G90: the Audi A8, the Lexus LS, the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
(When it comes to knocks other than affordability on a journo-salary, I am duty-bound to report that one passenger from Arizona was no fan of the chrome in the interior as he feared reflections off it under the bright sun would be problematic.)
At least that G90 sticker price also includes a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty, 3-year complimentary map care (annual map update), 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary maintenance and valet services, 3-year/unlimited-mile complimentary enhanced roadside assistance, 3-year complimentary SiriusXM Traffic & Travel Link (not available in Alaska and Hawaii) and 3-year complimentary Genesis Connected Services with remote start (enrollment required). The dealer, who may also offer additional limited warranties, sends you off with a full tank of gas.