Updated: May 8
If I was in charge of a luxury automaker not named Genesis right now, I'd be really, really worried.
Now, there's a new G90 and it's clear---Genesis considers the Lexus LS disposed of and it is coming after Mercedes and BMW. How do I know this? Pricing.
Genesis, like parent Hyundai, has made its mark by offering vehicles with more feature content at a lower price than the vehicles it wanted to de-throne. The 2020 model undercut the LS by $250.
The all-new G90 starts $15,000 higher than the Lexus LS. They've even priced it above the Audi A8. But significantly below the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series.
Now, the Benz and the Bimmer are much more competitive vehicles. Lexus has allowed the LS to get out of sync with the market. But if M-B and BMW executives are starting to have flashbacks from the movie "Das Boot", who could blame them?
Our tester was the top-of-the line G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD. It's an extra ten grand above the base price of the G90, and packs 409 horsepower, 405 lb-ft of torque, an eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel steering and multi-chamber air suspension. EPA fuel economy estimate 20 mpg combined city/highway.
What Genesis isn't trying to do is build a car that can take the competition apart at Nurburgring. This is a luxury car. It doesn't handle badly, but comfort and quiet are what the mission statement prioritizes, even as it blasts to 60 from a standing start in 5.1 seconds.
Rear seat passengers are treated to limo-like legroom, and in our tester, their own controls for climate, audio and seat adjustment.
That base price? It's $99,795 including destination. And it brings a loaded car with panoramic sunroof, easy close power doors, Nappa leather seating surfaces, microfiber suede headliner and pillars, front seat power bolsters, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, three-zone climate control, navigation, a Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium audio system, head-up display, a complete active safety suite...and...Mood Curator:
Four distinct programs of music, lighting, scent and massage to achieve a certain mood while driving. Mercedes-Benz has been doing it for a few years. Genesis is coming straight at them.
The only extra-cost option on our test car was $575 for the Makalu Gray paint. So the as-tested price just breaks into six figures at $100,370.
And that's a good $15,000 less than what it would take to equip an S-Class or a 7-Series to the same level.
Again, those are much tougher competitors than the Lexus LS was. This will be the test of whether Genesis can, as it has seemed so far, accomplish every goal it has set for itself.