2017 Genesis G90

2017 Genesis G90

Episode 3604
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you thought Hyundai was crazy for trying to cook up a luxury 4-door with the 2009 Genesis sedan…well… for 2017…they’re trying a recipe that seems a whole lot crazier. Hyundai has gone all in and spun off Genesis as a whole new company: Genesis Motors. And their flagship, the G90, is our first taste of the new brand. So, let’s see if it’s well done, or just half-baked…

The Genesis G90 is the successor to the full-size Hyundai Equus, and is built on the lengthened chassis of the mid-size Genesis sedan, now called G80. So, the “90” is, in automotive parlance, an “all-new flagship sedan”. And, a self-proclaimed competitor to large-car stall warts Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8. But, we think a more level playing field is with the Lexus LS and Cadillac CT6.

The G90 drives with a super-steady, rock solid feel. A 5 link front and rear suspension combines with electronic adaptive damping to keep things smooth on almost all roads. There was very little harshness, even on some rough pavement in the British Columbian countryside outside Vancouver. The level of isolation achieved is all you could ask for.

PATRICK LUCAS: "This is a cruiser for sure. On the highway, even on backroads like this, it is just whisper quiet, silky smooth..."

And that lends itself to truly appreciating the interior of the G90. Material quality is top notch. Seat comfort is excellent. And the overall design is clearly one of a top-drawer vehicle.

But the biggest hurdle that Genesis must overcome is separating itself from Hyundai. And seeing some carryover switchgear and buttons will remind more astute observers of the kinship. Get past that, and the G90 is every bit a luxury contender on its own.

Outside, it’s less its own thing, and more a combination of what it aspires to be. The front favors recent Audi A8s, especially the grille. While in the rear, it’s S-Class all the way. Take a step back, though, and it’s a handsome car that demands a second look.

Under the hood: a brand new standard 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Power delivery is strong, but perhaps lacks a little maturity in feel. Same goes for the eight speed automatic.

PATRICK LUCAS: "The one area it doesn't quite match up to its German competitors, I’d say, is in the powertrain. It's not quite as refined as an Audi, a BMW, a Mercedes-Benz..."

Fuel economy rates 17 city, 24 highway, and 20 combined. That’s about on par with rival V8s. Ditto the energy impact score of 16.5 barrels of oil used, and 7.5 tons of CO2 emitted annually.

A 420 horsepower 5.0-liter V8, and all-wheel drive, are the only options for the G90.

Everything else; automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, head up display, and multi-angle backup camera are standard. That makes for an easy pricing strategy, starting at $69,050. H-TRAC all-wheel drive adds $2,500, while the V8 adds $1,600 more.

Gaining a foothold is never easy, and in a segment with ultra-high expectations and long heritages, there will be many who look at the G90 as just a dressed up Hyundai. But then, we once said that about Lexus and Toyota too.

And, the 2017 G90 is the just beginning for Genesis. And, it is indeed a strong first step towards a time when Genesis Motors and “world class luxury” may be one and the same.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.3 liter V6 / 5.0 liter V8
  • Horsepower: 365 / 420
  • Torque: 376 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 17 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 16.5 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 7.5 tons/yr
2024 Lexus GX550

2024 Lexus GX550

It’s A Land Cruiser With A Lexus Badge

Episode 4344
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When most people think of Lexus SUVs, they tend to think of the RX, and for good reason. The RX was a key player in popularizing the luxury SUV market as we know it today. But, the Lexus SUV world is much bigger than that, of course, including something for adventurous, rugged, off-road types.

We’re not about to claim that there’s some kind of body-on-frame SUV resurgence happening, but it’s clear that car-like crossovers haven’t fully taken over the SUV world just yet; and more than any other brand, Toyota seems on a mission to make SUVs truly great again. Even when it comes to their Lexus brand with this new 2024 Lexus GX550.

When the first gen GX arrived for 2003, it seemed to go out of its way to disguise its substantial off-road capabilities behind some very soft-roader sheet-metal, but those that knew… knew that underneath, the GX was based on the rugged J120 Land Cruiser. Fast forward to this third-gen GX, and it looks like Lexus is fully embracing that Land Cruiser kinship going boxier and bolder than ever before. Square lines, chunky fenders, wide track, short overhangs, highly vertical windshield; all hallmarks of serious off-roaders.

The GX is also the first Lexus to benefit from their Overtrail Project which encourages Lexus owners to get out of their comfort zones and experience what their luxo-ute is actually capable of. So, Overtrail models are outfitted with 33-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels, a locking rear diff, and an Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that can independently unlock both front and rear stabilizer bars for more wheel articulation.

2024 Lexus GX550 3/4 Front
2024 Lexus GX550 3
2024 Lexus GX550 Profile
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2024 Lexus GX550 3/4 Rear
2024 Lexus GX550 Wheel
2024 Lexus GX550 Badge
2024 Lexus GX550 Grille
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Just like the recently released Toyota J250 Land Cruiser, the GX is built on Toyota’s Tundra truck frame, but instead of a four-cylinder turbo-hybrid, it’s launching with a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 with 349-horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. That’s 48-horsepower and 150 lb-ft over the previous GX’s V8. Max tow rating shoots up from 6,500 to 9,096-lbs. The GX works exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission, with full-time four-wheel-drive and a two-speed transfer case standard. Lexus says a hybrid option will be available later, but no word on if it’s the Land Cruiser’s 2.4-liter I4 hybrid or the V6 hybrid that’s currently available in the Tundra pickup.

It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel to appreciate the high seating position and great visibility of the GX; as rugged as it looks outside, it still feels plenty luxurious inside, and is highly functional too. There’s a big control center in front of the dash with a high-mounted 14-inch touchscreen, and dedicated knobs for temperature and volume just below. A third row of seating is available in most trims, providing space for six or seven passengers. But if you go Overtrail, Lexus assumes you’re not the big family type and would rather have the space for packing adventure gear, so it’s the only trim that is five-passenger only.

As rugged as it looks outside, it still feels plenty luxurious inside, and is highly functional too.

While the double-wishbone front and rear multi-link suspension of this Overtrail is clearly off-road inspired, it held up well enough in our Mason Dixon Dragway handling course. Slow and steady definitely won the race here, as the GX felt big and heavy, with notable weight shifting on transitions through the cones, and light steering. Stability systems were eager to kick in well before things could get out of sorts.

Buyers can add Lexus’ Adaptive Variable Suspension for smoothing things out on the highways without sacrificing off-road capabilities. It launched quite aggressively off the line in acceleration runs; again, sturdy and truck-like, with all four wheels biting into the pavement and propelling us forward harder than we were expecting, hitting 60 in 6.5 seconds.

2024 Lexus GX550 Dashboard
2024 Lexus GX550 Steering Wheel
2024 Lexus GX550 Infotainment
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2024 Lexus GX550 Front Seat
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2024 Lexus GX550 Dashboard2024 Lexus GX550 Steering Wheel2024 Lexus GX550 Infotainment2024 Lexus GX550 Shifter2024 Lexus GX550 Front Seat2024 Lexus GX550 Second Row Seats2024 Lexus GX550 Third Row Seats2024 Lexus GX550 Seats Down Trunk2024 Lexus GX550 Trunk2024 Lexus GX550 Engine

Lots of grip and no drama, as this turbo-six puts plenty of power down instantly. It sounds good too; powerful, with a nice throaty exhaust note that was more of a V8 rumble than V6 trumpet. Quarter-mile completed in 14.9-seconds at 94 mph.

Braking runs were a little inconsistent, with the off-road tires seemingly gripping and pulling us in different directions. But stops averaged a great 114-feet from 60 mph, so we’ll accept the slightly unsettled feel.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined; we averaged a respectable 20.1 mpg of Premium. But it garners a worse than average Energy Impact Score of 17.5-barrels of yearly oil use, with 8.3-tons of CO2 emissions.

Pricing starts with Premium grade at $64,250, ranging to Luxury at $77,250, with Overtrail in between at $69,250. All trims can be plus sized for additional features.

The 2024 Lexus GX550 is clearly not just another luxury saturated soft-roader. It’s a real deal Land Cruiser with a Lexus moniker, and this Overtrail is the most off-road capable Lexus ever. That not only makes it appealing to traditional Lexus buyers, but to a whole “range” of new conquests as well.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Horsepower: 349
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft
  • EPA: 15 City | 21 Highway | 17 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.9 seconds at 94 mph
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 114 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 20.1 mpg (Premium)
  • Max Tow Rating: 9,096-lbs