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 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Goldilocks Approved: It Does Everything Just Right

Episode 4332
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

These days, you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get some real-deal AMG performance from Mercedes-Benz, as they’ve spread their high-performance love throughout their lineup. So, let’s go for some high-speed bargain hunting in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

You may think of big cars and bigger horsepower when you hear AMG, but this updated 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4-door Coupe is certainly not a big car, yet there’s no doubt it packs a serious performance punch. The CLA is not the least expensive Mercedes you can currently buy in the U.S., but it is their lowest priced car, and it feels more right-size than small-size behind the wheel.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up. Standard engine in the base CLA 250 is of course a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, but it is ‘Benz’s latest with mild-hybrid assistance and a rating of 221-horsepower.

This CLA 35 is one of two AMG versions which cranks the turbo up to boost output to 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; the CLA 45 S, goes even further with a full rebuild to crank it up to 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The CLA is front-wheel-drive based but is sending power to all four wheels by the time it leaves the AMG shop with performance-tuned AMG 4MATIC.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2

AMG has done serious suspension tuning as well, and the great feedback that it provides through the AMG Performance steering wheel is a big part of this car’s fun-factor. But our test car came equipped with winter tires, which did hold us back a little bit through the cones at our Mason Dixon test track. Still, it felt both agile and fun and body roll was minimal. Not until we pushed hard could we really feel the lack of dry pavement grip from those tires. On the other hand, a few days after track day, we actually did have some winter weather to drive through and then we were very appreciative of the grip those winter tires provided.

With some assistance from AMG’s sweet launch control, which not only allowed us to launch at 3500 RPM with no wheel slip at all, but made sure the turbos were feeding full power, as we felt no turbo lag whatsoever on our quick 4.5-second trip to 60. AMG’s Speedshift eight-speed DCT lived up to its name, delivering quick and hard hits throughout the 13.1-second, 104 mph quarter-mile.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up.

When it came time to remove speed in a hurry in our panic runs from 60 mph, those winter tires again played a factor, as the brakes felt very strong and there was very little nosedive but stops took a longer than expected 125 feet.

Now this 2nd generation CLA arrived for 2020, and for ’24 gets a subtle restyling at both ends. At the front, the grille has been redesigned, AMGs getting their own unique version with big vertical slats, prominent Mercedes star and subtle AMG badge. LED headlights are new, now labeled as High-Performance headlights, joined by upgraded rear taillights and a very aggressive looking AMG diffuser with big exhaust outlets. The back-up camera is smoothly hidden in a flip-out Mercedes badge. Multiple new wheel designs are available with sizes up to 19-inches.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 22024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine

Inside the CLA’s cabin, additional standard content includes a leather steering wheel and 10-inch media display. Both of which were already part of the AMG transformation, though AMG Line buyers can now add some heat elements to their sport steering wheel.

As we’ve seen with most Mercedes updates, both the virtual gauge cluster and the central touchscreen reside in a single housing mounted on top of the dash, upgraded with the latest MBUX software.

Pricing for the CLA 35 starts at $56,100, with the more powerful 45 S coming in at $66,550.

Bottom line, the folks in Stuttgart have given us a 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 that’s clearly better without messing it up. That’s certainly good news to us, as these days we seem to be getting less and paying more for just about everything. So, while you might not think the new CLA 35 sounds like a bargain, there is no better gateway into the amazing world of AMG performance.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo
  • Horsepower: 416
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 125 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.2 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 104 mph
  • EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined