One-Day Drive

First Drive Review: 2020 Genesis G90 is everything the Lincoln Continental should be

The Genesis G90 is completely new on the outside except for its roof and doors.

Photo courtesy of Genesis

It hasn't been three full years since the first Genesis G90s were delivered to their U.S. owners, but a lot has changed for the company since then. It hasn't been an easy go for the Korean luxury automaker. As an arm of Hyundai, there was a fair amount of stigma to overcome at launch, even as they proved time and time again that the focus on budget-friendly top-tier elegance was worth a cross shop.

2020 Genesis G90 back rear tail light wheel The rear of the G90 is designed to show its width and curvature.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The 2020 Genesis G90 has evolved right alongside its parent company. It is a study in the company's new design mantra, "athletic elegance." The large sedan body features a fair amount of novelty on the exterior from fancy new wheel designs to a large grille and unique headlights and taillights.

When equipped with the spirited turbocharged 3.3.-liter V6, the G90 is at its best. Though it has less horsepower and torque than the larger 5.0-liter V8, it's 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque deliver refined acceleration. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Genesis G90 wheel Wheel controls are easy to use.Photo courtesy of Genesis

Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

While testing the model on the winding roads of Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, the car's athleticism shown through when flipped into the Sport drive mode not just because of throttle response but also because of the more pointed steering.

Switching into the Comfort drive mode in anything but a parking situation made steering the car sloppy. Eco was a test of patience that was counterintuitive to the power Genesis has backed the sedan with in either engine option.

The cabin of the G90 is noted for its serenity. Sounds from the road aren't passed on, and even the noise of the V8 stays away thanks to active noise cancelling technology.

2020 Genesis G90 interior cabin front seats wheel The G90 has abundant passenger space. Photo courtesy of Genesis

Mindful innovations fill the interior of the G90, which remains as plush as it was in the previous iteration, complete with authentic and attractive materials. A new 12.3-inch touch screen sits in the center of the dashboard offering high resolution graphics and an appearance much more befitting the Genesis branding than what was found in the previous model. A knob can assist in screen navigation if users choose.

New seating technology allows a driver to input their height, weight, and inseam in the infotainment system then positions the driver's seat in chiropractor-friendly style. However, company representatives admit that the computer-suggested position usually comfortable to drivers.

The G90 comes equipped with a long list of standard and available, active and passive safety and driver assistance technology. As tested in its most premium grade, none of the systems were obtrusive or annoying in their operational function.

2020 Genesis G90 interior rear back seat The car's appointments are rich though not as luxe as what you'll find in an Mercedes S-Class.Photo courtesy of Genesis

The G90 excels where the Lexus LS fails – passenger space. The cabin is spacious and its back seat has the controls and legroom usually reserved for higher priced Mercedes, BMW, and Audi models, often when equipped with executive packages.

When combined with the large trunk, It's an ideal airport transportation car in an industry still holding fast onto the Lincoln MKT.

With this latest generation of its G90, Genesis has delivered the car that Lincoln should have with the Continental. It's finely appointed and positioned for buyers who want a luxurious sedan without spending near the $100,000 that is required to get the large German models.

2020 Genesis G90 interior rear back seat The rear seats feature executive style seating without having to add an executive package to the purchase. Photo courtesy of Genesis

The 2020 Genesis G90 is more impressive than the 2019 G90 and the Lexus LS. It's not quite as nicely appointed or filled with high-tech goodies as top trims of the Germans in its class, but it's also slated to be tens of thousands of dollars less. That's something that can't go unnoticed, and shouldn't.

The G90 is expected to go on sale soon and be priced in the $70,000 range, right near where the 2019 model sat.

Kia Motors has given insight into the company's future product plans.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia is charging ahead with an aggressive electric vehicle (EV) implementation plan that includes 11 new vehicles in the next five years. The strategy, called "Plan S" starts with the company's first dedicated EV in 2021.

Plan S is a dual-focus shift for the company. On one side they will be progressing toward an EV-centric product strategy while in the other hand Kia will be focusing on customized mobility solutions. They will also be focusing on autonomous vehicle development.

By the end of 2025, Kia plans to offer a full line-up of 11 battery electric vehicles. The company is aiming to have 25 percent of its vehicle sales outside of China come from what they call "eco-friendly cars" by 2025 on their way to achieving a 6.6 percent market share in the global EV market (500,000 annual EV sales excluding China). According to a McKinsey & Co. analysis published April, the U.S. EV market almost doubled to 360,000 EV units in 2018, mainly because of the strong sales performance of Tesla's Model 3.

From 2022, Kia plans to add EVs in the passenger vehicles, SUVs, and MPVs categories. They further outlined their electric vehicle development:

The dedicated EV model to be launched 2021 will be built on a unique platform specifically engineered to accommodate the car's world-leading EV powertrain and technologies. It will offer a crossover design which blurs the boundaries between passenger and sport utility vehicles, a future-oriented user experience, a single-charge driving range of over 500 kilometers, and sub-20-minute high-speed charging time.

Across its EV line-up, Kia plans to operate two different types of EVs with different charging capabilities (400V/800V) -- high-performance dedicated models and derivative models with reasonable pricing -- to meet the diverse needs of customers.

Growth in global EV sales will be pursued in accordance with a customized, market-oriented strategy, which considers regional differences in environmental regulation, subsidies, infrastructure and more.

These EVs are expected to first be sold as a trim level option in Kia vehicles in the same vein as the Niro EV and Soul EV.

Additional Kia expansion is planned to come from car-sharing and e-commerce businesses.

"Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia's future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions," said Han-woo Park, president and CEO, Kia Motors. "Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers."

Easily missed in this plan is Kia's proposition to raise the sales of internal combustion engined vehicles while at the same time establish the development system for EV architecture. Though they say that they'll focus those efforts on emerging markets, it's relatively safe to say that the Soul, Forte, and Telluride aren't going away any time soon.

Kia is activating recent partnerships and company share acquitions to get to this goal. Last year, the Korean automaker invested in Croatian performance EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili and IONITY, which specializes in building high-speed charging infrastructures.

They're also planning on building "Mobility Hubs", transfer stations between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles. Long term plans call for self-driving robotaxis and on-demand roboshuttles to also populate these Mobility Hubs.

Kia is part of a car-sharing services joint venture with Repsol, Spain's major energy corporation, in Madrid via its WiBLE brand.