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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.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Cadillac Escalade is one of the most luxurious SUVs you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has given the 2021 Escalade the tagline "Never stop arriving" which seems apropos for a full-size SUV that shows up in nearly every way. Having undergone a complete redesign, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade finds itself securely at the top of the company's lineup showcasing the high-tech features and plush accommodations buyers are looking for.

The three-row SUV is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, and the GMC Yukon at the General Motors Arlington Assembly plant outside of Dallas. The platform is ridged and good, allowing the Escalade and its brethren to take on corners at speed without fear of coffee spilling.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The Escalade continues to have a commanding presence on the street.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

That also means that it's big. Huge, in fact. But, the Escalade isn't so big it's unmanageable. Sure, you'll need a stepladder to see below the hood. But, how many Escalade owners are doing their own maintenance these days? Camera views help tremendously, as does safety technology.

As tested in the Premium Luxury trim, the two-wheel drive Escalade was powered by Cadillac's standard 6.2-liter V8 that's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, a fresh addition to GM's offering list. The power plant delivers 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, just as it is in the SUV's full-size GM stablemates, and has the same SAE-certified horsepower and torque top-out points. It's a competent power plant but it works better in the Yukon Denali.

Why?

That's the big question. The two SUVs are nearly the same weight – pushing 5,800 pounds – and were similarly equipped underneath, as tested. Yet, the Escalade drove like it had a 1,000 pound-boulder strapped into the second row. It didn't feel as agile or swift as the Yukon, but also didn't give the feeling like you're towing when you're not.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The Escalade's imposing body style is not so large that it proves unmanageable. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Escalade was test driven back-to-back-to-back with other vehicles in its segment, the Yukon and the Ford Expedition, and it proved to be, hands down, the least maneuverable. Those poor limousine service drivers in L.A. are not going to enjoy working their way up, and then back down the snaked driveways of the Hollywood elite in this Cadillac.

However, once they get on the road and are able to sit back and relax a touch with their clientele all buckled up, they're going to enjoy the drive. The tester wasn't equipped with GM's Super Cruise, which is a hands-free driver assist technology, but the addition would be a welcome one as the lane keep assist isn't as proactive as other systems from other automakers, and the massive Caddy requires a driver's full attention to stay in the lane.

The 2021 Escalade's massive standard 38-inch OLED screen display area is the highlight of the interior and likely the biggest talking point of the vehicle. Its layout is sensical, proves to not be distracting while driving, and supplies just the right amount of information without going overkill on moving graphics.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The OLED display darkens to deep black at night, giving your drivers' eyes a rest.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The best part of the tech, which is actually made up of three separate screens under the same thin housing, is that it quickly and smoothly goes to near-black, giving drivers the least amount of distraction possible while on the road at night. Its resolution is twice the pixel density of a 4K television.

Though a minor issue, the screen's design does not allow for turn signal indicators to be easily seen as they are positioned directly behind the steering wheel rim. With the indicator's generally soft tone, it's easy to miss when an indicator remains on when exiting a roundabout or merging into traffic.

Surrounding the Escalade's screen are a variety of appointments, some of which feel and look luxurious while others do not. These are, however, typical General Motors product quibbles. The synthetic materials on the dashboard, and thin leather door inserts are not as luxe as what you'll find in SUVs made by Cadillac's rivals. Not that anyone will notice them for long with the OLED elephant in the room.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The layout of the OLED display is easy to understand and read on-the-fly. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Seats in the Escalade are comfortable, providing ample room. No matter the row, the upholstery is well-executed and the ride is sublime as the suspension easily soaks up the road's imperfections. It's a vehicle the aforementioned elite won't mind being seen in and will look forward to riding in.

Along with its comfortable seats and enough legroom in all three rows for adults, one of the best parts of the Escalade is its sound system. It's the first vehicle with an AKG system (offered with either 19 (standard) or 36 speakers), and it pairs the system with an already-quiet cabin. The sound is all-encompassing for front row occupants and musical elements are separated, coming at you like you're at a concert, rather than listening to a glossed-over recorded session. Turning it up, the quality of the sound is not lost. D-E-lightful.

Individual technology elements of the Escalade are why buyers should choose it over the Yukon and the Lincoln Navigator. The OLED display, Super Cruise, and AKG sound system make the Cadillac a step up from its competition even though its drive feels like a step down.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury Cadillac has made the seats of the Escalade comfortable and appointed them well. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Cadillac Escalade is pricey. As tested it was well over $85,000, and that's just a mid-grade model. The Escalade faces stiff competition from the Yukon Denali, which comes in at least $15,000 cheaper and delivers a better drive experience. The similarly priced Navigator is also an elegant option that's sure to be upgraded with Ford's hands-free driving technology in the not-too-distant future.

There may be a sleeper competitor on the horizon. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is set to debut soon and will likely rival the Escalade with its sound system and elegant design, and come with a similar price tag.

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The Hummer EV will first be sold in the Edition 1 grade (shown above). Images of other trim levels haven't been released yet.

Photo courtesy of GMC Hummer EV

The good news is that the GMC Hummer has finally been revealed. The bad news is that all the grades of the Hummer EV won't be available right away. Scroll down to see all the time, prices, specs, and expected availability of each Hummer EV model.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1

2022 GMC Hummer EV

Photo courtesy of GMC

Starting at: $112,595
Available: Fall 2021

Range: 350+ miles
Power: Three motors/1,000 horsepower/11,500 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Watts to Freedom launch mode
  • Extreme Off-Road Package
  • 800-volt DC fast-charging capability up to 350-kilowatts
  • Infinity Roof with modular transparent Sky Panels
  • Interior badge
  • White exterior

2023 GMC Hummer EV 3X

Starting at: $99,995
Available: Fall 2022

Range: 300+ miles
Power: Three motors/800 horsepower/9,500 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Torque vectoring
  • 22-inch premium wheels

2024 GMC Hummer EV 2X

Starting at: $89,995
Available: Spring 2023

Range: 300+ miles
Power: Two motors/625 horsepower/7,400 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Four-wheel steering
  • CrabWalk
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • Available Extract Mode
  • Adaptive ride control
  • 800-volt DC fast-charging capability

2025 GMC Hummer EV 2

Starting at: $79,995
Available: Spring 2024

Range: 250+ miles
Power: Two motors/625 horsepower/7,400 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Super Cruise
  • HD Surround Vision
  • Digital Key
  • 22-inch wheels with 35-inch tires
  • Infinity Roof
  • Rear drop glass
  • MultiPro Tailgate
  • Adrenaline Mode
  • 400-volt DC fast-charging capability

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