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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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The 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron mark the fourth and fifth EVs Audi is bringing to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi isn't just adding two new E-Tron models to its U.S. portfolio. It's expanding its SUV lineup. The 2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron at the latest electric vehicles from the automaker.

The two new Q4s have all the muscle proportions and signature styling that has been made a hallmark of the Audi SUV stable in the past few years. The Q4 Sportback features a coupe-like roof style, which traditionally allows for less second-row headroom and cargo space, but an increase in fuel economy. The Q4 e-tron achieves a drag coefficient of 0.28, and the Q4 Sportback e-tron gets to an even lower figure, with a drag coefficient of 0.26, which is good when considered against the competition.

There's matrix design headlights with customizable daytime running light signatures. The driver can switch between their choice of four lighting options to put their favorite face forward. At the rear, animated functionality illuminates the taillamp when a driver approaches or leaves the vehicle.

2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

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Audi is offering the Q4 models in four exterior color options with S line and black optic exterior elements as available add-ons.

The Q4 has similar dimensions to the Q5 inside and out, according to the automaker, but has the advantage of having a flatter floor due to the lack of transmission tunnel. Audi brags that this allows for generous legroom for rear-seat passengers.

The interior of the SUVs features recycled materials and a number of small item storage solutions including water bottle holders and a customizable cargo area load floor.

Audi has designed the new vehicles to have driver-oriented cockpits with the 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen facing the driver. There's a freshly designed flat-top and bottom steering wheel with capacitive hands-on detection. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

Surround view cameras, a head up display that features augmented reality, and a Sonos premium sound system are available. Sonos is a new partnership for the automaker.

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

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Audi estimates that the car has an output of 201 horsepower in its base model. The line-topping Q5 50 E-Tron Quattro and Q4 Sportback 50 E-Tron Quattro will offer two electric motors and all-wheel drive, delivering a maximum 295 horsepower.

As with on-demand four- or all-wheel drive, the two-motor system only uses the front motor when high power or a strong grip is needed. The rear motor is permanently excited.

Three-stage braking regeneration is selectable via the car's steering wheel paddles. Separately, drivers can choose between four different drive modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual.

Each Q4 comes with a 77-kilowatt-hour battery (net; 82 kilowatt-hour gross). The battery can charge at up to 125 kilowatts on a fast-charger. Preliminary manufacturer's estimated range based on approximation of EPA test cycles for a full charge is approximately 250 miles on the Q4 40 E-Tron.

Adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, side and lane assist, automatic high beams, and traffic jam assist are offered on the vehicle.

Audi plans to have more fully electric models on sale in the U.S. than any other luxury brand by the end of 2021. The Q4 E-Tron is set to start at under $45,000. More pricing details are expected to be announced ahead of the car's on-sale date later this year.

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The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a new addition to the lineup.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz combines the best-loved features of a truck, wagon, and SUV into one creating what Hyundai calls a "sport adventure vehicle'. The Santa Cruz is focused on delivering a user experience that fits into lifestyles from urban to suburban and beyond, without taking you too far off the beaten path.

The 2022 Santa Cruz has all the hallmarks of a truck - wide stance, powerful engine, and a bed. It also has a trunk, the interior from the Hyundai Tucson, and a bevy of safety and entertainment tech.

Though the front of the Santa Cruz looks like it's from the Tucson, it's merely inspired by it. The exterior of the truck is its own, with no shared Tucson elements (this is as opposed to say, the Subaru Legacy, which shares most of its body with the Subaru Outback). It is longer than the Tucson, is wider, and has a longer wheelbase.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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Like on the Tucson, the grille of the Santa Crus has headlights hidden in its housing. When illuminated, the headlights offer a wing-like design that can be easily identified in daylight or at night. A skid plate sits at the bottom of the face while muscular shoulders give the truck a sense of proportion that helps make it unique from the Tucson and other Hyundai vehicles.

Designers have given the Santa Cruz available 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard; all wheel options come wrapped in all-season tires. On the over-fenders are purpose-built with designated clamp points where owners can attach GoPro cameras.

The rear bed features watertight trunk storage and a lockable, watertight tonneau cover (available) that is operated via a pull handle. Both can handle the weight of a person. Taillamp are embossed with "Designed in California" denoting the Hyundai design center's roll in the creation of the vehicle. The light of the lamp also features the logo of the design studio.

Hyundai will offer the Santa Cruz with two engine options. it comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that achieves 190+ horsepower and 180+ pound-feet of torque (exact numbers are pending). That engine is paired with an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission. Expect to have more powertrain options available soon. The platform is capable of housing an all-electric and fuel-cell propulsion system in addition to internal combustion engine and hybrid variants.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Interior

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available. It will get over 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai has paired it with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Versions of the Santa Cruz equipped with this engine also get paddle shifters.

All-wheel drive is available with either engine.

The company truck's 2.5-liter four-cylinder is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds while the turbo-four, when equipped with all-wheel drive, can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Hyundai boasts that the curb-to-curb turning radius is just 20.0 feet, just one foot more than a Ford Mustang.

The interior is straight out of the Tucson, and that's not a bad thing. The two-rows of seating have room for five and under the rear seat is a storage area that can hold groceries and gear still during travel.

Riding the precedent set by the Honda Ridgeline, the Hyundai Santa Cruz brings comfort and convenience to the forefront of its cabin design. There's a standard 8-inch infotainment touch screen (a 10-inch is available) and a 10-inch digital instrument cluster. A premium Bose audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, navigation, and Digital Key are available.

Owners can use their Blue Link app to connect to the vehicle and perform a number of functions including remote start, remote door lock/unlock, and destination search.

Forward collision warning with assist, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning come standard on the 2022 Santa Cruz. Buyers can upgrade and get blind spot monitoring with assist, safe exit assist, lane centering, 360-degree camera view, and rear cross traffic assist.

Hyundai will back each Santa Crus with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, and a seven-year anti-perforation warranty. Three years/36,000-miles of complementary maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations) is included as well.

Hyundai will produce the truck at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama, adding 1,200 jobs as a result of the addition.

Pricing is TBA. The company will offer reservations for the truck in late April. Deliveries are expected to commence by the end of the year.

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