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Genesis Forum: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions
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  1. #1
    macbrett is offline Hasn't posted much yet... What I drive: Genesis G90
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    Default 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

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    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but was having trouble finding this exact car (white with black interior) in stock locally. I ended up flying to the Chicago Area to purchase it from a dealer who had one. For those who care, I paid list price. I probably should have tried to get a better deal, but right now these are in short supply. After my purchase, I drove it across the country stopping along the way to visit friends and relatives. The whole trip including visits and sight-seeing took about 9 days.

    I put 4000 mostly highway miles on it and now that I'm back home, I just had the car hand washed and the oil changed for good measure. The car certainly got a good workout. I probably averaged about 8 hours of driving each day. On my way back to California, I traveled Southwest through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. There were a number of storm systems in my path with abnormally low temperatures. I encountered salted roads, snow, rain, and high winds. There were some rough sections where road construction was happening, and I took some side trips on smaller gravel and muddy roads.

    My previous car was a 2003 Camry, so I won't be comparing this car to others in the luxury class. I also didn't have time to completely study all the features of this car so I was learning a few things each day. For example, I still haven't used voice input for anything or set my favorite radio stations. What I can say is that for such an arduous trip, it is hard to imagine a better vehicle than this Genesis.

    The ride was quiet and smooth. The one exception was a rare stretch of highway where the surface asphalt was worn somewhat coarse. Something about the grain size and the speed I was going aggravated a resonance somewhere in the dash. But this was a very brief portion of the trip, and I didn't notice any other problems even on roads in much worse condition.

    I had to make one panic stop on a highway with a stoplight that took me from 70MPH to zero right quick. I felt the antilock brakes do their pulsing thing, but the car never lost its composure and stopped with room to spare. Very impressive. I didn't push the car hard into curves so I don't know the limits of the Continental tires. I found that the V8 made merging onto highways a snap and provided plenty of headroom for passing trucks going 70MPH in a 75 MPH zone. If it wasn't for the excellent cruise control, I'd have found myself going 95MPH before I knew it. The apparent feeling of limitless power is intoxicating. I really liked the fact that I could set the minimum following distance. More than once it hit the brakes for me when traffic got heavy.

    I liked the way the wheels never spun even when pulling back on the the road from steep gravel shoulders. I suspect its the HTRAC doing its thing. This car inspires confidence.

    The automatic lane keeping is excellent too, but it did have a tendency to scold me with beeping and a message between the gauges instructing me to keep both hands on the wheel --even when both my hands were securely on the wheel! It seems you have to actively steer or at least nudge the wheel occasionally whether it needs an adjustment or not. I wish that it simply detected the pressure of a grip on the wheel rather than requiring actual steering input. The whole point to active lane keeping is that you don't have to steer! The need to nudge seems a bit self-defeating.

    Blind spot monitoring is very nice. An indication even shows up in the heads-up display. The customizable heads up display also shows current speed, cruise control target speed, lane departure warnings, and upcoming navigation prompts.

    I had a chance to try out the heated steering wheel, and heated and cooled seats. All were effective. This car is looong. I had to perform a 3-point to turn around on streets where I could have previously done a U-turn in my Camry. This will take some getting used to. The backup camera with gods-eye view is very helpful. I did find it annoying that afterward the screen stays in camera mode until you reach driving speed. I can see that it can be useful in some circumstances but you can't override that behavior. For instance I might want to start navigation before I have to decide which direction to exit a parking lot. I guess I should have already started it before I backed up.

    I missed having a handy change drawer in the dash for toll money. For such a big car, there isn't much readily accessible storage space. The cellphone charging compartment needs to remain empty to allow for cell phone charging (duh!) as well as access to the USB and Aux audio ports. The split cover on the center console's storage bin makes seeing and accessing the contents difficult. I prefer a cover that slides or swings backward and completely out of the way.

    I listened to music on my ancient iPod mini which I connected to the aux input. One annoyance, probably my biggest pet peeve right now, is that the sound volume for the aux source mutes after every song, and it takes several seconds before the volume returns to normal once the next song begins. So the beginning of every song is clipped off. This is absurd and infuriating!

    But not to end on a down note, overall I am thrilled with the vehicle. It was superbly comfortable and a joy to drive. I've even gotten a few complements from strangers who seem to like the way it looks. Of course I didn't buy it to impress anyone. I just want a satisfying car to own for many years. So far so good.

    I will probably add more observations to this thread later.


  2. #2
    5 Timer's Avatar
    5 Timer is offline Registered Member What I drive: 2G Genesis Sedan
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Thanks for relating your impressions. Informative and aids in my decision making.

    I've been mulling over trading up to the G90 5.0 AWD. They seem to be in short supply in the west,
    although I found a white one in Roseville, CA, the closest G90 dealer to me in Reno.
    Just not sure if I want to make a 2+ hour drive for servicing/warranty repairs.

  3. #3
    balfor is online now Registered Member What I drive: 2G Genesis 3.8 V6 Sedan
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Thanks for your review, it is great to hear from real owners about the car. I imagine it is quite a big change from an older camry!

  4. #4
    Aquineas's Avatar
    Aquineas is offline Been here awhile... What I drive: Genesis 5.0 V8 Ultimate
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Welcome and thank you for the fantastic write-up!!
    Genesis Mods:
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  5. #5
    Genesis Motors is offline Genesis Motors Forum What I drive: 2G Genesis 3.8 V6 Sedan
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Welcome aboard! And thank you for signing up. Wow, great review. And my goodness! You went from a 2003 Camry to a 2017 Genesis G90! What a massive upgrade!

    So... The volume thing sounds "wrong". Something isn't right there. Is that really the way it's supposed to work? I wonder if someone else can/will chime in about that.

    The backup camera stays on after you switch into drive?


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  6. #6
    macbrett is offline Hasn't posted much yet... What I drive: Genesis G90
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    I'll add a few more observations to my original post.

    The colored ambient lighting appears subtle as it emits indirectly from a thin crevice and is not very bright even at maximum intensity. I'm sure this feature is more impressive in cars with the beige interior than the black one which absorbs most of the light even as it attempts to escape.

    The power adjustable seats are very nice with smooth silent gliding and lots of options for customization and position. I would however have preferred the controls for the front seats on the door ala Mercedes, as it is inconvenient to reach them down on the sides of the seat cushion.

    I love the remote start feature using the Genesis app on my iPhone. It came in handy in the cold weather. I had to set up an account and PIN number with Genesis before I could use this.

    Speaking of cold weather, one morning I was greeted by lots of beeping when I put the car in gear which had sat outside after driving in freezing rain the night before. It seems a layer of ice had covered the entire front of the car blocking the camera and radar sensors fooling it into thinking that the car was in imminent danger of contacting obstacles all around the front of the car. I had to get out and chip away all that ice before I could drive away peacefully.

    Another thing I liked about the Genesis iPhone app, is that I could use it to find destinations and send them to the car's nav system. At least until I am more conversant with entering destinations into the car's nav system, this is a big help. It also has is the ability to locate the car and show it as a pin on a map with either street or satellite view. I didn't need this feature yet, buy I expect I will use this sooner or later when I park in a strange neighborhood or large outdoor parking lot.

    I like that the power seat and steering wheel automatically retract for ease of exit and entry and return to their pre-set positions once the driver sits down and closes the door. A similar thing happens for the front passenger as well.

    Here's a weird one. I do appreciate a real volume knob on the audio system rather than up and down buttons. But the knob seems unusually small, and it takes four complete 360 deg rotations to cover full volume range., which certainly allows for fine adjustment. The compromise is that it makes significant changes laborious. While the Genesis' knob is high quality metal and has nice detents, I miss an old style analog potentiometer action that manages to cover the full range in an angular displacement from 8:00 to 4:00. Perhaps they could tweak the software to sense rotational velocity and respond to fast turning with more change per detent.

    I also thought that the volume thumb roller on steering wheel doesn't offer enough traction, and/or is too easy to press inadvertantly causing muting. I ended up preferring to use the dashboard volume knob rather than risk muting as I stroke, stroke, stroke to get a substantial change in volume. I'd like to see Genesis put a more powerful spring on that roller so that you really have to press hard to get it to mute.

    Reading this I supposed it sounds like I'm a nitpicker, but I'm just the kind of guy who really likes things well engineered with great usabilty and no rough edges. So many other things on this car do have that kind of attention to detail, so the exceptions really stand out.

  7. #7
    macbrett is offline Hasn't posted much yet... What I drive: Genesis G90
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis Motors View Post
    So... The volume thing sounds "wrong". Something isn't right there. Is that really the way it's supposed to work? I wonder if someone else can/will chime in about that.

    The backup camera stays on after you switch into drive?
    Yes, the screen displays switchable camera views until the car reaches 10km/h (6.21 mph) according to the manual. I couldn't figure out how to dismiss it and get back to the map while I was creeping forward. Maybe I missed something obvious.

    And I do hope there is a solution to the aux input lopping off the beginnings of songs.

    Another disappointment: A friend plugged a USB stick in and was disappointed to find that the folder hierarchy is ignored. All the songs on the stick were listed and played in sequence as a single alphabetical list. Who wants to hear all their songs in alphabetical order every time? Someone please tell me I'm missing something.

  8. #8
    Genesis Motors is offline Genesis Motors Forum What I drive: 2G Genesis 3.8 V6 Sedan
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett View Post
    I'll add a few more observations to my original post.

    The colored ambient lighting appears subtle as it emits indirectly from a thin crevice and is not very bright even at maximum intensity. I'm sure this feature is more impressive in cars with the beige interior than the black one which absorbs most of the light even as it attempts to escape.

    The power adjustable seats are very nice with smooth silent gliding and lots of options for customization and position. I would however have preferred the controls for the front seats on the door ala Mercedes, as it is inconvenient to reach them down on the sides of the seat cushion.
    Yes, I prefer having the seat controls on the door as well. I imagine most luxury buyers do.

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett
    I love the remote start feature using the Genesis app on my iPhone. It came in handy in the cold weather. I had to set up an account and PIN number with Genesis before I could use this.

    Speaking of cold weather, one morning I was greeted by lots of beeping when I put the car in gear which had sat outside after driving in freezing rain the night before. It seems a layer of ice had covered the entire front of the car blocking the camera and radar sensors fooling it into thinking that the car was in imminent danger of contacting obstacles all around the front of the car. I had to get out and chip away all that ice before I could drive away peacefully.
    I don't live with cold weather but I have to imagine this would happen with any car these days. I wonder if the Mercedes-Benz S-Class would do the same thing. Probably...

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett
    Another thing I liked about the Genesis iPhone app, is that I could use it to find destinations and send them to the car's nav system. At least until I am more conversant with entering destinations into the car's nav system, this is a big help. It also has is the ability to locate the car and show it as a pin on a map with either street or satellite view. I didn't need this feature yet, buy I expect I will use this sooner or later when I park in a strange neighborhood or large outdoor parking lot.
    I'm pretty sure the G90 has voice command for navigation. That would probably be the easiest way to enter your destination into the system. But the feature where you can send the address to the car is really nice. I'm pretty sure Lexus had that first...

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett
    I like that the power seat and steering wheel automatically retract for ease of exit and entry and return to their pre-set positions once the driver sits down and closes the door. A similar thing happens for the front passenger as well.
    That's pretty cool - that the passenger seat moves you out of the way as well. That IS a nice feature for the driver. I've had it in a few cars. If you have something bulky in your pocket or at your right side - the steering wheel definitely gets in the way as you're exiting the vehicle...

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett
    Here's a weird one. I do appreciate a real volume knob on the audio system rather than up and down buttons. But the knob seems unusually small, and it takes four complete 360 deg rotations to cover full volume range., which certainly allows for fine adjustment. The compromise is that it makes significant changes laborious. While the Genesis' knob is high quality metal and has nice detents, I miss an old style analog potentiometer action that manages to cover the full range in an angular displacement from 8:00 to 4:00. Perhaps they could tweak the software to sense rotational velocity and respond to fast turning with more change per detent.
    I wonder if other people will complain about this. Next time I get into a G90 I'm going to try this out. If it turns out to be a complaint others have - then it's an "ease of use" area they over-looked (unlike Lexus).

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett
    I also thought that the volume thumb roller on steering wheel doesn't offer enough traction, and/or is too easy to press inadvertantly causing muting. I ended up preferring to use the dashboard volume knob rather than risk muting as I stroke, stroke, stroke to get a substantial change in volume. I'd like to see Genesis put a more powerful spring on that roller so that you really have to press hard to get it to mute.

    Reading this I supposed it sounds like I'm a nitpicker, but I'm just the kind of guy who really likes things well engineered with great usabilty and no rough edges. So many other things on this car do have that kind of attention to detail, so the exceptions really stand out.
    Nitpicking is fine. Without nitpickers, we wouldn't have the kind of luxury cars we have today. Lexus would never have strived for perfection. Mercedes and BMW would have never improved. Cadillac would be making Chevys with leather. Etc, etc, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by macbrett View Post
    Yes, the screen displays switchable camera views until the car reaches 10km/h (6.21 mph) according to the manual. I couldn't figure out how to dismiss it and get back to the map while I was creeping forward. Maybe I missed something obvious.

    And I do hope there is a solution to the aux input lopping off the beginnings of songs.

    Another disappointment: A friend plugged a USB stick in and was disappointed to find that the folder hierarchy is ignored. All the songs on the stick were listed and played in sequence as a single alphabetical list. Who wants to hear all their songs in alphabetical order every time? Someone please tell me I'm missing something.
    It sounds like there are a few kinks to be worked out. Kind of to be expected in a first year vehicle...
    In my Genesis garage: 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

  9. #9
    jsmit86's Avatar
    jsmit86 is offline Registered Member What I drive: 2G Genesis 3.8 V6 Sedan
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

    Bluelink is another great way to program the NAV when driving. Just press the button with the lane markings on the mirror, and say the name and general location of the POI.
    Example - Starbucks on Randall Road in South Elgin. The destinations will show on the NAV screen, sometimes with more than one if there are multiple places that fit the search criteria.

    On my Genesis, I paid the extra to have this service, but I think it's likely included on the G90. If not, IMHO, it's definitely worth the charge. IIRC, if you can send to car with Google via the APP, the in car Bluelink voice search will also work. Give that a try!
    2015 Genesis Signature 3.8 AWD
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  10. #10
    mtmtmt is online now Hasn't posted much yet... What I drive: G90, Ultimate 5.0, Casablanca White, AWD
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    Default Re: 2017 G90 V8 Ultimate HTRAC first impressions

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmit86 View Post
    Bluelink is another great way to program the NAV when driving. Just press the button with the lane markings on the mirror, and say the name and general location of the POI.
    Example - Starbucks on Randall Road in South Elgin. The destinations will show on the NAV screen, sometimes with more than one if there are multiple places that fit the search criteria.

    On my Genesis, I paid the extra to have this service, but I think it's likely included on the G90. If not, IMHO, it's definitely worth the charge. IIRC, if you can send to car with Google via the APP, the in car Bluelink voice search will also work. Give that a try!

    Thanks for the heads-up. I used it yesterday and it worked well. Since it comes included on my G90, I'm going to be using that button from now on.

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