2020 Genesis G90 Vs. 2019 Mercedes S-Class: Underdog Takes On Top Dog

For some reason, the facelifted 2020 Genesis G90 is on sale in Canada but not yet available in the United States.

This explains why the guys from Throttle House were among the first to get hold of a 2020 G90 to film a review. The Canadians figured that one way to test the refreshed G90 was to put it up against the segment’s benchmark, the Mercedes-Benz S560. That’s a reasoning we can’t argue with, and here’s what they found.

The S-Class really needs no introduction. Facelifted for the 2018 model year, the current-generation will soon exit the scene to make way for the all-new model that’s expected sometime in 2020. Until then, it should remain the top dog in the full-size luxury sedan segment, especially for buyers who care more about brand pedigree than value – who, we dare say, in this segment are the majority.

Also Read: Korea’s 2020 Genesis G90 Limousine Is Proper Gangnam Style

The model tested here is a 2019 S560, which features a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 463 HP and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. It starts at just over $101,000 in the U.S., but in this configuration costs a respectable $110,000 (converted from Canadian dollars).

The 2020 Genesis G90, on the other hand, costs the equivalent of $68,000, despite the fact that it comes with all the bells and whistles available. It’s an absolute bargain compared to its German counterpart, especially considering that it also packs a V8. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter unit makes 420 HP and 383 lb-ft (519 Nm) of torque — so, while it’s down on power compared to the Merc, it’s no slouch either.

The significant torque deficit, which can be attributed to the lack of forced induction, results in a different driving experience in the G90 – but not necessarily in a bad way. The car never feels underpowered and the higher redline contributes to a more old-school feel and smooth, progressive acceleration.

Add to that the fact that the G90 feels every bit as comfortable and luxurious as the S-Class, and it becomes quite difficult to choose a winner based strictly on what the cars offer and leaving aside subjective criteria such as brand image and design. That tells you all you need to know about how good the Genesis is.


  • Matteo Tommasi

    The genesis is FUGLY

    • Bash

      Yep, but the interior is on par!

    • boo boo the fool

      to u

      • LJ

        To people with functioning eyes.

    • Cobrajet

      It’s an aquired taste. It still looks more elegant than the S Class.

      • pissedoffjuicebox

        I like the exterior quite a bit. A ton of road presence.

      • Matteo Tommasi

        It’s not. Just proportions.

  • charlotteharry57

    More pics of the G90 would have been nice since I’ve never seen the refresh before. That grille has got to go, however. Beyond obnoxious!

    • Bash

      True, that grille is ugly.

  • i’ll take a model S Tesla.. you know what that is.

  • BlackPegasus

    Genesis has lost it’s way with that atrocious grill and wheels. And it’s a shame because they were building some momentum and brand presence with the new G70. This obnoxious pig will set them back for years to come.

  • vanquishvantage

    They completely ruined the styling….the G90 was always nice looking albeit a bit to on the conservative side but this new update makes it look older and more traditional and that grill is horrendous it looks like it’s from the 80s or 90s very dated looking Genesis is losing their way.

  • sidewaysspin

    Alfa Romeo should have had a grille like that by now.

    • Matteo Tommasi

      FCA has good designers

  • getoffme

    The Hyundai is so ugly as hell.


      like you

  • Rev Mike, Esq.

    I don’t care how good it is, that thing is HIDEOUS!! I’d happily spend the extra $40 grand to not have to look at it every day.

    • Bige Lee

      lol you would

  • emjayay

    You don’t get an Aston Martin Chrysler Bentley badge with the Mercedes though.

    • OdysseyTag


    • bd0007

      Mini, Austin-Healey, (Ford) Thunderbird, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera (coachbuilder), etc. all have winged badges – which are pretty common in the automotive/motorbike industry.

  • omshhaol

    For those criticising the new Genesis body style, lets face it… The days of Genesis copying to a tee, Mercedes Benz’s body styling features (look at the g90’s rear end and tell me its not a carbon copy of MB’s S-Class rear end) had to end at some point in time.

    To me, that earned Genesis the “Poor Man’s S-Class” which, no matter how you slice it, it undermines any positive element that the Genesis brand night offer its owners.

    That said… My 1st reaction when I saw that new front end/grill…. “Lexus”…. So yeah…. They are still copying other brands, only now they have opted to go with a cheaper make than MB thereby making a Genesis the “Poorest Man’s Lexus”…

    • bd0007

      Uhh, how is a pentagonal shaped grille anything like the Lexus spindle grille?

      Plus, Hyundai actually did the spindle grille on a concept BEFORE Toyota/Lexus.

      And speaking of Mercedes, guess you haven’t noticed that some Mercedes models have been sporting a hexagonal shaped grille and stretched headlights – both hallmarks of Hyundai design language.

  • That Genesis is a No for me, just No.

  • Bo Hanan
  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Jesus…that thing is DISGUSTING


      LMFAO are you talking about yourself because if you are, then i agree with your comment. 😂😂😂

      • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

        Oh look , it’s the incel. Having fun suffering lifelong rejection incel?

  • Carl

    Say what you will, the G90 is the best value for the money hands down. Your worried about the grill ? Then you obvious missed the point in all this and your not money smart!

    • Holmer_k

      True. But the fact is we really aren’t cross shopping the two generally. Some like me might but thats because we’ll be buying used when the price differences will be far closer.

    • SteersUright

      Smart money doesn’t spend $70k+ on any car, they buy Accords and Avalons. These are clearly for those willing to shell out for luxury and on that note, whats another $30k if you’re looking to make a statement. That said, were the Genesis G90 stunningly beautiful, it would definitely not do it any harm. The fact that it has that grille and only looks mediocre at best, certainly means it’ll primarily appeal to Lexus buyers rather than any older, wealthy German luxury car fans.

  • john1168

    I really don’t like the front of that Genesis.

  • SamBamm

    Lexus, and all their copy-cat’s, are going for the ‘Star Wars’ face. These guys went old school ‘Super Man’ with this grill. It is n exact replica

  • TheBelltower

    The G90 has certainly got some good points. But honestly, who would pay anywhere close to 70k for a Genesis? The interior looks old, and the exterior looks like it was pulled out of the design archive drawer from the bad-ol-days of Hyundais in the early 00’s.

    • Craig

      I would because I think it’s a great car. The funny thing is… what you’re saying about the Genesis is what some people said about the 1st generation LS400.

      • TheBelltower

        The marketplace was different in the 80s. There was no significant “entry lux” market. The Germans were making the only real large luxury sedans, but they were expensive to maintain, had hard seats, cupholders that were afterthoughts, limited steering wheel adjustments and were austere. The British and Americans were making traditional luxury cars that were unreliable and no one wanted. There was a conspicuous gap in the marketplace for a new kind of luxury car. Around that time, we had Acura, Infiniti, Sterling, Lexus, Merkur, and others that I forget. Some survived, some didn’t. Today, there are more luxury vehicles to accommodate every micro-segment. There is no need for another me-too luxury car that doesn’t offer anything new.

        • Craig

          I’d love to know what you think the G90 could look like. A 4 door coupe perhaps? Oops. Already done. Give me a hint. And to say that that the interior looks old is ridiculous.

          • TheBelltower

            It’s not my job to determine if Hyundai should enter the luxury marketplace, or how their vehicles will fit among the competition. But what I can say is that the psychology behind the purchase of an S-Class or 7 Series is different than with other cars. The placement is very precise. Here are some insights about the considerations of this type of car buyer…

            The owner might employ ten people at a dry cleaner, or 40,000 people at a Fortune 100 company. They want to look successful, but not flashy. It can be a political purchase… a senior executive will consider how this purchase will look to the CEO, and the CEO will consider how this purchase will look to the board. A non-senior executive will buy something like an E-class or 5 series. They want to be able to drive through neighborhoods in a car that doesn’t announce itself or attract the wrong attention. Socially, they want to show their status but don’t want their wealth to be sized up by their car. Many of these owners also have at least one sports car. A large percentage of these cars are company owned/leased and used as a tax deduction.

            This car offers absolutely nothing except goofy styling, a two-generation old interior and a low price. But the price is still real money, so the buyer can easily afford a well optioned E-class or 5 series. I don’t know of any luxury car that has ever beaten the competition based on price alone. Especially when the styling is polarizing. That was what Infiniti did with their first Q sedan, and even though it was an excellent car, it failed for that reason. When the Lexus LS was launched (and to a lesser extent, the Acura Legend) it was immediately clear that the car was not cut rate, and was superior in many ways to the Germans. It moved the entire industry forward. What we haven’t seen, is how the G90 will move the industry forward.

          • Craig

            What you expect from a new player in the luxury car field is entirely unrealistic and ridiculous. So let me see if I understand what you’re saying. IF Genesis wants to be taken seriously they are going to have to design and build a car BETTER than the S-Class and sell it for the same price. Is about right?

          • TheBelltower

            You were the one who compared Hyundai (genesis) to the Lexus LS. That’s precisely what Toyota did. Hyundai is a massive company with all the resources they would ever need to do it.

          • bd0007

            Funny, Hyundai/Genesis has already built a better flagship than Toyota/Lexus, as the pre-F/L G90 has been besting the LS 500 in comparison tests.

            And there will be an all-new G90 in about 2 years (new platform and new powertrains).

        • bd0007

          Apparently, the Canadian market disagrees.

    • bd0007

      The interior doesn’t look old (would have had a better argument if had referred to the G80’s interior).

      As for buyers, last month nearly 7x as many picked the G90 over the LS 500 in Canada.

  • PK

    Mercedes Benz = Real Madrid!

    Genesis = Hotspur! xD

  • SteersUright

    The G90 is stil just “almost-there”, rather than “arrived”. It’s let down by slightly inelegant looks mostly due to wheels that are too small and too tucked in and that ridiculously garish grille. The headlights also look rather boring and a knockoff of the Volvo S90. The gauges too, as mentioned in the video, are nowhere near 7-series, S-class, and definitely not A8 worthy. Then again, its like $30k cheaper which I suppose is the whole point. I just wish we didnt have to make any excuses for the G90 and it was every bit as good as the other cars mentioned.

    Also, there is one glaring omission in their review: the G90 will likely be far more reliable and cheaper to run than any of those German cars they mention, much like Lexus is. And on that note I see this capturing more Lexus LS buyers over many traditional German car customers.

    • bd0007

      The headlights are quite different from those on the S90.

      The G90 is a fine luxo-cruiser and it’s pre-F/L version has already been besting the LS 500 in comparison tests.

      The F/L version makes some improvements, but it won’t be until the next gen model where we’ll see major improvements (biggest being a much needed weight loss and new powertrains).

  • Dubs Dub

    Some cars just look better in pics / videos. I’ll have to decide in person.

    I accidentally test drove a Kia Cadenza once, and I was very impressed.

  • xrnzaaas

    What’s up with modern cars and fugly grilles?

  • Jawohl

    For once the Merc won’t have the worst resale/depreciation


      And here you are posting mis info. Your new name should be Jawohl the Troll

      • Jawohl

        Oh the irony with your comment

        • bd0007

          You apparently don’t get the meaning of the term.

          • Jawohl

            Ironic hey?

          • bd0007

            Again, LEARN the definition of the word before you try to use it…

      • pissedoffjuicebox

        He always says it’s an “irony” when you correctly point him out as a troll, I guess it’s a little inside joke of his he thinks is clever.


          Facts, that moron is always posting some BS opinions since he can’t afford a car.

          • Jawohl

            He likes to trigger you🤫

          • A 🤴🏻 THAT WILL RULE OVER YOU

            You can’t even triggered a fly. How is that going to work on me? LMFAO

          • Jawohl

            He triggered you already😂

          • A 🤴🏻 THAT WILL RULE OVER YOU

            Do you even know what the word “triggered” is Jawohl the corny troll? Your low iq amazes your superior

          • Jawohl

            Your continued replies are simply just a case in point. Thank you.

      • Enter Ranting

        Genesis hurt his feefees and he just can’t get over it. Coming here to post incorrect information is his therapy.

      • Blueberry

        He trolls Aussie sites too lol


    Good thing that the Genesis is actually getting to the German level.

  • 박상원

    This G90 is a facelift of the old Hyundai’s EQ900, so no, it is not a ‘genuine’ Genesis per se. Yes, if you have the money, definitely deposit in the Mercedes’ bank account. However, the facelifted G90 has presence and pretty good road handling manners, as I have experienced it during a 3~4 hour drive in a fleet of G90 provided to finance experts late last year. In fact, the G70 is the first real Genesis vehicle for the brand, and the GV80 (due this November in Korea) is the true, real Genesis that has been developed solely for the brand, alongside the next gen G80 (due Feb ’20) and the GV70(due late ’20). The real test, hence, for the brand would be the GV80. Just wait a month or two, and you will see.

    • 31/12/2999

      It was always a Genesis G90, so in other countries is called Genesis EQ900, but essentially is a Luxury Car from

    • bd0007

      The EQ900 was always a Genesis (the first Genesis model upon launch of the brand).

  • Craig

    You’re bound to lose more money buying the Genesis than the Mercedes? Sure about that? Let’s say that in 5 years time the S-Class is worth HALF of what you paid for it and the G90 is worthy 30%. Ouch. Right? Well… what’s HALF of $110,000? $55,000. Which means… with the S-Class you lose $55,000 dollars in five years. But you must have lost more with the G90. Right? Let’s see. What is 30% of $68,000 dollars? It’s $20,400. And what’s $68,000 minus $20,400? It’s $47,600. Guess what that all adds up to? YOU losing MORE MONEY buying the Mercedes S-Class. [At least in 5 years time] And maybe the G90 will keep more of its value than that.

    • bd0007

      The German flagships traditionally have had the highest depreciation rates (which really accelerates out of warranty).

  • ThatGuy

    An Exec that can afford the Merc, will purchase that. That Genesis offers a good value proposition, but the Merc overall quality wins over this group. Plus they love the badge and prestige.

    The Genesis is great but overall even i will take the Merc if i had the cash. This is a money is no problem category and majority buy these cash.

    And sorry to say it you can see the quality difference in other videos, posts and pictures. Sorry but a small group will get the Genesis, it will in no way threaten Merc and the likes.

    Besides this market, for all intents and purposes is also on the decline. Cool cars but even i want the Merc more.

    • bd0007

      Granted, they will be a minority, but some have already moved on from the S Class (and 7 Series) to the G90 (got sick of constant issues), but it will be the Japanese competition (well, the LS 500) that mostly bears the brunt.

      • Merc1

        Oh please. Why do you try to point out the most matterless things? A handful of this or handful of this. This car is a complete failure in the market. 27 units to 4 = both losers.


  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    I have no need for any. But it’s fairly obvious you do incel? It’s your only outlet I guess. That and your mother. Pathetic.

    • Blueberry

      What the hell is incel?


      Is that even a real sentence you just post, you unidentified species? LOL

  • Jawohl

    Triggered again!

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