The 2021 Lexus LS is an established luxury car flagship, while a relative newcomer, the 2021 Genesis G90, is making a name for itself. Here’s how they compare.
2021 Genesis G90
Starting Price: $73,975
Above average: Luxury at a competitive price; lots of standard features; choice of engines, including a V8; class-leading powertrain warranty; optional all-wheel drive.
Below average: Lacks some prestige; stresses ride comfort at the expense of handling; no hybrid option.
Consensus: The flagship of Hyundai’s
luxury brand, the 2021 Genesis G90, offers lots of high-end and standard features at a price thousands less than its German competitors.
Also see: The new Genesis GV70 is a winner
2021 Lexus LS
Starting Price: $77,025
Above average: Excellent build quality; loaded with technology; optional hybrid; very comfortable.
Below average: Not particularly exciting to drive; relatively bland looks; lacks the cachet of Mercedes and Audi.
Consensus: Beautifully built, extremely comfortable, and very safe, the 2021 Lexus LS is an excellent choice among full-size luxury sedans.
G90 vs. LS: focus on comfort
A full-size luxury sedan with loads of standard features and either a twin-turbo V6 or an upgrade V8, the 2021 Genesis G90 is a very attractive option in its segment. It is priced significantly lower than its German competitors. While there is a Sport setting that improves throttle response and tightens up the suspension, the goal of the G90 is to provide its driver and passengers with a calm and comfortable ride on long journeys. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all G90s can also be optioned with all-wheel drive.
With a handsome and sophisticated look, the G90 is well made and full of Nappa leather as well as smooth wood and stainless steel speaker grilles. Even the base G90 is extremely well equipped, with heated/ventilated power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, satellite radio, a 17-speaker/900-watt Lexicon surround-sound system, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system. Also standard is a whole suite of safety features, including lane-keeping assistance, forward-collision mitigation, a 360-degree camera system, and blind-spot monitoring. Resale values are average, but as with all Hyundai models, the 2021 G90 includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
As the brand’s 2021 Lexus LS is an exquisitely built, supremely comfortable, and safe sedan made to the company’s exacting standards. Now in its fifth generation, the LS has received a mid-cycle refresh this year that has focused on making it even quieter and more composed, and best of all to us, replaced the previous touchpad with a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen. Not surprisingly, even the base LS is loaded with features, including leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, the 12.3-inch touch screen, Wi-Fi, and such safety features as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assistance, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
While some of its competitors offer V8s, the LS makes do with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that churns out 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque while returning 22 mpg. For those thinking more green, there is also a V6 hybrid. Rear-wheel drive is the default mode, with all-wheel drive optional for about $3,000 more. The LS’s specialty is comfort and cruising pleasure, with even the F Sport trim lagging behind its German competitors in terms of driving fun and performance.
Lots of technology; optional all-wheel drive; comfortable ride.
2021 Genesis G90 advantages
Optional V8; longer warranty; rear-seat upgrade package.
2021 Lexus LS advantages
Optional hybrid; base power; resale value; fuel economy.
The 2021 Genesis G90 and the 2021 Lexus LS make a strong case in this segment as a value option while still providing all the expected luxury and comfort features. And while the G90 continues to impress, everything about the 2021 Lexus LS screams obsessive attention to detail, comfort, smoothness, safety, and build quality. The Genesis is an up-and-comer, but the Lexus is where it needs to be.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.