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Kelley Blue Book: We compare the 2021 Genesis G90 with the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class

With plenty of competition in the luxury sedan class, the 2021 Genesis G90 makes a very strong impression. Is it enough to dethrone the reigning full-size king, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class? Let’s compare them.

2021 Genesis G90
The Genesis G90

Genesis

2021 Genesis G90 starting price: $73,975

Above average: Competitive price; lots of standard features; choice of engines, including a V8; class-leading powertrain warranty; optional all-wheel drive.

Below average: Lacks prestige of other brands; stresses ride over handling compared to some German competitors.

Consensus: The flagship of Hyundai’s
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luxury brand, the 2021 Genesis G90 offers luxury and a full complement of standard features at a price thousands below its German competitors.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class starting price: $109,800

Above average: Standard all-wheel drive; choice of powerful engines; top-notch technology.

Below average: Expensive; conservative exterior styling; no electric or full hybrid variant.

Consensus: King of the Mercedes line, the 2021 S-Class offers two powerful engines, a gorgeous interior, and standard all-wheel drive. Luxury and safety features abound, although prices start above $100,000.

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G90 vs. S-Class: power and comfort

Genesis G90

A full-size luxury sedan with loads of standard features and either a twin-turbo V6 or an optional V8 engine, the 2021 Genesis G90 is a very attractive option in its segment that is priced significantly lower than many of its competitors. While there is a Sport setting that quickens 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, although all G90s can also be optioned with all-wheel drive.

Handsome and sophisticated, the G90 is well made and full of Nappa leather, smooth wood, and stainless steel speaker grilles. If there’s one complaint, the interior still has a bit of an old-school analog approach to its luxury interior.

A strong point is that even the base model G90 is extremely well equipped. It includes features such as 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 suite of safety and driver-assist features that includes lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation, a 360-degree camera system, and blind-spot monitoring. Resale values are average. The 2021 G90 includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty to go along with free scheduled maintenance and concierge services.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

A powerhouse among luxury sedans, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to hone its reputation as the benchmark by which all others are judged. A choice of powerful engines combines with all-wheel drive to make this large sedan both powerful and stable.

Performance is strong yet steady, with rear-axle steering helping the big sedan perform like a smaller car. There are also a couple of sporting variants of the S-Class from Mercedes’ AMG performance division, but those are in a completely different world in terms of not only performance but pricing.

Build quality and interior comfort are exceptional, with plenty of head- and legroom for five passengers and fine craftsmanship. Standard features include leather upholstery, heated and cooled massaging seats, a panoramic sunroof, and an exceptional Burmester 15-speaker audio system.

A massive center touchscreen controls such things as temperature, navigation, and infotainment, and while there are fewer buttons than we’d like, the Mercedes user interface system makes it easy to use voice commands for things such as temperature change and navigation. Other standard features on this six-figure luxury sedan include wireless Apple
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CarPlay/Android Auto, a 360-degree camera, six USB ports, and 19-inch wheels.

Also see: This is how much a Mercedes Maybach S-Class will set you back

Other trims include the AMG line, with different optional wheels and a special body package, and the Executive line, with Nappa leather upholstery, electrically adjustable rear seats, and rear-seat touchscreens. Safety features include rear passenger airbags, Pre-Safe Plus that tightens the seatbelts and closes the sunroof if it senses a collision, and a system that raises the car if it detects a side-impact crash.

Similarities

Cargo space; optional V8 upgrade engines; refined ride.

2021 Genesis G90 advantages

Much lower price; long warranty; more standard equipment.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class advantages

Power; reputation for quality; brand cachet; rear-seat space.

Which one is right for me?

The 2021 Genesis G90 is one of the lowest-priced members of the full-size luxury sedan class. It offers some great engines and an impressive amount of standard equipment and luxury, although it still needs to grow its cachet in the segment.

Read: The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio combines Italian luxury with exciting performance

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class exudes a high level of sophistication and luxury, without cutting any corners. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Unquestionably.

Compare the numbers:

2021 Genesis G90 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Popular Powertrains
Engine 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 3.0-liter turbo I6 mild hybrid
Horsepower 365 hp @ 6,000 rpm 429 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 376 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm 384 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
Transmission 8-spd automatic 9-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 19 mpg (17 city/24 hwy) n/a
Also Available 5.0-liter V8; AWD 4.0-liter turbo V8 mild hybrid
Specs
Basic warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 124.4 inches 126.6 inches
Overall Length 204.9 inches 208.2 inches
Width 75.4 inches 76.9 inches
Height 58.9 inches 59.2 inches
Turning Diameter 39.2 feet 35.8 feet
Headroom, Front 41.1 inches 42.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.0 inches 39.4 inches
Legroom, Front 46.3 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.8 inches 43.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 59.1 inches 59.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.9 inches 59.0 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 113.2 cu. ft. n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 15.7 cu. ft. 13.8 cu. ft.

his story originally ran on KBB.com.

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