Even though the G90’s styling was overseen by Peter Schreyer (responsible for some of Audi’s landmark ‘Bauhaus-era’ cars), the G90 clearly fails to establish a distinctive design language. It’s big and imposing, certainly, but the car just doesn’t stand out or, more importantly, immediately deliver a fresh character of its own. The big grille, loosely based on the current Hyundai face, is a particular disappointment. If you are trying to launch a new automotive brand, this is not the way to announce yourself.
You could employ a similar criticism for the G90’s interior. It’s a festival of wood, leather and neatly drawn switchgear, and has a bespoke audio system. A big, clear head-up display and wide colour infotainment screen are standard, along with individual seats in the rear and 22-way adjustable front seats that have been approved by ‘Aktion Gesunder Rücken’ - the German campaign for healthier backs.
But while the cabin doesn’t have a stand-out design theme, it is undoubtedly beautifully constructed and assembled. And while European car makers move to massively reduce the button count, Hyundai sticks with the tested formula of a switch for every function.
The basic architecture - with a high centre console and high dash - encloses the front seat passengers rather nicely. The stubby shift lever is well placed and the head-up and widescreen displays are crystal clear. The front seats are superb, completely supporting this driver’s back, and the headrests can be placed to just kiss the back of the head.
The G90’s down-the-road refinement is impressive. The quietness of the powertrain and lack of suspension noise in the cabin did, however, rather allow what tyre noise there was to stand out. The lack of wind ruffle around the A-pillars and wing mirrors was outstanding, though.
Despite being tuned on the Nürburgring, of all places, the G90 is not designed to be flung around. It is simply too big and well-planted to do anything other than sweep its occupants along - although on the tight hill roads of northern Seoul it proved exceptionally easy to place. Despite isolating the occupants, the G90’s contact points are well weighted. The steering has a satisfying heft and the brake response is also beautifully judged. It is not inert by any means, but the car’s chassis does neatly balance itself between alertness and stability.
Ultimately, the G90 has a kind of commanding competence that allows the driver to relax and not think much about the mechanics of conducting the car.