When it comes to luxury cars, Lexus is one of the first brand names that come to mind. For years, the Lexus LS sedan has been a go-to with its tremendous reliability and refined ride. The 2020 Lexus LS is a study in quiet elegance. The Korean Genesis is a relative newcomer to the luxury car class, but it came to win. With its new 2020 Genesis G90, it offers a luxury sedan that’s a worthy match for Lexus.
The team at Consumer Reports evaluated both cars. Who did it better?
The 2020 Lexus LS
According to CR, the new 2020 Lexus LS is bigger and lower, which limits room in the backseat, limits access, and cuts down its available cabin space.
In the cabin, there are intricate design cues aplenty. It’s visually appealing. But they found the controls and infotainment system very complex and distracting. They liked the adjustable driver’s seat, but it offers too many adjustment options and you have to access the aforementioned frustrating system to use them.
They found the ride to be as steady as you expect thanks to the optional air suspension on their test model. But they felt the bumps and imperfections in the road far too much for a luxury sedan. The team liked its handling and way the car controlled body roll. They felt the width of the car felt ungainly on winding roads.
In place of the V8 engine, the LS previously featured is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that gets 416 hp. The CR team noticed an initial pause between the new engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. The interior serenity that the Lexus LS is known for is now disrupted when you really have to accelerate with the new engine.
The team found the latest LS had a lot of great safety features as it should for the price. But its simplicity is marred by too much tech and poor organization of controls. They gave the LS an overall rating of 52. They were disappointed that the LS moved away from a simple, top-notch luxury experience to a vehicle that’s frustrating on many fronts. On the other hand is the 2020 Genesis G90.
The 2020 Genesis G90
The 2020 Genesis G90 is recommended by Consumer Reports with an overall score of 82. The CR team found it to be a luxury car that stands toe to toe with the segment’s finest. They pointed out that it costs as much as $20,000 less than many luxurious cars too.
The G90 offers a choice of two engines. One is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that gets 365 hp. The other is a 5.0-liter V8 that gets 420 hp. Both are paired with a super-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available for either engine.
While CR wasn’t ready to put the G90 ahead of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as far as ride quality, they pointed out the ride is refined and very quiet. They appreciated the capable handling for a big, heavy sedan and how it responsively took corners.
The interior is opulent with top-shelf materials used and all the luxury features you could want and expect. While the cabin was well comfortable and luxurious, it’s not outstanding. There are other luxury brands that have more appealing cabins.
The team did appreciate the backseat. They liked the controls at the armrest in the center for audio, climate, and sunshades. There are power seats too.
Different from other luxury cars, the G90 offers easy-to-use controls. They didn’t care for the monostable gear selector but it was the only misfire.
The team appreciated the wealth of advanced safety features G90 offers standard like blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection. It also has adaptive cruise control which other luxury brands tend to include at extra cost.
The obvious winner . . .
In comparing the 2020 Lexus LS and the 2020 Genesis G90, the clear winner is the G90, which the CR team found to be a very compelling car.
The G90 has the advantage because it offers two engine choices as opposed to one and a serene, quiet ride from either. Its ride is refined and doesn’t make you feel the impact of road imperfections like the LS. While both cars offered an upscale interior, the G90 offers a more user-friendly experience when it comes to controls.
There were more standard safety features offered with the Genesis G90 including adaptive cruise control, which the CR team found worked very well.
Recommended by CR with an overall score of more than 30 points above that of the LS, the 2020 Genesis G90 is a capable, competitive luxury sedan that has a lot to offer.