New 2023 Genesis G90 Driven In Korea, Is It Ready For Battle Against Mercedes, BMW, And Audi?

Years ago when Hyundai released the Genesis sedan it signaled a shift for the brand. It was by far the most luxurious product they’d ever created and ultimately spawned a spin-off brand. Now, Genesis, the brand, has a number of SUVs and sedans and for 2023 it’s getting an all-new flagship, the G90. Now, we’re getting a deep dive from some folks who have had the chance to see the Korean market car.

Genesis knows that it’s got a long road ahead of it to become the next Lexus. That’s one reason that the new sedan is packed to the brim with technology and comfort. Let’s take a moment and break down the technology first. Genesis already ships its products with a great slew of advanced safety features but the new G90 goes further.

Related: 2023 Genesis G90 Fully Revealed In Korea, Gets Twin-Turbo V6 With 375 HP

There are five different screens in the car including the driver information display, the main infotainment display, an individual infotainment screen for each rear passenger, and a central control screen for the back seat passengers as well. Next to that central screen is a UV mobile device cleaner and a wireless charge pad. Just like many other modern luxury cars, the rear passengers can set the navigation destination for the driver among other things.

Comfort is a big highlight for the 2023 G90 as well. For example, the rear passenger seat can go into “Max Comfort” mode which fully reclines the back seat and lowers the front passenger seat before extending a footrest from that front seat. Power-adjustable sunshades are fitted throughout the back of the car. Front seat passengers aren’t left in a lurch though. The driver’s seat is 22-way adjustable and both doors automatically close and latch at the push of a button.

See: How Does The 2023 Genesis G90 Compare With Its Predecessors?

Under the hood is a twin-turbo V6 that makes 375 hp and sends that power to a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel-steering is available too, so despite being a long car, the G90 can make tight turns. Air suspension is also available to add even more comfort. Overall, it seems like a potent package – and one we’d like to sample in person when the North American version makes its debut later this year.

2022 Acura TLX

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Acura TLX? What does it compare to?

The TLX is a mid-size sedan in dimensions and power, but its pricing puts it more in line with compact rivals. Shop the BMW 3-Series and the 5-Series, plus the Cadillac CT5 and Volvo S60. 

Is the 2022 Acura TLX a good car?

Review continues below

We like the 2022 TLX a lot in any form. Its great handling and comfortable ride pair well with strong turbocharged engines. Only a so-so infotainment system and a limited lineup hold it back to a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Acura TLX?

The 2022 TLX carries over largely unchanged following last year’s restyle.

Clean, crisp lines outside and an attractive, if not quite as impressive, interior give the TLX a sense of style lacking in its predecessor. Underhood, however, the turbocharged engines are arguably this car’s biggest draw. The base 2.0-liter turbo-4 puts out 272 hp, sent either forward or, optionally, to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. Type S models up the ante with a divine 355-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6, which comes only with all-wheel drive.

Even with all that power, the TLX offers up decent fuel economy. Figure 25 mpg combined with the 4-cylinder. 

Base TLXs ride and handle well, with just a hint of sportiness. Optional adaptive dampers and sports seats improve comfort. The range-topping TLX Type S is a breath of fresh air with its thrilling acceleration and balanced overall performance. It’s sporty without being too in-your-face about its abilities. 

A spacious cabin with great appointments is marred by a tricky infotainment system that relies on a distracting touchpad. Otherwise, the TLX hits all the luxury must-haves in most forms, all for a reasonable price tag. 

Crash safety is top notch, too, with high scores from the NHTSA and the IIHS plus a full complement of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance tech. 

How much does the 2022 Acura TLX cost?

The TLX starts at around $39,000, though we’d spend up for all-wheel drive and at least the Technology Package. Combined, those up the ante to around $45,000. 

Where is the 2022 Acura TLX made?

In Marysville, Ohio.

The Best Cars I’ve Driven #4: Ford Mondeo (Yes, Really)

The Best Cars I’ve Driven #4: Ford Mondeo (Yes, Really)

Making a great supercar is tough, but compared with making a great family car, it’s an absolute breeze. Which is why so few auto manufacturers get it right, and why despite having driven hundreds of exotic cars, I’ve got a real soft spot for a Ford Mondeo with just 123 hp. Let me explain.

In Europe in the late 1990s, Ford and Volkswagen were implying entirely different approaches to make the best family cars in the game. While Volkswagen went big on refinement, adding soft, high quality plastics and damped grab handles to get customers cooing, Ford concentrated on handling.

That battle is best remembered as one between the all-new 1998 Ford Focus and the Mk4 Golf. But the same companies were applying the same principles both in the class below occupied by the Fiesta and Polo, and in the one above where the Passat and Mondeo duked it out.

The fifth-generation B5 Passat actually predated the Mk 4 Golf by two years and so was first to showcase VW’s luxurious new interior philosophy. Mated to VW’s new sophisticated design language, it looked and felt like a cut-price Audi, which in effect it was: the A4 and A6 both used the same platform.

Related: 2023 Ford Mondeo Leaked In China Revealing Production Model’s Styling

But the Passat, like most VWs of this period, was stodgy to drive. It was comfortable, but slightly underdamped, the controls were mushy and you just never felt motivated to hustle it. And for guys who needed a roomy family car, but didn’t have BMW 5-Series money to spend, or were about two promotions away from accessing one on their company car scheme, but still wanted something fun to drive, that was a problem.

And it was a problem only partially solved by opting for a Mk1 Mondeo instead. The original Mondeo, launched in 1993 in Europe (and sold in substantially modified form in the U.S. as the Contour) had already won praise for its great handling, but the rear space was tight and it looked about as stylish as tour grandma’s underwear. So when Ford set about building the Mk2 Mondeo, it decided to combine the agility of the first Mondeo with an exterior and interior design that would knock VW sideways.

It failed. Yeah, I know this is supposed to be one of the best cars I’ve driven, but even on-a-run, turn-of-the-Millenium Ford didn’t get everything right. Design-wise, the Mondeo kind of sucked. It wasn’t slick and polished like the Passat, or edgy and interesting like its Focus little brother. But the surfacing was pretty tight and Ford execs obviously loved it because they rinsed out the same look for the Fusion and Five Hundred that were sold in North America.

Inside, you almost needed an upside down periscope to view the radio (or optional sat-nav screen) from the driver’s seat, so low down on the console were they mounted. But the interior quality and ambience was a huge improvement on the old car’s, and so was the rear legroom, one of the few major gripes with the Mk1. Sedan, hatchback and wagon bodies were all on the menu, and every one was huge inside.

Related: Ford To Kill Off Mondeo In 2022, Retiring Nameplate After Nearly 30 Years

And it was even better to drive than before. There were quick ones, like the 223 hp (226 PS) V6-powered ST220 (pictured above), but what made the Mondeo so great is that even the humblest versions were a hoot. The simple 1.8 Zetec was no fireball, its naturally aspirated inline four sending an anaemic sounding 123 hp (125 PS) and 125 lb ft (170 Nm) to the front wheels, meaning zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) took 10.2 seconds. But those figures were par for the course in entry level European family cars 20 years ago.

What wasn’t, was the Mondeo’s sharp steering, keen turn-in and hot hatch-like body control. Honestly, you couldn’t possibly believe how much fun it was to punt about having only seen it from the outside. It was like a parkour champion disguised as an insurance salesman. And it’s quite possible that plenty of people who bought a Mondeo and had never previously given a multi-link rear end about steering feel discovered that ordinary cars could be really fun to drive. It was the best affordable family car on sale in Europe by miles.

You could reasonably argue that the Mk3 Mondeo that replaced it in 2007 was superior, and it’s true it looked smarter, had a higher quality interior and was even roomier. But then I’d argue that the Mk3′ S-MAX MPV brother did the family thing even better, and moved the game on more comprehensively.

Today, the once mighty Mondeo is preparing to be killed off in March 2022. The current car has plenty to offer, but people want crossovers and SUVs like the Kuga, and as for the second generation Mondeo, it’s all but forgotten. The few that remain are mostly old clunkers, and while the original Focus occasionally gets a namecheck as a game-changing family car, you’ll never hear anyone giving its big brother the credit it deserves. Consider this a hat doff from me.

2022 Kia Niro EV

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Kia Niro EV? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Kia Niro EV is a roomy, affordable compact electric vehicle that offers a driving range well beyond 200 miles. The Niro EV most closely compares to other relatively affordable small EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf Plus and Hyundai Kona Electric, although it’s a somewhat smaller alternative to the Volkswagen ID.4, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the upcoming Nissan Ariya. 

Is the 2022 Kia Niro EV a good car?

Review continues below

The Niro EV is a pragmatic pick among smaller electric vehicles, if it’s available near you, as it’s not stocked by dealers in every state. We rate the 2022 Niro at 6.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Kia Niro EV?

The Kia Niro enters 2022 with expanded standard equipment on the base EX model. In that version, the larger 10.3-inch touchscreen gets added to the standard-feature list, along with navigation, satellite radio, and premium Harmon/Kardon sound. Kia badging has also been updated throughout the vehicle to match the brand’s new corporate logo.

The Niro EV follows closely in the form of its Niro hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid siblings, although it has a very different function. A single electric motor makes 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque and can accelerate the Niro EV to 60 mph in about seven seconds. But in city driving, it feels far perkier than that, with good handling and roadholding, although its extra 700 lb of weight simply mean it’s not as nimble as related gasoline versions.

The EV doesn’t look much different from the rest of the Niro lineup. Probably the most noteworthy difference is the unique shift selector and dash layout, which looks more futuristic. On the outside, the Niro EV flaunts just enough rugged cues to put the idea of an SUV in your mind, but the front-wheel-drive Niro EV is essentially a tall-riding hatchback. It’s really all about versatility and interior space here, with the seat height just right for getting in and out without ducking, although front seats are short and lack the support for long road trips. There’s only enough width for two adults in the back seat, but with the height and access it’s perfect for clipping in child seats and minding toddlers—or folding the seats down for gear. 

How much does the 2022 Kia Niro EV cost?

The 2022 Niro EV costs $41,165 in base EX form, or $45,825 in uplevel EX Premium trim. Key additions for the Premium include a sunroof, cooled front seats, and parking sensors. 

Where is the 2022 Kia Niro EV made?

In South Korea.

Driven: 2022 Genesis G70 Remains A Great Sports Sedan For The Money

Driven: 2022 Genesis G70 Remains A Great Sports Sedan For The Money

The Genesis G70 was a revelation for the automaker and proved that it could compete with the German establishment. Last year, it received a mid-life facelift and should be considered by anyone looking to pick up the keys to a luxurious sports sedan.

Production of the G70 started in September 2017 and it was built for three years before the updated model came along. We, like most others, were won over by the G70 in both 2.0-liter and 3.3-liter guise and the updated model is now more appealing than ever.

Simple updates

In refreshing the G70, Genesis’ designers adopted the ‘Two Lines’ approach currently found across all of its models. As such, the sedan now sports split headlights and split taillights, a redesigned grille and an enlarged lip spoiler incorporated into the trunk lid.

Fewer alterations have been made to the cabin. In fact, when stepping into the facelifted G70 for the first time, it takes a keen eye to notice any changes. The most significant upgrade is the installation of an enlarged 10.25-inch infotainment screen that uses the latest Genesis software and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Entry-level models sold in Australia also come standard with a new 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster while variants optioned with the AU$10,000 (~$7,240) Luxury Package receive a larger 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster.

Our test car was the flagship Genesis G70 3.3T with the Luxury & Sport Line package. As such, the new infotainment screen and gauge cluster were joined by a Head-Up display, 16-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, Nappa leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel and rear seats, and an excellent 15-speaker Lexicon premium sound system.

German comfort for less

The cabin of the G70 has always been a joy to spend time in and it is no different with the facelifted model. The driver’s seat can be positioned very low, making it perfect for tall drivers, and the addition of a digital instrument cluster is very welcome. All of the key touchpoints are nice and soft and it’s great to see Genesis sticking with physical buttons and dials for the HVAC.

Nevertheless, we had the opportunity to drive the facelifted G70 just a couple of weeks after sampling the GV70. As nice as the cabin of the G70 is, it lacks the wow factor of the GV70’s interior and isn’t finished to the same standard. For example, shortcut buttons for the infotainment screen used by the G70 are simple black plastic while in the GV70 they are metal switches.

What else is new?

Few mechanical changes have been made to the updated G70, although that’s no bad thing.

Entry-level models continue to feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pushing out 179 kW (240 hp) and 353 Nm (260 lb-ft) of torque while the flagship model that we tested has a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 274 kW (367 hp) and 510 Nm (376 lb-ft). It’s a shame that Genesis didn’t equip the sedan with the newer 2.5-liter turbocharged four-pot and 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 offered in the G80, GV70, and GV80, but as it stands the 3.3-liter is still an excellent performer.

Fire the car up and the first thing that grabs your attention is the sound. Genesis has fitted the 2021 G70 3.3T with a bi-modal exhaust that gives it a much more exciting soundtrack than the pre-facelift model and while it doesn’t match the growl of Kia Stinger 3.3 models sold in Australia, it does sound very nice.

Genesis says the 3.3-liter model can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and it feels every bit as quick as that claim. However, it isn’t the straight-line performance of the car that really stands out but rather its superb handling.

Driven: 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport Makes For A Truly Compelling Proposition

For a four-door sedan that weighs up to 1,765 kg (3,891 lbs) in its heaviest specification, the G70 3.3T feels remarkably light on its feet. Turn-in is immediate and the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires fill you with confidence, encouraging you to push harder through corners to really see what the car is capable of. Switch into Sport mode and it feels even more responsive.

Genesis Australia has tuned the suspension of the facelifted G70 to better suit local roads and when driven in a more calm and controlled manner, the sedan remains poised in all driving conditions alongside every kind of road surface imaginable. It soaks up bumps with poise and is just as enjoyable to drive down the highway as it is to rip through a mountain road. All 3.3T models feature adaptive damping, allowing you to fine-tune the driving experience.

Coupled to both the 2.0-liter and 3.3-liter engines is an eight-speed automatic transmission. In general, we have very few complaints with this gearbox. Both upshifts and downshifts are performed rapidly and the paddle shifters feel very nice to the touch. However, as we said in our recent GV70 review, it would have been nice for Genesis to ditch this eight-speed ‘auto and replace it with the wet-type dual-clutch eight-speed found in various Hyundai and Kia models.

Both the 2.0T And 3.3T are good options

It probably won’t surprise you that fuel efficiency isn’t the strong suit of the 3.3-liter engine. Genesis claims it has a combined fuel consumption of 10.2L/100 km (23 U.S. mpg) over the combined cycle but matching that figure would be nigh-on impossible if you drive in anything other than Eco mode and use more than 50 per cent of the throttle. We averaged 14.2L/100 km (16.5 U.S. mpg) over our week with the car and that included quite a lot of highway driving. If owners intend on taking their G70 3.3T along a canyon road for some ‘spirited’ driving, a figure closer to 20.0L/100 km (11.7 U.S. mpg) isn’t hard to hit.

Those looking for better fuel efficiency should look at the 2.0-liter model. We were thoroughly impressed with this entry-level engine when we tested the G70 in pre-facelift guise in early 2021 and Genesis says it is good for 9.0L/100 km (26.1 U.S. mpg) over the combined cycle, a figure that’s actually achievable in our experience.

Sedans are dying off but the G70 remains a good buy

Australian prices for the 2021 Genesis G70 kick off from AU$63,000 (~$45,600) before on-road costs for the 2.0T and AU$76,000 (~$55,000) before on-roads for the 3.3T. Customers opting for the 3.3T model with the Luxury & Sport Line package shouldn’t expect much change from AU$97,000 (~$70,300) when accounting for local on-road costs and taxes. That’s approximately AU$5,000 (~$3,600) less than a flagship GV70 with the newer 3.5-liter engine and, as mentioned, a more luxurious interior.

Given that Genesis will morph into an all-electric brand, it is possible that the facelifted G70 will be the final combustion-powered sports sedan that it builds. It is a fantastic car and it’s a real shame that cars like this won’t be around for much longer.

more photos…

Photo credits: Brad Anderson/CarScoops

2022 Dodge Durango

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Dodge Durango? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Dodge Durango is a three-row SUV that went to the gym and tanning salon but may have skipped laundry day. It’s a bit past its sell-by date, but we like it anyway. Shop it against the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee L. 

Is the 2022 Dodge Durango a good SUV?

Review continues below

There’s a lot to like about the 2022 Dodge Durango, from its muscular looks to its more muscular powertrain options. But its lousy crash-test record and firm ride drop the Durango to a TCC Rating of 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Dodge Durango?

Last year’s 710-hp Durango SRT Hellcat bites the dust, leaving the lineup with SXT, GT, R/T, Citadel, and SRT 392 trims. The V-6 or V-8 engines offer between 293 and 475 horsepower and pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is miserable rather than miserly, with no model likely to exceed 25 mpg on the highway in real-world driving. 

The Durango boasts muscular style to match its underhood grunt, especially in R/T and SRT 392 trims. Its interior is similarly racy thanks to a refresh last year, and most versions use a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a good navigation system, and over-the-air updates. The Durango may be distinctly dated when it comes to some things—its safety record and its looks—but it can be a high-tech choice.

Blind-spot monitors are standard across the lineup this year, but automatic emergency braking and active lane control are standard only on GT Plus and above trims. Those driver-assist features are recommended since the Durango has several blemishes on its crash-test record. 

How much does the 2022 Dodge Durango cost?

The Durango SXT starts at $37,070, including a $1,595 destination fee, but we suggest stepping up to at least the $44,500 GT Plus for its available larger infotainment screen and driver-assistance safety technology. All-wheel drive adds $2,600, except on top SRT 392 models, where it is standard. The SRT 392 tops the range at about $68,000. 

Where is the 2022 Dodge Durango made?

In Detroit, Michigan.