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    Two $100,000 Standouts

    By Philip Ruth–

    Let’s say your budget for a new vehicle is $100,000. Buying at this price point means deciding between the choices the lesser segments don’t offer. Want a coupe, sedan, or SUV? Should propulsion be internal combustion, or electricity? Will the interior be black leather, or an explosion of color? 

    It’s all a terrible burden, one that could keep you up at night in the glow of your iPad, endlessly scrolling through the manufacturers’ websites. If that’s your current situation, then check out these two interesting $100K-club members: the Genesis G90 3.5T E-Supercharger AWD ($100,370) and Lexus LX 600 F Sport ($107,585).

    The Genesis is an executive sedan, complete with a fold-forward front passenger seat to allow the CEO in back to stretch out. The Lexus is a heavy-duty SUV with a history of angling for Range Rover buyers. Cheaper entries tilt at these identifiers, but being spendy means getting the real deal. Rich inside and out, the G90 and LX 600 provide the validation for the elevated cost. 

    Styling impresses, with the beautifully flowing lines on the Genesis contrasting the bulldog-like bulges of the Lexus. This G90’s 21-inch aluminum wheels have a complex pattern of lovely thin tines, appearing at the same time strong and fey. The LX 600 F Sport expresses with blacked-out trim lending a menacing air to this truck’s formidable profile. 

    Interiors are bold, with modern upscale interpretations. Horizontal elements in the Genesis seem to float in space and are underlined by extensive accent lighting. The tested Lexus went big with blazing red leather in a space that was both roomy and cozy. I found the Lexus’ main screen to appear tacked-on, but it’s such a pervasive design detail in Toyota and Lexus dashboards that I must be an outlier in the market research proving its popularity. 

    Under the hood of each is a turbocharged three-and-a-half-liter V6 engine. Each hits a rating of 409 horsepower, though the Lexus bests the Genesis with 74 more pound-feet of torque.

    They need those horses—the Genesis approaches 5,000 pounds, while the LX 600 nudges 6,000. However, none of those pounds are apparent when you drop the go-pedal, particularly in passing situations, where the G90 and LX 600 felt like land-bound rockets.  

    Handling isn’t first in mind with heavy machines like these, but the Genesis and Lexus are exceptionally nimble, considering their lineages. The Genesis G90 replaced the Hyundai Equus, which echoed the clumsy softness of an Oldsmobile. The LX 600’s Toyota Land Cruiser forebear was undeniably truckish. But this G90 dug into corners with zeal, and the F Sport package on the LX 600 conferred a supremely stable feel, despite the obvious surrounding bulk.

    The G90 is Motor Trend’s 2023 Car of the Year, chosen among a field of 21 models. That award seems as silly to me as the Oscars, as it pits apples against oranges. I will, though, agree that the G90 feels uncommon and special, as does the LX 600 F Sport. 

    Philip Ruth is a Castro-based automotive photojournalist and consultant with an automotive staging service.

    Published on February 23, 2023