The Hyundai Equus promises to be a dark horse in the large luxury class with its competitive performance, extensive equipment roster, world-class quality and extraordinary value pricing. Lexus and Infiniti took a similar approach back in the day, and now it's Hyundai's turn. For about $60,000 when new, the Hyundai Equus offers the space, comfort and amenities of fully optioned high-end sedans costing close to $90,000 or more.
Even if the Equus isn't quite as performance-oriented as more athletic European thoroughbreds, Hyundai is betting most drivers won't notice or care as they happily pocket a price difference equal to the value of a small sport sedan. Not only that, but the Hyundai Equus appears capable of shaking up the segment with its remarkably quiet and limousine-like cabin, top-drawer amenities, long warranty and unique dealer service program.
Current Hyundai Equus
The Hyundai Equus is a large luxury sedan that is based on Hyundai's Genesis platform, but it's been enlarged to provide limousine-like interior room. Under the hood is a 5.0-liter V8 generating 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There are two trim levels, Signature and Ultimate. The base Signature trim includes premium features like a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a sunroof and keyless ignition/entry. Inside you'll also find a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and ventilated power front seats, heated power-reclining rear seats, premium leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, power window shades, navigation with a multimedia controller, Bluetooth and a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system with iPod interface, satellite radio and six-disc CD changer.
The Hyundai Equus Ultimate seats four, as the rear bench seat is replaced with a pair of reclining bucket seats with heating/cooling/massaging functions and a passenger-side power footrest. A power-closing trunk lid and a forward-view cornering camera are also included with the Ultimate.
Hyundai has done a first-rate job with interior design and quality of materials, easily on par with other Asian flagships. The Equus Ultimate trim is particularly intriguing with its unique four-passenger layout and rear first-class seat offering a limolike upgrade unmatched by other sedans at its price point. Up front, a large LCD screen and straightforward multimedia and climate controls make it relatively easy to manage the extensive technologies incorporated into the Equus, eliminating the busy jumble of buttons, switches and complex operations sometimes found in other loaded luxury vehicles.
While the Equus V8's output looks good on paper and is perfectly capable in most situations, low-rpm launches aren't quite as energetic as you'll find in other V8-powered flagships due to its modest torque rating. Once underway, this Hyundai responds like a slightly more willing Lexus LS 460. An aggressive BMW killer it isn't, but we think there are plenty of luxury cruisers who'll be content to simply enjoy the Hyundai Equus' unflappable ride, spacious and relaxing cabin, myriad creature comforts and the smug awareness of having made a wise and compelling purchase.
Used Hyundai Equus Models
The Hyundai Equus debuted in the 2011 model year. These first-year examples were powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that produced 385 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful 5.0-liter engine was new for 2012.
Read the most recent 2014 Hyundai Equus review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Equus page.