2011 Hyundai Equus Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Hyundai Equus Sedan

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Hyundai Equus Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 385 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Hyundai Equus

  • You don't buy a Hyundai to impress your friends -- not yet, anyway. The 2011 Hyundai Equus should impress potential owners, though. With plenty of power and an extensive complement of features along with fine build quality and value pricing, the Hyundai Equus makes a compelling choice for a large luxury sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long list of standard features; presidential-size backseat; supremely quiet; high-quality cabin; insanely low price for segment.

  • Cons

    Plain styling; modest low-end torque; longish braking distances; constantly having to explain why you bought a $60,000 Hyundai.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Hyundai Equus is all-new.

Full 2011 Hyundai Equus Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Hyundai Equus is all-new.


We're afraid Hyundai has gone off and done something rather rash. This Korean automaker has decided that its basic recipe for success -- building affordable vehicles with plenty of value and quality -- is entirely scalable. The result is the 2011 Hyundai Equus, a large, $60,000 premium sedan that will no doubt raise a few eyebrows from both consumers and rival car companies alike.

Most other mainstream automakers have created separate brands to sell their luxury cars, just as Toyota did with Lexus, for example. But Hyundai believes that such premium brands also attract buyers motivated by affordability, and its impressive Genesis sedan seems to be proving that Hyundai can compete with established luxury brands because the price is right. The 2011 Hyundai Equus looks to do the same, offering far more space and equipment than other competing luxury sedans. In some ways, you're getting the equivalent of a loaded $104,000 Mercedes-Benz S550 for the price of a lightly equipped Mercedes E550.

How much equipment do you get exactly? Beyond all the expected convenience features, the V8-powered Equus gets quite possibly the most comprehensive supply of standard equipment available on any car not badged as a Maybach or Rolls-Royce. Standard Equus features like a massaging driver seat, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a 17-speaker surround-sound audio system are usually options on even high-end luxury cars. Hyundai even plans to supply Equus owners with an Apple iPad as a standard feature, which will function as a sort of interactive owner's manual and maintenance minder.

Underneath its stately bodywork, the 2011 Hyundai Equus is based on the Genesis platform, but it's been enlarged to provide limousine-like interior room. The Equus comes standard with the 4.6-liter V8 that's optional equipment for the Genesis sedan, and it's good for 385 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. Although this engine certainly delivers all the power you really need, it doesn't have the same low-rpm grunt as the V8s in other full-size luxury sedans. Rumor has it that Hyundai will replace the 4.6-liter V8 next year with a more potent 5.0-liter V8.

Even with this minor demerit, the 2011 Hyundai Equus is a genuine competitor to other luxury sedans, both midsize cars like the 2011 BMW 5 Series and 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and flagships like the 2011 BMW 7 Series and 2011 Mercedes S-Class. The Equus is solidly engineered, remarkably quiet and indulgently comfortable, and that's on top of its exceptional feature content and relatively affordable price. While some will turn away because this car shares its badge with non-luxury automobiles, open-minded drivers (or those looking for luxury without flaunting it) will find the 2011 Hyundai Equus to be an intriguing vehicle.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Hyundai Equus is a large luxury sedan available in Signature and Ultimate trim levels. The Signature seats five and includes 19-inch wheels, an adjustable air suspension, a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, a windshield wiper de-icer, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a sunroof and keyless ignition/entry.

Within the plush cabin you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and cooled power front seats (10-way driver, eight-way passenger) with driver massage and memory functions, a heated, power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, a microfiber suede headliner, heated and reclining rear seats, rear audio and climate controls, power rear window shades, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system with real-time traffic and multimedia controller, Bluetooth, and a 17-speaker Lexicon surround sound system with an iPod interface, satellite radio and six-CD changer. An Apple iPad is also included and serves as a sort of interactive owner's manual.

The 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 center console includes storage bins, a mini refrigerator and separate controls for the climate and rear seat DVD entertainment systems. A power trunk lid and a forward-view cornering camera are also included with the Ultimate.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Hyundai Equus comes standard with a 4.6-liter V8 good for 385 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque when running on premium fuel (the use of regular fuel reduces output fractionally to 378 hp and 324 lb-ft). This rear-wheel-drive car is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds performance testing, the Equus went from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which is slower than other V8-powered luxury sedans. According to Hyundai estimates, the Equus will achieve 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.


The 2011 Hyundai Equus comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, electronic seatbelt pre-tensioners, active front head restraints, a lane-departure warning system, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a driver-side knee airbag, front and rear side airbags, and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Equus came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet, which is rather long for a flagship luxury sedan.

Interior Design and Special Features

If you're wondering whether a value-oriented brand like Hyundai can produce a luxury car, the cabin of the Equus will put your mind at ease. Just about every luxury and convenience feature found on a premium-badge car is available, and the quality of the design and materials is first class. It might not measure up to a European car like an Audi or Jaguar, but it matches anything you see from Acura, Infiniti or Lexus.

We particularly recommend the Equus Ultimate, a trim level that includes all the top-of-the-line features in a unique four-passenger configuration. The twin rear seats not only are both heated and cooled but also recline and offer a massage function. The passenger-side rear seat even has a power-operated footrest, though we've found in testing that it doesn't extend enough for passengers with long legs.

All navigation, climate, vehicle and entertainment information is displayed on a large LCD screen, while a knob and button array similar to the Audi MMI controls it. The climate controls consist of remarkably simple knobs and buttons. In a segment where vehicles can be hopelessly complex, the Equus does a good job of keeping its vast amount of technology manageable. Luggage space is a generous 16.7 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Silence. That's the most notable attribute of the 2011 Hyundai Equus. At idle it can seem as quiet as a hybrid vehicle with its engine automatically shut off. Once underway, things don't get much louder, as the engine is just a whisper, wind noise is virtually non-existent and only a slight tire howl can be heard because everything else is so hushed. Despite such a sedate driving environment, though, the Equus isn't a sleepy-handling limousine. There is some float to the ride in its normal suspension mode, but hit Sport and this big sedan becomes more buttoned-down over bumps. Through corners, it won't keep up with sport sedans like the BMW 7 Series or Jaguar XJ, but the Equus is stable and predictable enough if pushed.

While the power of the Equus measures up to the competition, you'll notice a little less thrust at low rpm while driving around town. This is most noticeable when accelerating from a stop, as the Equus doesn't provide the same immediate V8 punch as most other flagship luxury sedans.

Read our Hyundai Equus Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

My Equus Ultimate is one of the nicest cars I've owned. Quiet, handles well and very nice design. Had the S Class Mercedes but stepped out of the box for the Equus. People said "skeptical paying that for a Hyundai" but after riding in it and enjoying the amenities, nothing else said. Case closed. One guy stopped who had a Rolls Royce said he was considering buying an Equus. People often ask what is it (wing emblem on hood) and "heard about it, nice car." I have not been disappointed. It is truly a very nice car and the Equus Connect customer service is top notch, every question answered and any concern taken care of immediately. Love my Equus -- class extraordinaire.

2011 equus ultimate is just

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

Recently a purchased 2011 Equus Ultimate with 40k miles. Pearl White with cashmere leather. Amenities too numerous to list. Super quiet, the design is fantastic and turns heads due to it's rarity on the road. No complaints. Adaptive cruise and lane departure system work flawlessly. The Lexicon Sound is unmatched. Save $20-30,000 by indulging yourself with a fine Equus with an engine that will go forever. No timing belts or broken engine mounts like MB or Audi.

Equus ultimate trumps s600 or

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

Yes it's a Hyundai! The best part is the $20000 or more you get to keep in your pocket when you choose this fine car. Front/ Rear camera's, Adaptive cruise, Alcantara head liner, powered sun shades all around, a refrigerator, recliner and a LCD screen in back. Not to mention a remote for the reclining, vibrating, heated and cooled rear passenger seat. 1000 pounds lighter makes a big difference too. 28 MPG on highway!

Outstanding car and value

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

I found, to my surprise, that I really like the forward looking camera. The ride and comfort are very good. Quiet and lots of conveniences. Could do without the ashtrays and would like a bit more storage in front. Auto closing trunk is great. I drove LS 460s for 20 years but could not turn down the fabulous value of the Equus. I'm not sorry I switched. I didn't feel I needed the 5 liter engine or 8 speed thansmission. I don't. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this car to anyone. It is a great machine and the service at the dealer has been very good so far.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

2011 ultimate review - great

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

I have owned 2 Lexus, 2 Acura, Lincoln Navigator and am turning in my Jaguar XF Premium Lease. I have test drove many cars looking for a premium luxury sedan. I took a chance on the Equus after researching for over 2 months and a number of test drives. After taking delivery and putting on 1000 miles - I am stunned at the quality of the vehicle. I was very unsure of my decision to move on a Hyundai, but relied on many of the reviews here and other places. The fit and finish is superb, and contrary to most professional reviews, the exterior of the vehicle is very sharp - I have already had a number of people asking me about the vehicle at a gas station and restaurant! Great job Hyundai!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

A lot of car for

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)

We were looking for a little higher level of luxury and comfort than our 2006 Infiniti M35. We weren't personally drawn to Mercedes, BMW, Audi, or Jaguar. As Infiniti and Lexus owners we test-drove the M37, the LS460. But after driving the Equus, it was our favorite.

Talk About The 2011 Equus

2011 Hyundai Equus Discussions See all Started By

We Modded It! - 2011 Hyundai Equus Long-Term Road Test We lived with the 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature for a year. Read all about our daily driving experiences in our long-term road test....

I have an 2011 Equus. When I first bought the car I noticed that the sound system did not sound right. I waited until the 6500 mile service to fix it. The dealer replaced the entire driver information...

Inside Line 2011 Equus Full Test...

Read more about the 2011 Hyundai Equus

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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