2011 Hyundai Equus Signature: L.A. Valets Aren't Fooled
December 06, 2011
One Saturday night a few years back I was out with a fairly large group of friends. About 8 people. We were heading from a totally unreasonable penthouse condo with 360-degree views of L.A. and up to the unreasonably stupid Sunset strip for dinner. We took two cars: My buddy took his brand new CLS63 AMG and I had a press S65 AMG. It wasn't a bad weekend.
We got to the restaurant -- one of those places where you can't tell if it's a club or a restaurant or some sort of illegal fur-trading business from the outside -- and the valet station was jammed. CLS guy pulls up, tries to slip the car shuttler a $20 and gets turned away. I've got a way with people sometimes so I figure I'll try it. The valet SPRINTS to the S-class, opens the door and asks if I mind if they park it out front. I agree only if they will park my friend's CLS, too. Magically, there was a spot available this time.
After the valet took the key he ran inside and told the hostess we were coming in and they had a table ready for us in seconds. It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen and made me both hate and love L.A. more than I ever had.
What does this have to do with the Equus, though?
Well, a similar thing happened this weekend. I had some friends over and we wanted to grab a bite to eat and they suggested Hollywood. :::sigh::: We got to the spot and tried the valet but they were full. I tried to talk my way in but the guy was having none of it. I rolled down the window to chat him up but he just waved me along, "Full. Full!"
Now, there's no telling if a better car would have reserved me a spot that night (it would have) but it was clear that the valets around L.A. don't care that the Equus is a large car bargain and that it's got a great highway ride and that, even with the Hyundai badge, this thing still looks pretty mean. It's not a BMW, Mercedes or Bentley and thus it just doesn't register.
We skipped the stupid "fancy" place this time around and got tacos from a place with self parking in an alley.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com @ 16,800 miles