2011 Hyundai Equus Signature: Roadtrip Report
December 12, 2011
Over the weekend I took our longterm 2011 Hyundai Equus from Los Angeles to Santa Cruz and then on to Emeryville in the Bay Area. In total I covered 834 miles, making it the longest trip I've yet taken in this big ground-pounder.
Like all cars, the Equus isn't perfect. Its combination of size, silence, price and features is remarkable, but it hasn't yet fully nailed the details of the luxury car experience.
Observations (and trip fuel economy) after the jump.
Long trips like this one involve lots of cruise control use. I've previously gone on the record as not being a fan of the adaptive function of the Equus' cruise control system.
On this trip I found another aspect of the Equus' cruise about which to gripe -- it slows you down when the freeway turns. It goes like this -- if the car detects an arc in the freeway (via the stability control system's lateral accelerometer), it shaves your set speed. The higher the g-level, the more it trims your speed.
The idea behind this "feature" is to protect you from, apparently, ever experiencing any lateral g force. Unfortunately, freeways turn, yet I still want to cruise at the speed that I set. That's why I set that speed.
There are other cars that have a similar speed-trimming function, but the Equus' is easily the most conservative I've driven. Even the gentlest curve in the road results in a downward speed adjustment. Like the adaptive function, it needs an off button. Just go the damn speed I told you to go.
Beyond that, the Equus' huge, huge chairs front and rear drew lots of praise from my passengers. Heated rear seats that recline, and more than enough leg- and headroom for 6'3" dudes? Talk about luxury.
The path to Emeryville from Santa Cruz involves many twisting roads and freeways, some of which are somewhat bumpy. The Equus is definitely not at home on these roads, but probably not for the reason you think. Despite its size -- and it is colossal -- it actually doesn't feel as ponderous as its dimensions suggest since the steering is pretty quick. Instead, it's the steering's lack of feel coupled to laggardly throttle response and a discombobulated ride quality that gives the Equus fits here. The air suspension just isn't up to the task of dealing with managing roll angles while also absorbing bumps. Also, bump steer. Bump steer! In a luxury car! Weird.
One thing about quiet cars is that the smallest non-quiet thing is more easily noticed. There's a wind rustle from the passenger A-pillar area that was observed on both legs of the trip. Could be the mirror, too. Anyway, it stood out, so I figured I'd mention it.
Total trip fuel economy (mostly freeway; 80-ish mph cruise, very light cargo): 21.1 mpg
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 17,949 miles.