2011 Hyundai Equus Signature: Stonk-to-Dollar Ratio Win
April 13, 2011
A few of us have criticized the Equus interior. A few of have praised it. I rode the Horse home last night and still found the materials a little downmarket for its class. Repeat, for its class. The leather doesn't feel as rich, the trim pieces slightly underweight. Even the multimedia controller feels a little simple. Not fragile, just too light. Then again, I wouldn't last in product planning; I'd ask for a solid billet disc thick as a hockey puck.
But none of that mattered once I got on the road. What mattered was that the ambient world just kinda disappeared outside of this black hulking mass of noise-cancelling headphone. There's mechanical music, but it's off in the distance. The Equus even paired my phone while I waited at a light (at least one other automaker, also starts with an H, wouldn't let us do that).
And when leaning on the pedal with an open shot to the highway, those interior gripes seemed petty. All you need for a tired drive home, I've decided, are good seats, a good stereo, and a stonkin' V8 (well, a 4.6-liter at any rate). The rest, it's gravy.
Well, maybe not the adaptive cruise control. The Equus radar love seems pretty outstanding. No major braking events when someone jumps in your lane (they do and always will, at least until you get your hands on a Navy laser). Just a nice quick decel and a return to form.
But this thing's got motor. Compare its 0-60 to the LS460 all you like. Doesn't matter. A burly eight with 333 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm, surrounded by a feature-loaded quiet room, a well-mapped infotainment system, and gets 24 mpg highway - not a lot of reason Americans shouldn't like this car.
So the question just becomes, do you spend $60k on a Hyundai? Nearly 800 people this year already have. And data from our colleagues at AutoObserver shows more people are thinking about the Equus. Last month, its consideration among luxury shoppers fell only a couple of percentage points below the Audi A6. And 7% more were leaning to the Equus over the Infiniti M56.
It still lags plenty far behind with those set on a 5 Series or E-Class, but, interestingly, since January more than 7% of Lexus LS and 6% of combined Jaguar XF/XJ shoppers have cross-shopped the Equus.
We've rattled on at length about what a great value this car is. You'll spend $8,500 to option up an E550 with the same nav, killer audio, heated seats and adaptive cruise. An LS460, meanwhile, starts in the mid-$60k's. Add the Comfort Plus package and adaptive cruise and you're in the 70's.
I've decided my judgments on the Equus interior are those of a feeble mind and a sedate right foot. Big motor wins.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor