Tractor Beam Engage - 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature Long-Term Road Test

2011 Hyundai Equus Long-Term Road Test

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2011 Hyundai Equus Signature: Tractor Beam Engage

February 09, 2011

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I live 41 miles from HQ in Santa Monica. "No problem," you say, "That's about a 40-minute drive or less." Ha! That only applies when the freeways look like they do above--at 5:00 in the morning which is when I usually go to work. (It has taken as much a 2.5 hours if I leave my house at 7:00 am.)

A benefit to my oh-my-God-o'clock commute is that it gives me an opportunity to test/observe some of the road noise, wind noise, audio systems, and other quiet-time open-road goodies on our test cars like the 2011 Hyundai Equus's adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning system.

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Like most radar-based systems, it allows you to set a following distance between "Absolutely Ginormous" and "I can almost tell you what color that license plate is." All of these systems are conservatively calibrated and, especially in Southern California, leave you wide open to those who would like to take away your safe following-distance cushion by diving in front of your car. The Hyundai's is no exception.

Of course, the Equus gently lifts off the throttle and even applies the brakes to maintain the prescribed distance regardless of the target speed you've also selected--sort of. As speeds decrease, however, the Equus's Smart Cruise Control does close the gap accordingly and opens it back up when you approach the target speed once again. Sometimes, however, I wish I could decouple the target speed and the following distance (and run it like traditional cruise control), but I believe the inclusion of the also-standard collision warning system that's also part of many of these smart systems wouldn't approve and would most likely be beeping and flashing like crazy.

The Equus's graphics are crisp and cool. The lane markers you also see are part of the lane-departure warning system that reads the lane lines and illuminates the graphic while it sounds a gentle alert should the driver fail to signal when wandering switching lanes. It doesn't have the steering-wheel jiggler like Mercedes-Benz has, nor the ability to nudge the steering (by applying a single brake) to maintain the lane position like Infiniti's system does. Luckily the default setting for lane departure warning is off, and you must select it with the press of a button.

For those of you interested, here's the complete list of all the standard features on our 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature (with bolderized items that I feel are significant for what amounts to an entry-level model):

- 4.6L DOHC Tau V8 engine
- Six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
- Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS)
- Electronically Controlled Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
- 19-inch chrome alloy wheels with P245/45R19 (front) / P275/40R19 (rear) tires
- Four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and EBD
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with TCS and Brake Assist
- Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system with pre-collision warning
- Nine airbags: Advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, driver knee airbag, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags
- Electronic active front head restraints with power controls
- Electronic seatbelt pretensioners
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
- Smart Cruise Control
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with LED turn signal indicators
- Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS) with auto-leveling
- Fog lights and automatic headlights
- Front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera
- Dual power-folding heated auto-dimming side mirrors w/ turn signal indicators and approach lamps
- Dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated with rear bumper
- Proximity key entry with push-button start
- Illuminated scuff plates, inside door handles and door armrest
- Premium leather seating surfaces and Alcantara® suede headliner
- 12-way power driver seat plus lumbar adjustment and 10-way power front passenger seat
- Driver seat massage system
- Heated and cooled front seats
- Heated, wood-trimmed and leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
- Integrated Memory System (IMS) for driver-side seat, mirror and steering wheel
- Leather-wrapped dash and real wood interior trim
- Electroluminescent cluster (Supervision) with 3.5-inch TFT LCD screen
- Electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold
- Power windows with auto-down/up
- Navigation system w/ DIS and multimedia controller
- Apple iPad interactive owner's manual
- 608-watt Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio system with 17 speakers
- iPod/USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks and iPod connection cable
- XM® Satellite Radio & NavTraffic® with trial subscription
- Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
- Dual automatic temperature control with air quality system
- Windshield-wiper deicer, rain-sensing wipers and auto-defogging windshield with humidity sensor
- Electrochromic auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink® and compass
- Acoustic laminated windshield, front and rear side windows
- Power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof
- 60/40 power reclining and heated rear seats
- Power rear sunshade and rear side-window sunshades
- Luggage net
- Premium-grade floor mats
- Premium-grade trunk cargo mat
- First-aid kit (PIO)

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 1,643 miles

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