January 05, 2012
I'm an American, so when the holidays come, I go out and drive up and down the country in order to see people that I barely know.
Sadly, for me this involves driving across Interstate 10 through the Mojave Desert from Los Angeles to Phoenix. This stretch of desert through California is spectacularly uninteresting, as if someone had enclosed a very big litter box with a few gravel piles from the local lumberyard. It's a relief to get to the Arizona side, where the volcanic geology and high desert flora seem like a garden in comparison.
I have made this trip many times and there are no conclusions to be drawn except from the trip computer.
It's about dead on 400 miles from door to door for me, and you can just about make it on a single tank in the Hyundai if you're willing to push it, but it's just too tedious to do it in a single burst. So I always fill up in Desert Hot Springs, both there and back. Take a break from holiday traffic for a few minutes.
Here's what the trip computer said when I got there:
281.5 miles; 73 mph; 26.0 mpg, 4.0 hr.
Coming back the other way, the speed average went up to 75 mph, but still got 26.0 mpg.
Nothing else to report, perhaps because the tedium of this part of the Mojave beat it out of me. It ranks with my least favorite stretch of highway in the U.S., right there with Interstate 80 through Nebraska. Or Interstate 80 through Pennsylvania for that matter.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 20,682 miles
December 19, 2011
Besides an average of 21.5 mpg (and a 23.3-mpg best over 282 miles), I have a few more things to report on the Hyundai Equus Signature after a 759-mile drive to Big Sur and back. Jump with me...
The ride is as it should be for a car like this: creamy-soft and isolated without feeling at all nautical. It's also very quiet. There was a short debate before I left as to the ideal car for this trip: the Equus or our Infiniti M56. The Infiniti promises a sportier experience (that might be more rewarding on Highway 1), but to be honest, the Equus was more than capable enough--even without using the Sport button. Without even really pushing it hard, the car is powerful enough and confidence-inspiring enough to utilize the few passing zones. I'm glad I chose the Hyundai. Finally, perhaps it's because the Equus is still a relatively rarity on the road, but I caught more than a few people checking it out; walking around the car and pointing. I really like this car, with one exception: iPod/iTunes interface. Now I realize that at some point manufacturers have to "freeze" development on a car to get it to market, but this flagship sedan should offer a better digital interface (in terms of the info it provides and the navigation of folders) than it does.
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 18,923 miles
Oh, and while driving past the power plant in Morro Bay, I'm always reminded of "Animals" by Pink Floyd.
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.
November 30, 2011
It turns out that our long-term 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature and the city of Las Vegas both elicited some contentious discussion earlier this week. But that's why we have this Long Term Blog. And Orlando, FL, for those Vegas Haters. Back to the Equus.
I really like the Equus, but it's not perfect of course. Allow me to break it down.
- Excellent power (385 hp) from the 4.6L V8. Climbing grades was a breeze. Passing on the grades happens as if you're on the flats.
- Superb ZF 6-speed auto transmission: excellent shift timing and no shift shock.
- Great ride quality in Sport mode: controlled with almost no floatiness
- Power rear sun shades are very convenient for crossing the hot, sunny Mojave desert.
- Excellent Navi with up to date traffic reports
- Huge trunk. Plenty of space for the luggage of 3 or 4 people on a road trip.
Update: For the Vegas trip I got 21.1 mpg over 600 mi. Over the entire long holiday weekend I achieved 20.8 over 900 miles. Not bad.
August 02, 2011
Last week our long-term 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature turned a milestone, its 10,000th mile. We've been driving the car since February, so the Equus is on schedule to do 20,000 during our 12 month test.
So far durability has been excellent. The Equus has need no service or fixin' with the exception of its scheduled 7,500 mile service which was courtesy of Hyundai. No charge.
As far as fuel mileage, we've been averaging 17.6 mpg over the entire 10,000 miles.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
May 05, 2011
The Equus missed Caroline's fleet-wide fuel economy list earlier this week, so here are the details as of today.
It doesn't happen often, but last week this resident leadfoot managed to record the best fuel economy the Equus has seen to date -- a 24.6-mpg average over 126 miles across the California desert -- even included a few blasts to, well, "higher" speeds.
And if that doesn't excite you, well, fine. Doesn't really excite me, either.
But here are the best, worst and average.
Worst: 10.9 (during testing), 11.6 ("normal" driving)
Overall mpg: 17.2
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor