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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Hyundai Equus Signature include Tau 5.0L V-8 429hp engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear side-impact airbag, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 19" aluminum wheels, cruise control, Smart Cruise Control distance pacing, ABS and driveline traction control.
Starting at: $61,500
Serene, pleasant motoring is the byword in an Equus, augmented by a sense of luxury. On a more practical level, Hyundai’s top sedan performs as swiftly as a Lexus LS. Comfort mode makes the Equus feel softly sprung, while Sport mode cannot match the tautness of a competitor like the Lexus LS F Sport.
Handling ranks as similar to that of a Lexus LS, well short of the best in its class. Requiring only a light touch on the steering wheel, Equus behaves gracefully and quietly in straight-line motoring. When the road starts to wind a bit, however, it cannot keep up with European sedans. Ride softness translates to a lack of total control, though switching to Sport mode yields greater driver confidence. Otherwise, expect considerable body lean in tight corners, as well as nosedive during hard braking. Better to slow down to where the Equus imparts a sense of precision and poise.
Ride quality is good and road and wind sounds seldom seep into the cabin. Electro-hydraulic steering likely helps in that department. Even with 20-inch tires, harsh reactions are rare. Equus is not a sports sedan but performs admirably as a refined luxury sedan.
Acceleration to highway speed is brisk, courtesy of the powerful 5.0-liter V8. Gear changes from the 8-speed automatic are smooth but lingering, rather than crisp and quick.
The Equus is not adventurous or bold or even distinctive in appearance. Yet, it’s handsome enough, and looks the part of a competent, spacious, serious automobile.
Truly fine leather and high-grade wood decorate the Equus interior, imparting a sense of plushness and sincerity. Although back-seat space trails long-wheelbase versions of some German-made luxury sedans, it’s quite comfortable. Both headroom and leg space are bountiful, and the rear bench easily seats three-across.
Outboard rear seats deliver more comfort than those of similarly-priced rivals. Seatback-angle adjustment lets passengers find the just-right position for comfort.
Front seats aren’t so firmly upholstered, and aren’t as staunchly side-bolstered as some competitors. Instrument panels are trimmed in walnut or birch, while the dashboard and door panels are covered in leather. The headliner is lined in suede, and the console is framed with wood. Overall fit and finish is particularly praiseworthy.
Most secondary controls may be adjusted using the Driver Information System, using a knob on the console. Hyundai’s setup is similar to the ones used by BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. The large LCD screen features high-resolution graphics. Rotating-wheel controls are available on the steering wheel.
All Equus sedans come with the 5.0-liter V8 engine, 8-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. Two trim levels are offered:
Signature trim ($62,450) comes with leather upholstery, wood trim, three-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, heated/cooled front seats, 12-way power driver’s seat with memory, sunroof, adaptive cruise control, rearview camera, front/rear parking sensors, pre-collision warning, high-intensity-discharge headlights, and LED running lights. Navigation is standard, with real-time traffic/weather information. The 598-watt Lexicon audio system works with 17 speakers and includes USB/iPod inputs. Bluetooth phone and audio is knob-operated.
Ultimate trim ($69,700) adds a surround-view camera, head-up display, more powerful Lexicon audio, power-recline rear seats with power headrests, cooled bin between rear seats, soft door closure, soft trunk-lid closure, rear-seat entertainment with twin 9.2-inch screens, and power sunshades.
Purchasing an Equus is a simple task, since no individual options or option packages are offered. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
The Hyundai Equus offers value in terms of its feature content and plush luxury, not to mention its excellent warranty.
Driving impressions by Marty Padgett, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.