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2011 Hyundai Equus

Overview
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2011 Hyundai Equus Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

With the recent revamping of the Sonata and advent of the Genesis, Hyundai has been going full-throttle to ramp up their reputation and gain more recognition from car buyers in the midsize and full-size sedan segments. But with the 2011 Hyundai Equus, the Korean carmaker is aiming even higher. Garnering the same tech-savvy features and high-luxo panache as competitors such as the BMW 7 series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS, the Equus has it all, but at lower price point. And while the Hyundai Equus is sold on the same lots as the entry-level Accent, it isn't exactly cut from the same cloth. In fact, it's hard to believe that the Equus is a Hyundai. Above all else, the service and amenities that come with the purchase of a 2011 Equus show that it's not just a value meal sprinkled with gold flake.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Hyundai Equus is an automotive paradox. With high-end features and a bargain-basement price tag, the Equus makes all the other sedans in this segment look extravagant. Also, Equus owners enjoy Hyundai's "At your service" program, which includes free maintenance for five years/60,000 miles and free pick up at the owner's home in exchange for a loaner vehicle, meaning the owner never has to see a dealer's service bay.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the price, services and lengthy list of features are sure to draw some attention away from its competitors, the 2011 Hyundai Equus still lacks the overall refinement and luxury-brand cachet that other in its class offer in excess.

What's New for 2011

As the most expensive Hyundai ever to be brought to the U.S., the 2011 Equus brings out the big guns to show that the company can compete on the luxury playing field. The Hyundai Equus is available in two trim levels: Signature (base model) and Ultimate (up-level trim with first-class amenities).

Driving the Equus

Driving Impressions The 2011 Hyundai Equus doesn't have the sharp driving dynamics of the BMW 7 Series or the refinement of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it is very quiet and as pleasant...

to drive as one might expect from a car in this class. In fact, it's one of the quietest cabins we've experienced on longer drives. One of the main features that sets this car apart is its air suspension, which is not only responsible for the car's athletic stance, but also for its quality ride characteristics. The electronic air suspension is very comfortable on any stretch of road, no matter how pothole-ridden, and is a dream on the highway. But that doesn't mean it's soft. We found that the Equus holds the line very well in corners and is more than capable of reeling in its substantial weight on twisty roads. Steering feel is good, though not as responsive as a 7 Series, but this isn't meant to be a driver's car

Power reclining rear seats
Who wouldn't love the ability to recline in a car with your feet up and watch a movie while someone else drives? The seat massagers are a nice touch as well.

Lexicon 7.1 Discrete Logic 7 surround sound system
While 2011 Hyundai Equus'17 speakers might seem like overkill, we applaud their superb sound quality, which completes the luxurious in-cabin experience.

2011 Hyundai Equus Details
2011 Hyundai Equus photo Interior

We have to admit that the 2011 Hyundai Equus in Ultimate trim is far more fun to be driven in than to drive, thanks to the two-person executive rear seating. Legroom and headroom is abundant for all occupants, and the leather seating surfaces and wood trim are top-notch, especially considering the price point of the Equus. A rear bench seat comes standard in the Signature trim level, which provides ample accommodation for three adults, but the Ultimate trim level converts the configuration into two seats divided by a center console complete with climate controls, a refrigerator and an eight-inch monitor. Think of it as business class on an airplane, except it's in a car.

Exterior
2011 Hyundai Equus photo

At first glance, the 2011 Hyundai Equus looks like a mash-up of its European rivals. It bears a striking resemblance to the S-Class due to defining character lines and large front grille. Likewise, the Equus shares similar taillights with the BMW 7 Series and incorporates LED lights underneath the HID headlights, a la the Audi A8. Doppelganger characteristics aside, what's important is that the new Equus doesn't look like a Hyundai. Foregoing the same fluidic sculpture design language as its Hyundai stablemates, the Equus puts a more mature, more luxurious foot forward with imposing wheels arches, a large, ribbed grille up front, and dual chrome exhaust finishers at the rear. Rolling stock is limited to 19-inch wheels and tires for both trim levels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature, the "base" Equus luxury sedan, comes with a host of impressive standard features. The most notable include a 4.6-liter V8 engine, electronically controlled air suspension with damping control, a 608-watt Lexicon 7.1 surround sound system with 17 speakers, a navigation system, a 12-way power driver seat with massage system, and heated/cooled front seats. Other frivolities include a dual automatic temperature control system and 60/40 power-reclining and heated rear seats.

Optional Equipment

There actually aren't any options available for 2011 Hyundai Equus, just the two trim levels. The upper-level Equus Ultimate model includes all the lux features that come on the Signature Equus as well as a goldmine of upgrade, almost all of which are dedicated to turning the rear seats into a first-class experience. A 50/50 split cooled/reclining rear seat replaces the bench seat, making it a four-seater, and the passenger-side enjoys the addition of leg support and a massage system. Other additions include a rear entertainment center with an eight-inch screen, a thermoelectric rear console refrigerator, a forward-view cornering camera, and a power trunk lid.

Under the Hood

A 4.6-liter V8 engine is the sole engine for the 2011 Hyundai Equus and is mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission. In addition to providing smooth acceleration and enough power to scoot the large sedan to 60 mph in about six seconds, the potent V8 returns impressive highway mileage numbers, besting both the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes S-Class.

4.6-liter V6
385 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
333 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (Automatic transmission)

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2011 Hyundai Equus Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 26 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Great car

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "price, lexicon speakers, quietness, massage seats"

Cons: "low gas mileage, stearing, brake distance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Just traded my Hyundai Azera for it. This equus had 1 owner and 95 000 miles. Car is in such great shape that it still looks and smell new. It has the beige seats which are still in great shape. You just can't tell the car has 100 000 miles. Put almost 5000 miles on it and keep discovering features of the car. I am a student and wanted to try it at the dealership, so I went there without knowing I would be approved for a loan. This is the ultimate, and having no kids, four seats is more than enough, especially since I have a Kia minivan as well. As far as reliability goes, no problem so far and I haven't read a review complaining about it. My Azera that I had for 2.5 years and 25 000 miles never gave me any trouble, I guess it will be the same for the Equus. I love the dynamic cruise control for long trip, else more fun to drive it yourself for shorter commutes. The stearing though is approximative and I wish it had side camera for parking, else it is a great car! Gas mileage is not the best though, I will probably a Tesla 4S after this one."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

75% of a Mercedes S-Class for 60% of the price.

By on Monday, May 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Workmanship, materials, smooth, quiet, luxurious"

Cons: "Mediocre gas mileage, inadequate grasp of the road"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned seven Mercedes S-Classes. While this 2014 Equus does not give you the feeling of a relationship with the road, it delivers much of what you get in an S-Class. Quality workmanship, quiet and smooth ride, luxurious interior, and plenty of room front and back. I wish Equus offered massaging drive-dynamic front seats, and a power trunk on the Signature model. Paddle shifts would be better than the slow to respond console shifter. The basic warranty is 5/60000, three years of free scheduled maintenance, and free Hyundai high-end loaners. For what you get, the Equus is a bargain. It runs very well on recommended 87-octane fuel. I wish the 15/23 mileage were better. I just returned from a 6100-mile trip to UT, AZ, NV, CO and TX. My Equus handled well on many types of roads (paved, gravel and dirt), 10% grades, speeds and altitudes. User software for nab, audio and info is cumbersome to operate."

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Good for its price

By on Thursday, May 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"At its price its more than I expected. However, the oil consumption of this car is way too much. Doubt if It will last 10 years without major motor repairs. That said, I enjoy driving this car but will never buy another one ."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best Bang for the Buck

By on Sunday, March 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Lexicon stereo, quality, acceleration, comfort"

Cons: "gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the 2014 Equus Signature, black with tan interior, just a great car. I shopped the Mercedes S550, BMW 750 and the Lexus 460 before making my decision on this purchase. Realistically there is no comparison, this car rocks the competition. The interior of the Equus is awesome, the seats are exceptionally comfortable, the controls are nicely positioned and the stereo is tremendous. The interior amenities are as they should be in a car of this class. The fit and finish is comparable to the cars costing $40K more. The performance is similar to both the S550 and the BMW 750 in acceleration, the ride is more closely related to the S550. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a car such as the S550, BMW 750 or LS460 to test drive the Equus. You will be impressed."

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

excellent and beautiful

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 950

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great driver best looker super comfortable"

Cons: "better customer care from dealer needed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"handsomest of the luxury cars.quiet, fast, comfortable tracks hands off on level roads!S550 has edge in quality feel but those chrome vents and other trim are overdone!also lowest price for Merc is 104,000 plus Equus has better power train and bumper to bumper warranty! Much better Value than all overpriced luxury cars Only fault, Hyundai should set aside Equus and Genesis models for more customer distinction and TLC as Toyota did with Lexus!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best Bang for the Buck

By on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Interior quality, Performance, Stereo, Price"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the 2014 Equus Signature, black with tan interior, just a great car. I shopped the Mercedes S550, BMW 750 and the Lexus 460 before making my decision on this purchase. Realistically there is no comparison, this car rocks the competition. The interior of the Equus is awesome, the seats are exceptionally comfortable, the controls are nicely positioned and the stereo is tremendous. The interior amenities are as they should be in a car of this class. The fit and finish is comparable to the cars costing $40K more. The performance is similar to both the S550 and the BMW 750 in acceleration, the ride is more closely related to the S550. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a car such as the S550, BMW 750 or LS460 to test drive the Equus. You will be impressed."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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