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2011 Hyundai Equus

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2011 Hyundai Equus Review

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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
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 45 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.6/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Drove them all and the Equus won

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "everything"

Cons: "remote start cellphone only and no auto trunk"

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

"Spent 60 days researching luxury cars. Drove a Audi 8, BMW 7, Merc 550, Jaguar XJ and Lexus 460. The Equus is quieter than all but the Merc 550, is as comfortable as any, doesn't have all the features but has nearly all, and drives effortlessly. Paid $ 46990. in May 2015. Audi was 87000, BMW 83200, Lexus 84000, Jaguar 89000 and the Mercedes 550 was 103600. For 40 to 50% less its a fantastic deal. Have owned a Mercedes 500 and MMW 750 and I was real tired of all the glitches and problems. Never will I buy a overpriced German toy again. Highly recommend the Equus, but a test drive of 10 miles or more will make you a believer too!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

nice ,except for oil comsumption

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "V8 429 hp"

Cons: "Oil consumption,Oil consumption"

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

"Biggest problem with this Equius is that it consumes entirely to much oil. Manufacturer states 1 quart every 1000 miles is acceptable. My response is that it does not make sense.If I take a 3000 mile trip, Why should I have to maybe add 3 quarts of oil."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Who'd a thunk it!

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Does everything well, confortable and QUIET!!"

Cons: "no auto trunk closure, no remote start"

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

"Owner of a 2015 Equus Signature for 75 days. Former S-Class Merc and Audi 8 owner....before I bought my Equus drove BMW 7, Audi 8, Jag XJ, Lexus 460 and Merc S-550. At least 2x each. Paid 47990 with all rebates, allowances, etc. All of the other cars were almost twice the price or higher. The reviewers are right about this car: doesn't corner as well and has the Hyundai nameplate but it does almost everything great and is extremely quiet and comfortable. I don't know about the long term but the bumper-to-bumper warranty is 5 year/60000 miles. The electronic glitches on the Audi's and Merc's are, for lack of a better word, INSANE! Can't say enough about the value and in fact its more exclusive than any of the other luxury cars! To sum up, if you are a believer that "perception is reality" buy one of the high priced brands to satisfy your ego, but if you want a great car that does everything well take a drive in a Equus. Remote start has to be programmed thru your cellphone!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Fantastic car but a few electrical issues

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Silky smooth ride, understated elegance."

Cons: "20 MPG...although expected for a 4,500 pound car"

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

"This car is truly fantastic. I got a screaming deal on a brand new 2015...$46,500. Having a few issues though...car wouldn't start for ten minutes, then did after a door was opened then closed...go figure. Also, when the car is cold it surges and sputters. Despite the issues, I love the car and would buy another because the deals are so great compared to others in its class."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

100% better than the 6 Mercedes I've owned

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I tell all about the quality, service, performance"

Cons: "Nada, neyet, nothing"

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

"I got my first Hyundai in 2004 after 6 Mercedes, 500SEL, 500SL, 300E, 450SL, 300SD It performed magnificently for 4 years and really liked the customer service. 100% better than Mercedes Benz ($2000 for an oil change was common). So, I got the Genesis which was fantastic, and now an Equus. I get concierge service, they bring a new Equus for me to use while they change the oil, etc. ..no charge for any thing with Equus. So, the user Equus was even better than my 2013, so I'm looking forward to the 2017 Equus to purchase. Hyundai just gets better and better. I think I've only seen 1-2 Equus in the SF bay area for 2 years. Car owners do not know. They sure eyeball my Equus a lot."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great value! But a couple quality issues.

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Value, power"

Cons: "Wind noise on driver door. Speedometer calibration"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Hands down this car is a fantastic value: all the luxury you want, powerful engine, plenty of bells and whistles. Two quality problems: 1. Driver door seems to not seal properly. Wind noise is excessive and dealer service manager acknowledges. Still trying to fix. 2. Digital readout of speed (when cruise control is engaged) does not match speedometer dial. Dial reads about 2 or 3 mph higher than digital. Not a true problem but you would expect better precision for this type of car."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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