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2011 Hyundai Equus

Overview
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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 40 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.6/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

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."

Best comfortable car I have ever owned

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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

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

"Can't go wrong if you want a Mercedes S Class type vehicle for $40,000 less. Has plenty of power at 429 Horse Power. Power is definitely there when you need it. This car can move even at 4600 pounds."

Very nice compromise for comfort and power

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value for price."

Cons: "Nothing for us."

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

"We like that the car did not have any options. All of the required amenities were standard. For a large vehicle the fuel economy is acceptable. Ride is smooth and the inside is very quiet. I find it a nice cross between the Cadillac Deville for ride comfort and a BMW7 for power. We have owned both. The dealer service is very good."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Best Car for the Money

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"If you are looking for the best car for the money, do not look any further. There are too many things to write as to why this a great car: the options (refrigerator, massaging seats, warm/cool seats for front and back, control panel in the backseat, calf support, mirrors in the backseat, sun roof, front and back view camera, seat adjusters for all 4 seats, leather and warming steering wheel, etc), the interior (leather and wood everything, no cheap products, great technology - big LCD display), horsepower, etc. My friends all drive Mercedes, Lexus, etc but I think my car is actually better than theirs! And guess what.... they agree it's a better car, but just lacks *brand name* appeal. Ridiculous. My only complaint with this car is that very rarely, the electronics that move my seat back won't work. It has happened twice in a little over a year. They fixed themselves the next day."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent machine

By on Thursday, March 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,387

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: "Fast and Powerful"

Cons: "Lay off the gas pedal. Those 400+ horses can guzz"

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

"It took me a while to get used to all the bells and whistles on this fine automobile. It is smooth, quiet, and extremely powerful, in addition to being very very fast. It gets lots of looks on the highway, as well as respect by the valets who park it in the front with all the other high end machines. I love this car!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever owned.

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Great car, great value, a pleasure to drive."

Cons: "Should have power close trunk."

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

"I am nothing but very pleased with this great vehicle. I have owned two BMW 750 LI's and would not go back because of our satisfaction with this car. I love to drive on long and short trips. It's a true pleasure to drive. It generates numerous positive comments from people."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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