By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.3
When Korean automaker Hyundai launched its Genesis near-luxury sedan and sport coupe, many wondered why it didn't also create a new upscale brand as did Japanese rivals Toyota (Lexus), Honda (Acura) and Nissan (Infiniti). Then Hyundai followed with the larger, plusher full-luxury Equus, explaining again that creating a new brand was a long, expensive process that they didn't deem necessary. So this big, lavishly equipped car takes aim at premium sedans costing tens of thousands more. And, if it comes up a bit short of Germany's best in ultimate handling and feel, the 2014 Hyundai Equus has the style, performance, luxury and features to bring its value pitch to the flagship-sedan category, despite sharing its badge and showroom with Accents and Sonatas.
If you feel you've reached a point where you deserve some pampering but don't feel the need to drop six digits of dollars on a luxury sedan, the 2014 Hyundai Equus may be for you. Hyundai's "At Your Service" program includes free maintenance for five years/60,000 miles.
While the 2013 Hyundai Equus luxury sedan's price may be right, the label is decidedly not designer. For those who place a premium on brand-name recognition, the Hyundai Equus nametag might not (yet) make the grade with the country-club set.
The Hyundai Equus luxury sedan is substantially freshened for 2014 with minor exterior changes, major interior upgrades, and a host of new comfort, convenience and safety features.
Driving Impressions No one will mistake the dynamics of the Hyundai Equus with those of an Audi A8, a BMW 7 Series or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but most buyers probably won't care....... The cabin is amazingly quiet, and its air-suspension eliminates road imperfections while providing a secure feel through the turns. The Equus holds its line well in corners and is more than capable of managing its substantial weight on twisty roads, but there's more float and isolation than in the German flagships. Steering feel is good in "Normal" mode, higher-effort (but no more feel) in "Sport" mode, and there's substantial steering kickback when cornering over humps and bumps. Other complaints: no 12V outlet for dash-top devices on the instrument panel (only in the console box), and the audio system won't retain your iPod's "Random" setting so needs to be reset each time you turn it on or change sources.
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?
LEXICON 7.1 DISCRETE LOGIC 7 SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM
While the 2014 Hyundai Equus sedan's 17 speakers might seem like overkill, we applaud the superb sound quality of the system, which completes the luxurious in-cabin experience.
The instrument panel, center stack, center console and rear-seat console controls are redesigned with larger, sharper displays and more premium materials. The automatic climate control now has three temperature zones for driver, front passenger and rear-seat passengers, who are also coddled with 60/40 power reclining and heated seats. The Ultimate trim level adds cooled rear seats with power headrests and lumbar, power side window sunshades, rear illuminated vanity mirrors and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual monitors in the front-seat headrests. There is also a new Ivory leather interior choice that looks sharp but may be tough to keep clean.Exterior
In designing the Equus luxury sedan, Hyundai took a page from the Lexus script. The Equus has several visual cues from Mercedes-Benz (the grille), BMW (taillights), and Audi (LEDs beneath the headlights). But when all the styling elements are combined, the look actually works. The Equus doesn't look like any other Hyundai, and it strikes a pleasing balance between modern character and sedate formality. Updates for 2014 include revised front fascia and grille designs, new side mirrors and taillights graphics, standard LED fog lights, new polished-silver 19-inch turbine-blade wheels, and a new Night Shadow Brown color.
The 2014 Hyundai Equus Signature sedan comes with a long list of standard features, some of the most notable being a 3-mode (Normal, Sport, Snow) electronically-controlled air suspension, adaptive front HID lighting with auto leveling, front and rear parking assist with a rear-view camera, premium leather seating, 17-speaker Lexicon 7.1 Surround Sound audio, premium navigation, heated and cooled front seats with 12-way power driver and 10-way power passenger seat, lane-departure warning, a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof, nine airbags, and electronic stability control with pre-collision warning New for 2014 are blind-spot detection, smart cruise control with stop/start capability and rear cross-traffic alert.
There are no available options on the Equus, just the uplevel Ultimate model. This adds a goldmine of upgrades including a head-up display that incorporates blind-spot detection warnings, a forward-view cornering camera, a power decklid, an advanced 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster display screen, steering-wheel haptic control for the center cluster, cooled rear seats, a 360-degree birds-eye-view camera system, power door closure, and a host of rear-cabin comfort features.
The 2014 Hyundai Equus is powered by a sophisticated 5.0-liter V8 engine with variable valve timing and direct fuel injection. It is mated to Hyundai's own in-house 8-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual-shift control. In addition to providing smooth acceleration and enough power to scoot the large sedan to 60 mph in six seconds or less, this potent V8 returns class-competitive EPA fuel economy. While it delivers more power and torque than the Lexus LS 460's V8, it's about a mile-per-gallon less fuel efficient than both that and the Mercedes-Benz S550's much more torquey V8.
429 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg
The 2014 Hyundai Equus Signature starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $61,920, a boost of $1,750 over the 2013 model due to added standard equipment. Stepping up to the Ultimate Equus bumps the price to $68,920. Both numbers are well under any of the Equus sedan's competitors in the flagship-sedan category, which include the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. If you're looking to get the best deal on your Equus, be sure to check out KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price before going to the local Hyundai dealership. As for resale value, the 2014 Hyundai Equus fares well against its competition, with projected values on par with its European rivals.
By Tratus on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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
By TampaChuck on Monday, May 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
12 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Dek on Thursday, May 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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