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2015 Hyundai Equus Review

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more. See what you should pay

2015 Hyundai Equus Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The Equus is the ultimate Hyundai, a full-size luxury sedan meant to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS and Audi A8. In terms of power, refinement and amenities, Hyundai's ultimate sedan matches up well – and as may be expected from the badge it wears, does so while costing thousands or even tens of thousands less. With V8 power, rear-wheel drive and a list of standard features as long as the car itself, the Equus is a real-deal luxury liner. Yet there's no getting around that it's also still a Hyundai, and a $60,000-plus one. That alone will put the Equus out of contention for badge-conscious buyers. But those seeking more than status will find a comfortable executive sedan with another intangible trait: value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you desire the power, amenities, ride comfort and prodigious size of a high-end luxury sedan at a discount price, the 2015 Hyundai Equus grants just that. With only two trims to decide between and no options, the Equus is also refreshingly easy to choose and buy.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your next luxury car must bear a luxury badge, this Hyundai probably won't suffice no matter how lavish it is. Another possible detriment: The Equus does not offer all-wheel drive for enhanced traction, an option that did just arrive on its Genesis sibling.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.2
  • 6.8
  • 8.0
  • 7.4
  • 6.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#12

out of 12

Fuel Economy

#2

out of 13

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Hyundai Equus Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

After a substantial refresh last year, the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan returns for 2015 with no significant changes.

Driving the Equus
2015 Hyundai Equus Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions No one will mistake the dynamics of the Equus with those of the more performance-oriented BMW 7 Series or Audi A8, but we also doubt that's the raison d'être for...

... buyers ponying up for Hyundai's most expensive vehicle. The Equus' ride, rather, is pillow-soft thanks to an air suspension that quells all but the most offensive road imperfections. Highway cruising is relaxed, stable and hushed. With 429 horsepower, the 5.0-liter V8 engine has more than enough gusto to move this big rear-wheel-drive sedan. Steering feel is good in Normal mode, but more effort is required in Sport mode – and there's little reward for it in driving satisfaction. Given the Equus' wafty ways, we found it most comfortable (literally) in Normal mode, or the Snow mode when driving in inclement weather. The multi-adjustable leather-lined driver's seat and wood-and-leather steering wheel provide a satisfying tactile sensation.

17-SPEAKER LEXICON SURROUND-SOUND SYSTEM
Tell an audiophile friend that you have a Lexicon system in your car and you'll immediately be envied. Tell them it's in a Hyundai and they might think you're crazy. But Lexicon, known for ultra-expensive home audio systems, provides the exquisite soundtrack in the Equus as standard.

WARRANTY AND SERVICE
Hyundai is known for its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and that applies equally on the Equus. Additionally, every new Equus comes with complimentary maintenance for three years/36,000 miles at the At Your Service valet initiative, in which the car is picked up and dropped off and the owner is given a loaner.

2015 Hyundai Equus Details
2015 Hyundai Equus Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Roomy and opulent are the best two ways of describing the Equus' 5-passenger interior. Sumptuous leather and wood are the materials of choice. Every aspect of the Equus has been designed for driver and passenger comfort. Thanks to a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat and power-operated tilt/telescoping steering wheel, it isn't difficult to find a good spot behind the wheel. Where the Equus really stands out is in rear-seat accommodations. In Korea these cars are used as livery for high-profile executives, and it's easy to see why. With generous legroom, climate-controlled seats, shaded windows and even power lumbar support, sitting back there makes anyone feel like a VIP.

Exterior
2015 Hyundai Equus photo

The Equus doesn't stray far from a formula that has long worked for other full-size luxury sedans such as the Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It all starts with a big, horizontal grille, wide stance, large wheels, pronounced yet soft body lines and nicely tucked rear. The Equus isn't nearly as evocative as the Hyundai Sonata, but neither is it as polarizing. As the elder statesman of the automaker's lineup, the Equus plays it safe by staying conservative. Besides, its sheer size gives it presence enough.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Equus is available in just two trims, Signature and Ultimate. Signature could be considered the "base" trim, but it's hardly lacking. This least expensive Equus comes with a V8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, navigation system with 9.2-inch command screen, tri-zone climate control, that 17-speaker Lexicon audio system we already raved about (see Favorite Features), smart cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and premium leather seating with suede headliner. Other passenger-oriented amenities include heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and power rear sunshade.

Optional Equipment

As there are no options for the Equus, buyers seeking the ultimate version can spend about $7,000 more for the Ultimate trim. It lives up to that name with forward and multi-view camera systems to ease parking, power-operated trunk, 12.3-inch TFT LCD instrument panel and head-up display. Rear-seat passengers are treated to cooled seats, rear-screen entertainment system with twin 9.2-inch monitors, power lumbar support and vanity mirrors. Another especially neat feature is the power door closure, which automatically and gently shuts the door.

Under the Hood
2015 Hyundai Equus Engine photo

The 2015 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. Despite the Equus' weight of over 4,550 pounds, Hyundai's full-size luxury sedan can scoot to 60 mph in six seconds or less. Fuel economy is rated at up to 23 mpg on the highway. That isn't terrible for a big V8, but it can't touch the 36 mpg-figure of a diesel Audi A8 or the 31-mpg mark of a diesel BMW 7 Series, both of which also feature all-wheel drive.

5.0-liter V8
429 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg

The 2015 Hyundai Equus has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $62,450 for the Signature model and $69,700 for the fully loaded Ultimate edition. At these prices, the Equus indeed looks like a value compared with rivals. Base versions of the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Jaguar XJ for example, begin in the mid-$70,000 range, while an Audi A8 starts in the high $70,000 range. A Mercedes-Benz S-Class, meanwhile, is nearer the 6-figure mark. The Cadillac XTS, starting in the mid-$40,000 range, is a possible alternative, though its front-drive architecture and lack of a V8 may be a turnoff for some. As one who values a good deal, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for the Equus. Long-term, the Equus' resale value is expected to be in line with its European competitors, but below that of the Lexus LS.

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2015 Hyundai Equus Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 36 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

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."

3 people out of 4 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!"

2 people out of 3 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."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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