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2013 Hyundai Equus

Overview
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2013 Hyundai Equus Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

When Lexus first launched the LS 400 sedan, many (including the German manufacturers) scoffed at the idea of a Japanese luxury car. You know what happened. So everyone, including Lexus, should be watching as Korea's Hyundai offers its $60,000 ultra-luxury Equus sedan. The big, lavishly equipped car takes aim at premium sedans costing tens of thousands more. And if it comes up a little short in ultimate handling ability compared to Germany's best (as indeed today's Lexus LS does), the 2013 Hyundai Equus has the style, performance, luxury and amenities to bring its value pitch to the flagship-sedan category. Interestingly, Hyundai decided against launching a new premium brand (a Lexus or Infiniti), so the Equus shares a badge and showroom with Accents and Sonatas.

You'll Like This Car If...

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 2013 Hyundai Equus may be for you. Hyundai's "At Your Service" program includes free maintenance for five years/60,000 miles.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2013

The only change to the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan for 2013 is a new color combination, White Satin exterior with a Saddle interior.

Driving the Equus
Driving Impressions

No one who studies these things closely will mistake the driving characteristics of the 2013 Hyundai Equus sedan with those of a BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But most...

... buyers probably won't care much about the difference. The Equus cabin is amazingly quiet and its air-suspension ride is tuned to eliminate road imperfections while still returning a secure feel on winding roads. The Equus holds its line very well in corners and is more than capable of managing its substantial weight on twisty roads. There is a trace more float and road isolation than in the German flagships. Steering feel is good and, though not as responsive as a 7 Series, it's a bit better than the Lexus LS, which is probably right about where Hyundai planners want the car to be.

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, plus heating and cooling, are nice touches as well.

LEXICON 7.1 DISCRETE LOGIC 7 SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM
While the 2013 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.

2013 Hyundai Equus Details
Interior

Some cars are made to drive, others to be driven in. With the 2013 Hyundai Equus, it's a toss-up. The Ultimate trim features executive-style rear seating for two, with wide, comfortable heated and cooled seats separated by a center console containing a refrigerator and controls for the flip-up rear-seat entertainment system. The passenger-side rear seat features a power-operated leg support. A rear bench seat comes standard in the Signature trim level, which provides ample accommodation for three adults. In either case, you'll find sufficient headroom and legroom for everyone and an interior laced with rich, warm wood and fine leathers.

Exterior
2013 Hyundai Equus photo

In designing the 2013 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 strikes a pleasing balance between modern character and sedate formality. Highly-styled 19-inch alloy wheels round out the Equus' exterior.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Hyundai Equus Signature sedan, the "base" model in the Equus family, comes with a host of impressive standard features. The most notable include a 5.0-liter V8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, 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's seat with massage system, and heated and cooled front seats. Other touches include a dual automatic temperature control system and 60/40 power-reclining and heated rear seats.

Optional Equipment

There aren't options available for the 2013 Hyundai Equus, just the alternative of the up-level Ultimate model. This adds a goldmine of upgrades, most of which are dedicated to turning the rear seats into a first-class-cabin experience. A 50/50-split cooled and reclining rear seat replaces the bench seat, making the Equus a 4-seater, and the passenger-side rear seat adds leg support and a massage system. Other additions include a rear entertainment center with an 8-inch screen, a rear console refrigerator, a forward-view cornering camera, and a power trunklid.

Under the Hood

The 2013 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, the potent V8 returns impressive highway mileage numbers on par with both the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes S-Class.

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

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