2012 Hyundai Equus

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2012 Hyundai Equus — Flash Drive

By Staff of MSN Autos

Don't think Acura. Think Lexus. The most luxurious Hyundai ever, the Equus, reminds me of the early days of the Japanese luxury car. The Equus deserves just as much respect as those cars did. For only $60,000 you get an attractive, well appointed, phenomenally spacious, powerful car in which I managed 14 mpg from stoplight to stoplight and over 18 mpg on the freeway on regular gasoline. Did I mention that the rear seats recline? That there is so much legroom in the back you can cross your legs without bumping your knees? But it goes beyond value for money. The Equus is serene like a luxury car should be, yet it's so powerful that you could never want for more. You won't regret it. You certainly need to try it. Think Hyundai. –Paul Hagger

Hyundai takes another step upmarket with the Equus, a luxury sedan positioned above the Genesis that is designed to challenge the top models in the luxury segment. The exterior styling draws attention, with a big grille, chrome accents, and a look that causes people to ask, "What is it?" At first blush the Equus feels a little awkward and ungainly — and the feeling doesn't go away. It feels a little too soft, and the steering response and suspension tuning don't give the driver the confidence of being on top of the car. The Equus gets a lot of power from the 5.0-liter V8, and it's quick, with smooth, precise shifts from the 8-speed automatic. The interior is nicely appointed, with Hyundai sticking to its formula of delivering great value for the dollar, but the details, such as the quality of the leather, miss the mark. Overall, the Equus doesn't feel on par with the benchmarks in the luxury segment, but amenity for amenity, it still delivers a great value for the price. –Mike Meredith

Who would have thought the Korean value brand Hyundai would ever have a $60,000 car in its lineup? But even at that price the Equus is a good value. Styling is exactly what you'd expect from a big luxury sedan, with the design and dimensions much very much like its Japanese and European competition. The interior is lavishly appointed with leather and wood trim; heated, cooled and massaging front seats; and a rear seat spacious enough to consider hiring a chauffeur. While on the surface it's easy to consider comparing the Equus to high-end offerings from Mercedes or BMW, it's not quite there yet. The ride is too soft, and even in sport mode the car seems to wallow, especially when the road isn't smooth. Noise is also louder than it should be in a flagship luxury sedan — double-pane windows keep out most of the sound, but the road noise is still a bit annoying. But the one place the Equus isn't lacking is under the hood. The big V8 engine puts out 429 horsepower, and combined with an 8-speed automatic, power comes on fast and smooth. Acceleration is impressive for such a large car, and I averaged a reasonable 19-20 mpg fuel economy. So no, the Equus is not a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7-Series, but for $20,000 to $30,000 less than the competition, it comes pretty close. –Perry Stern

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BB04 - 7/29/2014 3:17:29 AM