2014 Hyundai Equus Signaure Luxury Sedan: Concierge Please

Reviewed by Susan Frissell, editor, WWW

Coming into 2014 with expanded technological features, the Hyundai Equus is a beautiful full-size luxury vehicle, complete with just about every amenity one could ask for, and more. Competing with the likes of the benchmark Lexus LS, Equus come in at around $15,000 less. And although, I suppose, $61,000 sounds like a lot of cash, the Equus is a lot of car.

"Valet, please"

“Valet, please”

Hyundai’s flagship Equus is available in two models-Signature ($61,000) and Ultimate ($68,000), comes equipped with standard navigation, rear-cross alert, lane departure warning ( a life-saver for this writer recently), blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control.

Our test car-the Signature version-with destination was priced at $61,920, void of any ‘extra’ options. A refresh of the 2009 Equus, this beauty is in its second generation. The writer can’t comment on how sales have been, but suffice it to say, we don’t sky that many on Chicago’s North Shore.

In addition to the Lexus LS, competition is stiff-by that we mean a high bar is set-for the Equus. Depending on which part of the country you call home, Audi A9, BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-class and even the new Lincolns and Cadillac XTS are favorites. Would someone shopping for a car in the luxury full-size category think to stop in at the local Hyundai dealer? Not sure. We would guess now, although they should.

There is a lot to like about the Hyundai Equus; just don’t compare it apples for apples to an Audi or BMW. Closer to the Lexus LS in ride, handling and feel; Equus is not a performance vehicle-nor is it engineered to be, so BMW drivers would not resonate with the Equus’ cushy ride, floaty feel or less-than precise handling. This is not a criticism; rather two different types of vehicles.


If the pocketbook allowed, this writer would enjoy the Equus on a daily basis, and more so when going across the country. This well-equipped luxury sedan offers so many comfort features 18-hour drives would hardly matter. Hats off to Hyundai too for not feeling the need to offer more than two versions: well-equipped and really well-equipped. And if choosing a color is difficult for you, Hyundai offers only five, with 3 leather colors: black, tan, ivory. Besides, very few people, including the average automotive journalist would be hard-pressed to name every BMW model; what’s the point?

To be sure, what Equus offers in luxury and spoil can be had on all upscale rides: reading lamps for rear passengers, plenty of rear seat leg and head room, all seats heated and ventilated, sunshades on the windows, to name just a few goodies. Gone from the US market for 2014 are the business class rear seats with massaging feature, replaced by a more practical bench-although the middle passenger fits best if small. Some features lacking on the Equus are available all-wheel-drive, and a V-6 option. Nor does the Equus offer a pedestrian detection device or self-park feature.

A new feature on the Equus is the Heads-up Display (HUD). Although not new to automobiles in general, Hyundai’s version incorporates blind spot detection in the HUD. A great idea considering the sloppy way many drivers check their mirrors-or not-before changing lanes. How many times have you started to change lanes before engaging the turn signal, or look over your shoulder. And most of us glance around as a reactionary measure, not really for the purpose of deciding to move or not.

On the Equus, the blind spot information shows up in the HUD, and in the mirror. Drivers will see the display sooner than anywhere else, which makes this feature a must on all vehicles. New for 2014 are a redesigned grille and bumper fascia, standard LED front fog lamps, new turbine-blade wheels, new side mirrors and rear graphics.


On the inside, the Equus sports a new shift-lever design and new premium real wood trim, re-designed rear-seat controls, as well as redesigned center stack and IP. As with other high-end vehicles (think Lexus), the drivers assist alerts come in the form of a light, sound or vibration. The first time this writer experienced the Lexus alert, it was unfamiliar and a little unnerving. Having a slight vibration to your thigh is a little scary. The power-folding side view mirrors are a little alien-ish too…folding out as the driver approaches the vehicle.

Redesigned center stack

Redesigned center stack

Standard equipment on our Equus Signature test car included push-button start, HomeLink, smart cruise control, proximity entry, HID headlamps and LED front fog lights and exterior lamps (new), and water-repellant, heated front windshield glass. On the interior, leather upholstery is standard, with heated and cooled front seats, 12-way memory driver’s seat, full steering wheel controls, sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control and real wood leather accents.

High-end infotainment includes Lexicon stereo with surround sound and 17 speakers, USB jack, CD changer, XM satellite radio, HD radio, navigation with XM traffic and weather data, Bluetooth streaming and Gracenote music lookup. The system is easy to use and didn’t take much time to figure out. Also standard are four 12-volt accessory sockets and 30GB storage.

If you opt for the top-of-the-line Equus Ultimate, you’ll enjoy more high-end infotainment features, such as the HUD-a 12-inch all-LCD instrument panel, side window sunshades (to complement the rear sunshade), and lumbar support on the rear seats. Hyundai Equus is the first to offer an app on your phone with the car’s owner’s manual.

And if you prefer, rather than browsing at the Hyundai dealership, a sales person can be sent to your home or office.

“You’re time, you’re place.”


MSRP: $61,000; total vehicle price $61,920; destination $920

Engine: 5.0-liter V-8 GDI, DOHC D-VVVT Tau, 429 hp., 421 lb. ft. torque

Transmission: 8-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC, Drive Mode Select System

Category: Luxury full-size, 5-seat

Wheelbase: 119.9 in.

Length: 203.1 in.

Width: 74.4 in.

Weight: 4,486 lbs.

Height: 58.7 in.

Tires: P245/45R19, P275/40R19

Wheels: 19-inch premium alloy

EPA fuel economy: 15/23 mpg., 18 est. avg.

Warranty: 3-yrs./35,000-mile no-cost maintenance w/valet delivery service; 10-yr./100,000-mile powertrain; 7-yrs./unlimited Anti-perforation; 5-yrs./unltd-mile roadside assistance.

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