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2014 Hyundai EQUUS Review By John Heilig

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2014 Hyundai EQUUS

By John Heilig

John Says: After 40 years as an auto journalist, the 2014 Hyundai Equus is one of the nicest cars I have ever driven, excellent in every area.

Reviewed Model: 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

Engine: 5.0-liter DOHC V8

Horsepower/Torque: 429 hp @ 6,400 rpm/376 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 119.9 in.

Length x Width x Height: 203.1 x 74.4 x 58.7 in.

Tires: P245/45R19 (F)/P245/40R19 (R)

Cargo: 16.7 cu. ft.

Economy: 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway/22.5 mpg test

Fuel capacity: 20.3 gal.

Curb Weight: 4,000 lbs. (est.)

Sticker: $68,900 (includes $920 delivery, $7,000 options)

The Bottom Line: In a career that spans 40 years, I can honestly say that the Hyundai Equus is one of the nicest cars I have ever driven. It is excellent in every area.

I have been evaluating cars and trucks (and one jet ski) for more than 40 years. In that span of time, I have driven more than 2,000 cars. I had to wait until I was able to get my hands on the Hyundai Equus. It was worth the wait.

This car is on a par with the best German and Japanese luxury cars. It is easy to equate it with the Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S and BMW 7. Obviously, Hyundai benchmarked these vehicles when they were putting together the Equus, and it shows.

The Equus offers power, comfort, great ride quality and road silence. It’s all there. It is an excellent highway cruiser. It handles like a large car, but in the modern sense,

However, the extract the most from the Equus, You should read the owner’s manual. Several times. I remember the first time I drove a Mercedes-Benz S and the person who delivered it gave me a one-hour course on all the car’s features. Such a course should be offered at every dealer.

It is needed especially regarding the information panel between the speedometer and tachometer. There is a button/knob on the right side of the steering wheel that acts like an iPod option/volume knob. Push it to get one thing, run your finger around the edge to get another. It’s wise to learn about all this at a standstill, not while you’re driving.

Styling of the Equus is conservative. This is odd, since Hyundai has some of the most dynamic stylists in the industry. But it’s very much in keeping with the character of the car. It is tasteful. There is more than a passing similarity with the big Lexus and Mercedes-Benz here.

Interior design is also low key. The dash and instrument panel seem almost muted, but they are in keeping with the character of the car. The completely digital LED dash is a nice touch. There’s a Heads Up Display that keeps the important information right up there where you need it. Outside temperature, for example, is shown digitally on the instrument panel and analog (ly?) on a bar across the top of the audio/navigation screen.

I was impressed with the test economy of the Equus, which approached the EPA-estimated highway figure. We did do a lot of Interstate driving, but not that much.

There is a pushbutton start. On the key fob there are remote lock, unlock and trunk release buttons.

Power is not instantaneous, but kicks in after a fraction of a second, almost like with a turbocharger. It does kick in, however, and the big V8 is not only silent on the road, it also has enough oomph to get you where you’re going easily and quickly. The Equus cruises comfortable. Cruise control is definitely needed to maintain your pristine driving record. This is adaptive cruise control, so the Equus will sometimes slow before you realize there’s a slower car in front of you. It also slows when you exceed the set speed by too much.

Other safety features include a blind spot warning system and lane departure warning.

One of my favorite features of the Equus regards parking and backing up. There’s a standard rearview cameras, but there are also several more cameras that give a “top down” view of the car as you’re parking. This is accomplished through a split screen on the dash. This is convenient because it is sometimes hard to locate the front end of the car.

Outside rearview mirrors dip in reverse and fold in when you park.

The front seats are heated and cooled. Seat adjustment controls are located on the doors. Rear legroom is excellent. Even with the tall center hump, this car wo0uld definitely qualify and an executive limousine. Like in the front, rear seat adjusters are located on the doors.

Additionally, rear seat monitors display navigation if there is no entertainment chosen. The navigation system programs easily. Rear seat passengers also have the advantage of lighted vanity mirrors, full audio and HVAC controls and window shades.

There are many luxury sedans on the highway today from a variety of manufacturers. To find such an excellent example from a relative luxury car neophyte like Hyundai is a pleasant surprise. I hope I don’t have to wait a long time again for my next opportunity to drive one.

2014 The Auto Page