HYUNDAI’S 2014 EQUUS IS COMPETITIVE LUXURY SEDAN

2014 Hyundai Equus

By Tom Crosby

Owners of luxury sedans enjoy touting their vehicle’s virtues, often comparing makes such as Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Cadillac.

Hyundai’s 2014 Equus has to be part of that discussion now with its recent interior improvements, full array of standard safety features and a price point that doesn’t squeeze a wallet dry.

As the luxury flagship sedan for Korean manufacturer Hyundai, the rear-wheel drive five-seater is the company’s largest and most expensive vehicle but our Equus Signature test-drive came fully loaded at a single price point without expensive options often offered by competitors.

In addition to the Signature trim, there is an Ultimate Equus for an extra $7,000 that includes larger LCD displays and features, an automatic door closure system, dual rear seat entertainment monitors and rear seat power lumbar support.

Both models boast standard features that enhance safe driving such as lane departure warnings, rear cross-traffic camera alerts when backing up, blind spot mirror detection, adaptive cruise control, electronic stability control and seat belt tightening triggered by various safety alerts.

Equus was a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

For 2014, Hyundai added outside 19-inch turbine-blade silver-polished wheels, a simplified front bumper fascia and redesigned slat grille, new side mirrors, tail lamp graphics and less front and rear chrome. It created a pleasing sleek, upscale look.

The adjustable air suspension was tuned for baby-smooth rides, whether in sport mode, normal, snow or gas-saving eco mode.

Handling was slightly mushy, lacking firm straight-ahead bias, but adequate for normal driving. However, those who want power get it with Equus’s 5.0-liter Tau DOHC direct-injection engine that partners seamlessly with the 8-speed automatic transmission without hesitation, either from a dead stop or zip passing on the highway. Slightly better performance comes with premium rather than acceptable regular gasoline.

Inside, Equus holds its own with a redesigned instrument panel and center console, genuine wood trim and redesigned rear seat center console controls.

The spacious back seat has a limo-style feel with reclining rear seats and separate climate/audio controls. Leather upholstery and genuine wood trim provide aesthetics while the 17-speaker Lexicon audio provides crystal clear sound and the now larger 9.2 inch navigation display screen is voice or manually manipulated.

Blue Link telematics help find points of interest, share location, set boundary controls for teenage drivers and allow hands-free voice text messaging. Drivers press accept on the center console knob acknowledging screen usage while driving can be dangerous.

LIKES: Quiet ride, price, comfort, looks, safety features
DISLIKES: Mileage, handling
BOTTOM LINE: One of the best bargains in the pricey luxury sedan market

FACT FILE: HYUNDAI 2014 EQUUS SIGNATURE

  • Base price $61,920
  • Curb weight 4,570 lbs.
  • Wheelbase 119.9 inches
  • Length 203.1 inches
  • Width 74.4 inches
  • Engine specs 5.0-liter, V8, DOHC
  • Horsepower 421-hp at 6,400 rpm
  • Torque 365-lbs.-ft. at 5,000 rpm
  • Transmission 8-speed automatic w/Shiftronic
  • EPA Rating 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway
  • Range 20.3-gallon tank, regular gas
  • Performance 0-60 in less than 6 seconds