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2015 Hyundai Equus: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2015

If you've been following the automotive news over the past few years, you'll know that Hyundai has rapidly transformed itself into a top-tier automaker. Unfortunately for Hyundai, most people don't follow the automotive news. For the average car shopper, then, the concept of a $60,000-$70,000 Hyundai luxury sedan may be hard to swallow. In other words, the 2015 Hyundai Equus has its work cut out.

But Hyundai knows this, so they've taken steps to reassure hesitant buyers. When your Equus needs maintenance, for example, Hyundai will send someone to your residence to pick up the car. And then there's the car itself, which is undoubtedly an impressive achievement. Forget about the Hyundai badge and imagine a V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive, luxury-lined sedan that undercuts most rivals by tens of thousands. The Equus is the executive car for executives who can't pass up a good deal.

Indeed, the Equus does almost everything well, and its unique one-two punch of affordability and valet-style maintenance has been enough to clinch a surprising number of sales. If you're not up on the news, here's the latest: Hyundai makes a legitimate top-shelf luxury sedan, and it's absolutely worth a test drive.

What's New for 2015?

The 2015 Equus essentially stands pat for the latest model year.

What We Like

Refined ride; strong acceleration; most of the expected luxuries; great value

What We Don't

All-wheel drive isn't offered; interior quality reflects the relatively low price

How Much?

$62,450-$69,700

Fuel Economy

The rear-wheel-drive Equus features a 5.0-liter V8 rated at 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic.

Fuel economy is 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Hyundai Equus is offered in two trim levels: Signature and Ultimate.

The Signature ($62,450) provides such amenities as 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlamps, LED accent lights and fog lights, front and rear parking sensors, a power trunk lid, a sunroof, a leather-wrapped dashboard, leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats with driver lumbar support, wood interior trim, electroluminescent gauges with a complementary 7-in thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCD display, tri-zone automatic climate control with separate rear controls, a 3-passenger rear bench with power-reclining seatbacks, a power rear sunshade, a 9.2-in central LCD display with a navigation system and a rearview camera, and a 17-speaker, 608-watt Lexicon audio system with iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

The top-of-the-line Ultimate ($69,700) boasts power-closing doors, a heads-up display, a multicamera parking system, a 12-in TFT LCD instrument-cluster display, dual rear 9.2-in LCD screens with a DVD player and separate controls, ventilated rear seats with power lumbar support, a rear-console refrigerator, cooled rear seats and a forward-view cornering camera for the driver.

Although the Equus model's front seats borrow the seat-shaped power-adjustment levers of Mercedes-Benz, they lack the seemingly infinite adjustability of Mercedes-Benz or BMW chairs. It's clear the car's engineers gave more thought to the rear passengers than to those in front. Indeed, the Equus model's one-size-fits-all wheelbase skews toward limousinelike proportions. Just check out those elongated rear doors, which are typically only seen on competitors' long-wheelbase models. As expected, rear-seat comfort is exceptional; the international dignitaries in your family will be thoroughly impressed.

Trunk space, meanwhile, clocks in at a capacious 16.7 cu ft.

Safety

The 2015 Hyundai Equus comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active front headrests and nine airbags (front, front-side, driver-knee, rear-side and full-length side-curtain). Also standard is a blind spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, and front and rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic alert.

Neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the Equus.

Behind the Wheel

What's most important in a car such as the Equus is refinement, and on the road this Hyundai has it in spades. The V8 engine is highly civilized, pulling respectably hard when you give it the spurs, while the 8-speed automatic serves up smooth, relaxed shifts. Road noise is negligible, and the Equus generally soaks up pavement irregularities with a shrug. It's not easy to make a big sedan drive like a truly special luxury car, but Hyundai has pulled it off on the first attempt. The only real issue is that there's no athleticism in this limousine's DNA, so if you relish the occasional spirited back-road drive, the Equus isn't ideal.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 BMW 740i -- We specify the 6-cylinder 740i because it's only about $10,000-$15,000 more expensive than the Equus to start. Some may believe that's a small price to pay for the superior sportiness and brand cachet of the 7 Series.

2015 Lexus LS 460 -- The LS offers edgy styling and a well-crafted interior, not to mention Lexus' excellent resale value.

2015 Hyundai Genesis -- The current-generation Genesis is a revelation with its striking styling, agile handling, rich interior and full-size passenger space. It even shares its optional V8 engine with the Equus. You might find the Genesis more appealing overall, in which case you'll save a bundle of cash.

Used Audi A8 -- With Audi's certified pre-owned warranty, you can enjoy peace of mind in a low-mileage used A8. You'll also enjoy the A8's superior agility and interior craftsmanship.

Autotrader's Advice

Might as well go Ultimate, right? You'll be getting a lot of car for less than the base price of most executive sedans.

Find a Hyundai Equus for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Hyundai Equus: New Car Review - Autotrader