I recently had the chance to drive a 2012 Hyundai Equus Ultimate. This is an excellent experience, and I highly recommend it to just about anyone, especially if you’re paying for it. That’s because the Equus is probably the best bargain in the entire luxury car world.
I’ve previously discussed how good of a deal the Equus is, so I won’t rehash all of the particulars, but consider this: you can buy a used one for around $15,000, and you can buy a certified pre-owned one for around $25,000, with the balance of Hyundai’s amazing 10-year or 100,000-mile warranty. It’s an amazing deal, and everyone should check it out.
But today, I don’t want to discuss the deal, but rather the car itself. I rented this Equus Ultimate on Turo, and it touted the most desirable engine: a 5.0-liter V8 with 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. This engine was meant to rival the big V8s in German full-size luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series, and I was eager to see how it performed.
And the answer is: fantastically. With only 376 lb-ft of torque, the Equus isn’t quite as athletic as German luxury sedans from 2012 — but it’s just as smooth, with a silky engine that offers absolutely amazing performance if comfort is all you care about. You almost never hear it running, even under heavy load, and acceleration is amazingly smooth and straightforward. I truly, deeply loved driving this thing — at least in terms of its ability to just let me sit back, relax, and not be bothered by unwelcome noises.
As I mentioned, things are a little less rosy in terms of excitement. The Equus is exactly what you’d expect from a luxury sedan, nothing more, which means there’s some body roll in corners and some lag in acceleration in order to give you a smoother experience rather than a sporty one. It’s not a car you’d take drag racing, nor a car you’d really want to drive if you’re looking for something thrilling. The S-Class does a much better job of that stuff, and even it isn’t exactly sporty or exciting.
But let’s go back to comfort for a second, because that’s really where the Equus shines. It’s not just about engine smoothness. No, the Equus also benefits from a fantastically comfortable suspension system, which soaks up bumps to a wonderful degree. It also cancels out a lot of road noise from the outside, giving you the full luxury car experience. It really is a wonderful place to spend time.
As for technology, that’s lagging a bit — but fairly standard for 2012. You have a backup camera, but the resolution is crap. You also have adaptive cruise control, but it doesn’t work in stop-and-go traffic. Aging tech is one of the things you’ll need to put up with if you want the bargain that is an older Equus — as you’d have to with just about any luxury car. If it’s any consolation, however, it does feature a seat massager.
Ultimately, I have a lot of positive things to say about the Equus, because the Equus is a really excellent car — especially used. Back when these were new, and Hyundai wanted like seventy grand for them, I thought they were nuts — but here, in 2019, when they’ve depreciated to the point of a Toyota Corolla AND you can get one with a Hyundai factory warranty, it’s a total bargain. It’s not perfect, mind you, but it’s a bargain. And I really do think a used Equus is the best used luxury car value on the planet. Find a Hyundai Equus for sale
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