2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate
Long-Term 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate – Click above for high-res image gallery

The long-term 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate made its way into my driveway a few weeks ago, and since being handed the keys, I've added 1,900 miles to the odometer, putting our total distance traveled at just over 5,400 miles since the car's March arrival at Autoblog Towers.

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Like both editor-in-chief John Neff and editor/test fleet manager Steven J. Ewing, I've been bombarded with compliments and curious questions about the Equus – and that's before I tell them that they're looking at a $65,000 Hyundai. It helps that the Equus looks like almost nothing else on the road, with its alien grille, massive proportions and over-the-top headlamps.

So far, I'm really enjoying my time with the Equus, and I'll have a full rundown of specific pros and cons next month. Over the course of my 1,900-mile stint, I've averaged 20 miles per gallon flat – besting the 19.1 mpg that Ewing and Neff saw last month. But while the month of May has been mostly all stars, there was one service hiccup that reared its ugly head...

To better compete with the more established luxury automakers from Japan and Germany, Hyundai had the smart idea to go a step beyond simply offering free scheduled maintenance. Thus, the Korean automaker instituted a plan that includes valet service, which means that someone from a Hyundai dealership will pick up the Equus from your home or work, drop off a loaner car (a Genesis or Equus, in most cases) for you to use while you wait, and then deliver back your vehicle serviced, washed and even vacuumed. Hyundai even provides an Apple iPad 'manual' that enables the owner to schedule the service appointment without ever having to pick up the phone.

Click on the Autoblog Short Cut video below to see how the iPad app works.



Since our long-term test car didn't arrive with said iPad, Herr Neff scheduled the service from his personal device. I received a confirmation e-mail complete with a reference number, date of service and a verification that a replacement vehicle would be offered. So I cleared my calendar for the morning of the scheduled service, but the dealer personnel never came.

An hour past the scheduled delivery time, I took it upon myself to call the dealership's service department to see if and when the swap would take place. As it turns out, the service department didn't have the foggiest idea what I was talking about, and hadn't received any requests. The gentleman at the service counter then told me that the dealership was running short on personnel, and that he would call me back when he could find someone who knew more about the valet service and how it works (this is a totally new thing for Hyundai, after all).

After a few more calls without a return volley, Neff got out the iPad and scheduled another appointment, I once again cleared my calendar and – again – nobody showed up. So instead of submitting a third service request, we called our contacts within Hyundai management. As you might expect, the next call came directly from the dealership manager, who apologized for any inconvenience and quickly scheduled a date to swap vehicles. Our replacement vehicle, however, was not an Equus or Genesis, but a Veracruz crossover (pictured below). Hyundai tells us that, while an Equus or Genesis is the preferred loaner vehicle, a Veracruz will be offered by dealerships that are low on inventory or when an all-wheel-drive vehicle is preferred (for snow and such).

Hyundai Veracruz

Though the process that lead to valet service was rough, once the dealer got its hands on our Equus, everything was taken care of properly. The oil was changed and fluids were topped off, and the dealer also corrected the ill-aligned headlamps that we told you about last month, as well as the auto trunk button, which fit loosely but otherwise worked well. The dealer sales manager even drove the 40-plus miles himself to personally return the much cleaner Equus to my home and apologized for any trouble that we went through.

Unfortunately, the day after I got the Equus back, a large rock hit the windshield on the freeway, adding a substantial crack to the glass. It looks like the dealer may get a second chance to get its hands on our long-termer before it leaves my possession next month.

The Equus will continue to circulate through the Autoblog staff, so stay tuned for another update on Autoblog.com in about one month's time. And remember, you can keep up with our instant feedback about the long-term Equus by Liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter (remember to look for tweets with the #ablongterm tag).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      It would have been more interesting (and revealing) of a story had they just continued to request service the way everyone else would have had to without manufacturer contacts. The idea of not having to step foot in a Hyundai dealership is appealing. After over a decade of owning Lexus vehicles and seeing their volume rise while their service drop (10 days before you can service our vehicle? I don't think so Lexus), I'm sure many other people are looking for additional choices in this market.
      김경숙ë
      oh~~~good, Equus fantastic~~~~~
      Zoom
      • 3 Years Ago
      THIS is the type of service snafu that people pay to avoid. It's why Toyota created Lexus, Nissan Infiniti, Honda Acura. Run-of-the-mill dealers may not be capable or fully trained in personal services and luxury details, especially the bulk of their time is spend hocking much cheaper wares, and those skills are rarely used. Technical glitches aside, that the personnel at the dealer lacked training speaks volumes on the missteps and perceptions that owners will take away from the experience. When spending $60k on a car, a few extra bells and whistles will not make up for a poor experience.
        brian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        Agreed - Hyundai USA would do well to rethink their decision to forego a new dealer network formed around a premium nameplate... Luxury buyers simply don't put up w/ this kind of treatment.
      Jon Norman
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an Equus for a week long trial period, but, I came to my senses and re-leased an S550 with MBenz. It's not bad for a family sedan, but, it's lacking in numerous areas. http://www.epinions.com/review/2011_Hyundai_Equus_epi/content_536572628612
        Fulorian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jon Norman
        'I came to my senses' and 'leased' do not belong in the same sentence.
          Zoom
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Fulorian
          Why? Because some people don't want to be tied down to the same car? Leasing makes sense for some people. Maybe not you, and that's fine. But for some it does. To each his own.
      PeriD
      • 3 Years Ago
      it looks like nothing else on the road because it looks a little like everything on the road. the equus manages to look like a mercedes from one angle, a lexus from another, a buick from another, and so on. In person the car just doesn't look "right," the grille felt like it came from a commercial where they're trying to hide the brand of the car with a ubiquitous fake grille, the leds in the headlights seemed like the cheese aftermarket kind you see 16 year old kids put on their civics. I'm sure it drives well but the looks are just not there, imo.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PeriD
        [blocked]
          Keith Rogers
          • 3 Years Ago
          The Equus was designed in the same era as the Azera, Veracruz, and Genesis [easily the most attractive of the bunch], and has since moved on to more attractive, and arguably less Korean influenced designs [Sonata, Elantra, Tucson]. The next generation Equus should be something quite different, because word has it that Hyundai has recruited Chris Bangle to lead its design team for the next Equus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Kakapoian
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's because they are all idiots. I personally downvoted each one after reading the comments. Also, your analogy doesn't work due to the large disparity between in cost between the Phaeton and the Equus. Here's a downvote for you as well for not thinking out your response.
      GMan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Hyundai, Mercedes called. They want their grill back.
        tantareanujellob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GMan
        Hey Mercedes, Hyundai called. They said thanks for the customers.
          carfan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tantareanujellob
          no self respecting Mercedes owner would even CONSIDER this car. It may have its merits for the people interested in it, but it's not even in the same category as the Cadillac, BMW or MB
      cgeelongvic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Have experienced Lexus service since 1990, this is not Lexus service, not even close.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Kakapoian
        • 3 Years Ago
        See my response to Mr. Blaze, then think about what each of those people were saying and how little sense it makes.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Kakapoian
          I don't know who votes for your comments(probably all the idiots here) but you are clearly a hopeless guy who knows he can never afford a car better than hyundai,so he desides to defend it no matter what- it just your last hope for some cheap luxury.Hope you enjoy the plastic trim next to your plastic seats covered in plastic stitching
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Kakapoian
          [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Fatoid
      • 3 Years Ago
      "So instead of submitting a third service request, we called our contacts within Hyundai management." ... thereby invalidating the whole experiment. Okay, maybe not the *whole* experiment, but isn't part of the point of the "Long Term" project (which I think is a great idea btw), to provide a realistic review of life with a car over a period of time? i.e. How Joe Average a.k.a. your readers will experience a car over and above a typical new car review? Because you got management involved, how can you, or your readers be certain that you got standard service, and not special internet blogger service? How can we be sure that we too can even get iPad scheduled service. The project is pretty much tainted, you might as well start over.
      Jesus follower!
      • 3 Years Ago
      "It helps that the Equus looks like almost nothing else on the road, with its alien grille, massive proportions and over-the-top headlamps." Everytime I see one of these I think the front end is a Mercedes knock off. The rear also looks like a gen or two ago Acura. This car is so generic and a rip off of others its ridiculous.
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