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 Hyundai Equus and I spent nearly all of May and June together, and during that time, the big sedan began to felt like it was my personal car. The seats began to feel more lived in, technology became more intuitive and even the way the Equus handled different road surfaces became permanently mapped into my brain. But even after six weeks with it, I still never got used to the fact that the Equus was a Hyundai.

It's still a bit difficult for me to process the fact that Hyundai makes a full-blown luxury rig, and the behavior of others who encountered it tells me I'm not alone. I was continually amazed at the number of requests to sit in the vehicle by people I have never met before in my life. One elderly gentleman – who proved his love of automobiles by showing me a completely tricked-out Fiat 500 he had just purchased – went so far as to sit in the driver's seat. His wife smartly opted for the reclining rear passenger seat, where I showed her all the tricks that make the Equus a livery-ready passenger car. As a reward, I got to sit in the driver's seat of the 500. I can't say that I fit comfortably, so my new friends may have gotten the better end of the deal.

Keep your eyes locked on the official Autoblog Facebook page for the majority of our updates, as well as the official Autoblog Twitter account (@therealautoblog, look for the #ablongterm hashtag).

It's easy to be impressed with the dimensions of the Equus, but I didn't expect much driving excitement from this 4,600-pound Korean flagship. It's no canyon carver, but it's not a Lincoln Town Car, either. The 4.6-liter Tau V8 may soon be replaced with a more powerful 5.0-liter mill, but I'd add that the current powertrain has plenty of power to keep most anyone entertained. In fact, while I was waiting for my oldest daughter to finish up tennis practice one evening, I headed over to the empty parking lot at the local high school. My goal was to see if I could lay down a serviceable burnout in our two-ton Hyundai. It took a couple tries, but once traction control was dismissed and the sport mode was enabled, the deed was done. It probably wasn't that pretty, but it was still entertaining. After managing only 18 miles per gallon in the first fun-filled week, I was routinely between 19.5 and 20.5 mpg through 3,000 miles of travel. When I passed off the Equus to Fleet Manager Ewing, there were nearly 7,500 miles on the odometer.

Interestingly, my three daughters and their friends seemed to be most impressed with the Equus, even going so far as to tell me that they want a Hyundai as their first vehicle. If you were wondering why Hyundai might bother with a $65,000 luxury sedan, know that it's clearly making its impact, and not just on my kids or neighbors.

With June in the books, the largest and most-lux of all Hyundai models is gone from my driveway and off to the next Autoblogger. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it – even if I still have trouble processing the idea of a $65,000 Hyundai.

Keep your eyes locked on the official Autoblog Facebook page for the majority of our updates, as well as the official Autoblog Twitter account (@therealautoblog, look for the #ablongterm hashtag).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 70 Comments
      GPIG
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Equus just doesn't look quite right. Seems to be a problem with the entire Hyundai lineup. It seems like every model is on the cusp of great design, but something weird just ruins the look. Hopefully it'll be refined the next generation.
      JasonERF
      • 3 Years Ago
      I could totally see this being a great used buy for a young-ish family who aren't interested in the SUV world. It seems like a comfy vault!
      You guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its not a bad looking car... Its just not a great looking car. I hope the next iteration is a bit bolder.
      lstan139
      • 3 Years Ago
      After 7 consecutive Lexus automobiles, I went for the Equus Ultimate. So far it is an excellent car. I had the "H" on the trunk lid replaced by the same emblem that is on the hood. On the highway there is absolutely no road or wind noise, and all my frineds can't believe the smoothness of the ride. As for service; yes the dealership facility waiting room is tacky, but with an Equus you do not go to the dealer for 5 years. They come pick up your car at your convenience, leave you a Geneis, and return the car when the service is complete -- all at no charge, and no charge for parts or service for the first five years. Frankly, I'm amazed at the car, and it is not underpowered. It has some features on it not found on Lexus, BMW ofr Mercedes. There are no options for the car. It comes fully loaded from the start.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        The STS is garbage even when compared to sedans in a class below it. It doesn't deserve to wear the Cadillac wreath.
          keywestfloral
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Escalaid an egg.
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          @ transam I've actually driven three current generation STS' to date. I drove a STS-V on track at Summit Point, and I've driven two rental STS' from National. The STS-V was a joke, and couldn't compete with anything German as far as its performance or its interior, and ride/handling balance. All three were seriously disappointing, and the interiors on all were putrid for something that is supposed to be a "luxury" vehicle. Just having butter soft leather doesn't make your car luxurious, fit and finish and other material choices didn't even seem like they were a consideration when designing the STS.
          transam
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          You obviously never drove an STS, actually I'd like to know what you drive.
      fishage
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with this car is that you will eventually have to take it to a Hyundai dealership for service. We bring our Santa Fe in way too frequently, and although I will believe that this car is probably built to a higher level of standard considering the price, I refuse to believe that I would be any happier to sit in the same waiting room that smells like puke, get a phone call that a technician lost his cell phone in our engine compartment (sure enough, it somehow was still resting on stuff in there), or being told that the broken ignition cylinder covered under warranty meant that I had to now carry two keys with me because it is "impossible to rematch ignition and door keys" after paying 3 times what everyone around me paid for their car. When I go to our Porsche dealership, I get treated like my time is important, a loaner that is always nicer than my car, and real technical explanations for any issue that may exist. The contrast in experience is remarkable considering that with this car, the contrast in price is not.
        Philipp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        Hyundai has a different service method with this car. You never set foot in the dealership. When you buy it, the sales rep comes to your home or office with an iPad to take the order. When you service it, they come to your home or office and drop off a loaner and take yours.
        Moreno636
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        Owning an Equus means you dont have to go into the dealership. They pick it up, drop of an equivalent loaner and deliver the car back to your home when the work is done. I'll take sitting in my living room over any dealership be it Porsche, Mercedes, etc.
        John
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        You don't have to take it to the dealership. That is one of their main ways of attempting to overcome a problem that VW had with the Phaeton. Each of these comes with an iPad that contains the owner's manual and also allows you to make service appointments. When you schedule one, a technician comes out to your house to pick up the Equus and leaves another one or a Genesis in your driveway as a loaner. That's a pretty good way of "treating you like your time is important" and you need not worry about smelling puke. ;)
        H.E. Pennypacker
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        isn't that why hyundai has a valet service for this car? i saw one on the road the other day, looked pretty impressive. but you obviously lack the instantaneous recognition of a brand like mercedes, bmw, or lexus. pretty interesting experience. the effect of branding really hits you with this car.
        mitchman06
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        I love the fact that people who pointed out correct facts got downrated. It is obvious that the anti-Hyundai trolls are amount us.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        Dude, find another dealership. Fairfax Hyundai has been one of the best mainstream dealerships I've ever encountered when it comes time for my girlfriend to bring in her Sonata for routine maintenance. They are efficient, professional, and get the job done with no follow-ups required.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fishage
        [blocked]
      Philipp
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car is more of a threat to Lexus and possibly the larger Cadillacs, Town Car, and large Buicks than to European sedans.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Philipp
        [blocked]
          lexuslfa552
          • 3 Years Ago
          The world we are living in where Korea competes and exceeds in: quality, style, resale value (referring to the most current crop of Hyundai vehicles) and warranty is called the current world year 2011. While the vehicles you mentioned are definitely the best GM has come up with in many years, it does not mean they are the class leaders in any segment. Check the resale value of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata....see how it compares with another GM vehicle. Another popular car blog did just that and found that the vehicle depreciated equal to that of a Honda (which has been known for the highest resale value for years). Sorry to say but GM is starting to make the right changes and follow in others footsteps....meanwhile Korean companies are setting the trends and branching out into fields (top end luxury) that no one ever thought they could compete in and they are succeeding. I'm not saying that the Equus is going to win everyone over but I can surely tell you that I have driven it plenty of times and there is nothing currently that GM offers that has the same level of refinement or curb appeal. Welcome back to reality.
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          "Welcome to GM Country" What? I am a proud American and I'd take a Genesis or Equus over every single one of the vehicles you mentioned. The Escalade is gaudy, tacky, and passe to the extreme. Get real.
          TangoR34
          • 3 Years Ago
          Enough with your republican crap. None of your words would make people try those cars, you'll only scare them off it. If you are wise, let the sales do the talking. Nowadays People only care about where they spend their best buck. If you want GM products to be the smartest choice, why don't you get your ass into the industry and make stuff that would ACTUALLY SELL? None of the cars you said never made a good reputation apart from the Regal, I mean OPEL/Vauxhall Insignia, which is designed by Europeans. Welcome to the democratic world.
      Anthony
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great story... But at $65,000 I wouldn't have trouble imagining any automaker making a decent luxury auto.
        fly by wireless
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Anthony
        You actually make sense. Don't understand the down voting. When the prices get high, the cars d&%n well better be good. This is why I don't have any admiration for overpriced cars that are well appointed. My admiration is reserved for cars that give far more than their price indicates in terms of performance, reliability, quality, and engineering. There aren't many lux brand cars that do this except maybe a few Lexus and Acura models.
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      They're losing a bunch of money on this thing but with all the government help they get, they can afford to look 20 years down the road. Ford is all about how much money we can make next month, far too much so IMHO. I sure would like to see long wheelbase Chrysler LX but not like that Imperial show car they had a couple years ago. I would like just a longer wheelbase 300 with a few more upscale styling touches such as two paint, designer Italian leather, rear reclining chairs, rear videos, ipads and course a HEMI!
        reattadudes
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Chrysler did indeed build a long wheelbase 300 for three years, and it was a miserable seller. the car was stretched 6" by Accubuilt of Lima, Ohio, and was marketed as the 300 "Executive Series", in both Touring and 300C trims. unless they were parked side by side, it was nearly impossible to tell the SWB from the LWB. the biggest problem was the price; the Touring model was almost $50,000.
        Zondaracer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        I'm not sure how they are losing money on the Equus when they have sold quite a significant number in Seoul. Maybe it isn't the best seller in the US, but back in Korea they have sold many.
      black republican
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you let children play in a car with limousine amenities like the Equus, I'm 100% certain they'd probably want one over, say, a Mulsanne or even an S550. That doesn't make them right though. The Equus is good as a limo, but, as a family hauler it makes absolutely no sense unless this is something you definitely want to spend $65K on. http://www1.epinions.com/review/2011_Hyundai_Equus_epi/content_536572628612 Tell me how your daughter would enjoy that recliner, if she was a FULL SIZED ADULT and her feet got pinched under the passenger seat.
        kcroc10077
        • 3 Years Ago
        @black republican
        I don't know so this is just an assumption but I think if her feet got pinched under the seat she probably wouldn't recline.
        Richard
        • 3 Years Ago
        @black republican
        Yes but full sized Korean women are 5 feet tall.
          coopercusp
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Richard
          @Richard, that's a pretty bigoted statement. I guess it's no different than to say all white people are superficial and stupid. You should get out of your little village more often.
          Ace Convoy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Richard
          and you wonder why they buy American Cars and SUV's BIG Cheap rolling Sofa recliners :)
          rkford
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Richard
          @coopercusp 5' and 3.5" so he was off by 3.5", pretty close. Looks like you should check your village's bus schedule before opening your mouth. Just because it's true (or almost true) doesn't mean it's bigoted, good job of jumping on something before getting the facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average_height#cite_note-58
        Alex Ellsworth
        • 3 Years Ago
        @black republican
        When you see the Equus and its peers in use in its native Korea, the front passenger seat is always slid all the way forward, with the headrest removed and the backrest folded forward to meet the dashboard. It looks like a clam, or like it's curled into the fetal position. I don't know if there is any one-touch button to do this, or if it's adjusted manually. This makes sense in the context of Korea, where you'd most commonly have a chauffeur plus a single executive passenger. No one ever rides in the front passenger seat, and it would be unseemly to kick back and relax if you were transporting a fellow business colleague behind the driver. However, perhaps they'll consider global markets and allow for the recline function to work in alternate configurations with more passengers when they design the Equus's successor.
      sss300
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ummmm excuse me i think u guys are forgetting something Everyone knows mercedes-benz bmw and lexus are the true luxury brandsss helloooo. So this thing and every other lux brand r GARBAGE and IRRELEVANT!!!! Duh!!!
        airchompers
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sss300
        MB, BMW, and Lexus also know about your attitude and their wares are priced accordingly. Thank you for your ignorance, you make good cars like Infinitis, Audis (though less so these days) and Acuras (well, they used to be desirable) cheeper for me.
          sss300
          • 3 Years Ago
          @airchompers
          PUHLEASE u guys know its true!!! Haven't u heard of those songs "beamer benz and bentley" and "Cruising down 8th street, Off-white Lexus, Driving so slow "!!! U never hear stuff like DRIVING IN A HYUNDAI or ACURA or AUDI in those pop songs. its cuz no one sees them as prestigious, therefore benz beemer and lexus r always going 2 be the true lux brands. merc, bmw, lexus> all other lux brands!!!
        brian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sss300
        I don't buy cars because they're named in a song - and I dont' know anyone else who does either. Now pull up your pants and get back to school.
        avconsumer2
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sss300
        Wow. You just managed to single handedly, significantly lower my views on the brands you mentioned.
      reattadudes
      • 3 Years Ago
      manufacturers always watch what's getting traded in to gauge the success of a new nameplate. here in the Phoenix area, the #1 trade on the Equus has been the Lexus LS460, with BMW 7 series and Mercedes-Benz S-class not far behind. several dealers have gotten so many trades of these three brands they are wholesaling them just to get them off the lots. the Equus is an incredibly impressive car, and has an unbelievable presence on the road when you see one. if you're in the market for a high end luxury car, nothing comes close for the price. bear in mind here, too, that the one they are using for the long term test here is the top of the line model; the Signature model is $58,000.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        [blocked]
        Helix
        • 3 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        The Equus is also a failure sales wise. The LS outsells it over 3:1 despite being a 5 year old model and $10k more expensive.
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Helix
          The Equus was JUST released, and it wasn't even intended to be a full volume model like the LS was. Inventory is still an issue at this point. You can't sell what you don't have.
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