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
Our 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate long-term tester made its way back into my garage for the month of September, and despite cresting the 16,000-mile mark, appears no worse for the wear. Or so I thought.

I hadn't seen the Equus since its odometer showed just a few thousand miles, and in that time it's been the vehicle of choice for many of our Detroit-based team members' summer vacations. It's easy to see why: The Equus is ideal for covering long distances in comfort. That piled on the miles quick, though, and sitting in my driveway in early September, the effects of this hard use became apparent.
For one, the stained leather of the driver's lower seat back continues to get worse. We've inspected the discoloration closely, and tend to agree with those in our Facebook community who suggest it's being caused by either cheap jeans or leather belts. That said, we also think the adjustable lumbar support system that we've complained about in the past is playing a part, too. Aside from causing lower back pain on long and short drives alike, the perpetually overinflated lower lumbar support is rubbing up hard against every fabric it comes in contact with. We've purchased some leather cleaner from a local AutoZone and will report on its effect, but at this point the leather might be permanently damaged from the constant friction.

Fleet manager Steven Ewing also pointed out to me some vertical scratches that had mysteriously appeared on the rear passenger door of the Equus. I likely wouldn't have noticed these surface scrapes had they not been pointed out, but they were all I saw once I was aware of them. This, along with a pair of dangerously worn windshield wipers, gave me an excuse to fire up the Equus iPad app and schedule a concierge service appointment with my local Equus-servicing Hyundai dealership.



That would be Elyria Hyundai right off I-90 in Elyria, Ohio. Setting up the service appointment through the Equus iPad app was a little difficult due to limited menu options (there are no options for such specific service items as "scratches" or "windshield wipers"), but a representative from Elyria Hyundai was quick to call and confirm the appointment. The dealership kept the calls coming on the day in question, ringing me to confirm they were on their way to pick up the car – and leave a Genesis loaner – and when they were finished and on their way back with the car.

I hadn't realized how dirty, grimy and crusted with bugs the Equus was until the dealer returned with a gleaming white luxury sedan. Not only had Elyria Hyundai made those scratches disappear completely (see above), its service department had washed and detailed our Equus to a like-new condition. Overall, the entire concierge service experience was excellent (the Thank You card on the passenger seat is a nice touch) and significantly more convenient than having to drop off and pick up the car ourselves.



The amount of attention the Equus attracts continues to surprise us. People don't know what it is, but they think it's expensive. In addition to lots of looks and a few "Nice car" comments, I had two lengthier encounters with strangers that are worthy of mention. One was with a Hyundai Azera owner who literally stopped me while I was pulling out of the driveway. Our brief discussion while blocking the sidewalk revealed a bit of disappointment on his part. He had decided not to wait for the Equus to go on sale before buying the Azera, and was second-guessing that decision after seeing the South Korean limo in the flesh.

The other encounter happened while filling up the Equus with premium fuel at the corner station. A gentleman pulled in driving a brand new Fiat 500 and stopped me before leaving to comment on how premium the Equus appeared. Clearly an auto enthusiast, the gentleman spent our short time together complimenting Hyundai for its rapidly improving products and industry competitiveness.

I also had some fun with the Equus, using it to record a time-lapse video of a six-hour drive on our new ReplayXD 1080. Check out the results below.



As I write this, the Equus has moved on from my possession and is back in Detroit. I likely won't see it again before we hand it back to Hyundai, so now is the time to impart my final thoughts about this automaker's first foray into the full-size luxury sedan segment. Like most first generation products from Hyundai, the Equus doesn't lead its class in any particular area, particularly ride and handling, which is tuned to the softest side of marshmallow. But the Equus is a promising start for an automaker with the shortest learning curve in the business. I wouldn't choose it outright over the Germans or Lexus LS, but don't expect the same will necessarily be true of a second-generation Equus, if Hyundai decides to build one for the U.S.

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).


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Rasky
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dye transfer on light color leathers is common and those leather cleaners you picked up at Auto Zone are worthless...they will only cause more wear in the long run. The longer the dye transfer is left to sit on the leather seats the further it will penetrate into the top coating. If you really want it removed there are some cleaners that can be ordered online that will remove it, and they also have products that will help prevent the dry transfer from setting in too. Leather Master Products is what I'd suggest using. Leather Master Super Remover to remove the dye transfer followed by their Protection Cream.
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      The part of the video where the sun set was neat to watch.
      creamwobbly
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow. Did you spend more or less time in this car than the other guys did in the Model S? Only, they wrote a more in-depth article.
      jboogiezx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      a service appointment for scratches?? is this standard for all hyundais or only for the equus?
        Jeremy Pennini
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jboogiezx6
        I bet the scratches are the wipers are covered under the maintenance plan.
      mylz
      • 3 Years Ago
      so basically hyundais service gives great head and is nothing more than a giant suck up... and for the idiots who do not realize this is a hyundai well that's because its nothing more than a poser for the rich wannabees... feel bad for the neighbor who bought the azera. what a joke. oh well some people just have no idea of what a good car is
      reattadudes
      • 3 Years Ago
      it's interesting to read some of the juvenile and disparaging remarks. isn't the internet wonderful? it's the only place a pimple-faced 16 year old can hold the same weight as a car enthusiast that's owned over 200 cars. I bought one of the first Lexus LS400s (serial 000302) when they became available back in September of 1989. I had a strong belief that this was the start of a new luxury car range in the US, and I was right. for the first six months, I had to listen to "how much did you pay for that big Toyota?" now, of course, many bow at the altar of Lexus. I should also mention that the car had over 30 recalls in the first six months, (err, excuse me, "personal Lexus valet visits") to correct some early teething problems. to show the difference compared to today, can you even remotely imagine this happening now? the car would be an instant internet pariah, and that would be the end of that. I'm very impressed by the Equus, and am very glad that Hyundai had the cajones to bring it to the US. as one of the other posters pointed out, this is not the first generation of Equus, but the second. I have a brochure I picked up back in 2000 from the Limousine Show in Las Vegas for the original Equus. they had one lonely one back in the corner of the exhibition hall. it also had the right side "airliner seat", and the Hyundai rep said they had no intention to bring it over at that time, but as just there to gauge response. what's far more important than comments from 16 year olds are comments from the actual folks who bought an Equus. in case you didn't know, the Equus topped the entire premium sedan segment in the J.D. Power APEAL survey. here are the results in order, as well as their scores: 1) Hyundai Equus: 904 2) BMW 7-series: 889 3) Audi A8: 880 4) Porsche Panamera: 877 5) Mercedes-Benz S-class: 876 6) Lexus LS400: 873 7) Jaguar XJ: 867 8) Cadillac DTS: 828 for those who still don't think this car is a real contender in this class, stop by a Hyundai dealer and ask what's being traded for one. you'll find all of the cars on the above list, especially Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Lexus. as one Equus owner told me, "it's owning an import luxury car without the headaches of owning a German car." it would also be quite telling if the Equus started showing up as a trade-in on other highline marque's used car lots. that's not happening, either. it will be interesting to see the Autoblog staff get their hands on another Equus in another few years for another long term test. any of the teething issues of today will be gone, and Hyundai will be a major player in the premium luxury market.
        adam1keith1980
        • 3 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        Actually, it is interesting that you mentioned this. In 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, the winner for the Large Premium Car class is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Good job for Hyundai for dethroning Mercedes winning this award, but it will be interesting to see if Hyundai will keep this position. Respect for your Lexus LS400. I still see them running around today. They were and still are awesome cars!
        Smooth
        • 3 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        reattadudes This has to be one of the best posts I've ever read on Autoblog. Thank you for that.
      ENTDoc
      • 3 Years Ago
      As an actual Equus owner, I thought I'd chime in. I'd consider myself an enthusiast as my previous daily driver was a Saleen Mustang - actually put 150K miles on it. The Equus concierge treatment is real, by the way; not just for Autoblog editors. I've driven everything and this is near the top of the heap. An air suspension makes driving very different than driving a slammed Saleen; I wouldn't characterize it as marshmallow - I'd reserve that characterization for old Lincoln town cars. Everyone asks me/stops me when they see the Equus. If you want a Saleen buy a Saleen. If you want luxury don't be an idiot and spend 100K on 60K worth of motoring. You'll get more attention (if that's what you want) in an Equus than yet another Mercedes.
      Scr
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love how people complain about ride and handling. If you want that, buy a 7series. This is a luxo boat, the way Caddy used to make them. Most luxo cars simply ride to harsh, which was why Lexus has had sucess, as it kept to the soft side..for who will be buying these and the Lexus, soft sells.
      Smooth
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is the Equus without faults? No, but it's a damn good first try. Germany's Big 3 (Audi, BMW, Mercedes) will need to take note of this. People are trading in their cars to buy one. Regardless of people saying "It's a Hyundai". Obviously, that means nothing since the Hyundai is replacing some big named car brands. Hyundai ain't playing whatsoever. And for $65k, I want a marshmallow ride. I don't want to feel any road imperfections. Treat me like a king and let me float on air. This isn't a sports car. Yes we're car enthusiasts, but let's stop thinking everything needs to handle like a sports car when that's not the purpose of everything. This is cruiser, not a bruiser. It cruises very well. No complaints on my end. Buy a Genesis coupe for sports car reflexes.
      lemonite
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't quite understand what this post is about. You open up with "That piled on the miles quick, though, and sitting in my driveway in early September, the effects of this hard use became apparent.", which seemed to be the thesis here. Then you went on to describe the concierge service and how the wipers were bad, along with stained leather and scratches on the door. I was expecting a more along the lines of stained leather, rattles, oil pan exploding, or else. 16K miles is nothing, and some scratches and worn wipers are nothing to brag about, although the stained seat is annoying. Just critiquing the writing style, I guess.
        Tourian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lemonite
        I agree with you. It seemed like a very negative opening for what was just barely over normal wear and tear for any vehicle. It would have been better to start of more positively with something like, "Despite the amount of miles put on the car, the Equus proved sturdy and resilient with only a few minor quibbles." One of which isn't even the cars fault, regarding the scratches. Good job, Hyundai.
      Michał Pingwin
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hyundai has already surpassed Honda and Nissan in offering a top of the line luxury car. Its really impressive to see that they've done it in such a short period of time.
        J D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Michał Pingwin
        That's because their Acura and Infiniti monikers cover the luxury segment. Far better than Hyundai does, I might add.
      J D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Decent car, bad name. Makes me think of Harry Potter running around with his wiener hanging out.
    • Load More Comments