As the newest member of the Autoblog crew, I got to take my first turn in the long-term Equus just before the holidays. But rather than the early Christmas present I expected it to be, two weeks behind the wheel felt more like hazing the new guy.

Now, I'm a big fan of the Hyundai Genesis sedan, and I had ridden in an Equus before and found its backseat extremely comfortable, so I was excited to pick up this limousine-like Hyundai from the AOL Autos office in suburban Detroit. I truly wanted to like the car. But by the time I had completed the 55-mile freeway drive back to my house in Ann Arbor, I had already soured. Or to be more accurate, decided that our Equus was broken.

I had been warned about our car's out-of-control lumbar support on the driver's seat and was prepared for an uncomfortable experience, but the Equus proved more painful than I had expected. The problem wasn't just an extreme amount of lumbar support, but that the seat was poking me right in the kidney – reason one to call the dealer.

But that wasn't all...
Our Equus' steering didn't seem right. The roads here in Michigan are awful, and on rough patches of pavement, I observed a tendency to tug the steering wheel from side-to-side. Combined with the lack of on-center feel and the floaty suspension, at times the car was unwilling to stay in its lane. A few more days in the Equus and several hundred miles later, I was convinced that something was wrong with the front end and that the dealer needed to look at the suspension. After 21,000 miles, I figured we'd suffered some damage or premature wear.

So with two reasons to send our Equus off for service, I downloaded the Equus iPad app and with a bit of difficulty, and scheduled an appointment with the nearest dealer. (Click here to see a detailed video of how the app works.) The one within walking distance of my house does not service the Equus, but LaFontaine Hyundai in Dearborn, Michigan, was happy to come pick up the car. Everyone I dealt with at LaFontaine was extremely pleasant, prompt and professional, and I will admit that, after two weeks with the Equus, the Veracruz they left in its place was a welcome change.

Here's to hoping the new seatback LaFontaine plans to install in the Equus will be, as well. We were quite excited to hear that, when their service team tore apart our driver's seat, they found the lumbar bladders were bulging and defective and the parts are now on order.

The seat news was tempered by my disappointment when I was told that the suspension and steering are all perfectly in spec, even if I find the results far from perfection. (To be fair, my Autogblog colleagues, while far from offering glowing praise for the big Hyundai's steering, don't seem to share my level of distaste).

For now, the Equus is back in my driveway, and I'm just trying to appreciate its positive qualities.


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  • 97 Comments
      Andrea
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have personally bought 4 brand new Hyundai's and have loved them all. I started with an Elantra in 2001 which I gave to my son when he turned 16 and bought myself the 2006 Sonata. I sold it after 5 years and bought the Genesis Coupe with the turbo. We also had a Lexus ES300 which we decided to trade for the 2011 Sonata so we now have the coupe and the sedan. The Genesis Coupe is truly fun to drive and I enjoy it every time I push the button to start it and the Sonata is every bit as smooth as the Lexus. The leather might not be as soft (even though it is heated front AND back), but my bank account is several thousand dollars richer. It does not come with the prestige of the big "L" on the hood but all of my Hyundai's have served me well and I have enjoyed TROUBLE FREE ownership of them since the beginning. I love our all American Chevy full size truck, but I love my Korean beauties, too.
      wil2660
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have an 07Ford, lumbar works great.
      skjuice
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its still a Hyundai........... Its kind of like going to Wal Mart for a wedding dress..... I just hope they have room for the brides Children and Grand children at the University of Soule ...................................... enough said........
      suesbrother
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can shape a turd into the shape of a Cadillac but it's still a turd.
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am going to stop reading your updates for the Equus. No other journalist or publication has bitched NEARLY as much as you few have regarding anything with the big Hyundai. We get it, you don't like Hyundai.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        OR....perhaps he has a point and has spent a hell of a lot more seat time than the 0-60 and how many "G"s can it pull crowd.....
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          IIRC there are two other publications out there with a LT Equus. None of them complain as much, and they have a larger staff.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        I've read plenty of long term tests where, against all odds, the writers were won over by an underdog. This is an objective article, so I'm left thinking that maybe, just maybe, Sabatini has integrity.
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Hating on Hyundai is the new co thing to do. Just wait till you get voted down into hell by the Hyundai troll who roams this site, invisibleblog, M, none, Austin, inch5, Spies1, your are done, Butterfly, Twitter, Jazz, Mitchell,Wrangler Unlimited, ___I___, All Rights Reserved (they're all the same person)
          Dean Hammond
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          ah, the love all that is imported bash the domestic crowd.....................................................of one or two people no less..............
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          We don't agree often, but you are absolutely right. You are even more right about those people who you listed.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          *cool thing* Edit button is still waiting, AB.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
        NeoDeusX
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Maybe this is the only publication that is willing to be completely honest about the car.... I am kind of sick of publications only saying positive things about products. I would rather know that seats are uncomfortable and there is lack luster steering and suspension before I would spend that much money on a car. Other sites and magazines that review the car may just dismiss these as not being major issues, however, if you just dumped about 40 grand on this car it may be a big issue for you expecting a nice comfortable ride from a luxury car. Also here is quote from the article "and I will admit that, after two weeks with the Equus, the Veracruz they left in its place was a welcome change." It sounds like no one has a bias against Hyundai he like the SUV just fine.
        caddy-v
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Untie the knot in your panty hose nightflight, lots of people don't like Hyundai.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @caddy-v
          But AB is a publication. it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks about Hyundai, it can't be biased against or for the brand in any way, this goes for all brands.
      tylermars.design
      • 3 Years Ago
      i thought you guy had a black one? ****, i keyed a black one....
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tylermars.design
        You added value to a black Hyundai?
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tylermars.design
        You vandalized someone else's property? Wow, you are an upstanding citizen. You must be really proud of yourself for doing that!!!
      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      They laughed at the first Lexus LS400 in 1990 too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        [blocked]
          Avinash Machado
          • 3 Years Ago
          I meant in the initial days following the launch. Many scoffed at it.
        Chris Young
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I agree and this car, for a manufacturers first attempt is about as good as you could expect. The fact is Hyundai has improved their quality far more than any other car maker. There are alot of people out there that either dont want to believe it or flat out dont like it for some reason. I have driven most of the Hyundai and Kia lineup and I think they match up with any other manufacturers lineup or are better for the price or not even considering the price.
          harleydavid105
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris Young
          Of course their quality has improved When you're 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 a move to 2 is an improvement.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        [blocked]
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        The difference is Toyota had been making good cars for years (the best cars in many cases) while Hyundai has been known for making cheap rickety transportation up until about two or three years ago.
          Chris Young
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          No its been 8-10 years now. Its just taken the general public to catch on. Now the past 3-5 years they have really improved their designs to where people have sat up and taken notice. Compare a 2012 Sonata and Toyota Camry. The Camry is supposed to be a completely new car but its got a nearly identical exterior as the old Camry and the old one had the same body style for far too long. The new cars looks are painfully dated. The Sonatas exterior is far better looking than the Camry. Put head to head I thing the Sonata comes out ahead of the Camry.
          Brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          I has been at least 10, more likely 16 years. The end of the Excel closed the door on "cheap rickety transportation". I own a 1996 Accent, so I know. The introduction of the Accent brought about the start of their success, though no media acknowledged this then because who honestly wants to learn about an automaker with only three models in 1996? It's been a grassroots movement from the late-90's until the mainstream caught on in the past few years, starting with the introduction of the Genesis.
      Chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      i have to disagree with many of the bad reviews here...it just seems like most of you you jump on the bandwagon when an author gives a bad review about the Equus.. Most of the autoblog reviews were good reviews..this is probably the only bad one ive seen... JUST GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS due..regardless of the brand...
      Dean Hammond
      • 3 Years Ago
      funny thing Ive noticed about Hyundais, initially theres a whole lot of fanfare about bang for buck, more HP a d MPGs than any of their competition, but after a while the gleam wears off and tarnish rears its head....some say they are close, but based on several reveiws ( and this one is an EXCELLENT long term example ) Im starting to wonder....
      hudkina
      • 3 Years Ago
      So Hyundai's PR firm stopped handing out the gift cards to bloggers and we get our first truly negative Hyundai post on Autoblog... Coincidence? Hmmm.... ;-)
        Chris Young
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hudkina
        You have to remember a negative review will always get a better response than a positive. Look at what Consumer Reports said about the new Honda Civic. They panned it and said it was simply not a good car. We all know thats just not true but whats going to sell more subscriptions. Consumer Reports is about as useful as Carfax is. Both of them are excellent to get a fire started or to test out than new paper shredder.
      Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      My Uncles 2005 Tiburon got turned down for a warranty repair for clutch issues at under 20,000 miles... Because the clutch itself is a standard wear item the 10yr 100,000 mile powertrain warranty didn't apply. Even though there was clearly something wrong other then just the clutch. When a non dealer mechanic took the car apart he found defective parts in the hydraulic setup and something was loose with the flywheel that caused the premature wear. Cost about 2500 all said and done for something that should have been covered under warranty and the dealer lied about what was wrong. I will never trust or recommend anyone to Hyundai after that experience. Six years later it looks like they still like to play the oh there's nothing wrong with it game..
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          harleydavid105
          • 2 Years Ago
          They offer the warranty as a selling point to make it appear as though it is a well made car. It definitely is not.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan
        [blocked]
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      No, it's not exactly a world class car, but hey, this is Hyundai's first shot in this segment. Not everything's perfect about the car, especially the styling, but hey, for a first try ,this isn't bad at all. I'm sure that the next Eqqus will be competitive if they keep up the great work we've been seeing so far from them. Let's wait for invisibleblog/ none/ whatever to come on here and start trolling.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        [blocked]
        awok
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        This is only the first Equus imported to the US. There have been numerous generations sold elsewhere (primarily around Asia) before now.
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