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.