2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus side view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus front view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus rear view

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus headlight

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  • 2012 Hyundai Equus grille

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  • 2012 Hyundai Equus badge

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus logo

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  • 2012 Hyundai Equus engine

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus engine

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus interior

  • 2012 Hyundai Equus
  • 2012 Hyundai Equus front seats

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  • 2012 Hyundai Equus steering wheel

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  • 2012 Hyundai Equus steering wheel logo

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  • 2012 Hyundai Equus rear seats

Vital Stats

Engine:
5.0L V8
Power:
429 HP / 376 LB-FT
Transmission:
8-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,486 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
16.7 CU-FT
MPG:
15 City / 23 HWY
Hyundai Spreads The Five-liter Love



To hear Hyundai tell it, the company stumbled on something of a hit with the Equus. According to the automaker, the vehicle didn't just waltz past sales projections. It crushed them. Last year, 3,193 Equus models went home to loving families, and while that's not a huge number by any stretch of the imagination, the figure is well better than the 2,000 units Hyundai expected to sell. It was also good enough to snag the company a 5.7-percent share of the premium luxury sedan segment in 2011. So, how does the Korean automaker plan to build on this early Equus momentum? By adding power, of course.

For 2012, the Equus packs the same 5.0-liter V8 engine found in the Genesis Sedan R-Spec as well as a new eight-speed automatic transmission that helps keep fuel economy in check. With a few interior tweaks thrown in for good measure and the same gamut of standard equipment, the Equus continues to be a great reason to give the old stalwarts of luxury a second thought.
Despite the significant mechanical revision, the 2012 Hyundai Equus remains identical to its predecessor outside. The vehicle still wears a proud grille, LED-trimmed headlights and a suitably massive Equus badge on the hood. Even the 19-inch chrome wheels are carryovers from 2011. Still, that's no surprise. The Equus is barely more than two years old, and while the exterior aesthetics aren't likely to wow anyone, we doubt buyers count pupil-dilating styling among reasons to bring the Korean luxury barge home at the end of the day.

2012 Hyundai Equus side view2012 Hyundai Equus front view2012 Hyundai Equus rear view

At its core, the Equus remains an amazing luxury bargain, and that hasn't changed indoors. Our "base" tester carried an MSRP of $58,750 with destination and included an embarrassing wealth of equipment. With technology like parking assist, smart cruise control and a 7.1-speaker Lexicon sound system to comfort tricks like a 12-way power adjustable massaging driver's seat and automatic dual-temperature control, the Equus isn't found wanting for standard gear.

Engineers did take the time to give the interior a once-over with slight adjustments. The front seats now boast a more comfortable head rest design as well as improved ventilation. Likewise, the rear bench now features a softer center cushion on five-seat models. Otherwise, the gauges, dash and center stack all remain unaltered for 2012.

2012 Hyundai Equus interior2012 Hyundai Equus front seats2012 Hyundai Equus gauges2012 Hyundai Equus shifter

Pop the hood, and the story changes, however. The 2011 Equus was forced to lug around up to 4,600 pounds with a 385-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. While the engine was perfectly adequate for quietly floating around town, it wasn't exactly capable of producing eye-widening acceleration. Hyundai upped the ante for 2012 with the same 5.0-liter V8 found in the nose of the Genesis Sedan R-Spec. The engine is good for a full 429 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 376 pound-feet of torque at a similarly lofty 5,000 rpm. Needless to say, the V8 is happiest in its upper octaves where speed piles on quickly.

Despite an additional 44 horses, the 2012 Equus manages to return an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The numbers are just one mile per gallon worse than last year's model in both categories, thanks in no small part to the new eight-speed automatic bolted behind the engine.

2012 Hyundai Equus engine

As you'd expect, the 2012 Equus is a good bit quicker than its forbear. On the road, the vehicle now feels capable instead of merely adequate. Bury a right foot in the throttle, let the engine pull past 6,000 rpm and the bruiser bolts down your lane of choice with authority. Unfortunately, the new thrust isn't paired with any suspension or steering revisions. Expect to endure the same spiritless steering feel and overly soft suspension, even in Sport mode.

Fortunately, the eight-speed automatic transmission is as smooth in this application as it is in the Genesis R-Spec. The gearbox clicks through cogs seamlessly, keeping the engine breathing easy under the hood. Likewise, the shift logic is excellent. Get frisky with the accelerator and the transmission will jump down to the appropriate gear and hold until redline before shifting. It's the right kind of perfect.

2012 Hyundai Equus rear 3/4 view2012 Hyundai Equus grille2012 Hyundai Equus headlight2012 Hyundai Equus wheel

With a new drivetrain, it's hard to find an argument against the Equus. Competitors like the Lexus LS460, BMW 750i and Audi A8 all land with price tags thousands of dollars higher than the Equus with less equipment. While the cabin isn't as refined as some of the high-dollar German luxury rides on the market, the model still carries an unsurpassed warranty for the segment wrapped in an attractive, if not conservative, exterior. If badge appeal isn't on the top of your priority list, park the Equus in your garage and enjoy rolling around on a mattress stuffed with the cash you saved.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 104 Comments
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would look much better without the bumpers on the bumpers.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      The shortest review on AB?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        That reminds me. Did Honda sent your check this week? I heard they were having some payroll issues.
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        I see your capability to do more than copy and paste the same phrase under different usernames continues to go unchanged. Autoblog reports the same that motortrend, insideline, etc all report. So Hyundai must be writing a lot of checks. Or, maybe your preferred automaker of choice needs to produce something worth writing about.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        Whatupppppppp, invisibleblog?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
      Spies1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Autoblog has as many Eqqus articles as Hyundai has had sales.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spies1
        [blocked]
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spies1
        This guy has been banned under his "Invisibleblog", "Austin", and Ass Crack /"_______I_________" names.
      FeMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a fake Toyota or Mercedes to me.
      FeMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are those 15" chrome rims? LMAO. Also what is with the the front, steering wheel, and shift knob emblem and then the 'H' emblem on the back? Brand identity much?
        g.torino
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FeMan
        an they forgot the Porsche logo on the right front fender and the Ferrari on the left. does it have RECARO seats?
        DBnine
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FeMan
        How big do you think this car is? Just wondering.
      FeMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Those leather seats look almost as nice as cloth seats. !!LOL!!
      JonathanBond
      • 2 Years Ago
      keep up he good work Hyundai. Do to Lexus what Lexus did to Mercedes
      Design1stCode2nd
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car just does nothing for me. I'm surprised they sold 3k units.
      Famsert
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugly
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        [blocked]
      Terry and Mandy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a 2011 Genesis and I am in love with the car. This is my second Hyundai and the reliability is amazing. I've had BMW's and Mercedes and they can't hold a candle to what Hyundai is producing in their luxury cars.
        graphikzking
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Terry and Mandy
        I'm hoping they continue to turn the corner. I was bitten by their 2003 Tiburon. They said they turned the corner back then. But it was recall after problem after recall after problem. Then Autoblog shows how their Genesis has a bunch of quirks. So I'm still about 4-5 years away from really trusting them. 1 more life cycle of products and I think I might be on the bandwagon. (If they somehow clear up the Elantra mpg issue. - I realize mpg is subjective - but seems like an aweful lot of people have very very crappy mpg with that vehicle. )
          navypond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @graphikzking
          Guess that you don't care much about the mileage lawsuit against Honda & Honda losing, & also all the other recalls with other brands.... try better next time... LOL
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @graphikzking
          All brands have recalls. I hope you didn't own a first generation Focus when they came out...
          • 2 Years Ago
          @graphikzking
          [blocked]
        g.torino
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Terry and Mandy
        you must be down sizing then. sorry to see you below the poverty line.
      Scarboy6693
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its a nice car, especially for the money. If you changed nothing about this car, except change the hyundai badge to a Lexus or Merc badge, people would be all over it. Unfortunately that's the truth
        g.torino
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scarboy6693
        absolute truth. You can put a Merc badge on a trash can and 'people' will buy it.
          Scarboy6693
          • 2 Years Ago
          @g.torino
          Exactly. Especially idiotic Badge Snobs. I have a friend who works at CarMax and told me some fool was so desperate for a BMW that he bought this 128i with 25% APR.. Like What?? You've really gotta be an idiot to buy a car with that high of interest
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