2012 Equus New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Equus is a large luxury sedan built on the same platform as the Hyundai Genesis. Equus has been improved for the 2012 model year. The 2012 Equus takes features and interior materials to the next level, with refined, sophisticated driving characteristics designed to appeal to prestige buyers looking for a roomy freeway cruiser.
The 2012 Hyundai Equus gets a new 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The 2012 Equus also gets a new 8-speed automatic transmission that helps it achieve a EPA Combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon. Also new for this year are revised ventilated seats, a softer center rear cushion and standard power rear side-window shades on the Ultimate trim.
When the Equus launched a few years ago, many scoffed at the notion that the Korean carmaker could produce a luxury sedan on par with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Infiniti. But time has proven that Hyundai's gamble is paying off. According to Hyundai, not only have Equus sales been on the rise, but its residual values are higher than many of its large, German competitors. Considering the stratospheric panache permeating the luxury-car industry, that is a praiseworthy achievement.
At the very least, we'd say the 2012 Equus is a fantastic vehicle to move into from a lower segment. Although Hyundai likes to say that it competes directly with the much higher-priced Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, we don't necessarily see potential Mercedes or BMW buyers considering the Hyundai brand. But with a base price of less than $60,000, the Equus offers all the performance, refinement and amenities this class of car offers at considerably less money than the entrenched opposition. More realistically, we see the 2012 Hyundai Equus as a good alternative to the Lexus LS and Infiniti M.
Don't be fooled by the badge. The 2012 Hyundai Equus is the result of intensive engineering, tasteful design and intelligent use of supplier's technology. While it might be tempting for some to discount this car as a luxury wannabe with derivative styling and a copycat format, our experience inside the car tells us that Hyundai has closed in on the concept of fine car-making in a way that confirms there is no going back.
The 2012 Hyundai Equus comes in two versions: Equus Signature ($59,000) and Equus Ultimate ($66,000).
Equus comes standard with power and heated/ventilated front seats, massage function for the driver, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated and power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, wood and aluminum accents, a microfiber suede (Alcantara alternative) headliner, heated and reclining rear seats, rear-seat audio and climate controls, a power rear window shade and manual rear side window shades. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system with real-time traffic, and a 17-speaker Lexicon surround-sound system with six-CD changer, satellite radio capability and an iPod adapter.
Equus Signature seats five people and includes 19-inch wheels and many high-tech features such as an adjustable, electronic air suspension with adaptive dampers, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, a windshield wiper de-icer, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof and keyless ignition/entry.
Equus Ultimate seats four people and uses reclining bucket seats in back, as opposed to the bench-style seating found in the Signature. It includes a power trunk lid, power rear side window shades and a forward-view camera to provide better observation when easing out of tight alleyways. Rear seats include heating/cooling/massaging functions, and the rear console includes a mini refrigerator and separate controls for the climate and rear seat DVD entertainment systems.
Safety features that come standard in all models include advanced advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, driver knee airbag, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags; electronic active front head restraints with power controls; electronic seatbelt pretensioners, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), electronic stability control, Vehicle Stability Management with pre-collision warning, active cruise control with pre-collision intervention, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Smart Cruise Control, tire pressure monitoring system.