2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate Test Drive

?2014 Hyundai Equus flagship adds comprehensive enhancements?


Hyundai?s flagship sedan, the Equus made its North American debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, and Hyundai?s intent with this new luxury sedan was to compete on a global level with other premium marques in the segment on all levels ? design, performance capability, amenity content, advanced technologies and the ownership experience as well ? vehicles such as the BMW 7-series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The 2014 Hyundai Equus continues to impress with enhancements.

Visually, the Equus displays a kind of understated elegance with some styling cues that are on par with those of other competitive Asian, British and German luxury sedans. It is a showcase of tasteful elements that blend harmoniously, delivering a pleasing and appealing overall form that satisfies the senses in an emotional way. Hyundai calls their design language ?Fluidic Sculpture?. The Equus styling, which originated at Hyundai?s Design Center in Irvine, CA conveys dynamic strength, with an intelligent perspective on luxury.

The large 4-door luxurious and sporty cruiser comes in both a 4 and 5 passenger configuration, with two distinct trim levels ? the base Signature Equus (5-passenger) and the Equus equipped with the Ultimate Package (4-passenger). Both models are essentially long wheelbase vehicles, with an extra long wheelbase version sold only in Korea. In fact, the Equus has been for sale in Korea since 1999, so the first Equus to be sold on our shores actually represented the second generation, which was developed through a joint effort with Mitsubishi.


Power for the 2014 Hyundai Equus is delivered by a 5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve Tau? V8, Dual CVVT (Continuous Variable Valve Timing), Gasoline Direct Injection and Tuned Intake System (up from the former 4.6-liter) that makes 429 horsepower while also generating 376 pound feet of torque on Premium fuel (421 and 365 respectively on Regular grade fuel). Motive force is metered to the rear wheels via an eight-speed electronic automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC? manual shift mode and lock-up torque converter. EPA mileage ratings are 15-mpg city and 23-mpg highway. Hyundai has set a minimum corporate average fuel economy goal of 50 mpg to be reached by 2025.

Suspension componentry consists of an Electronically-Controlled Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control, along with height adjustable and driver-selectable Sport mode. Forward is a Multi-link set-up with a 29-mm?stabilizer bar, while the rear features a Multi-link set-up as well, but with an 18-mm stabilizer bar. Both Equus models roll on Continental ContiSportContact staggered rubber – P245/45R19 – front / P275/40R19 – rear, mounted on 15-spoke chrome alloy wheels.


The standard equipment and feature inventory list for the Signature Equus is impressive in its own right, with virtually everything one would probably want in a luxury sedan, including: a 608-watt Lexicon? 7.1 discrete surround sound audio system with 17 speakers; a Premium DIS Navigation system; Lane Departure Warning system; Smart Cruise Control; Electronic Parking brake with auto hold; nine standard airbags; ABS; EBD; CBC; BA; TC and ESC.

The Ultimate Equus adds amenities over and above those found in the Signature model, such as: 50/50 split rear reclining seats; First-class rear seats with leg support and massage system; cooled rear seats; rear seat entertainment system with an 8-inch monitor; a thermoelectric rear console refrigerator; rear seat power up/down head restraints with manual tilt; rear seat illuminated vanity mirrors; Forward View Cornering Camera; and a power trunk lid operation.


Highlights for the 2014 model year include: for the exterior, a new 19-inch, 15-spoke, turbine-blade polished silver wheel design, new front bumper fascia and grille design, new side mirrors and tail lamp graphics and a new Night Shadow Brown exterior color. LED fog lamps are now standard. The interior comes with: a completely redesigned instrumental panel and center stack; a redesigned center console and shift lever design; revised steering wheel control layout with vehicle settings; a new ivory leather interior environment and ultra-premium genuine wood trim selections; and redesigned rear seat center console controls. Mechanical enhancements include: revised tuning for both improved ride comfort and handling; the Sport receives crisper damper tuning for improved body control; the normal mode receives enhanced ride comfort as well and a Snow mode added to drive mode system. Front suspension bushings have also been revised.


Feature improvements include: Standard Assurance Connected Care & Blue Link? ? safety, service and infotainment telematics system; a larger, 7-inch TFT LCD cluster display (Signature), and a 12.3-inch, fully-digital TFT LCD cluster display (Ultimate). There?s also a larger 9.2-inch upper center stack LCD display; and the Climate control system offers three distinct cabin temperature zones; a smart cruise control with stop/start (from 0 mph) is now standard along with a Proximity smart key with both key fob and card-key types; Dual 9.2-inch rear seat entertainment monitors mount in the back of the front seats; and there?s a power door closure and power lumbar for the rear outboard seats.

Advanced safety elements consist of standard Assurance Connected Care (3-year complimentary services); Rear Cross-traffic Alert; Blind Spot Detection; a Heads-up display designed for reduced driving distraction; and a vehicle multi-view camera system.

My test 2014 Hyundai Equus was an Ultimate model, ?finished outside in White Satin Pearl metallic, with the inside done in Ivory with genuine polished wood trim accents. The base price was set at $61,000, with the Ultimate package and Destination and Handling charge added an additional $7,920.

SUMMARY: ?The Hyundai Equus in Ultimate trim is truly a remarkable luxury sedan, with sporty attributes. It is visually appealing, in a way that is difficult to describe ? some observers observed that certain of its design cues resembled those of a Mercedes-Benz S550, while others likened some styling elements to a Lexus LS 460L.? Neither is a bad thing, as the Equus comes across as stylishly elegant on its own. Other members of the Equus?s competitive set include the Audi A8L, BMW?s 750Li and Cadillac?s STS 4.6, though no physical, visual similarities exist.

Equus is not only appealing in the looks department, but in the performance and creature comfort categories as well. The 5.0-liter V8 cranks out more than enough horsepower and torque to please even the most discriminating driving?enthusiast, while providing comfortable accommodations in a safe and secure environment. The speed sensitive, electro-hydraulic power steering delivers crisp handling characteristics, and the ride quality is compliant without sacrificing stability.

The eight-speed automatic transmission allows for silky smooth gear changes when in the automatic mode, and when in the manual mode, delivers well-defined gear changes that are equally smooth.

Pressing the Sport button, enhanced the driving experience even more, altering shift points, damping characteristics and throttle response, and putting the Equus into more of a Sport Luxury sedan category. Gauges and instrumentation are well positioned for optimum user-friendliness, and driver seating is infinitely adjustable, allowing for the ideal driving position.


The Hyundai Equus provides 5 years of roadside assistance, a 10-year / 100K mile warranty along with 5-year / 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.

In the final analysis, this latest Hyundai Equus is on a par with other luxury sedan manufacturers ? especially the Ultimate version, which could well be cause for alarm, given the long list of features provided and the car?s svelte styling. Both the Handling attributes and ride quality are superb.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

Base Price: $61,000.
Price as Tested: $68,920.
Engine Type and Size: 5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve Tau® V8, Dual CVVT (Continuous Variable Valve Timing), Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), Tuned Intake System (TIS)
Horsepower (bhp): 429 @ 6,400 rpm (Premium) 421 rpm (Regular)
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 376 @ 5,000 rpm (Premium) 365 rpm (Regular)
Transmission: Eight-speed electronic automatic with SHIFTRONIC™ manual shift mode and lock-up torque converter.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-wheel drive.
Suspension: Electronically controlled air suspension with Continuous Damping Control, height adjustable and driver-selectable Sport mode
Front – Multi-link suspension with 29-mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link suspension with 18-mm stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power assisted, four-wheel ventilated discs, pad wear warning device 14.2-inch front / 12.4-inch with 4-wheel, 4-channel and 4-sensor ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution.

Tires: Continental ContiSportContact P245/45R19 (front) / P275/40R19 (rear) mounted on 15-spoke chrome turbine blade alloy wheels 8-Inch front / 9-inch rear.

Wheelbase:?119.9 inches

Length Overall:?203.1 inches

Width:?74.4 inches excluding mirrors.

Height:?58.7 inches

Curb Weight:?4,592 lbs. ?4-passenger / 4,643 lbs. ?5-passenger

Fuel Capacity:?20.3 gallons

EPA Mileage Estimates:?15 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Drag Coefficient:?0.27

0 – 60 mph: ?Not tested.


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