Before anybody says it-YES, I know I reviewed the Hyundai Equus just last year. I gave it a terrific review and have recommended the car many times. I decided to take it again this year because it has a new engine and because this test model is the Ultimate package, and last year I had the base model. Now that we got that out of the way, I’ll tell you the differences between the two cars.
First, the engine change. This came as a surprise to me in a car that is only one year on the market. I assume in study groups, and perhaps in car reviews, it must have been determined that last year’s model did not have enough horsepower at 385. The year, the Equus comes with a 5.0-liter, 429-horse V8. So as not to wreck what is good gas mileage for a 4700 pound car, the 2012 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission that shifts so smoothly you cannot feel any of the gears. Acceleration is quick and determined.
Even the base Equus comes with just about everything you can imagine as standard equipment. You get 19” wheels, pushbutton start, adaptive cruise control, power moonroof, HID Xenon lights, rearview/front view camera, front and rear parking assist warnings, heated and wooden steering wheel, , navigation system, a Lexicon 608-watt stereo with 17-speakers, power rear sunshade, heated and cooled front seat that will massage you, and a lot more.
Here is where it gets good. The $7000 Ultimate package turns the base Equus into a limousine if you want to use it that way. You get a split 50/50 rear seat with a center console that lets you control everything from the back seat. The rear seats recline, they too are heated and cooled and will massage you. When seated in the back passenger seat, with the push of a button you can move the front passenger seat all the way forward and a footrest will come up for your comfort. It is not unlike sitting in your favorite recliner.
While you are relaxing in the back seat, you can watch a movie on the 8” color monitor that pops up between the two front seats. If you get thirsty, just open the center rear seat console, and get a drink out of the thermoelectric refrigerator. If you want privacy, electric shades can be closed on both sides and the rear window. If you want to make sure you are looking good, rear seat vanity mirrors fold down from the ceiling.
The trunk is huge in this 17-foot long beast. The exterior of the Equus has not changed, but this car is a head-turner for sure. As noted in last year’s review, the paint is stunning in the sunlight. Handling is fine, it has a super soft ride and doesn’t overly sway in a hard turn.
One thing you won’t see with the Equus is a service department at your neighborhood Hyundai dealership. Thanks to Hyundai’s At Your Service program, all maintenance is covered for 5 years and 60,000 miles including pickup of your Equus, drop off of a loaner, and delivery back to you with a clean car. Equus, like all Hyundais are covered by a 10 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Look, this car is not for everybody with the Ultimate package, but if you are in the market for a large car, with a great interior, lots of horsepower, and you want to save $20,000 or so from its closest competitors, you should take a look at Equus.
What I liked most: The interior and price compared to competitors
What I would change: Where is my blind-spot warning feature?
MSRP: Base price $59,750, with the Ultimate package $66,750
Fuel Economy: Rated at 15 City/23 Highway, doing 24 on the highway
2012 Equus Ultimate in a few words: Pure luxury, outstanding value