2012 Hyundai Equus

Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8 auto trans

Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8 auto trans

2012 hyundai equus Reviews and News

2012 Hyundai Equus Front Left View
Home of the 64-roll package of toilet paper and the 40-pound tub of honey, Costco is famous for saving shoppers money by selling in bulk. But another major aspect of the Costco experience is its Kirkland Signature house brand items, which promise features and quality similar to name brands, but for less.
With the Equus, Hyundai brings that idea to the high-end luxury-car market.
This grandly proportioned sedan mimics the dimensions and the features of established high-zoot rides like the Lexus LS, the Audi A8, the Mercedes-Benz S-class, and the BMW 7-series. And it does so for thousands less.
At just a shade under $60,000, the Equus is nearly $9000 cheaper than an LS460 and some $14,000 less than an LS460L. (At 203.1 inches overall, the Equus is closer in size to the LS460L but its wheelbase is about midway between the two LS models.) Compared with the European-brand luxury cars, the Hyundai's price advantage is even greater.
The Equus is offered with a single powertrain, and it's impressively strong. The 429-hp, 5.0-liter direct-injected V-8 is new to the Equus for 2012 (it's also available in the Genesis sedan) and is paired with an eight-speed automatic -- Hyundai's own, not the oft-seen ZF unit. The combination has all the creamy smoothness of higher-priced competitors. All-wheel drive, however, is not on the menu.
In its chassis tuning, the Equus trails the best competitors by a nose. As is common in this class, Hyundai uses air springs, with two modes, standard and sport. The standard mode offers a plush ride but very relaxed control of body motions -- it's fairly Lexus-like. The sport mode is more tied down, but the firmed-up setting has trouble absorbing sharp ridges and frost heaves, which can cause the car to hop. The electrohydraulic power steering feels a little loose on center and doesn't inspire confidence the way the big German sedans do.
The Equus interior has every imaginable amenity, although it's largely a style-free zone. Still, you can't argue with the way things work. Hyundai's rendition of the center knob controller to operate the navigation, stereo, and the like is extremely well done. Similarly, the oversize color screen has attractive, modern graphics.
The limo-like rear seat is properly sybaritic, with seat heaters, power reclining, and switches on the fold-down armrest to control the audio system, plus a button to move the front passenger's seat forward. The Equus Ultimate (which is a relatively modest $7000 over the base model, Signature) takes things several steps further, with two individual rear seats and a center console with a refrigerator compartment. The right-side seat has an extendable footrest and a massage function. Both seats are heated and cooled, and there's an LCD screen for the standard DVD player.
As impressive as all that is, the Hyundai Equus plays in an arena where prestige has always been a factor. Hyundai tries to amp up the mystique with badges that feature a spread-winged bird rather than its plain-old "H" logo. (Given the name Equus, though, shouldn't it be a horse?) Even so, there's no getting past the fact that Hyundai is a brand that also sells economy cars like the $15,000 Accent -- and none of the other players in this field can be found slumming in such an inexpensive neighborhood. The only other mass-market brand that has ever tried to compete on this lofty level is Volkswagen with the Phaeton, and we all know how that turned out. But in today's cheap-chic environment, where even luxury shoppers want a deal, it could be that the time has come for the Kirkland Signature luxury sedan. Maybe it should be sold in a 3-pack.

2012 Hyundai Equus Signature

Base price (with destination): $59,650
Price as tested: $59,650
Standard Equipment:
429-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 engine
8-speed manual transmission
Speed-sensitive power steering
Air suspension
Continuous damping control
Power windows w/one-touch up/down for all windows
Power door locks w/remote
Passive entry and keyless ignition
9 air bags
12-way power driver's seat w/message
10-way power passenger's seat
Leather upholstery
Heated + cooled front seats
Heated wood-and-leather steering wheel
608-watt 17-speaker audio system AM/FM/XM audio system w/CD player, USB, iPod jacks, and rear-seat audio controls
Navigation with real-time traffic
Power tilt and telescoping steering column
Adaptive cruise control
Power glass sunroof
Power rear-window sunshade
60/40 split, power reclining rear seats
Heated rear seats
HID headlamps w/LED turn signals and adaptive front lighting
Fog lights
Rain-sensing wipers
Dual-zone automatic climate control
19-inch wheels
Dual, power-folding, power-adjustable side mirrors with approach lamps
Lane departure warning
Front + rear park assist
Rear-view camera
Ambient interior lighting
Options on this vehicle:
Key options not on vehicle:
Fuel economy:
15/23/18 mpg
5.0L V-8
Horsepower: 429 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
8-speed automatic
Curb weight:
4449 lbs
19-inch aluminum alloy
245/45R19, 275/40R19 (f,r) Continental ContiProContact tires
Audi A8L
BMW 750iL
Lexus LS460L
Mercedes-Benz S550
2012 Hyundai Equus
2012 Hyundai Equus
The Hyundai Equus targets the Mercedes-Benz S550 and the Lexus LS460. Yes, you read that right. Hyundai's luxury boat, launched for 2011, is going after some of the biggest, swankiest, priciest sedans in the land. The rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered Equus is based on the same bones as the impressive Genesis, which debuted for 2009 and is a size smaller and some $15,000 less expensive. All that cash buys standard features such as -- take a deep breath -- navigation, Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, electronically controlled air springs, swiveling HID headlamps, a rearview camera, a seventeen-speaker stereo, a massaging driver's seat, heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery, a sunroof, lane-departure warning, and smart cruise control (phew!). Stepping up to the four-passenger Ultimate model brings superfancy ventilated, massaging, and reclining rear seats with footrests as well as a DVD entertainment system and a refrigerator for the rear quarters. The Equus doesn't come close to matching the driving dynamics -- or the prestige and smart styling -- of its German rivals, but it's also many, many thousands of dollars cheaper and still offers an incredibly luxurious driving experience, not to mention a better warranty. All-wheel drive is notable by its absence, particularly given the biggest Hyundai's new injection of horsepower. Subjectively, the Equus doesn't feel quite up to spec with the usual suspects from Germany, but it compares very favorably with the Lexus LS and easily overshadows the Acura RL.
2012 Hyundai Equus Ultimate Front Left View
It's difficult for me to wrap my head around the Hyundai Equus. I certainly appreciate the enormous cabin and plethora of technology and convenience features. Unfortunately the cabin is trimmed in materials that are just nice. Yes, the Equus undercuts the price of the competition by tens of thousands of dollars, but cars this big are supposed to have over-the-top materials quality. It makes sense to offer a fairly basic mid-size sedan or crossover. I don't fully understand the appeal of a car this big that has all the luxury features of the competition with a downmarket interior.

2012 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

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2012 Hyundai Equus
2012 Hyundai Equus
Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
15 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
2012 Infiniti M56
Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
16 MPG City | 25 MPG Hwy
2012 Hyundai Equus
2012 Hyundai Equus
Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
15 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
2012 Hyundai Equus
2012 Hyundai Equus
Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
2012 Hyundai Equus
2012 Hyundai Equus
Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
2012 Hyundai Equus
2012 Hyundai Equus
Signature RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8

2012 Hyundai Equus Specifications

Quick Glance:
5.0L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
15 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
23 MPG
429 hp @ 6400rpm
376 ft lb of torque @ 5000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD
  • Navigation
60,000 miles / 60 months
100,000 miles / 120 months
Unlimited miles / 84 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2012 Hyundai Equus

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $48,379 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent