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.
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