2011 Hyundai Equus Signature

I knew that the Equus was a bargain compared with the Lexus LS, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the like, but I was still taken aback when I looked at the window sticker and saw that it costs less than $60,000. This is a car that hits many of the “ahh, this is a nice car!” buttons for most Americans. If you’re accustomed to driving a BMW 7-series, you’re probably not going to like this car. But if you’ve been driving a Lexus LS and are now looking for something like it for quite a bit less money, you might want to check out the Equus.

The interior is traditionally but opulently appointed with the requisite leather and wood. The center stack controls are easy to use. The seats are comfortable. The huge rear seats recline, making the Equus quite a nice limousine. Ride motions are creamy. The steering is a bit slow but isn’t bad. I had a hard time achieving smooth take-offs from intersections; even in 38-degree weather on dry roads, I was spinning the rear tires. Which reminds me, the one premium luxury-sedan feature that the Equus doesn’t yet have is optional all-wheel drive.

The other premium-luxury-sedan feature that the Equus does not possess is a premium nameplate. Time will tell if there are enough buyers willing to overlook the Hyundai badge and accept the Equus for what it is: a well-executed, full-size luxury sedan without the premium badge and price.

Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

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@Daye.You might be right. It's meant to target the 7-Series and LS-series, but aside from being cheaper, it still is somewhat below both of them in interior refinement and ride quality.Not a bad car overall, but with the economy recovering, the Equus is just going to be a halo emitter for the rest of the Hyundai brand. 3,000 units/year is their target I believe. Those 3,000 are probably coming from people who are used to paying $40,000-50,000 for their cars, but wouldn't mind spending a bit more for an Equus. Get an new experience from an all-new brand. Why not?
The Equus may not be in the same league as a BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it stands alone when you compare Hyundai to Acura, Chrysler, Lincoln, or Cadillac, which don't even offer a car like this. I think their owners are the real target of this car, not people who can afford a BMW or Audi.

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