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Rear-Seat Comfort

2014 Equus Review: Are You Ready For A $70,000 Hyundai?

Slide into the Equus' rear seats and you'll find what appears to be a standard three-person bench. Even though it's a luxury vehicle, this flagship will sit three back seat passengers comfortably. The two outboard positions are adjustable, and recline, so that you can kick back in comfort.

Additionally, the rear passenger-side seat has access to a Relax mode that pushes the front chair forward for maximum legroom. To make sitting back there sweeter, the rear seats are heated, ventilated, and armed with lumbar adjustments. Heck, the Equus' rear seats have more available adjustments than the driver's chair in a lot of inexpensive compact cars.

The car we drove around came with a rear entertainment system made evident by two 9.2-inch LCD displays and a matching set of controls hidden in a fold-down rear armrest. Unlike Audi's A8L, which features a second dedicated control unit for use independent of the front seats, passengers in the Equus must tap into the same system as the driver. Navigation, music, and some climate controls are all accessible. Rear passengers can also set a navigation destination, though the driver is able to lock them out just as easily. 

Unfortunately, there aren't any USB charging ports in the back. Hyundai does provide two 12 V cigarette lighter outlets in the center console. But a pair of high-amperage USB connectors would have been far more ideal.

The actual entertainment component of Hyundai's so-called rear entertainment system is actually pretty weak. You only get a DVD player as the primary source. That's not even the disappointing part, though. More unfortunate is the lack of separate playback sources for front and rear passengers. If the folks in the backseat want to watch a DVD, the driver can choose to listen along or shut down the system completely. And there is no support for wireless or wired headphones. Rather, sound is piped in through the Equus' cabin speakers. Without question, this collection of technology lacks the polish we'd expect from a luxury car.

It's hard to avoid, though. The rear entertainment system comes standard on the Equus Ultimate. And despite its lackluster implementation, you'll still pay about $3000 less for this ride as-configured than Lexus' base LS460. Just keep in mind that Hyundai retains is value message, even in the face of strong competition.

Powered side and rear sunshades round out the backseat's spin on comfort. The door-mounted shades are controlled by a switch next to the window control, putting everything in arm's reach. A button on the back of the center console takes the rear sunshade up or down, and there's another switch up front giving the driver similar control. Putting the Equus into reverse automatically retracts the sunshade, too.

The Equus' back seat is, overall, a comfortable place to be. It’s not going to blow your mind with lavish extras like a German luxury car, but keep price in perspective; Hyundai still delivers a high-end experience.

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