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

Getting Acquainted With The Equus' Interior

The Equus' interior is well-executed, featuring plenty of soft materials and comfortable leather. The seats are heated and cooled for optimal comfort in any season. Hyundai takes a page from the Mercedes-Benz layout book with the placement of its seat controls. While most cars have adjustments attached to the seats themselves, the Equus joins Mercedes in placing them on each door panel, in front of the handle.

Personally, after many years of driving vehicles with seat-mounted controls, relocating them to the door is disorienting. In my mind, you reach down to tweak the seat. Surely this is just something to get used to. But controls on the seats also look neater and stay out of the away (a desirable quality from something you don't need to manipulate often). Nevertheless, Hyundai arms its Equus with a 12-way adjustable driver's seat and two memory positions.

Sitting in that captain's chair, you can set your elbow on the armrest and reach for the infotainment system's control knob. Here, Hyundai takes a page from the Germans, and we'll discuss this functionality shortly. But their placement relative to each other is awful. The armrest is too long, and getting to the knob requires bending your wrist, which isn't comfortable. Kudos to Hyundai for setting its target so high. Please work on the ergonomics, though.

The steering wheel is both leather-wrapped and wood-trimmed, with tilt and telescope adjustments. Because it's powered, the wheel's position settings are also committed to memory when you save a preset. There's even a heating element built-in to warm your hands as you start your commute on chilly winter mornings. Only the leather parts of the steering wheel heat up, and that's fine by me since I like to hold onto the nine and three o'clock positions.

Another interior detail I'd like to point out is the center stack's analog clock. It's simple, non-pretentious, and generally looks pretty good. Apparently, though, Hyundai thought that since it already integrated a clock, there wasn't any need for digital timekeeping on the infotainment display or gauge cluster. It thought wrong, though. Sure, I'm a fan of analog watches. But I'm not a fan of trying to read them while driving. There's plenty of space leftover for a digital clock to glance over at quickly. To add insult to injury, less expensive Hyundai vehicles employing similar infotainment software (but no analog clock) do give you a digital readout.

  • Hyundai and Kia sure have come a long way.
    Reply
  • Blazer1985
    O.o it is an exact replica of a mercedes e-class. Even the interiors match completely... Or is it just me?
    Reply
  • pilsner
    O.o it is an exact replica of a mercedes e-class. Even the interiors match completely... Or is it just me?
    Yes, they took a lot of styling cues from Mercedes. The front grille, headlights and rear lights are quite similar to the E class Mercs. The first thing I thought when I saw the pictures on the first page of this article was "that looks like a Mercedes copy". Surely not coincidental - other Hyundai models look like 1-series or 3-series BMW. I do not think it is bad to take cues from successful design, it should just not be so obvious that it becomes the first thing people notice when they look at your car.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    All vehicle styling is derivative nowadays. However, the Equus is a pretty good Mercedes replica. But they are still new to the luxury class so they're banking on familiarity instead of trying to stand out for the people who want bargain luxury but still want people to ask if its a Mercedes Benz.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    Hyundai with this car is where Lexus and Infiniti were in the late 1980s: going after BMW and Mercedes flagships (7-series, S-class respectively). However, the difference is that Lexus and Infiniti are strictly a luxury car brand off their parent companies. This car is, well, still a Hyundai. It has a certain class stigma to it. If I had $70k to spend on a luxury ride, I'd rather buy a two year old off-lease certified car by Mercedes, BMW, or Audi over this thing brand new. Any day of the week. If Hyundai wanted to go after the top dogs, they should have spun off their own Luxury brand to shed the image of an economy-class Korean label. Besides, it remains to be seen how well these latest Korean cars that have come out looking pretty good over the last two or three years or so hold up long term. I wouldn't bet on them for a long term keeper.
    Reply
  • brenro12
    O.o it is an exact replica of a mercedes e-class. Even the interiors match completely... Or is it just me?
    Yes, they took a lot of styling cues from Mercedes. The front grille, headlights and rear lights are quite similar to the E class Mercs. The first thing I thought when I saw the pictures on the first page of this article was "that looks like a Mercedes copy". Surely not coincidental - other Hyundai models look like 1-series or 3-series BMW. I do not think it is bad to take cues from successful design, it should just not be so obvious that it becomes the first thing people notice when they look at your car.
    Reply
  • brenro12
    Actually, it's a copy of the Lexus LS 460 which is a copy of the Mercedes S Class.
    Reply
  • BhimaJ
    My Hyundai Elantra is a solid car. Having said that, if I had $70k to drop on a vehicle, it has to be something really special, something that represents the best of what we can engineer today in that class and a nod to inspire the future. Honestly there really isn't another luxury car in this price class that competes with the Tesla S. It is simply a technologically superior car to any of the others on the market in its class.
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  • JoBales
    Strange how when perceived low-cost company Volkswagen tried to release the high-end, technologically sophisticated VW Phaeton in the U.S. a while back, it didn't sell enough to continue the model here. But Hyundai sells the Equus and it seems to be the sweetheart of the car mags and blogs. Truthfully, I'd take the VW before the Hyundai. Of course, VW did start selling higher end products like the Toureg now. Maybe if they'd done this before offering the Phaeton the marketplace might have accepted it easier. Of course, the problem there is that when you get into the 70k-100k field that Phaeton was in, you are in competition with VW's Audi luxury division which, considering the two, would be a no-brainer.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    12788079 said:
    Strange how when perceived low-cost company Volkswagen tried to release the high-end, technologically sophisticated VW Phaeton in the U.S. a while back, it didn't sell enough to continue the model here. But Hyundai sells the Equus and it seems to be the sweetheart of the car mags and blogs. Truthfully, I'd take the VW before the Hyundai. Of course, VW did start selling higher end products like the Toureg now. Maybe if they'd done this before offering the Phaeton the marketplace might have accepted it easier. Of course, the problem there is that when you get into the 70k-100k field that Phaeton was in, you are in competition with VW's Audi luxury division which, considering the two, would be a no-brainer.

    That was their problem, they competed with themselves. The Phaeton wasn't much cheaper than the A8. The Equus is significantly cheaper than a comparable LS460 and on the LS you can't have adaptive cruise control with the executive rear seating in the same package.

    The Phaeton is an awesome car though.

    Reply