Test Driving the Elegant 2013 Hyundai Equus

2013 Hyundai Equus - sideBy Barbara & Bill Schaffer

A name you don?t always see on lists of premium luxury sedans is the Hyundai Equus, but you will before long.

Four names always seem to hog all the attention in this premium category, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJL and Lexus LS, but they have very little on the Hyundai Equus other than a few years of experience and a price tag ranging from $12,000 to $24,000 more.
The 2013 Hyundai Equus is impressive any way you look at it. The classic styling has features like jewel-like HID headlight enclosures, bold taillights, strong shoulders and the look of understated elegance.

2013-Hyundai-Equus-interiorThe interior is filled with superior quality materials and rich-looking design features including soft leathers, French stitched instrument panel treatments, microfiber suede headlining and natural woods. There are thermoelectric devices located in the seat backs and bottom cushions that provide control for heating, cooling and humidity along with a massaging driver?s seat to make driving more stress free. The interior space even tops that in the Lexus LS and Mercedes S-Class.

The driver benefits from a long list of aids like a forward-view cornering camera integrated into the grille to assist in parking, navigating blind corners and other urban driving challenges. There?s also a Driver Information System with navigation, XM Satellite Radio, HD radio, Bluetooth and other connectivity features.

2013 Hyundai Equus - frontUnder the hood Hyundai?s impressive 5.0-liter Tau direct-injection V-8 engine pumps out 429 horsepower, driving the rear wheels through a Hyundai developed eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine runs on premium or regular fuel, with only an eight-horsepower penalty for regular fuel. The engine even made the Ward?s Ten Best Engines list in its debut year, 2011.

The Hyundai Equus accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5-seconds and fuel economy ratings are 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. The large sedan even boosts a tight 39.6-foot turning radius and excellent 52/48 front-to-rear weight balance which helps give it an agile feel.

Suspension highlights include a stiff lightweight structure underpinned by a five-link front and rear suspension geometry and an electronically controlled air suspension with Continuous Damping Control. The driver can also adjust the suspension for a variety levels from a soft comfortable setting to a stiffer sport mode that gives even better body control. The standard 19-inch chrome alloy wheel and tire package with staggered width tires (P245/45R19 front P275/40R19 rear) offers excellent gripping power and precise control.

Driver assists include and electronic backup system, lane departure warning, smart cruise control to automatically manage vehicle speed to follow a driver selected speed behind a vehicle ahead. There is also an electronic parking brake with automatic hold, which automatically holds the vehicle when it stops, and releases by pressing the accelerator. Conspicuously absent, though, is a blind spot warning system, which we think should be standard on all cars.

2013 Hyundai Equus - rearseatThe Hyundai Equus is available in two impressive trim levels, the Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate. The Signature version features include things like a 17-speaker 608-watt Lexicon??audio system, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with pre-collision warning, Smart Cruise Control and HID headlamps. It also includes front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera, premium leather seating, Microfiber suede headliner, driver seat massage, heated and cooled front seats, wood and heated leather steering wheel.

The 2013 Hyundai Equus Ultimate builds on the features list with a forward-view parking and cornering camera, power trunk lid, reclining rear seats with powered headrests and cooled rear seats. To cap off the limousine-like appointments the rear passenger seat include rear seat massage and leg support, small refrigerator and a rear seat entertainment system.

The 2013 Hyundai Equus pricing starts at $60,170, including the destination charge, for the Signature version. The upper level Ultimate is $67,170. Other than colors, there are no options.

Test driving an Equus takes on a different complexion when prospective buyers participate in the ?Your Time, Your Place? valet test drive program, where a specially-trained Product Champion deliver an Equus to the home or office of prospective buyers for a personalized shopping experience.

2013 Hyundai Equus - moonlightEquus owner can use the ?At Your Service,? program with an online scheduling system via tablet, computer or smartphone for maintenance and service. If desired, the vehicle will be picked up for service at the owners? home or business, with a complimentary loaner dropped off during the service period. Once service is completed, the owner again chooses the time and location for the vehicle to be returned.

The 2013 Hyundai Equus feels, looks and drives just like the high-priced brands, with quick performance, agile handling, quiet and comfortable interior. It provides top shelf elegance for those unconcerned about a fancy name.