Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Equus

The Hyundai Equus has been around since 1999, serving as the brand's full-size luxury sedan. The first generation Equus was produced from 1999 to 2008 and was sold in South Korea, China, and Middle East. The Western European got this car, which was renamed the Hyundai Continental, in the early and mid 2000s. In 2009, the second generation Equus was released. This time, the Equus was available for the North American market. In 2012, the Equus got an update, now available with an eight-speed automatic transmission. I have seen the Equus at a few automotive events in the greater Houston Area. At the 2013 Houston Auto Show, I was able to test drive one. The Equus is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive four-door full-size luxury sedan.

I have to give credit to Hyundai for the great improvements over the years to its brands. The new Hyundais are vastly improvements over previous Hyundais. The Equus is very easy on the eyes. The car looks luxurious. I like the sleek body lines and the front grill. Everything is nicely integrated as far as body design goes. While it does not have a sporty or aggressive styling, the Equus is still beautiful. The Equus is very luxurious on the inside. The leather seats are nice a comfortable. The leather and wood trim gives the Equus a luxurious feel. The user interface and touchscreen are easy to use. Behind the wheel, I had plenty of head room and leg room. And there is plenty of room in the back for adult passengers. I was very comfortable behind the wheel.

Powering the Equus is a 5.0L V8 engine, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, that produces 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The Equus goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The Equus felt quick when I pressed the accelerator pedal. The Equus has a very soft ride. I felt like I was riding on a cloud when I was driving the Equus. The Equus may have a soft suspension, but it handles well. There is an instantaneous response when I turned the wheel. The Equus also has a quiet cabin. I did not hear any outside noise and I could barely hear the engine when I was inside the Equus. Prices for the Equus start at $59,250 and the Equus Ultimate goes for $66,250. That may seem expensive for a car, but the Equus is a good value compared to the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the Audi A8.

Overall, the Equus is a great luxury full-size sedan. I felt like I was riding on a cloud because the Equus has a very soft ride. The car has a luxury sedan styling and a luxurious interior. The Equus has wood trim and very comfortable leather seats. The Equus gets good power from the V8 engine and has good acceleration for a full-size luxury sedan. Despite the soft ride, the Equus handles nicely. The Equus has a very reasonable price of around $60,000 compared to its German rivals. If you are in the market for a full-size luxury sedan, give the Equus a test drive. Hyundai has greatly improved its quality of vehicles over the years.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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