The Hyundai Equus was all new just last year so for 2012 there aren’t many updates. That doesn’t matter as the Equus remains an impressive full-size sedan with plenty of performance, features, and luxury.
The Equus goes up against cars like the Lexus LS 460, BMW 7-Series, and even the Mercedes-Benz S Class, but with a starting price of $58,750 it massively undercuts the competition.
Some will be quick to discredit the car’s humble Hyundai badge, but after a quick drive of the Equus you’ll soon be thinking that the established brands should be seriously worried.
The big change for 2012 is the addition of a 5.0-liter V-8 as standard. Previously the Equus shared a 4.6-liter V-8 with the smaller Hyundai Genesis and offered the 5.0-liter as an option. It’s rated at 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is an in-house developed unit that replaces the ZF six-speed auto fitted to last year’s model.
The new engine and transmission combo helps the Equus travel from 0-60 mph in around 6.0 seconds. It’s blistering quick for a sedan of this size but it’s not so surprising when you consider the Equus’ 429-horsepower rating outmatches the output of the LS 460 and the S550.
You’ll have to stop often for fuel as the Equus only rates around 16/24 mpg city/highway, though this isn’t unusual for the class.
The handling isn’t a match for the German luxury sedans as it’s been tuned more for comfort. We’d say its cushiony ride is on par with that of the LS 460.
Where the Equus really shines is its value for money. All models ride on 19-inch chrome alloy wheels wrapped in 245/45 front and 275/40 rear tires and get Hyundai's vehicle stability management (VSM) system with pre-collision warning. They also get an amazing 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a backup camera, and full leather trim. A lane-departure warning system is a new option this year.
Interior space is generous though not class leading. Back-seat passengers get ample legroom while those in the front won’t be complaining either. Note, only the short-wheelbase model is offered in the U.S. while overseas markets benefit from a long-wheelbase version.
For more details on the 2012 Hyundai Equus, including a closer look at the vehicle’s styling, performance, safety, and quality, check out the full review on our sister site The Car Connection.