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2012 Hyundai Equus Review

This review was written when the 2012 Hyundai Equus was new.

The 2012 Hyundai Equus offers a powerful engine and a spacious interior filled with high-tech toys, but if you’re looking for a sport sedan, reviewers say you should keep looking.

Even though Hyundai just introduced the Equus last year, Hyundai has already made some notable upgrades for 2012. A more powerful engine lives under the 2012 Equus’ hood, and Hyundai has fitted a new transmission with two additional gears.

Inside, the Hyundai Equus continues to offer more space and standard features than rival luxury large cars. However, these attributes don’t necessarily mean the 2012 Equus will appeal all shoppers. “While the 2012 Hyundai Equus luxury sedan's price may be right, the label is decidedly not designer,” writes Kelley Blue Book. “For those who place a premium on brand-name recognition, the Hyundai Equus nametag might not make the grade with the country club set.” 

While that may seem like a vain reason to overlook the Equus, it’s why automakers such as Honda, Nissan and Toyota introduced Acura, Infiniti and Lexus when they entered the luxury segment. Additionally, some test drivers say that the interior materials seem cheap, and sport sedan shoppers will likely overlook the Equus’ comfort-tuned ride.

However, if you can do without a premium name, and want a large luxury sedan that offers an exceptional number of comfort and convenience features, reviewers say the 2012 Equus is a very good choice.

Other Cars to Consider

While the Hyundai Equus lacks the prestige of competing super luxury cars, it makes up for that deficit with an extensive list of standard features and a powerful V8 engine. If you’re drawn to the Equus because it’s well-equipped, but want a smaller, sportier car, consider the Jaguar XF. Reviewers love the XF’s powerful engine, nimble driving dynamics and high-tech interior, which make it a great value. However, the XF isn’t nearly as spacious as the Equus, and most test drivers agree that its tech features aren’t as intuitive.

If you like the Equus’ combination of interior space, luxury and safety, but want a premium brand name, test drive the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The E-Class doesn’t come with a standard V8, but critics love its elegant style, innovative safety features and high-quality interior. The base E-Class isn’t quite as well-equipped as the Equus, but it’s also less expensive.

Hyundai Equus: The Details

The Hyundai Equus gains a more powerful V8 engine for 2012, as well as a new transmission. No standalone options are available, as the Equus comes in two very well-equipped trims: Signature and Ultimate. See the full 2012 Hyundai Equus specs.

  • "Subjectively, the Equus doesn't feel quite up to spec with the usual suspects from Germany, but it compares very favorably with the Lexus LS and easily overshadows the Acura RL." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The Hyundai Equus is inarguably a fine luxury sedan offered at an attractive price. Buy it for that reason and be happy. But don't waste time or energy trying to one-up your BMW neighbors." -- Washington Post 
  • "The Equus is solidly engineered, remarkably quiet and indulgently comfortable, and that's on top of its exceptional feature content and relatively affordable price.” -- Edmunds 
  • "I'm so Vulcanlike that I would rave about an excellent car if it came from Yugo. The product is its own entity, and this product is great. Unfortunately, American consumers aren't Vulcans (though apparently some are Kardashians), and they won't be flocking to buy a luxury car from Hyundai.” -- Cars.com 
Review Last Updated: 10/9/13

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