Hyundai Equus Performance
Test drivers report that the 2014 Hyundai Equus has a comfortable, quiet ride, ample engine power and a smooth transmission, but lacks the steering precision and buttoned-down handling of its rivals.
- "Overall, the Equus drove as it should: smooth, with linear acceleration and a mostly quiet ride for the all of the passengers." -- AutoWeek
- "No one will mistake the dynamics of the Hyundai Equus with those of an Audi A8, a BMW 7 Series or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but most buyers probably won't care." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The overriding feeling of driving the Equus is one of comfortable luxury, with plenty of power on tap from the 429 hp V-8 whenever driving needs get urgent." -- Popular Mechanics
- "It's fantastic that Hyundai has refined the Equus to this point, creating a car that goes, stops and turns in a fashion that is at least competitive with a vastly more expensive set of established marques." -- Autoblog
Acceleration and Power
The Equus is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 429 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. At an EPA-estimated 15/23 mpg city/highway, the Equus’ fuel economy is a bit low for the class.
Test drivers write that the Equus sometimes feels like it lacks the low-end punch of its German rivals, but that overall, it has plenty of power for accelerating from a stop and highway passing maneuvers. They add that the transmission is smooth and willingly downshifts when more power is needed.
- "Befitting this ultra-premium segment, the 5.0-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic gearbox offered ample power and refinement. We found the gearbox making decisive moves and thought the torque sufficient to motivate the mass at hand." -- Left Lane News
- "Although this V8 lacks the effortless low-end thrust of the eight-cylinders in more expensive German-brand sedans, few people are ever going to think this grand Hyundai is slow." -- Edmunds
- "In terms of the driving experience, the Hyundai's V8 is the star of the show. With the eight-speed transmission on board, power was plentiful and not once did the Equus feel slow. Customers certainly won't be racing, but it's nice to know you have overtaking power at your disposal when needed." -- AutoWeek
- "The eight-speed automatic transmission allows the big V8 to hum along silently when top-gear highway cruising is the desired mode of transport, yet still kicked down with minimal lag when I asked for some serious acceleration on our route west out of Ann Arbor, MI." -- Autoblog
Handling and Braking
Reviewers report that the Equus soaks up road bumps well, but many note that it doesn't handle as well or have as precise steering as its more expensive rivals. Some say that the suspension is tuned a bit too softly, the steering offers the driver very little road feedback and that the Equus simply doesn't feel as connected to the road as its rivals do. Still, some critics qualify the Equus’ ride and handling shortcomings with its substantially lower price compared to its rivals.
- "… we felt the electronically-controlled air suspension, with its on-the-fly ability to modify ride control, vehicle height and compliance, to be just a touch too soft for our tastes." -- Left Lane News
- "The car took sweeping corners comfortably, and although it is obviously no sports car, it's not intended to be. The steering feels a little disconnected from the car, which seems a tad bit slow to react. More feedback would be welcome to avoid feeling like you're driving through gel." -- AutoWeek
- "The 2014 Equus doesn't steer or handle like the top-tier luxury sedans. …" -- Edmunds
- "The cabin is amazingly quiet, and its air-suspension eliminates road imperfections while providing a secure feel through the turns. The Equus holds its line well in corners and is more than capable of managing its substantial weight on twisty roads, but there's more float and isolation than in the German flagships." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "… this is a quiet, comfortable car that isolates the driver from the road in a way that aims directly at matching the serene experience of driving the Lexus LS. Compared to the new Merecedes-Benz S-Class, the Equus is lacking in precision handling and suspension fine-tuning. But then again, the Equus costs considerably less-an argument that always comes up with this car." -- Popular Mechanics