The freshened 2014 Hyundai Equus expands its technology offerings to go along with an incredible value proposition. Every Equus comes standard with navigation, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. The more upscale Equus Ultimate model adds in a useful head-up display, dual rear entertainment screens, and an all-glass cockpit display system.
Among premium luxury cars, the Hyundai Equus is a bargain at $ 62,000 with freight for the Equus Signature model, $ 69,000 for the even-more desirable Equus Ultimate. Every feature and option is rolled into one of the two trim lines. You only have to choose five paint colors and tan or black leather. You are close to driving a Lexus LS 460 for $ 15,000 less.
Head-up display incorporates blind spot detection
Hyundai’s package of driver technology aids is impressive. You’ve seen most of it before on Lexus-Cadillac-BMW-Audi-Mercedes. The most striking new feature of the new Equus is the head-up display. Hyundai incorporates blind spot detection warnings in addition to the speed, adaptive cruise speed, navigation prompts and music info common among automakers with HUDs.
BSD in the HUD counteracts the sloppy way many drivers check their mirrors before changing lanes: late if ever. Indifferent drivers and weary drivers start to change lanes, perhaps flick the turn indicator, and only then do they look over to the side mirror or windshield pillar, which is where most automakers have their blind spot warning lights. With the Equus, the blind spot information shows in the HUD as well as the mirror and you see it one or two-tenths of a second sooner than anywhere else. Every automaker with a HUD should roll this in.
In the manner or most all Asian automakers, the driver assist alerts are light and sound. European and US automakers vibrate the steering wheel or driver seat cushion and don’t disturb the passengers.
On the road: awesome comfort, decent road manners
Driving and riding in the Hyundai Equus is a delight for driver and passengers. All four outboard seats are heated and ventilated; the front seats are ventilated with chilled air in front. Back seat room is stupendous. With the model year 2014 refresh of the second generation (2009) Equus, the business class rear seats with massaging feature are gone from the US market Equus. The feature generated a lot of mention in reviews and few sales, so the 2014 model is offered only with a bench. Regardless, the right-rear passenger can use the comprehensive control panel on the center armrest to move the front seat forward and recline the rear seatback.
Every upscale car has a reading lamp for each rear passenger. The Equus has two criss-crossing lamps per passenger for better illumination and fewer shadows. When an automaker might have as many as 500 light bulbs inside and outside a car, why not 502 bulbs?
The Equus is a full-size car at 203 inches long. An eight-speed automatic transmission and gasoline direct injection (GDI) work hard to make the 429hp V8 engine quick and economical. But at 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, 18 mpg combined, the Equus is not a leader. The air suspension can be adjusted for comfort or sport handling, though not at the handling/comfort level of a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz. Combine that with interior trim that is not quite Lexus-luxurious and you can see one reason why the Equus is priced in the sixties not eighties.
Next page: Good infotainment, with exceptions
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