A massaged exterior, a redesigned interior, and updated suspension tuning are new for 2014. Safety features including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-path detection are now standard...
You'd think, "Hyundai wants to build a car that competes with the Audi A8, BMW 7-series, Jaguar XJ, Mercedes-Benz S-class, and Lexus LS…" would be the start of a joke, but it's true -- Hyundai builds a direct competitor to those cars, and it's called the Equus. If you've seen this car but didn't know it was a Hyundai, you're not alone. There's only one Hyundai badge on the whole car. All other badges are Equus-specific. So, does the swankiest Hyundai match up to huge, German luxury sedans? No. It doesn't feel quite up to spec with any of the cars it's aimed at. It lacks the polished feel of luxury cars built by well-established brands. Hyundai executed some major updates for 2014, however, so the gap has closed somewhat.
The Hyundai Equus is the biggest, nicest, and priciest Korean car we've come across, but when we drove the earlier version of the Equus we said that it was hardly a threat to the players from Germany and Japan. It had many of the pieces necessary to create a true luxury sedan, but it still needed work before being truly competitive. Two areas that needed improvement? Styling (inside and out) and suspension tuning. For 2014, Hyundai built on the Equus's solid foundation, styling and suspension upgrades present and accounted for.
The last Equus had all of the luxury features of the competition shoved into a slightly downmarket interior. For 2014, Hyundai has redesigned the instrument panel, center stack, center console, and shift lever. The "base" Signature model gets a larger, 7.0-inch LCD gauge-cluster display. The top-of-the line Ultimate model gets a similar but much larger display. The optional rear-seat entertainment package used to offer a single, 8.0-inch display, but now it comes with two, 9.2-inch monitors. Hyundai also revised its suspension components and tuning to feel more Bavarian, but ride quality is far from being on the same level.
That said, the 2014 Hyundai Equus is not some sort of cheap knockoff luxury sedan. It's a solid competitor, seeing how it's thousands of dollars less than most of competition. It's an affordable way to get into a big luxury sedan, and you won't feel duped if you buy one, especially the improved 2014 Equus.
- Audi A8
- BMW 7-series
- Jaguar XJ
- Mercedes-Benz S-class