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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2011 Equus Signature Sedan

If you have to be stuck on the 405 freeway, this is the car to do it in: The Hyundai Equus Signature Sedan. And as our production manager once said, “Every day to me is Carmageddon.” By Harold Osmer Oh the joys of a well-done car. Imagine a luxury sedan that actually behaves like a luxury sedan instead of a wannabe race car limo. Equus evolved in the Korean market. It is a spot-on entry level luxury vehicle for American buyers looking for a stylish, comfortable, full-sized sedan capable of impressing your boss at half the price he paid for his car.


FEATURES The Signature model comes with exactly zero added features, translating to a fully loaded vehicle and selection decision based solely upon which of the four exterior color options you prefer. Options that add up quickly with other luxury brands are included on the Equus. For $58,000 Equus provides the award winning 4.6 liter V8 Tau engine (producing 385 horsepower) coupled to an electronically controlled ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic mode available. And as the iPad owners manual says, “Front wheel drive is to a luxury car as clown paint is to the Mona Lisa.


You read that right. Equus is rear wheel drive. And the interactive owners manual comes in a supplied iPad that can be connected directly to the car. Most vehicle features can be explained and demonstrated through animations and videos. An appointment app is available that lets you reserve dealer service times. There is much to like about the Equus. All controls are where they should be and are easy to interpret. Switch response is positive, all interior surfaces are nicely finished with wood and leather, and the 12-way power massaging driver seat is delightful.


The Equus Ultimate model provides all Signature features along with rear seat leg support and Massaging system, entertainment system with 8-inch monitor, and a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). MSRP for the Equus Ultimate package is $64,500. PET PEEVES Several of my personal pet automotive peeves have been addressed with Equus. First is the sheer complexity of many modern car interiors. I’m all for technological advances finding their way into my daily driver, but too much gets distracting enough to be dangerous. Equus delivers all the needed bells and whistles to entertain the lot of us, but has managed to avoid jet-fighter complexity.

The owners manual is an Apple iPad

Next is a simple thing having to do with window controls. Why don’t all modern cars come with a partial + all-up/down window switch? Equus has this type of switch on all four doors. Such a simple, welcome item. One more item involving the windows. Why do all newer cars incur a wind buffeting effect when the windows are rolled down? This makes enjoying the outside air impossible when driving. Well, when you cruise Pacific Coast Highway in an Equus, all you get is fresh ocean breezes. No buffeting. I don’t know how they did it, but every automaker should get with this program.


DRIVING Equus is a passenger-oriented car. Air conditioning and audio controls for the entire vehicle can be changed from the rear seat, which are adjustable and recline to some degree. This is a carry over from the Asian market where many Equus owners enjoy the services of chauffeurs. Generous rear leg and head room attest to this. From the drivers seat, Equus’ 385 horsepower best responds when the throttle is rolled on. A solid mashing results in forward motion, but this is not an aggressive vehicle. Cornering is smooth and predictable, brakes are very good, and body roll is not noticeable. Switching to Sport Mode produced little changes in Equus’ manners. Cabin noise is minimal, wind noise is minimal, driver effort is minimal.


When service time comes, the dealership will come to you, take your car, leave a loaner Equus, and return when service is complete. Luxury. SUMMARY JUDGMENT I’ve not seen anything about Equus on television. Perhaps it’s because Equus’ eye catching design, wonderfully understated appointments, and quiet, comfortable interior makes it too cool for commercials. The drive is smooth, quiet, and positive. How does Equus do all this for $58,000? Answer is: it’s made by Hyundai. Very nicely done. For more information about the Hyundai Equus, go to:


SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature Price: Base $58,000 as tested $58,000 standard features include: Smart Cruise Control, Proximity keyless door unlock system, iPad owners manual, 60/40 power reclining rear seats, leather/wood interior surfaces, acoustic laminated windshield, etc. EPA fuel economy ratings (miles per gallon): 16 city/24 highway Engine type: 4.6L V8 Tau, DOHC 32-valve, Multi-Point fuel injection Horsepower: 385@6500 rpm Torque: 333 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm Performance: 0-60 mph 6.7 seconds top speed NA Drive configuration: Front engine / rear wheel drive Transmission type: 6-speed ZF Automatic, Electronically Controlled, Shiftronic mode Suspension: Front: Electronically Controlled Air Suspension Rear: Electronically Controlled Air Suspension Wheels and tires: 19-inch 9-spoke alloy wheels 245/45R19 (front) 275/40R19 (rear) Brakes: Front Vented Disc Rear Vented Disc ABS Overall length/wheelbase: 203.1 inches/119.9 inches Overall width: 74.4 inches Overall height: 58.7 inches 5 Year/60,000 mile Bumper to Bumper 10 Year/100,000 mile Powertrain 7 Year, unlimited mileage corrosion perforation 24/7 Roadside Assistance, 5 years/unlimited miles

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