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2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate Review: More Luxury Means a Bigger Bargain

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The changes made to the 2014 Hyundai Equus, as this review explores, might be fairly subtle but when combined with the long list of features that makes the Equus one of the most impressive – and least expensive – large luxury sedans sold in American, those subtle changes help to make the best bargain in the luxury segment even better. Here is the detailed and balanced review of 2014 Hyundai Equus by Patrick Rall of TorqueNews.com

In the budget minded, fuel friendly lineup of the Hyundai brand, the Equus stands apart from the rest of its siblings with a high performance V8 and a price tag nearing $70,000 but when you consider the fact that this Hyundai is designed to compete with cars that cost closer to $100,000, the premise of the Equus becomes much more clear. This large luxury sedan shows that while Hyundai is focused on affordability and efficiency, the Korean automaker has the capacity to turn out one incredible full size luxury sedan and they can do so for tens of thousands of dollars less than comparable models from BMW, Mercedes Benz or Audi. This has been the case since the Equus was introduced a few years back and while there has been a very modest price increase over the years to match some of the new features of the 2014 model year sedans, this plush Hyundai is still $20,000-40,000 less expensive than some of the top competitors in the segment.

The 2014 Hyundai Equus test car was fitted with the Ultimate trimline package which means that this big sedan is fully loaded with literally every feature Hyundai currently has to offer. There is so much content included in the Equus Ultimate package that when you build one online, there are no options, packages or accessories available – everything is standard from the high performance V8 to the adjustable suspension setup to the super premium cabin that is packed with just about everything a luxury buyer could want. Best of all, everything in this car comes with a price of just $68,920. I know what you are thinking… it is hard to say “just” before a price nearing $70k and it is even harder to call a that car a bargain but when you consider how much you would pay for a comparable European luxury car with this kind of power and a similar list of features inside and out – the Equus Ultimate is truly a bargain luxury sedan with little compromise.

The Exterior
On the outside, the 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate is clearly a high end luxury sedan. In a segment where many competitors have shifted their design towards aggressive sportiness and away from opulent luxury, the Equus stays the course with a big, bold, high riding design that takes more of an old school luxury sedan approach with some high tech features that bring that design to the modern era in a very tidy way. Were Hyundai to follow the trend set by many other luxury automakers, the 2014 Equus would have looked similar to a stretched out version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe but as the case has been since this model was introduced – the Equus stands apart from the rest of the brand in terms of styling as much as it does its goals in the industry.

Even though the 2014 Hyundai Equus continues on with a similar exterior styling to the previous models, the company has made some changes that cut down just a touch on the in your face luxury approach. Most notably, the front end of the 2014 Equus is without the chrome trim pieces that underlined each of the headlights and while I liked the look of those unusually placed chrome bits, the new front end is a little cleaner so buyers likely won’t miss them. Additionally, the openings in which the fog lights are mounted have been revised a bit with the black inner portion extending all of the way out to the lights where the previous models had a strip of body colored material separating the two segments. Again, not a big change but one that does give the Equus a bit sportier look across the front. Other than those changes, the front end of the 2014 Equus still wears the same large headlight housings with HID projection and a row of bright LEDs tracing the bottom edge for a sport yet distinctly luxurious feel. I liked the previous front end but I like the new front end even more.

Along the side of the 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate you won’t find many changes but you will find big change that I consider to be a huge improvement for these new models. The original Equus had large, kind of oddly contoured chrome wheels that fit the luxury segment but they didn’t really seem to fit the car itself…kind of like wearing a very expensive tuxedo with really expensive boots rather than proper dress shoes. The 2014 Equus features a set of new turbine style 19 inch alloy wheels in a satin silver finish that are a thing of beauty and with this addition; the Equus has a set of wheels that perfectly fit both the modern luxury segment and the car. These wheels are sporty and aren’t covered in chrome but this simple wheel change really makes the side view of this brawny luxury sedan pop. Other than those new wheels, the side profile of the 2014 Equus remains unchanged with a long, sloping roofline that gives the car a very elegant form while also proving great aerodynamics and excellent interior headroom for rear riding passengers.

As is the case with the front end, the rear end of the 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate remains relatively unchanged from the previous model years with the most notable exceptions being more chrome removal and some gussied up taillights. The previous Equus had chrome trim pieces that started under the taillights and extender out around the side of the car and those have been removed for 2014 but like the front chrome trim, these shiny bits out back won’t be missed by those looking to buy a premium luxury sedan. In terms of rear end lighting, the basic shape of the 2014 Equus taillights has gone unchanged but Hyundai has injected some high tech love with an LED treatment that brings the Equus up to par with the rest of the luxury segment. They also look a little cooler than the previous taillights so when combined with the integrated exhaust tips and the deep reaching rear fascia, the 2014 Equus rear end is generally nicer looking than the outgoing models.
The 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate really hasn’t changed all that much from the previous model year but the few simple changes like the removal of the oddly placed chrome trim pieces and the addition of those gorgeous turbine wheels go a very long way in allowing the Equus to stand confidently alongside the best that BMW and Mercedes Benz have to offer in terms of exterior styling.

The Interior
The 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate looks great from the outside but inside is where this large luxury sedan really shines. The brown leather on the seats, door panels and center console offers a beautiful contrast against the predominantly black interior with high gloss wood grain trim on the steering wheel, door panels and dash face working with the brown/black design to give this interior a very upscale look and feel.

We will take a look at the many amenities in a minute but first I want to talk about the spaciousness of the Equus. You expect a large sedan to have lots of space and the Equus doesn’t disappoint with an absolutely massive cabin. This interior spread offers enough leg, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder and head space for even the tallest drivers and passengers to sit comfortably. In fact, there is enough space that the driver and front passenger can practically lay down in their seats when they are adjusted right…and thanks to the reclining rear seats, rear riders can enjoy the level of luxury lounging as those up front. Not surprisingly, the truck of the Equus offers the same incredible level of space as the cabin and this rear storage space can very easily fit a couple golf bags or enough luggage for a whole family.

The 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate interior is so comfortable and so impressive that owners likely won’t find their friends or family arguing over who has “shotgun” since both the front and rear seats offer the same levels of comfort and amenities. The rear amaneities allow the Equus to serve as a limousine with the center armrest holding an expansive panel that gives rear riders the power to control the entire infotainment system from the back seat along with power side and rear sunshades for those who need added privacy from the outside world. This rear control panel works with the 9.2” touch screen mounted high on the dashboard in the same fashion as the front controls that are accessible to the driver but if the rear riders want a closer look at the infotainment screen can bring it up on either of the rear monitors that are mounted on the back of the front seat headrests. This rear control panel also allows people seated in the back to control the HVAC system, the heated/cooled rear seats, the rear seat reclining feature and even the front passenger seat – in case the person sitting behind that seat wants to move that seat for more legroom. Aside from rear seat gadgetry, the back seats also offer every bit as much comfort as the front seats with soft leather and deep, plush bolsters that make the rear seat feel more like a piece of living room furniture than an automotive seat.

The rear seating area of the 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate is fantastic but no seat in this large luxury sedan is better than the driver’s seat for more than just the obvious reasons. One of the new features in the 2014 Equus that adds lots of high tech wow factor is the new 12.4 inch LED gauge cluster that includes a digital tachometer and speedometer with a driver’s information display in the center with a variety of useful information options. In front of that gauge cluster is a high tech steering wheel that includes controls for the cruise control, the sound system, the hands free phone system and a haptic control knob that the driver can use to customize the gauge cluster readout. The big 9.2” touch screen mounted high on the dash includes controls for the HVAC system, navigation, phone system and stereo with more controls for button lovers located below the touch screen that handle the sound system and HVAC setup without use of the touch screen. Best of all, the Equus also features a convenient control panel that is mounted just past the end of the central armrest that allows the driver to toggle from mode to mode with the turn of a knob and the push of a button. Finally, the front seats feature vast adjustability through the door mounted buttons to move these deep, plush leather seats into the exact position that you want for the best possible driving experience – with both heating and cooled surfaces, of course.

The 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate has everything that you could possibly want from a modern luxury car – a high end sound system with navigation and touch screen controls, super comfortable heated and cooled front and rear seats, reclining rear seats and rear controls for both the rear seat entertainment system and the front seat infotainment package so this is a car that can keep your kids happy on the way to grandma’s house or keep your boss comfortable and in control on the way to the airport – all for under $70,000.

Continue reading about the Drive experience and the final word at the original source at TorqueNews.
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