First Drive – 2014 Hyundai Equus Lux Executive Sedan

by Tony West and Bill P.

Hyundai has a jewel in their 2014 lineup. The new 2014 Equus stands tall against the Cadillac XTS and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with its sophisticated exterior and luxurious interior. The Equus is executive style done right. Very few sedans have as this many standard luxury features. Driving the Equus is great, but even better riding as a rear passenger. We reviewed the 2014 Equus Signature that has a MSRP of only $61,000.

Stylish Sophisticated Exterior

From the outside, the Equus is a low-key stunner. The exterior has a redesigned grille with blacked out chrome accents.

Lower open strakes aid aerodynamics and add another level of sophistication. Jeweled HID headlights are standard as are LED fog lights, LED turn signals and LED tail lights. Active Front Lighting with auto cornering and leveling is standard.The new Equus looks like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, especially with its signature emblem on the hood. Nineteen inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts give the Equus modern swag.

2014 Hyundai Equus
2014 Hyundai Equus

Very cool are the power folding mirrors that close when I lock the car, and open again as I approach. 

Executive-Class Ultra Lux Interior

There aren’t a lot of $60k sedans that have just as many amenities for rear passengers as its front passengers. The Equus Signature aims to make all passengers experience premium comfort. The interior is beautiful with premium leather and contrasted French stitching. Ash wood accents and an Alcantra headliner are perfectly harmonized.

2014 Hyundai Equus interior
2014 Hyundai Equus interior

Carpeted floor mats are standard. Space in the Equus Signature is abundant with 45 inches of front legroom and 38 inches of rear legroom, more than the Lexus LS.

Drivers have a cool 12-way adjustable seat with the controls on the door – typical Benz flair. The front passenger has a 10-way adjustable seat. The driver also has an electronic leg cushion extender and all passengers have active headrests.

The front seats are heated and ventilated and the rear seats heated. Unlike most luxury whips, the heated seats in the Equus heat from the back of the knees up to the back of the neck. There are separate controls for each rear passenger to adjust their seat forward or recline back.

2014 Hyundai Equus interior
2014 Hyundai Equus interior

The interior also has a heated leather and wood trimmed steering wheel along with power rear and side sunshades.

The Signature package adds a 3-zone climate control system with an air filtration system. Passengers can adjust their climate, seating, and extend the sunshades in the rear and side windows via the rear center console. Also cool are the rain sensing wipers. Steering wheel controls aren’t a distraction because the steering wheel doesn’t block my instrument cluster, or the wiper and light controls.

2014 Hyundai Equus rear entertainment
2014 Hyundai Equus rear entertainment

Additional luxury amenities surpass the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For added comfort, the front seats have adjustments for the lower back. And the rear seats have an optional entertainment suite that includes a 9.2 inch hi-resolution screen on the front seatbacks. Each rear passengers has their own map light, an adjustable LED light separate from the dome lights that won’t disturb the driver or the other rear passenger. Also cool are the lights under the seats that make finding things much easier.

The fact that I enjoyed riding in the rear more than driving the Equus says a lot. Not only is there an entertainment suite in the rear, the center console in the backseat has cool controls like the “Relax” button that will move the front passenger seat up and fold it down while simultaneously reclining the rear seat for first-class comfort. BOSS!

Rear passengers can also move the front seats forward and recline them with buttons on the side of the front seats. Rear passenger can also control audio and infotainment, and let down both rear windows via the rear console.  The driver can shut off rear passenger controls for media with the “RSE Off” button. The rear seats also have 60/40 folding capabilities. Illuminated chrome door sills add sophisticated swag.

Top-Notch Infotainment

The comfort of the Equus is maximized with premium infotainment. A 17 speaker Lexicon surround sound system is standard. Also included is the MP3 audio system, HD radio, USB ports, and Sirius XM Satellite radio.

2014 Hyundai Equus interior
2014 Hyundai Equus interior

A 9.2 inch LCD display with multimedia controller is standard for navigation, media, and settings. The Blue Link system adds over 30 safety, service, and infotainment features like Remote Start, Remote Access, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, as well as Assurance Connected Care- a three year complimentary service suite. Assurance Connected Care includes Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Maintenance Alert, and Automatic Collision Notification.

2014 Hyundai Equus 9 inch LCD screen
2014 Hyundai Equus 9 inch LCD screen

Blue Link offers two additional packages along with the Assurance Connected Care Packages- the Essentials Package that adds the Car Finder mobile app, Valet Alert, Geofence, Remote Door Lock/Unlock; and the Guidance Package that includes navigation with POI search, weather forecasts, traffic reports, eco coach, and area restaurant ratings all accessible by the front and rear passengers of the Equus. A cool box or warm box is optional.

Drivers’ utilize a 7 inch TFT LCD cluster with gauges and a Driver Info Center that can display tire pressure, oil life, audio, and a compass. A Heads-up-Display is optional and can project audio, navigation, road signs, warnings, speed, and safety alert info on the windshield.

Refined GT Performance

The 2014 Hyundai Equus is not just mini mansion, it also has an impressive powertrain fit for a sports sedan. The Equus has a standard 5.0 liter Tau DOHC V8 engine with 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The 5.0 liter Tau has direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and a tuned variable induction system that contributes to an EPA of 18 mpg combined. The V8 is matched to an 8 speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC for manual mode.

2014 Hyundai Equus
2014 Hyundai Equus

The Equus’s high tensile steel unibody adds resilience and tranquility to the ride while enhancing rigidity and agility. Handling is optimal thanks to the near 50:50 weight balance. And the Equus has acoustic laminated windshields and side windows that make the ride quiet.

The 8 speed automatic transmission allows for seamless shifts. The Equus also features electro hydraulic power steering, and a drive mode selector with Normal, Sport, and Snow modes. The drive mode system optimizes suspension, transmission, steering, and engine output. In Normal (Eco) mode, the Equus ride is comfortable and fuel consumption is ideal. Even though I had to floor the Equus in Normal mode when I needed to upshift quickly, the Equus’ ride is spirited and efficient.

In Sport mode steering is responsive, gearshifts prompt, and acceleration more aggressive. I just wished the Equus’ V8 engine didn’t consume so much fuel.

The 2014 Equus features five-link electronically controlled front and rear air suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC). CDC monitors road conditions and auto-adjusts damping. CDC is one of the reasons the ride in the Equus is always smooth even on bumpy roads, especially in Sport mode.

 

Safety Features Enhance Ride Confidence

Tech-advanced safety features in the rear-wheel drive Equus are plentiful. Standard are features like a multiview camera with an aerial view as well as a rear view on a split screen and the Blind Spot Information system.

2014 Hyundai Equus safety features
2014 Hyundai Equus safety features

The Equus also features Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Lane Departure warning system that will vibrate the driver’s seat belt if a lane is too quickly breached without signaling.

Electronic Stability Control is standard with the Vehicle Stability Management system that also manages the electronic park brake, seatbelt tensioning system, and smart cruise control. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard along with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist technology.

The 2014 Hyundai Equus is an impressive sedan worth more than its $61k sticker price. The Equus is a better buy than most of its premium luxury peers. The Mercedes-Benz E-class and the Cadillac CTS will cost buyers an extra $20,000 and won’t have a rear entertainment suite with a cool center console. The new Equus has top-notch safety and entertainment technology that impressed a ton of new fans. And its ride can be tranquil, efficient, and sporty. Hyundai keeps stepping up their game. Look for this whip to be more popular on the road this year.