A few short years ago, Hyundai did the unthinkable and decided to take on high end luxury brands on their own terms. The 2014 Hyundai Equus is the latest iteration of that effort, a full-size sedan that defies convention by proposing that an excellent ride and top notch list of features don't have to be married to an eye-popping, six-figure price tag. The Hyundai Equus might not have the pedigree of its elite German and Japanese competitors, but it does force premium buyers to ask themselves just how much that particular provenance is worth paying for.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Hyundai Equus.
01. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Has Been Re-Styled
The 2014 Hyundai Equus debuts a few tweaks to its reserved, but pleasing styling palette. The most obvious changes have been made up front, where a fresh grille treatment is highlighted by LED fog lights that perk up the vehicle's first impression. A smoother and almost sporty attitude is brought about by the deletion of chrome from the Hyundai Equus' front and rear bumpers, and a set of more interesting tail lights graces the vehicle's hindquarters. The Equus rides of a set of 19 inch rims that are also new for the 2014 model year.
02. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Boasts A Revamped Interior
A more extensive refresh awaits those who open the driver's door of the 2014 Hyundai Equus to gaze at its newly done-up passenger compartment. An almost clean-slate take on the vehicle's dashboard includes a redesigned steering wheel design as well as a center stack that has seen its control surfaces and buttons re-shaped and re-sized. The console-mounted shifter gains a leather boot, and the console itself now presents a different face to those seated in the rear of the car. Hyundai has paid careful attention to detail with the 2014 version of the Equus, as these changes have been made in response to owner and media reaction to the first generation of the car.
03. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Comes With V-8 Power
One thing that Hyundai didn’t change about the 2014 Hyundai Equus is its drivetrain. Why bother, when the vehicle's 5.0-liter V-8 engine - standard across all trim levels - already puts out class-competitive power. The Hyundai Equus' engine, which can also be found in the Hyundai Genesis sedan, produces a respectable 429 horses and 376 lb-ft of twist. This is enough to propel the large sedan from zero to 60-mph in roughly five and a half seconds, and puts the Genesis in good company when compared against other four-door luxury cars.
04. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Offers Eight Forward Gears
Part and parcel of the 2014 Hyundai Equus' ability to leap forward with such authority is the inclusion of a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with the sedan. The eight-speed autobox also features a manual shift mode for those drivers who want to feel more involved in the driving experience. Having so many forward gears doesn't just help when it comes to acceleration, but it additionally improves the Hyundai Equus' performance at the fuel pump. Despite having gobs of power, the eight-cylinder automobile's fuel efficiency numbers check in at 15-mpg in city driving and 23-mpg on the highway, which is not out of line with the ratings worn by similarly-motivated rivals.
05. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Features An Updated Suspension System
The 2014 Hyundai Equus is notable for its incredibly quiet ride, and while a good portion of its silence at speed is tied-in to its excellent sound insulation, the vehicle's air suspension system also plays a role. For 2014, the Hyundai Equus gains a new tune for its adjustable air suspension system that is aimed at providing better driver feedback and cornering control without sacrificing its ability to coddle driver and passengers. This means that Sport mode features tighter suspension settings than it did the year before, while Normal mode has been made slightly softer. The vehicle also benefits from a new Snow mode, which affects throttle response and transmission settings in order to make it easier to get going in the white stuff.
06. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Comes In Two Trim Levels
The 2014 Hyundai Equus starts out in Signature trim, which includes adaptive HID headlights, power folding mirrors, parking assistance, a rearview camera, a lane departure warning system, a power trunk lid, keyless entry and push button start, automatic windshield wipers, and a sunroof. Heated and ventilated leather seats are found up front, as is a massage feature, and a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, a heated steering wheel, and reclining rear seats with individual heaters have also been stuffed into the Equus' cabin. Tri-zone automatic climate control is new for 2014, as is a bigger 7-inch LCD screen in the vehicle's gauge pod and 9.2-inch screen in the center stack. Adaptive cruise control is still standard, but it gains the ability to stop-and-follow traffic, which is useful when navigating through bumper-to-bumper conditions.
On top of all of this luxury bounty the Ultimate trim adds power sunshades in the back of the car, a refrigerated rear center console, power adjustable headrests and footrests for back passengers (plus rear seat cooling), and a new twin-screen LCD entertainment system to keep them amused. Up front, the driver benefits from a 12.3-inch LCD screen with haptic steering wheel controls, and all riders can make use of automatic power door closing capability.
07. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Is Paired With The Owner Experience App
Paper owner's manuals are so last-century. The 2014 Hyundai Equus doesn’t just come with an old-school paper owner's manual, it goes one better by offering the Hyundai Equus Owner Experience App, which can be downloaded onto an Apple iPad. The Owner Experience App features video walk-throughs of key vehicle features, as well as an extensive array of images and information that explain how to get the most out of the automobile. Not only that, but the App is interactive to the point where it can be used to schedule maintenance appointments and even locate a dealer.
08. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Features Valet Service
In an effort to match up with the high end treatment that brands like Mercedes-Benz and Lexus offer the buyers of their flagship sedans, the 2014 Hyundai Equus comes with a valet service that is unlike anything previously offered by the automaker. Hyundai's valet service allows Hyundai Equus owners to have their cars serviced without ever having to leave their own homes, as technicians will come and pick up the sedan from the driveway whenever it's time for scheduled maintenance to be performed. Of course, an appropriate loaner car is left behind for the Equus owner to enjoy until their own vehicle is ready for action once again. Scheduled maintenance is also free for the first 60,000 miles or five years of ownership.
09. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Can Be Sampled Via 'Your Time, Your Place'
Still not convinced that the 2014 Hyundai Equus might be worthy of a test drive? Hyundai is so eager to get new behinds in the driver's seat of the sedan that it offers the 'Your Time, Your Place' test drive program. Much like the valet service - except in reverse - Hyundai will actually bring a 2014 Hyundai Equus to your home in order for you to try it out. There's no need to visit a dealership; all you have to do is visit the appropriate website, or make a phone call in order to schedule your test drive. They will even bring the car to your office so you can sample it on your lunch break, if you would like.
10. The 2014 Hyundai Equus Is Priced Below The Competition
Official pricing for the 2014 Hyundai Equus has yet to be released for the U.S. market, but judging by the MSRP listed north of the border in Canada - as well as Hyundai's commitment to keeping the cost of the car similar to that from the previous model year - it is reasonable to expect that the 2014 Hyundai Equus will see a modest increase over 2013's $59,250 list price. This means somewhere around the $61,000 mark for the base model and roughly $68,000 for the Ultimate trim. When compared against other luxury marques, the Equus is a sensational deal: a base S-Class sedan from Mercedes-Benz starts at $92,000, while the entry-level version of the Lexus LS is offered at $71,000.