The 2012 Hyundai Equus does not have enough ratings to earn a valid Total Car Score.
Hyundai’s flagship offers Lexus levels of quiet, ride comfort and luxury-biased driving dynamics at a price that undercuts the segment. The Equus blends this creaminess with interior volume which matches Mercedes’ S Class, power output beating both Mercedes and Lexus V8s, and excellent after-sales service.
The luxury treatment doesn’t fully extend to exterior or interior design, which reviewers have called bland and derivative. Interior materials don’t quite match up to rivals’ standards, a lack of footroom for the reclining right rear seat is annoying, sport mode won’t satisfy enthusiasts and fuel mileage is mediocre. One critic summed the Equus up with the quip, “Hyundai has painted by-the-numbers while the rest have attempted making art.”
The big change for 2012 is the replacement of the Equus’ 4.6-liter V8 with the 5.0-liter V8 from the Genesis R Spec. An eight-speed automatic transmission is also new. While the exterior and interior carry-over, Hyundai is no longer offering Equus buyers a free iPad as an owner’s manual.
The 2012 Hyundai Equus is a full size luxury sedan with V8power. There are two trim levels – Signature and Ultimate – which share the same powerplant and wheelbase but which are configured for five and four seats respectively.
The Signature Edition Equus starts at under $60,000 and offers standard equipment including an electronic air suspension, 19- inch wheels, a Lexicon audio system, ventilated leather front seats and a large multi-function display whose functions are controlled via an iDrive-style knob controller. Five-passenger seating is provided and safety features include a rear view camera. The Ultimate Edition adds a rear center console, cutting passenger accommodation to four but adding a reclining right rear seat with footrest and massage. Options including lane departure warning and Walnut trim are standard on the Ultimate.
A direct-injected 5.0-liter V8 replaces the 2011 Equus’ 4.6-liter V8. Mated with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, the 5.0-liter produces 429 horsepower/376 lb-ft. The extra 44 hp and torque shave a few tenths off the Equus’ zero-to-60 mph dash, which drops to about 5.5 seconds.
The addition of the bigger V8 drops fuel economy to an unimpressive 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
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