For 2014, the Hyundai Equus gets some minor changes, including interior and exterior styling and material upgrades. Additionally, Equus also now comes equipped with BlueLink, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path alert. One of the big changes, however, is that the rear seat massager and footrest have gone away. While the Equus is a big chauffeur-driven car in Korea, it isn't in the US, so the take-rate for this feature was pretty low. So, the backseat now seats 3 in the top-of-the-line Ultimate model, rather than just 2.
I had the opportunity to drive this new model for a quick loop around Chicago, and all I have to say is: It reinforced my belief that Hyundai makes a phenomenal car. Some might balk at the idea of a $61,000 Hyundai, but when you consider that this large car competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class ($92,350) and Lexus LS ($71,990), the pricing makes more sense. Especially when you consider everything that's standard, including blind spot monitoring, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Lexicon surround sound system and Bluetooth ... among many other things. And if you upgrade to the Ultimate model, Equus gets even awesomer (yeah, I know it's not a word) with standard features such as heads-up display, rear-seat entertainment, cooled rear seats, power trunk lid, front cornering camera and (get this) power door closure. For $68,000.
I like Equus for its simple, elegant styling and phenomenal comfort. The 5.0-liter V-8 engine delivers 429 horsepower, and is completely smooth over even the worst Chicago potholes. Oh, and trunk space is really quite roomy.
My one complaint is that the Equus only comes as a rear-wheel drive model. While there is no word on timing, Hyundai has confirmed that the next-generation Equus will come equipped with all-wheel drive.
Base price: $61,000
Cargo volume: 16.7 cubic-feet
Want more Equus? Check out my original photo gallery from the 2011 launch.