The Hyundai Equus is a four-door large luxury sedan that was in production between 1999 and 2016 before it was discontinued. During that time, Hyundai didn’t sell a whole lot of these because they were extremely expensive for a Hyundai badge, some of them cost even upwards of $70,000. So, is Hyundai Equus a good car?
The Hyundai Equus is not just a good car, it is a great car for a whole host of reasons. For starters, it gets great engines that offer enough power, are smooth and are really reliable. The design of the Equus seems like a mixture of many other established full-size sedans, but with a distinct Hyundai identity which makes the car classy inside and out.
The driving experience is a piece of serenity as the car rides over bumps incredibly. It is also quiet, subdued, and perfect for long-distance cruising. Reliability-wise, the Equus is really good, much better than most cars in the full-size luxury sedan segment.
The Equus managed to depreciate quite a bit until now which means that these can be had for a really low price. This makes them amazing 2nd hand luxury limos, both because they are rare, and because they are really good at what they do. Practicality is also excellent because the Equus is a really big car.
Hyundai Equus – The powerplant
The Hyundai Equus engine lineup kicks off with the JL 380 which comes with a 3.8L V6 with 266hp and 260b-ft of torque. The next in line is the JL 450 with its 4.5L V8 engine and 266hp and 260lb-ft of torque. The 3.4L V6 JS330 and 3.8l v6 JS 380 get 247hp and 227l-ft of torque. The range-topping models are the 2016 ones with a 5.0L V8 with 430hp and 376lb-ft of torque.
All models get the 6-speed automatic gearbox which suits the car’s character really well. These are all mated to a permanent RWD system which means that the Equus takes the good old proven full-size sedan recipe with a large V8, a smooth automatic, and RWD.
This means that the Equus isn’t the world’s most efficient car, especially in regards to Hyundai standards, but that is why you get with a full-size luxury sedan where luxury, comfort, and smoothness are prioritized above efficiency.
Hyundai Equus – Design and chassis
The Hyundai Equus might not look overly striking to most people, but Hyundai did that on purpose as the Equus is supposed to be an under-the-radar luxury chariot. Hyundai even de-badged the Equus so most people will never even know it’s a Hyundai. The interior is not on-par with German luxury cars from that era, but it is still amazingly plush and sometimes even better equipped.
The driving experience is where the Equus takes the biggest leap over its Hyundai brothers and sisters. The car glides over bumps and isolates you from the road incredibly well. It is a really luxurious and comfortable car to travel in, but that also means that it does not like corners as it rolls into them quite a bit.
Hyundai Equus – Reliability and common issues
The Hyundai Equus is an incredibly reliable car considering what it is. A full-size sedan tends to be one of the least reliable car types out there because it is huge, heavy, and packed with everything. However, the Equus is a lot better when it comes to reliability than all its German, American, and British counterparts, they don’t even come close.
However, there are some issues worth talking about. First of all, the car does suffer from certain suspension issues where the car can sag. Other issues include soy-made wiring that gets eaten by rodents, issues with the car’s electricals such as the infotainment system, and the car’s brakes.
Hyundai Equus – Value and practicality
When it first came out, the latest top-end Equus model cost upwards of $70,000 which is ridiculous for a car with a Hyundai badge, but almost everyone who bought it said that the car is well worth the price. Nowadays, when the car depreciated to as low as $15,0000 – $20,000 it is an incredible luxury car bargain because the running costs are also really good.
Practicality is on-par with other cars from this segment which means that the Equus is a large car with lots of seating space and vast trunk space. Visibility is also good, but the car might be a bit too big for those who typically drive on busy city streets.
Should I buy a Hyundai Equus?
If you are interested in buying a full-size luxury sedan with all the bells and whistles, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t consider buying the Equus. Yes, it is a Hyundai, and a Hyundai is not the pinnacle luxury brand, but considering how much the Equus costs, and how well it does, it is a tremendously good deal right now.
You can have a more luxurious experience with German full-size sedans from that era, but you will pay a lot more money for them while also spending a ton more money on repairs and maintenance. The Equus is going to last as much as you want it to if you take proper care of it.
Why did Hyundai discontinue the Equus?
The reason why Hyundai discontinued the Equus is due to the fact that full-size sedan sales have been declining across the board for the past two decades. The Equus is a really expensive car to develop, but those expenses simply can’t be covered with just a few thousand models sold each year.
Moreover, Hyundai’s sister brand, Genesis, is now the one tasked with making full-size luxury cars under the Hyundai umbrella. As such, the Genesis G90 is the spiritual successor to the Hyundai Equus.
Is the Hyundai Equus a luxury car?
Yes, the Hyundai Equus is a through-and-through luxury car with the entirety of its soul. It is a car designed to compete with the world’s most illustrious luxury cars because it comes with features that can’t be seen even on S-Classes, or even some Rolls Royce models and Bentleys.
The Equus showcases that Hyundai, an economy brand, knows how to make a true luxury car, one that does not only offer an extremely luxurious experience but also manages to be reliable.