Hyundai Equus takes on the Germans

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor

(Fortune Magazine) -- My time in the 2011 Hyundai Equus that I tested in Korea was divided as follows: two minutes in the driver's seat guiding the car up and down a flat, parking-lot-like surface at Hyundai's R&D Center outside Seoul, and three days sitting in the right rear passenger seat being chauffeured around the city by a skilled Hyundai company driver.

The Equus performed superbly in both roles. It rides quietly and powerfully, just the way a modern luxury car should -- much like the Lexus LS 460 that was Hyundai's benchmark vehicle.

The view from the back seat was enhanced by the careful craftsmanship demonstrated by leather seat coverings and wood veneers, as well as comfort features like heated and cooled seats, and the massage rollers that work over your back. Unfortunately, I saw no friends on the sidewalks of Seoul, so there was nobody to admire my upscale conveyance.

Up front the view was even better when I was in command. The controls on the Equus are clearly marked, the 368-hp V-8 engine responsive without being intrusive, and the performance alert. As the old Rolls-Royce ads used to say, the amount of power is "sufficient" to accelerate the Equus to 60 miles per hour in a little more than six seconds. That isn't drag-strip speed, but it's close enough for everyday driving.

Hyundai says the Equus will cost more than a Genesis and less than a $65,000 Lexus LS 460. As a value proposition that is compelling, since the car is functionally equivalent to established luxury sedans selling for many thousands more. A big difference is that they get a hefty premium for their hood ornaments, while Hyundai receives much less for the stylized "H" riding over the grille.

As acceptance of the Hyundai brand grows, that is likely to change. Until then, the Equus will feel more at home as a car to drive rather than one to be driven in. That's okay with me. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET


Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.