By on December 4, 2015

2011_Hyundai_Equus_--_12-29-2011

I was driving along the other day and I cozied up behind a Hyundai Equus, which is the finest luxury sedan ever manufactured, assuming that you a) work for Hyundai, or b) are a Korean diplomat. I personally think it is merely OK.

And here’s why I think it’s merely OK: the damn thing starts at $62,500 with shipping. Although I realize that’s a discount compared to a Lexus LS or a BMW 7 Series or a Mercedes S-Class, that’s still an enormous amount of money to pay for a Hyundai. I don’t care if the thing has a Baroque-era fountain in the middle of the back seat and a trunk full of precious metals: sixty-two grand is a lot of cash for a subtle design from an unproven luxury car company.

Most people apparently tend to agree with my point of view, because from what I’ve seen, the Equus sells about as well as tangerine-flavored dog food. Sure, there are a few buyers, but there are always a few buyers for anything, like the Suzuki X-90.

But in general, the Equus doesn’t sell very well, and I’m OK with that. Hyundai seems to be OK with that, too, because they don’t devote very much effort to marketing the thing. It’s just sort of there for people who know about it, and not there for people who don’t, which makes up the vast majority of the North American population.

And yet I think we all must admit the Equus is a pretty nice car. Maybe not $62,500 nice, when you consider the brand name, but it’s absolutely loaded: even a base model Equus has tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, automatic wipers, automatic adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a 9-inch center screen with a navigation system, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH lane departure warning, iPod/USB, reclining rear seats. There’s also a 429-horsepower 5-liter V8, which is said to do 0-to-60 in something like 5.8 seconds.

That’s a lot of stuff. Just not enough stuff to get me to consider a $62,500 Hyundai.

But if you put all that stuff in a $28,000 Hyundai, would it become worth considering?

Absolutely.

I happened to be browsing Autotrader the other day, as I often do when I’m bored, and I came across the Hyundai Equus. I don’t know why. Maybe I was searching for cars that have been listed on the site for the longest amount of time without selling.

But anyway, I came across the Equus, and I discovered something: there are, as we speak, nearly 20 different certified pre-owned Equus models on Autotrader for under $30,000. Think about that: these are two-, three-, and four-year-old cars with an original list price of well over $60,000, and you can pick one up today for less than $30,000.

And here’s the kicker: each of these models come with Hyundai’s certified pre-owned warranty, which is really, really good. Five years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage. Ten years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. In other words: if you buy a certified pre-owned 2012 Equus today, you could pay $29,500, you could get all the stuff I’ve described above, and you’d have two years of bumper-to-bumper coverage remaining, along with seven years of powertrain coverage.

Suddenly, this takes the Equus from “wildly unappealing tremendously overpriced car” to “oh my God I can’t believe this thing is such a bargain.” Basically you’re getting an S-Class with a legitimate warranty (Mercedes’ CPO program offers a laughable 1 year of coverage) for less than a third of the price of a new one. At $29,000, who cares if the damn thing has a Hyundai badge on it? The hood ornament could be a diaper, for all I care, and I’d still be interested in buying it.

Now, I realize that all luxury vehicles depreciate, and especially high-end, full-size sedans, which have the secondhand desirability of bedsheets. But in order to get a certified pre-owned S-Class, you have to spend at least $40,000, which is an increase of more than 30 percent compared to our 2012 Equus example. And it only has one year of warranty coverage.

In other words: the Hyundai Equus is the luxury car deal of the century, and you should probably buy one. In fact, even if you weren’t thinking about buying a luxury car, even if you were thinking about buying a Camry, you should probably buy one. Your rear passengers will thank you as they recline their seats while you waft down the road in pure luxury.

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120 Comments on “Doug Drives: Holy Crap The Hyundai Equus is Cheap...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    An interesting proposition for certain.

    Two questions for the B&B…

    How reliable do we expect this sweet ride to be after the warranty runs out?

    And how steep is the depreciation curve from this point? Can we wait another two years and buy it for 12 grand?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The MY14 Equus Signature trades between 25,6 and 34,5 and is still under warranty in some cases. The MSRP was from 61,5 + dest and the complementary maintenance (first owner only) is 3/36. I’d have to do some plotting I don’t feel like doing unless I’m getting a fee, but it will probably keep falling till the 20-23 mark and hold as age and miles deprecate it further but more slowly.

      28CL sez: For the same money, age me two model years and Lex me up.

      MY14 Hyundai Equus Signature V8 RWD

      11/06/15 PA Factory $34,500 4,213 Above SILVER 8G P Yes
      11/10/15 RIVRSIDE Lease $31,250 13,564 Avg GREY 8G A Yes
      12/01/15 ORLANDO Regular $31,000 32,310 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
      12/02/15 NJ Lease $26,900 36,120 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
      11/18/15 MINNEAP Lease $28,300 39,732 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
      11/06/15 NEVADA Lease $25,500 46,068 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
      11/18/15 NJ Lease $25,600 56,279 Avg BLACK 8G O Yes

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Black, Silver or Grey… oh joy! Of course I guess the CPO Merc color list would be similar with the addition of maybe white?

        • 0 avatar
          Chocolatedeath

          I have looked around as well and the ones that 28CL has listed are higher milage. I have seen some on lots with half the mileage for about 6 more grand overall. 2014 with 15k miles is what would be after.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The dealers are probably hanging onto the lower mileage examples for CPO and chucking those near or over warranty. The reason they do this is because a lowered mileage car does not command a $6K premium at auction and you don’t realize this fact (although demand varies by location).

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            These are great deals, but the real impact comes in the form of Genesis pricing, since people actually buy those. At least around me you can get a 2 year old Genesis with around 30k on the clock for low 20s. I’m holding out until we start seeing the ’15+ versions popping up on lots and my wife’s Santa Fe is paid off, then I’ll be replacing my DD with one.

            After selling my Mazda, it would only look like $15k financed, which comes out to $250-300/month, depending on the loan term at current rates. Not too shabby if you ask me.

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    One slight correction: only 5yrs/60k mi of that Hyundai/Kia powertrain warranty transfers to the second and subsequent owners. The 10yr/100k mi is only for the original purchaser.

    This is why my brother drives a Sonata still titled to the original owner (mom), no need to re-title and cut the warranty in half…

  • avatar
    VW16v

    When you added buying a new Camry vs.a used Equus. You sold me. Used Lexus LS 430’s can also be found for under $30k which is also the answer to the purchase of a Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      LS430 better be had for well under 30K, its last MY was what 06? Depending on where you live though there is a desire for FWD over RWD though.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      $30k will get you either the nicest ’08-’09 LS460 on the planet or a decent one from ’11, which is really the year when they started to get awesome (no more major issues).

      It’s also just about enough to buy a good ’08 LS600h if you don’t mind a little junk in the trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I clocked the gas MY12s at mid 30s months ago on the block. By 2016 I expect them to be close to 30.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Agreed. No significant difference between the ’11s and ’12s, though. The MMC came for ’13, and when those drop to the $30k range it will be time for savvy shoppers to look at them.

          The ’11 is really a sweet spot because that was the first year for fixed control arms and brake actuators, two of the Big Three LS460 issues. (The other was the Mark Levinson amp, fixed for ’10.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s why I want the MY12, the last “fixed” version with a bumper.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Got it. I like the ’13 interior refresh enough that I’d put up with the giant fish maw to get it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            M’eh, I need a front bumper. I don’t mean to but I tap things because evidently I forgot how to park at some point in my old age.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            That’s why you set the parking sensors to MAX SCREAM.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Oh yeah those exist now.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I tend to dislike parking sensors b/c the ones I’ve experienced are horrifically inaccurate and quite non-incremental in terms of the relationship of the closeness of impact and severity of alarm.

            Are the LS460 parking sensors accurate?

            Also, I tend to prefer the ride quality of the LS430, which felt more solid & Benz like, compared to the LS460, which I do understand Lexus was trying to “sporten up” and refresh its stodgy image, so this is subjective.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The 460 parking sensors have two modes, “far” (which is for people with no clue who need time to slam on the brake when they’re backing toward an object at 8 mph) and “near.” I use mine in the “near” mode and they are quite accurate so far. I use them every time I drive the car to help guide me into my tight garage spot. When the alarm goes into MAX PANIC mode I’m about four inches from whatever object is causing the alarm.

            I find the 460 to ride like a dream. It’s more controlled than previous LSes (which I find to be a good thing), but in no way is it harsh or sporty. The more I drive the car the more I fall in love with two things: the ride and the engine. The worst big thing about the car is the dull-witted transmission.

        • 0 avatar
          DeeDub

          The next gen (LS500?) has got to be reeeaally close at this point, like MY17 close. I’d expect its arrival to accelerate the depreciation of the 460 beyond what it’s been during its decade as the current generation.

  • avatar

    “Own this oddly-penned and befuddling depreciation machine for the price of a CRV LX!”

    Anyway, the K900 is more unfortnately-named, but infinitely better looking. I also don’t get why people think things like automatic wipers are such bespoke luxury good – a ’97 Park Ave Ultra had them.

    Hyundai also doesn’t sell any of these because – well – have you BEEN to a Hyundai dealer? Its a high-pressue, high-volume mouse house with a showroom full of little round tables filled with pairs of sad people filling out credit applications with a greenpea salesman.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I have driven a K900 and like them alot. I might pick one up CPO in 2 years when I am ready to buy again. The do look really nice.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Couldnt agree more with all of your points. 100% spot on.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Mostly agreed with the Hyundai dealers….although I’ve been inside others that are just as bad. The worst was Ford—by FAR. At least the Hyundai dealer took us down the street to their holding lot to look at colors and went back to grab keys to 3 different cars to open them up. (And we were just browsing) 2 different Ford dealers wanted to bring cars and not let us look.

      The suspension is too soft on the Equus and K900000000000000000 (Seriously why didn’t they just keep it as the Quoris?); load them up with some fat “yanks” and the ass drags about as bad as a Town Car with broken air springs.

      CPO is the only way to go if you’re looking at these cars. I prefer the Genesis more than anything, but no AWD for US bound models with the Tau V8—and no AWD on the KIA K9billion or the Equus.

      In all honesty this is the new Town Car just with a hell of a lot more features–and better engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      I liked my automatic wipers…until they started sweeping while going through the car wash; it turns out the car thought it was raining instead of getting a bath. Heavy wet industrial cloth strips dragging over windshield vs. cast aluminum wiper arm: wiper arm lost that battle.

      With my wallet about $80 lighter after replacing one snapped wiper arm I now remember to turn the auto wipers off before going through the car wash.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “until they started sweeping while going through the car wash; it turns out the car thought it was raining instead of getting a bath”

        That’s why you don’t turn that on in the car wash.

        Everywhere I’ve seen auto-wipers, you have to turn them on; they’re not on by default.

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          My plan was to leave them on “auto” all of the time; set it and forget it. When it rained they would do their thing, when it was not raining they would not.

          Obviously that plan was flawed :-(

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            My auto wipers reset after every ignition cycle. Even if I leave the wipers set to auto when I shut the car off, next time I want to use them I have to move the switch to ‘off’, then back to ‘auto’.

            I was annoyed by this, but thanks to Toad’s tale of woe, now I know why they were implemented that way. Sweet!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m sorry, K900 is way too close to “K19” for me. No sale.

      (But K19 was a vastly underrated film, I’d say…)

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Excellent film, and it’s on my shelf.

        Harrison Ford once said it was his least-favorite performance (maybe the poor Russian accent had something to do with it).

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      HAHA! I find it hilarious to read a car dealer smack talk Hyundai dealers.

      But you’re 100% right. I’ve been to probably a dozen car dealers near me recently, and the Hyundai dealer was the only place that made me feel like I needed a shower after leaving the lot. Just awful.

    • 0 avatar
      JimothyLite

      Hey, ours here in the San Gabriel Valley has free popcorn and hotdogs, and there’s a Krispy Kreme nearby! When you buy a car from them, you get to gong a big bell in the middle of the sales floor! Sold!

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        I worked a large Chevy dealer in NJ several years ago and one idiot hot-shot salesman had one of those red “that was easy” buttons with the recorded message………..whenever he sold a car he would slap the button so everyone heard the “that was easy” message……..complete jerkoff.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “I also don’t get why people think things like automatic wipers are such bespoke luxury good – a ’97 Park Ave Ultra had them.”

      Are you saying a ’97 Park Ave wasn’t a bespoke luxury good?

  • avatar
    319583076

    CPO Mercedes buyers get the balance of the original warranty (usually 48 mos/50,000 miles) and the additional 1 year/unlimited CPO warranty picks up when the original warranty expires.

    Doug wrote it as if a CPO Mercedes buyer gets only 1 year of warranty coverage, which isn’t true. I think CPO Mercs are required to be less than 15 months old, so you essentially get 4 years of warranty coverage.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Mercedes CPO is a bit unusual. The year is “Base” CPO which covers more than 24 month CPO which you get afterwards. The car can be way older than 15 months. 7 years old was the cutoff the last time I looked, but you only get the remainder of the warranty. If a dealer choose to CPO a car 6 years, 11 months old, you would only get 1 month of the 24 month CPO warranty. Most CPO Mercedes will be about 2-3 years old. That’s when it’s the most worthwhile for the dealer.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Certified warranty yes, but do the dealers know how to work on these? They work on Elantras and Sonatas all day, how often do they see these?

    At a Lexus dealer, they see GS’s and LS’s every day.

    Anyway, still sounds like a interesting choice vs. a loaded midsize family sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I’m sure each dealer has one experienced guy who is the tech for these. I don’t think the 17 year old apprentice is working on these.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Don’t be so sure.

        When I considered buying a 2006 low mileage VW Phaeton in 2009 for less than $27k on a crazy whim (which I quickly realized was insanity), there were no “certified Phaeton technicians” at any VW dealer within 100 miles of my house.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          That’s strange. When I worked at a vw dealer when I was starting out, our foreman was phaeton certified and was the only one to work on them.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You worked at a VW Dealer?

            Woe…the things you must have seen…

            I’d buy you many rounds (an honest tech saved my sanity when stealership and then VW Corporate both insisted my then girlfriend’s 2006 Passat 2.0T – now the CC – was within “spec” while consuming 1 qt of synthetic oil every 800 miles).

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Yeah, it was my first job as a tech. That dealership was a joke. I was 19, just had two classes done at school. I was supposed to be an apprentice for a guy. He quit a week after I started. After that I was thrown into the mix, and left to figure things out on my own. I’m going to avoid mentioning their name, but I left after about 7 months.

            Yes, I did see a whole bunch.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You have insane thoughts? Not gonna buy it :)

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Bill Cook (Suburban VW Farmington Hills now) had a certified Phaeton tech.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            NOW you tell me!

            j/k

            Bill Cook is really shady (the one on Drake).

            Then again, they ARE a new vehicle dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        Even if the Hyundai dealers do have one guy, how much practice does he get? How many of these do you think a Hyundai service department sees?

        The Lexus techs work on Lexi every day, they gets lots of practice and should be very familiar with those vehicles. They can probably do many common repairs in their sleep.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Sounds like a great idea, however we have no idea how steep depreciation is in next two years. $30K plus off new car price sounds great, but suppose I drive this two more years and its down to $15K. Was that a good deal? The major cost in owning a car is depreciation and until you have a good guess on the depreciation, the COST of owning a used Equus might still be more that you bargained for.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I doubt that it would drop that much that quickly. Remember cars have a tendency to level out after about 8 years. Since he is speaking of a 2012 model the depreciation should slow down around that time. I would give it 18-20k.

  • avatar

    I have to admit, that looks like a deal for sure! Some research on the model is in order but yeah, it’s hard to deprecate that depreciation.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Would rather have my seven-year-old LS460 than one of these. The interior materials are nicer and the ride/handling refinement is in another league. For this money you can get a slightly newer LS with a CPO warranty that can be extended for a stupendously long time.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      I agree on the LS but would have to differ on the ES which is, IMHO not really worthy of the Lexus badge. I’m sure they will last forever but the ride and interior quality simply don’t live up to the Lexus brand name.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I’m confused… I didn’t mention the ES?

        An ES is a Camry with non-cost-cut interior materials. A good value for what it is, but not really a proper luxury car.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    “In other words: the Hyundai Equus is the luxury car deal of the century, and you should probably buy one.”

    No! Nein! Nyet!

    Even as a used car guy, I would take a brand new leftover 2015 Accord Hybrid for $30,000 before I would even breathe on a four year old Hyundai Equus. This model tried to take the same aim as the XTS ($20k cheaper than a loaded LS/S-Class) with the same substandard real world results.

    They’re cheap because they’re not really good compared to the competition. K900 is the same deal. You can’t cheap out on luxury and get the sales – new or used.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Thanks.

      I agree.

      The Genesis (new gen with properly designed suspension) is likely to be a better sedan, overall, than the Equus, and on top of that more reliable, also, as it’s as if they merely stuffed ridiculous features (expensive to fix when they break) into the Equus in order to separate it more clearly in the KDM, where its used by Korean VIPs to be chauffeured in.

      Also, I’ve sat in these a few times, and each and every time, the Equus name strikes me as making sense because it literally (LITERALLY IN ARCHER VOICEOVER) smells like a horse glue factory once the outside air is shut out (I got high).

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        There’s just something about the particular smell of Hyundai/Kia interior plastics that I find abhorrent. The last one I was in was a ’12 Sorento loaner my Dad drove while his Accord got body work done. He agreed it just smelled like cheapness, and you find yourself not breathing as deep when you’re in there, causing light-headedness.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Is it unreliable or is it just not as refined as the competition?

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        The Accord is really like a Lexus in the upper trims and it offers twice the fuel economy of the Equus with no substantial loss in refinement.

        I also think the interior wear on the Accord would be less than the Hyundai over the course of time. We see a lot of wear issues on the Genesis at the auctions. The Equus actually does decently in this department but they also tend to be lower mileage units than either of the two.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The Equus are so few in number minute U.S., as well as relatively new, I’m not sure that anyone has compiled statistically credible reliability data on it.

        The Genesis has fared above average according to CR, and while I found the pre-2015 one to be severely marred by a poor suspension design in both the front and rear, Hyundai seems to have excoriated those suspension flaws completely in the 2015 generation, which I find to be a very good vehicle for the $$$ and very competitive in its segment (I honestly think it’s more refined, has better materials, and is likely to be more reliable long term than a more expensive Cadillac CTS, plus it has a much better standard motor than the CTS (which has a base 4 banger)- while being about the same price as the dreadful ATS).

  • avatar
    dwford

    The Equus and the K900 are still RWD only, which definitely limits potential sales in much of the country. For me the sleeper used car from Hyundai/Kia is the Kia Cadenza. You can get loaded 2014’s for $25k vs $40k new. You’ll still get that warranty, and you’ll get all those toys and FWD for winter.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I don’t get why people are so afraid of RWD in the winter. With a proper set of winter tires, RWD is perfectly acceptable. My wagon had absolutely no issues a couple weeks ago when we got surprised with a foot.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Even swapping out snow tires mounted on separate wheels (the easiest way) 2x a year does get old.

        I say this as a non-lazy, but soon big 4-0 person, who has done it for 10 years now.

        It’s not just the actual swapping in late November and end of March, but time and energy spent on selecting snow tires every 3-4 years, etc.

        This is why my next car is likely to be AWD, and for other reasons (Michigan road conditions sorry a$$ state) a cruising tank and isolation chamber of a beast.

        I will say that a 50/50 weight distributed sports car with a stick and Nokians or equivalently aggressive snow tires can do incredibly capable things in the snow that most would have to experience to believe.

        Good snow tires > AWD in snow

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd1983

        I live in the lower great plains, we get about 2 weeks of snow on the ground per year. Enough that people panic at the thought of driving in it every year, but not nearly enough for anyone to buy snow tires.

        I’ve been helping a friend shop for a lightly used Genesis, but he won’t unless it’s an AWD model. I think he’ll probably eventually give up and just buy an Azera or Cadenza.

        Yes, for enthusiasts RWD is nice, but everyone else, who lives anywhere where it rains and snows, just considers it a negative.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          I’m not even talking about the dynamic advantages of RWD since that’s obviously not the target of an Equus. Just saying it’s not really a winter drawback the way people think. I bet if I let two people drive two identical E classes with the exception of RWD and AWD most people wouldn’t even be able to identify which is which.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            It’s not that simple. A car isn’t a fixed object, it moves around the country, lots of different climates. Not to mention AWD helps in rain/slick conditions quite a bit as well.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            It is that simple. If the RWD car with winter tires isn’t sufficient for the environment, AWD won’t help much either, because at that point we’re talking areas that require ground clearance a car cannot provide.

            If you are driving fast enough that you need AWD to keep you going in the rain, you’ll be in a world of hurt during braking.

      • 0 avatar
        Waftable Torque

        For me, I hate RWD winter driving because so much depends on stability control and traction control to keep the car in control.

        I usually prefer to accelerate from an icy intersection with the transmission in Snow mode (i.e. 2nd gear) and traction control off. My car is too aggressive in stopping wheelspin, yet the coefficient of friction for winter tires actually increases with slippage (up to a point, I think ~150%).

        But you can’t leave it with t/c off, otherwise the car at speed can be caught in an oversteer situation that’s a b&$#& to counter without the electronic nannies.

        During the first big snowfall last month, I took my RWD out and thought it was a slog on my awesome X-Ice Xi2’s. Then I took my FWD with 13 year old old-school Hankook W401’s winters that were worn down to 6/32″ and had the time of my life even at 75% the traction of the Michelin’s.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Hey, I appreciate a good RWD setup as much as the next guy, but AWD/4×4 is really nice in adverse conditions. It’s not like I’ll wipe out and crash without it, but it just makes driving less stressful and easier. Much less mental labor for me.

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          I think the RWD with snow tires over AWD recommendation is one of the more egregious examples of “car guys” being out of touch with the general populace.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            A few things to consider:

            1) Snow tires (true ones) have gotten much, much better, starting with Blizzaks & Nokians, using silica in the compound, more aggressive blocking, siping, etc. The best snow tires today are analogous to semiconductors today versus those of 20 years ago.

            2) Electronic stability control – Effective systems really are remarkable, especially coup,ed with true limited slip differential on a rwd car, especially if its a near or at 50/50 weight distributed one. I’d contend a well-conducted study would find ESC has prevented more accidents and saved not injuries/lives than ABS and airbags together; it’s just that ESC prevents accidents from happening, whereas airbags deploy upon a collision taking place, so ESC’s benefits are harder to quantify and appreciate.

            3) Traction control (even more so with a stick, IMO).

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        “I don’t get why people are so afraid of RWD in the winter.”

        If you have a long, gravel, steep, curving driveway, then an RWD car would be a paperweight for weeks at a time. FWD with *really good* snows will barely get out of my driveway a lot of the time; I was myself looking at the depreciation on K900s and drooling, but the thought of a RWD car with 400hp and reportedly lousy TC trying to get out of the odd off-camber uphill curve through trees immediately sobered me. Front wheel drive at least you have a fighting chance, but with weight distribution the lack of traction in a RWD vehicle makes them completely untenable for me.

        Hell, even FWD is bad because one slick spot turns it into zero-wheel-drive.

        I will grant, however, that I am an edge case, and that if I lived with a normal 50 foot long, flat, paved driveway, I would be hiding behind Kia dealerships with military binoculars waiting for a K900 to show up.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          I’m also assuming you are driving something with some ground clearance.

          It’s not about being a car guy. My point was that avoiding a car you want because it only comes in RWD is pointless. As I said earlier, I bet most people couldn’t tell the difference between AWD and RWD in otherwise identical E classes. I live on a steep cul de sac and have to avoid drive around the trees in the center, and then make a steep turn onto the driveway. I had less problems then neighbor in his Envoy. He also has a straight shot up. How did people ever survive winters in 70s and before with RWD, solid axles, and no traction control?

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “How did people ever survive winters in 70s and before with RWD, solid axles, and no traction control?”

            Based on my parents’ recollection, it involved studded tires, trunks loaded with kitty litter, and frequent fender benders. I lived in Vermont for several years, and no one is going to convince me that I would have been better off with RWD instead of an AWD A4 with good tires.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            “I don’t get why people are so afraid of RWD in the winter.”/”How did people ever survive winters in 70s and before with RWD, solid axles, and no traction control?”

            Probably by enduring much inconvenience. I’ll add using chains to JD23’s list. I suspect this is why RWD has the reputation that it does – baby boomers who had to make do with inferior tire tech and without traction/stability control.

            FWD became more common and that demographic found it easier and spread the word. Then they had kids and moved into SUVs and everyone talked about how much of a help AWD/4WD was. I don’t think many people gave much thought to stopping and turning; the first time they barreled out of their driveway without shoveling they were sold.

            In the meantime, their kids grew up on a steady diet of FWD and AWD, with RWD being some ancient design that their parents would complain about using in any inclement weather.

            Now here we are. RWD=bad in weather is now “common knowledge” for people who don’t care about cars. Combine this with RWD only being available on sports/muscle/luxury cars, the Charger, and pickup trucks (I bet only fleets and people that tow buy 2WD pickup trucks) and there are few opportunities to try RWD and discover that the car doesn’t instantly spin off the road the second the first snowflake hits. You’re basically a rebel if you own a RWD car in snow country.

            It doesn’t help that some people who do own RWD aren’t aware of snow tires. I once worked with someone who owned a G35 and would abandon his car at work and find another way home over a dusting, because “it’s a light RWD sports car and therefor can’t move in the snow.” Nevermind that it was wearing summer tires. This person’s friends hear this story and stick with FWD/AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The lack of available AWD likely prevents an additional 40% of sales.

      The current Equus is on its last legs and while a decent effort, doesn’t hold a candle to the 2G Genesis, much less (based on the early indicators) its replacement, the G90.

      Even with some prospective buyers waiting for the G90 or opting for a loaded Genesis (or even the K900), Hyundai sold 798 of the Equus in the past 4 months.

      Kia did better with the K900 selling 1,172 of the K900 during the past 4 months – so together, the 2 sold 1,970.

      In that time-frame, Audi sold 1,631 of the A8.

      Jaguar – 1,212 of the XJ.

      Lexus – 1,979 of the LS.

      At its height, the Equus sold about 4k in the US.

      The G90 with better sheetmetal, a more luxurious interior and the addition of AWD and a TTV6 engine should increase sales by at least 25%, if not more.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    http://tinyurl.com/nan73u5

    CPO Equus & Genesis within 500 miles of me. Pretty tempting.

  • avatar
    n_tesla

    The only thing better than the deprecation on the Equus is how it pushes down the Genesis’ resale value. I bought an 11 V-8 with 36k for a little under $20k. Pretty happy with that. One thing that confuses me is why big Hyundai’s get compared to S and LS Class cars. They sell at Buick and Acura prices new.

    nels300 asked the $1m question. Do dealers know how to work on them? The answer is maybe. I needed to call Hyundai US to get a recommendation for a servicing dealer. I now have a Genesis concierge at HQ named Randy that helped out with my Nav Map update.

  • avatar
    MBella

    It seems if you can find one with low miles and about 2 years old, it might be a great deal, especially if you get about 3 years and 30,000 miles of bumper to bumper warranty on the thing.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Sixty-two grand is ALSO a lot of cash for a car with a pointless Buick-esque character line that makes the rear door handles look like they’re crooked or falling off of the car. It’s an awkward design choice that’s always bugged me.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Autonation is listing new 2015 Equus’s (Equuii, Equimi? Eqamish?) for $53K. Does that move the needle for folks, or is it meaningless without the SlantL/Propeller/triStar on the hood?

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    I’m curious to see how these and most new Hyundai/Kias hold up over the long term. They are inexpensive for a reason so I’m guessing there is some skimping on part quality. I am optimistic though as they seem to be making great strides in terms of design and vehicle dynamics.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Having had excellent experience with three previous Hyundais I nearly bought a half-price CPO Genesis last year. Unfortunately for a “premium” car it shared the same clumsy suspension as lesser models, and the same tendency to display ugly rusty hardware behind the wheels and undercarriage after one or two winters. It was also surprisingly skittish in snow, even for this RWD veteran.

    The thing is, there are other used premium-car bargains that don’t make these sacrifices. The Chrysler 300C and Volvo S80 come to mind. Both are commonly available for half-price with very low mileage, and both offer solid driving dynamics and (in the case of the Volvo) much better material quality.

    Good value doesn’t have to feel cheap, in fact by definition it shouldn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      The Volvo also sports the best CPO warranty in the industry.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        Agreed. I actually ended up with a CPO Volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Just looking at the bullet points, it seems pretty comparable to what you get with a CPO Mercedes. With the Mercedes CPO warranty you will also have almost everything covered that the new car warranty would cover. The Volvo warranty seems to be similar to the 24 month CPO you get for the last 2 years on a Mercedes. Mercedes also has unlimited mileage for the first CPO purchaser. Still, with the new volvos looking desirable, it might be a good choice.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I have no doubt this is a nice car, but it’s just too much money for a Hyundai sedan. I get what they are trying to do with a budget S-Class, but it doesn’t really work.

    This is essentially the same price as a well equipped E-Class or 5-Series or A6 which the crowd who like the S but can’t afford it will choose.

    It’s problem is also that it’s a sedan. For the same money, one can get a well equipped ML or very well equipped MDX or a loaded up Suburban or Yukon Denali or something like that. The SUVs just offer more value, more space, more capability and capacity. Better bang for the buck, which attracts those who would consider Hyundai because they’re after value.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Do projector housings have to be so overly pronounced? They made a good looking car and ruined it by the hideous lamps that draw all your attention.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I feel the same way about this car and the Genesis (having rented a number of Genesis and sat in an Equus) – it look like a Lexus ’til a real Lexus roll up. And I don’t particularly like Lexus. No sale no matter how cheap it is.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    This is the last relic of old Hyundai, from the 2nd dynasty of We Can Make Cars Loaded AND Reliable (but not desirable). The ’15 Genesis is a superior car in every way to the Equus, but this old horse has done its job. People have had years to wrap their head around the idea of $60+k Hyundais and at last the Genesis luxury brand will launch.

    This car is a great deal – for those desperately searching for a suitable Town Car replacement. In a way the Equus carries the torch Cadillac dropped years ago. It’s big, powerful, soft and comfy. The few I see are piloted by the elderly and I imagine they are relieved to find perhaps the last big RWD cruiser that can be bought new today. Next year the G90 replaces this and Hyundai truly enters its 3rd dynasty, Making Cars People May Actually Want.

  • avatar
    n_tesla

    Doug, you’ve reported on interesting/tragically flawed vehicles before. Range Rover stories almost write themselves. How about challenging your mad skills and buying two luxury vehicles for less than the price of one new one and having a “boring off”? Stop by the service departments and introduce yourself; never see them again. Suffer through the ownership of cars that meet their implied warranties of being functional transportation devices. Have sleepovers in the back. Go camping. Drive for Uber. Then off them on Craigslist in the Missed Connections section. Live that baller lifestyle at Rent to Own prices!

  • avatar
    stuki

    $15K manual Passats and $30K S Class imitations! Who cares if the car world’s going stilt?

  • avatar

    It’s a great car if you strip all the badges off of it and forget it’s not German.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Holy crap! 2011-2012 Equuii in the Seattle are selling for $22K to $24K on Craig’s List at dealers. Real dealers – not hooptie we tote the note lots.

    That is a Hell of a lot of car for $23Kish.

  • avatar
    stereorobb

    Longterm reliability on these is something that interests me as well.. whats the equus, genesis and k900 going to look like ten or fifteen years from now going down the road, if they even hold up that long. Hyundai kia cars do not hold up well. I work at a car dealership and used to get these in all the time when I was a salesman. the 07-2014ish sonatas do not hold up well at all, we had a 2012 come in on trade with only 40k on it that was really well cared for that already felt more wore out than my 20 year old, 245k mile lexus Ls400.

    no doubt the equus is a damn nice car, however they do still feel a little cheap. I took one on a 100 mile round trip and its nice on the highway and has plenty of power, but its no Lexus Ls460. and to be honest, the styling of the equus already seems a bit dated from both the circa 2006 Ls430ish front end to the mid 1990sish looking side profile. still a nice car but I have a feeling these will be absolute garbage when they get old.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      For what it’s worth we’ve kept two Hyundais to the five-year mark, and neither showed any signs of aging. They were as tight, trouble-free, and cosmetically “new” inside and out as the day we brought them home. Visit any Hyundai forum and there’s a good number of satisfied owners in the 150,000+ mile club.

      Weak areas? As mentioned above the undercarriage bits are prone to premature rust when exposed to road salt. But the same can be said of many brands, including Lexus/Toyota. Also, Hyundai owners are not known to be passionate about caring for their cars, which might explain a more tired-than-average look on the typical used lot.

  • avatar
    John

    It appears Mr. DeMuro has never driven an Equus. It appears he has never sat in an Equus. Is his only qualification for writing an article the fact that he has seen one while driving another car, and looked them up on the interwebs? If so, I’m qualified to write a critical article about particle accelerators.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Does he need experience in an Equus to write this? Why would anyone need ‘qualifications’ to shoot the sh!t about cars? It wasn’t a serious critical article; it’s fun to browse autotrader and consider the possibilities.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      I tend to agree, but to be fair to Doug, I *have* driven two Equui (Budget is happy to rent them to you at San Diego Airport) and basically came to the same conclusion he did. The car is not even close to a 5-series / E-class in driving refinement. The suspension in particular feels like it was not tuned at all, and the interior *looks* good but feels chintzy.

      As an $30k alternative to a loaded Camry or V-6 Accord, though, I can see the appeal.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I’ll just go on dreaming of the slightly older Lexus GS, with AWD for the wife… because she’ll steal it for sure.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Equus, since my time in Korea. If I had people to move, and wanted to spend $30K, this would be high on my list. And I like that it’s so rare – not something you see every day.

    The only problem is that I’d rather be in the back of the car. What’s the point of buying a full-size luxury car if you have to drive yourself around?

  • avatar
    qlopp

    You’re pretty excited about the paper terms of that great warranty, but realize the downfall is that it is “honored” by Hyundai USA. Real world warranty experiences with Hyundai and Kia are very poor. Complaints are not corroborated by the dealerships, as if by magic. Part failures are all of a sudden not covered for some reason. Their tires for life program was an absolute joke. Good luck going up the chain to corporate with a complaint.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      And yet, Hyundai consistently rates higher than the Japanese brands in CSI scores according to JD Power, not to mention having one of the highest owner loyalty rates.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Wouldn’t the K900 then be an even better deal? It should depreciate more than the Equus being from an even less “luxury” brand.


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