Doug Drives: Holy Crap The Hyundai Equus is Cheap

Doug DeMuro
by Doug DeMuro
doug drives holy crap the hyundai equus is cheap

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?


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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  • Qlopp Qlopp on Dec 05, 2015

    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.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on Dec 07, 2015

      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.

  • Frylock350 Frylock350 on Dec 07, 2015

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

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.