By on May 29, 2020

Commenter Chocolatedeath is absolutely adamant we talk about today’s trio of unpopular sedans. They’ve all got V8s, rear-drive, and found few buyers in their day, but that won’t stop us from choosing one among them to take home.

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at Chocolatedeath’s car comparison, shall we?

Hyundai Equus

Believe it or not, the Equus debuted a full decade ago at the 2010 New York Auto Show. The second-generation Equus was the first to arrive in North America, and did so for the 2011 model year with a large 4.6-liter V8 engine. Only first-year versions had the 4.6L; after that the top-spec 5.0-liter Tau V8 took its place.

Important engine figures included 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque (if filled with premium fuel). The Equus was 203 inches long in sedan guise, but the available limo version was not imported to North America. All-wheel drive was never an option with Equus, and all versions utilized the same eight-speed automatic between 2012 and 2016. Equus was replaced in 2017 by the superior Genesis G90.

Infiniti Q70

The Q70’s design hailed from 2011, when two new versions of the brand’s M sedan debuted as the M35 and M56. Underneath, the new M used an “enhanced” and stretched version of Nissan’s rear-drive FM platform that debuted with the G35 in 2003. With new, swoopy styling replacing the blocky looks of the outgoing M, the new M became the (two inches) larger car it always wanted to be.

There was a slight refresh and name change in 2013 as Infiniti transitioned from various alphabet soup to Q-everything. The M37 became Q70 3.7, the M56 became Q70 5.6, and exterior length remained the same at 194.7 inches. A long-wheelbase version was available from 2014 onward. Four-wheel drive was also optional, making the Q70’s configurations the most comprehensive of our trio. Today’s selection is the Q70 5.6, in standard wheelbase and with rear-drive. A seven-speed auto sends 420 horses and 417 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. The Q70 was cancelled after the 2019 model year without replacement, because Infiniti has never once proffered a large(ish) luxury sedan customers wanted to buy.

Kia K900

At home the K900 was named K9, but for North America a couple zeroes were added to its badge. New for the 2013 model year, the K900 shared a platform with the above Equus as well as the smaller, first-generation Genesis sedan. The 200-inch K900 benefited from a later introduction than the Equus, and used the same GDI version of the 5.0-liter Tau V8.

Much like the Equus, the K900 used an eight-speed automatic transmission, and was available only in rear-drive configuration. Unlike the Equus, the K900 wore big KIA badges on it, which tended to ruin any luxury aspirations. This issue was reflected in Canadian sales figures, which totaled 96 between 2014 and 2018. The K900 was replaced in 2019 by a second generation which looks more upscale and Mercedes-Bentley like.

Two large sedans, one large-medium sedan, limited consumer desirability. Which one gets the Buy in 2016?

[Images: Kia, Infiniti, Hyundai]

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76 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: Unpopular V8 Sedans From 2016...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Buy: The Infiniti. I don’t mind the exterior styling, although the interior was already very dated (using the same style for over a decade now) by 2016. Plus they don’t drive all that badly.

    DRIVE the Hyundai into a pit filled with flaming gasoline where the Kia is BURNing and take care of both of those miserable wanna-be luxury cars. At least Genesis might have a shot compared to these first timers.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      TheFlyer:

      2nd paragraph, i stopped. Looked at your name, While scrolling up i thought, ‘is DEADWeight back?’

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        Nah, not him!

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          You’re too sane to be him ;-)

          I have a theory that with all that’s going on in the world his head finally just exploded

          • 0 avatar
            Runfromcheney

            The Genesis brand was supposed to be launched in 2009 with the first-gen sedan but the Great Recession made Hyundai put it on hold and sell the Genesis as a Hyundai to test the waters. Given that it was decent and knowing it was originally supposed to be sold under a separate luxury brand makes the Equus more forgivable than the XG/Amati.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Hyundai never intended to sell the Equus in NA, but were surprised by the interest, which propelled them to make the revisions to meet US and Canadian regulatory standards.

      Neither the Equus nor the K900 were available w/ AWD, so Q70.

      But the much better G90 (compared to the Equus) actually went on sale in the US in the fall of 2016 (as a 2017MY), so technically it fits the requirement.

  • avatar
    JFINLEY

    Buy: Infiniti
    Drive: Equus
    Burn: K900

    I only chose the K900 to burn, because the resale value is worse than the Equss.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      I don’t think “Sell” is one of the options.

      Maybe we need to do a “Buy/Drive/Sell/Burn” game with the Chev SS added in?

    • 0 avatar
      Drew8MR

      Yeah, but you can buy one for like $15K. There’s a 44K mile one near me for $17k. That’s alot of car for the money. I’d probably buy an Avalon for the same money, but that doesn’t make the 900 a bad deal at all.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        I’d wait until the 2G K900 becomes more of a bargain.

        Don’t care at all for the sheetmetal, but the interior is really nice and drives a lot better than the 1G.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The Infiniti is the definite buy here. Personally, I’d burn the Equus and the Kia, but in the end, the Kia would get the torch by dent of it having the most laughable celebrity endorsement ever.

    youtube.com/watch?v=euK5DnDoQxs

    (The J-Lo Fiat ad is a close second)

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Buy the Equus, drive the K900 and burn the Q70 because although I happen to like the exterior styling of the Q70 it is a horribly outdated vehicle that drives like a Chevrolet Caprice.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I was getting excited to see the best unpopular V8 sedan from 2016 on this list, the Chevy SS.

    Barring that, like most here I’d buy the Nissan and take a toss up between the other two.

  • avatar

    This grouping is a real no-win.

    The Q70 feels very old, drives badly, and has an old interior.

    The Equus is an early 00s H/K product and feels cheap at hand. The interior is poor.

    The K900 is ugly and says Kia on it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Sorry, it is impossible to answer this one accurately while playing by the rules.

    Drive: Infiniti, purely because it has the best-sounding engine of this group and will engage in tail-out antics.
    Burn: Kia, which is an OK place to sit with the car off but may have the worst dynamics of any expensive car sold in the 2010s.
    Burn: Hyundai, which doesn’t have an interior appropriate for a Sonata, let alone this class.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    This is actually pretty easy for me-

    -Buy the K900 because it looks just like my dearly departed Lexus GS.
    -Drive the Equus because I actually HAVE driven one (when I owned a Lexus LS) and it was excellent.
    -Burn the Infiniti because it has always looked oddly bulbous to me.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Buy: None of them, just like the rest of the automotive public.
    Drive: The Infiniti – if only because its lousy name isn’t as bad as Horsey and Doggie.
    Crush (we’re recycling, even in our imaginations, not dumping a load of nasty toxics into the air) The Hyundai and the Kia. Nice try, H/K, but these came up as short as the Pony did in a world of Corollas.

    And by the way, it’s “without further ado”, not “adeiu”. That’s almost as big a faux pas as naming a luxury car “K900” or “Equus”.
    (Another aside: Celine Dion is a fan of the Equus… because it reminds her of herself.)

  • avatar
    iNeon

    These are cars only other people drive.

    They’re intended for temporary use by middlemen and are sold-off after they’re not generically-acceptable as one-rung above a client’s objects.

    Vehicular lobby furniture.

    One will never find corporate surplus in my possession. Ew.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    No Cadillac CT6?

    Ok

    Buy the Hyundai

    Drive the Infiniti

    Burn the Kia

  • avatar
    mankyman

    Why all the hate for the Hyundai? I have a 2015 5.0 Genesis and it’s an excellent car. And the Infiniti looks like a dog’s bottom.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ^^ Lol ^^ :)

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      Yeah my Dad has a 2014 (I think) Genesis since new and he loves it. He has even converted a couple of his friends. I’ve only ridden in it, but perfectly nice vehicle.
      Automatically dismissing the Koreans seems sort of arrogant, and look how well that worked out back around 1990…….

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Q: Why all the hate for Hyundai?

      A: Badge snobbery and stereotyping. Only wannabes with low credit scores buy a Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, or Infiniti. They can’t afford *real* quality.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The generation of Genesis you have was the first one with a segment-acceptable interior. The Equus was older, and looked inside like the generation of Genesis before yours–that is, cheap.

      The K900 is nicer inside, but is ugly and has bad suspension tuning.

      • 0 avatar
        mankyman

        Ok, that makes sense then. Never seen the inside of a gen 1 Genesis, and yes, the Kia is ugly. Rare too. I’ve only seen one K900 in the wild.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Equus 5.0L was a decent car. I have no idea what everyone is slamming it for.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The ’15MY Genesis is a marked improvement over the “1st gen” (for the US) models.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    This challenge is like a Nuclear War…The only way to truly win is not to play. But I’ll play.

    I’m going to buy the Infiniti. It is based on the old G35 and I have a friend that owns a frighteningly fast example of one of those with a turbo that probably has enough power to light up Chicago. Yes, this is a V8, but the availability of go fast Nissan Stuff is higher than the others. Yeah, it’s splitting hairs, but this really isn’t the sort of ride I enjoy so I’m grasping at straws.

    Drive the Genesis. It looks like it would be comfortable on a long highway haul and it actually manages to look kind of expensive.

    Burn the Kia. Looks like any of the FWD Kia sedans that KIA dealers in my area are screaming about in ads and attempting to unload on people who have no credit, but do have a job and a pulse.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Wow – a shocking reminder of just how irrelevant these cars have become.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buy the Equus. I like this car and I think a lot of you guys are being way too hard on it.

    Drive the Q70. I like the engine. Never driven one but I’ve rarely heard great things about it.

    Burn the Kia. Isn’t bad but softer and blander than I’d like.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you ever touched an Equus?

      2004 DTS feels.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’ve not been in a 2004 DTS in a long time, but in the brief time I’ve spend with one I think the Equus was fine. The wood is real, the aluminum is real, the suede headliner is real. The electronics and screen respond with reasonable speed. I don’t recall any creaking or egregious panel gaps.

        Some of the switchgear needed work and it’s not up to S-class level, but it wasn’t a $100K car either. Just kind of old feeling. Was the interior of a 2015 5-Series or E-class really worlds better?

        It also had a 429hp engine with an especially smooth, linear power delivery. Probably better than what current and short-term future Genesis products will be receiving.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Orange Man Bad.

    Nobody said it in a while.

    I piped in.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Don’t let your politics distract you from the fact that In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them….maybe you can hire The A-Team.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        And you too can take a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade, to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless. In a world of criminals who operate above the law…

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          “The day will come when the notion of car ownership becomes antiquated. If you live in a city, you don’t need to own a car.” – William Clay Ford, Jr.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I don’t need a car now since my friend Hector is running three Honda Civics with Spoon engines. On top of that, he just came into Harry’s and ordered three T66 turbos with NOS and a Motec system exhaust.

            Hector would let me run one of his Civics

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        1972!? Art, those guys are pushing 80- 90, more like the geriatric team now

        Is D B Cooper still jumping out of planes or falling out of wheelchairs?

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Mr. T would still whip that @$$ though.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          And don’t let the fact that he is old now distract you from the the fact that in 1966, Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, Bubba “Spare Tire” Dixon.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            “When we’re in a peak, we make a ton of money, and as soon as we make a ton of money, we’re desperately looking for a way to spend it. And we diversify into areas that, frankly, we don’t know how to run very well.” – William Clay Ford, Jr.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            And I thought MY brain was filled with useless trivia. You win, Art :)

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years.

            -Ross Perot

            Not sure if he’s talking about the entity known as “Motors Liquidation” or “New not bankrupt GM” though.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            “Whenever I’m at a party, people are always telling me either to get a new quarterback or make the Taurus back seat bigger.” – William Clay Ford, Jr.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Any Al Bundy reference is always welcome and usually relevant.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Troll on toolguy. Nobody cares. I can’t fathom the QB bit though…Matthew Stafford is about all that is right with the Lions.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Arthur this shall be my strategy moving forward when the imbicile brigade tries to hijack non political threads. I get it, UAW, Covid…those threads will spark that discussion, but man alive this is a drive buy burn.

            And Toolguy knows I prefer Ford and is trolling…whatever. I’ll have one less if my E39 540i manual comes through:) …one of the few rides I’d give up my Fiesta ST for.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Buy: Infinity Q70, the Rodney Dangerfield of Japanese luxury sedans. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for these cars, especially the first-gen M35 offered here in the USA.

    Drive: Kia K900, just to see how it compares to the only other large Kia I’ve owned, a 2005 Sedona which saw both of its rear slider door handles break off, yet was otherwise solid (and heavy) as a brick. Despite its mass it had fairly good acceleration off the line, likely owing to a fairly low first gear, which circularly was likely owing to its mass.

    Burn: Hyundai Equus, with a name and face that only a horse’s mother could love.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Buy and drive them all, nothing like a V8, and they will all be gone soon.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Nothing with a V8 and right wheel drive should be burned, but for having that going for them all three of these duds are pretty underwhelming. And if they can’t sell one to me then who?

    Buy. Nissan. I sort of like this one. Great V8, I don’t care how old it is, and the horrible proportions of a midsize with a 60″ roofline also mean it has a pretty good driving position. Being a foot longer and four inches wider would fix a lot.

    Buy second. Hyundai. Big enough to have some presence. Knockoff front end at least shows they understood who they should be knocking off. I don’t like the brand, but I dislike it less than Kia.

    Buy third. Kia. It’s a Kia.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      My uncle had both a V468 Cadillac and an Olds 350 diesel. He likely disagrees.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I don’t have a good way to juxtapose that nothing with a V8 and RWD should ever be burned while pretty well everything from 1976-1990 should be.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          My ’76 Grand Prix with the 455 V8 begs to differ. All 200 horses of it :(

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Lie2me: just rip out all the pollution control equipment or sway in a different engine. I still maintain that peak Brougham Era PLC’s with an engines swap may represent the ultimate vehicle in the near future.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Preludes and Fox Bodies should be allowed to live. Those old Preludes were just some of the best engineered cars I’ve encountered and were fun and “peak Japan” IMHO.

          And sometimes you need to rip a 1/4 mile on the cheap so save the fox bodies.

          • 0 avatar

            BDB 1994, design classics:

            Fox 5.0
            Prelude Si
            300 ZX

          • 0 avatar
            theflyersfan

            Can’t reply to Corey’s post…

            If you manage to wedge an RX-7 into that mix, heads will explode.

            Or save the Z and do a 1994 (or 5) 300ZX Twin Turbo, RX-7 Turbo, and Supra Turbo and let us at it!

            Peak Japan, cars we all miss and are appreciating in value if you find the right one.

          • 0 avatar

            Unfortunately we did Supra/300ZX/RX7 already!

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/08/buy-drive-burn-japanese-sports-cars-from-1995/

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Buy: Prelude VTEC (you didn’t REALLY mean Si, did you??)
            Drive: 300 ZX
            Burn: Fox body, to save it from being turned into yet another drag car

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            You have to go 93.

            In 94, the retro Mustang debuted. Still a Fox, but not so classic or popular as the 79-93 version.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    I’d almost forgotten any of these cars ever existed. Can’t say I ever remember seeing one on the road. Was never in the least bit interested. It’s like choosing between different brands of no-name potato chips. Oh wait, I did see an Equus sitting like a beached whale in a Hyundai showroom once.

    I had made the mistake of going to look at the new Elantra GT. The Euro model, some i30 name or something, always had IRS instead of twist beam axle in all its configurations. Exact opposite of North American models which got the cheap set-up. Nobody ever accused North Americans of showing taste or awareness as PT Barnum obliquely mentioned 150 years ago. I was greeted by your archetypal car salesman, gaunt, emaciated, nicotine stained fingers, and the thinnest necktie I’d seen since they were popular in 1959 and I got one for a middle school hop.

    Rumor from C/D and maybe here was that the Elantra GT had finally got IRS just in that model line. Salesman didn’t know, so I got down and had a look. Nope, same old cheap twist beam. Sensing no sale and looking at my car out the big window, he pointed at Equus. Priced to sell! C$63K. I left. Dealership got bought by a 35 mega-dealership chain billionaire, got a new building and palm trees in pots. Same old H/K stuff though, which I still can’t quite trust, like Korean kitchen and clothes washing appliances. Prefer to buy US-branded US-China joint venture junk if there’s a choice, although Samsung tries on TVs and smartphones. I bought a new aluminum bodied Chinese ZTE smartphone for $80 a few years ago. Best damn phone I ever got. Living in Canada where everything’s imported, I really don’t give a crap where things are made other than indulging my personal biases. Korean stuff always seems half-as*ed like the Genesis G70. Woulda coulda been better and they’d include it willingly if they knew what IT was, but something subtle always eludes them. Design from a parts catalog. Like Japanese car suspension until the late ’80s.

    Cannot understand why the snoots around here are down on Kia versus Hyundai. Same damn vehicles underneath. Must be badge whores, although the actual KIA badge would look great as a fridge magnet, like a baleful eye.

    I’d burn all three of these V8 champs, but there’s none available around these parts to put in the funeral pyre, whereas you could rustle up any number of five year old German cars to torch.

  • avatar
    07NodnarB

    Buy: Q70 cuz it will hold it’s value slightly better than the others.

    Drive: K900 even in last gen guise, it’s quite a looker.

    Burn: Equus just not my style at all

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    Burn all three, become Amish and drive a horse and buggy.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Buy the Infiniti

    Park the hunday and kia next to your favorite small business located in a downtown city center for the animals to do their thing.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Looks are subjective. I don’t mind the looks so much as the fact that it is a Chinese made vehicle with a premium price. The looks are not polarizing but they are nothing to write home about–meh, meh, meh. Most of today’s vehicles have blah styling and are offered in blah colors. Reminds me of the song “Little Boxes” all are ticky tacky like. Not offensive but you could put a Kia name or a BMW/Mercedes name on them at it is hard to tell the difference.

  • avatar
    dahammer

    Buy Equus; I just saw a 2017 G90 Premium with the 5.0 V8 and 38k miles offered for $40k. This car had a sticker price of $85,000 three years ago.
    Drive: Equus, 0-60 in 5.2 seconds, this is a 2.5 ton vehicle.
    Burn: Infiniti and K9000, both ugly as sin.

    Another one here who can’t understand the Hyundai hate. I’m driving a loaded 2012 Genesis I picked up two years ago with 36k miles for about 35% of list. I just saw a 2013 R Spec with the 5.0 V8 being offered for $14,500 with 65k miles. This has a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds, there’s no replacement for displacement.

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