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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
Ultimate trim adds an elaborate rear-seat treatment comprising a console with a refrigerator, cooled and massaging rear seats, La-Z-Boy-style lower-leg supports, a front-mounted peekaboo camera and an 8-inch video screen.
The Ultimate includes power headrests for both seats, a refrigerator in the center console, and an eight-inch monitor. Your driver will appreciate the forward-view cornering camera, and bellmen the power trunklid.
Car and Driver
The leather is luxurious and the extensive spans of wood trim on the dash and center console look good.
Unfortunately, you have to share the refrigerator in the center armrest and single-screen rear entertainment system with any traveling companions seated in the erstwhile business class behind the driver. But since they don’t get the footrest or massage you still have plenty to lord over them.
When oil-change time comes around, pull out the Hyundai-supplied Apple iPad that takes the place of the owner's manual (a dead tree edition is included as well), dial up the service app and you can schedule an appointment through the tubes of the Interwebs.
It's easy to get lazy inside the Equus, since Hyundai sees fit to fill each one with nearly every item from the luxury-sedan greatest-hits list. Get beyond the obvious standard power features, the leather interior, the moonroof and the wood trim, and the Equus still wows with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, a navigation system driven through an iDrive-like controller and an LCD screen.
The Ultimate doesn't even allow the lush-sounding Lexicon audio system or the rear massaging seat to escape its features list--or a refrigerated console bin, or power rear-seat headrests, or a power trunklid, or a forward-facing cornering camera.To get this lavish in a Jaguar XJ, you'd spend well over $100,000.
And once you've watched scenes from The Italian Job at speed from the Equus' rear seat, you'll not be quick to exit the car until you really need to. That said, we'd love to see headrest-mounted monitors instead of the single screen that flips up at the back end of the center console. Looking down at the eight-inch rear-seat screen would make us woozy after some of the back-road esses.
The Equus' killer app--pun implied--is the free Apple iPad that comes with each one. On its glassy surface, the free iPad latches on to one of the most successful product launches in history. But it's also a convenient delivery system for a white-glove sales and service experience that cushions the Equus and its buyers from the everyday Hyundai showroom experience. In some areas of the country, you won't even have to step into a showroom to buy an Equus--a demo will be brought to you, at home or at the office. Once you've signed the purchase agreement, the iPad becomes your link to the dealer's service arm; technicians will come to you to pick up and drop off the car for service, and leave a loaner Equus or Genesis in its place if need be. It's a clever, low-impact plan that outflanks the coddling you'd receive from any mainstream luxury brand--even Lexus and Infiniti, long known for their handling of owners.
Your iPad even fits neatly into the glove box, and contains an app-driven version of the owners' manual. You may not remember how cool that refrigerator bin can get, but you'll feel it as you look up the facts and figures with the swipe of a finger.
An unparalleled service plan--complete with a free Apple iPad--coddles 2011 Hyundai Equus owners more than anything you'll find at Infiniti or Lexus.