The Hyundai Equus doesn't cut across the luxury-sedan ecosphere with drama and flair, but it assembles a balanced look from cues and themes we've seen on other prestigious sedans, and in the end, it all works fairly well.
Jaguar has glitzy grilles, Audi has LED eyeliner and BMW puts its kidneys on its nose. The most noticeably Korean detail on the Hyundai Equus is missing from the U.S. editions--it's a winged hood ornament offered on home-market cars, but deleted from U.S. editions for being "too Korean." You can probably find one on eBay, but do you want to? The Equus manages to synthesize a handsome shape without it, from the wide grille that reminds us of Mercedes, to the Lexus-like headlamps and the upswept tail and tapered side glass of other upscale sedans. Maybe we've grown accustomed too quickly to daring Hyundai styling with the Sonata and Veloster: the Equus simply represents a different place and time, and it's frankly still more a product of its Korean executive-sedan roots.
The Equus' cabin is very much a convincing luxury piece, with similar Lexus cues but delicately applied subtext--like the winged metallic trim that surrounds the dash vents, and echoes the logo on the hood and on the big LCD screen during start-up. In all, the Equus reminds us more of a blend of the current E-Class Mercedes and the last-generation Lexus LS--not bad stretch goals to hit, squarely.