There's not a lot of drama and flair—nor is there all that much glitz and glamor—in the way the 2013 Hyundai Equus looks. Yet it does look every bit like a luxury car, with a softer, more balanced and traditional look that borrows cues and themes from other prestigious sedans and flagship models. While that doesn't sound like much of an endorsement in itself, it all works quite well.
From the front, the Equus has a relatively simple and unadorned look, though the wide chromed grille reminds us of Mercedes and the headlamps are very Lexus-like. It's missing the winged hood ornament that comes with this model in other world markets. And while that's not a great start next to the assertive, unmistakable look of Jaguar models or the now-distinct LED eyeliner accents used by Audi and BMW, the rest of the Equus' handsome shape comes together well enough without it.
The look is far from outspoken or overt, though; its sheetmetal is more a nod to the upswept tail and tapered side glass that we see in so many other upscale sedans than a high water mark for Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy—and in that respect it feels dated or retro, or revealing of its Korean executive-sedan roots. Only around the rear flanks of the Equus do we see a solid hint of contemporary Hyundai design.
Inside, the Equus has the look and feel of a true luxury space that, altogether, remind us a bit of the last-generation Mercedes-Benz E Class and a bit of the outgoing Lexus LS. The curvature of the doors and instrument panel, along with many of the finishes, hint heavily of Lexus influences, but again there's some delicately applied subtext--like the winged metallic trim that surrounds the dash vents, and the big LCD screen during start-up, that bring a mixed message.
The 2013 model year brings only a few minor color and trim changes; White Satin Pearl with a Saddle interior is a new combination, while new interior themes include cashmere with Birch Burl wood, Jet Black with walnut wood and Saddle with genuine walnut wood.