2015 Hyundai Equus Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

Although the Equus remains Hyundai's flagship, the recently redone Genesis is surpassing it in many ways now. Still, the Equus has the space of a Lexus LS along with many of the amenities buyers of big luxury sedans expect.

The Equus' front seats aren't heavily bolstered or overly firm. They're ventilated and heated, and incorporate a massaging function to keep drivers feeling fresher over long distances. It's mildly effective, but we'd ask for more under-leg support too--the Equus' seats don't have the extending bottom cushions that we like so much on Mercedes and BMW flagships.

Excellent fit and finish makes up for a slightly smaller back-seat space than in some other executive sedans.

Controls for most interior functions are centralized in the Driver Information System, which uses a knob controller like the ones associated with BMW's iDrive, Mercedes's COMAND, and Audi's MMI, and it's as fiddly as those control systems were early on. It disallows any touchscreen engagement, and takes some time to get used to its operation over the infotainment and climate systems. There's a redundant screen in the gauges that can show something different from what's on the main central display, which helps minimize the confusion at times.

The rear seat is perhaps the focus of the Equus, especially when compared to the smaller Genesis. Both Equus Signature and Ultimate models come standard with a three-person bench rear seat and a console that folds down from the middle position. With rake adjustment (as well as ventilation and lumbar control on Ultimate models) the outboard seats are a step above the seats in most other competitively priced vehicles, but lack the complete first-class reclining chairs (with tray tables!) of the new S-Class, for example. There's lots of legroom and headroom by conventional standards, and the Equus is wide enough to fit three across.

Expectations are met up close as well; walnut or birch trim accents the instrument panel, and the cabin is trimmed out with fine leather. The headliner is sueded, just like the roof in a top-line Jaguar, and the center console is framed in wood, with matte-metallic accents. It's all coordinated quite well, and continues the understated look of the rest of the vehicle.

While the Genesis doesn't offer the rear-seat space or passenger-coddling features of the Equus, the smaller sedan has made great strides in interior materials. It will probably be a couple years before the Equus catches up to the less-expensive model in terms of finish.

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