Poetry in Motion: 2011 Hyundai Equus

December 15, 2010

Continuing our series on family sedans with awesome looks – aka poetry in motion – Family Car Guide dives in with full appreciation on a brand-new contender to the luxury sedan segment: the 2011 Hyundai Equus.

Remember, the main qualification to be included in this FCG list is that the sedan have styling that’s a cut above the rest. That applies to the exterior as well as the interior of the vehicle. With that in mind, here is part two of Poetry in Motion: Family Sedans with Awesome Looks.

2011 Hyundai Equus

Korean automaker Hyundai has a lot going for it lately. Not only has it broken the 500,000 sales barrier (its highest since 467,009 sold in 2007), Hyundai now ranks number three among nameplates for brand loyalty in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Customer Retention Study.

This is a far cry indeed from the el cheapo image Korean cars had just a few short years ago. In fact, Hyundai appears to be on a roll, introducing streamlined and dynamically styled new vehicles at a brisk rate.

Of course, the all-new rear-wheel-drive 2011 Hyundai Equus breaks the mold for Hyundai in more ways than one. It’s definitely aimed at competitors from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi – and carries prices that are equally lofty. The flagship luxury sedan from Hyundai is available in just two models, Equus Signature, priced at $58,000 and top-of-the-line Equus Limited, which carries a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $64,500.

Let’s take a closer look at what consumers get for all that coin.

Exterior and Aerodynamics

Buyers of a luxury flagship sedan expect a certain level of coddling and refinement. That’s a given. Hyundai says Equus offers all that and more. In fact, says Hyundai, it’s a “thoughtful, smarter manner that serves notice that [Equus] is much more than a purposeful stance and a pleasing collection of lines and materials.”

We agree.

Start with the distinctive front grille and follow the deliberate lines from the hood through the body to show off the staggered-look 19-inch chrome alloy wheels and performance tires. the Equus also features full-body integrated chrome accents, LED turn signal indicators framing front Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, adaptive front lighting system that turns with vehicle steering to illuminate corners, sculpted front fog lights, and distinctive air intake.

The Equus looks like it’s moving even when standing still.

Under the Hood

Hyundai didn’t mess around here. The automaker placed the Tau 4.6-liter V-8 engine in Equus and mated it with a ZF high-performance six-speed transmission specially created for Equus. The Tau engine, which won a 10 Best Engine Award from Wards for both 2009 and 2010, delivers 385 horsepower in the Equus. Not only that, but in the looks department, the Tau is quite an attention-getter. The high-pressure die-cast engine block is entirely aluminum. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway.

Inviting Interior

As if it’s not already evident, the 2011 Hyundai Equus exudes luxury. The interior is just one more example of where the luxury family sedan takes good looks to the next highest level. And the best part is that such comfort and luxury comes as standard (and it should, shouldn’t it, for the price?). Consider the following, which is just a partial list of all the amenities:

Premium real wood trim

Premium leather seats with driver’s circulation, massage, heating, cooling and humidity control

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