All photos by Hyundai
The 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature is large and luxurious with the confidence necessary to compete in the full size sedan luxury market. We spent a week behind the wheel of this gorgeous automobile and came away with the following impressions.
The 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature sparkled in the sun with its Black Noir pearl finish. The chrome accents and stealth design provoke a "what is that car" reaction everywhere. This flagship had to make the statement that the Equus can compete with the big boys. There is no doubt that the exterior design is on the mark. Our model sported 19-inch chrome alloy wheels with P245/45R19 and P275/40R19 tires, HID Xenon headlights with auto leveling, auto cornering, power folding heated auto and dimming mirrors with turn indicators. There is a smooth flow to the sheet metal with the front grille sporting the striking logo. Heading to the rear, the Equus takes cues from her rivals but still holds on to her own identity. This car is long at 203 inches but the design team did well by keeping the look of the 2011 Equus just as refined as it is luxurious.
The sheer size of the cabin on the 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature grabbed our attention immediately. Our media test model came equipped with cashmere premium leather seating surfaces and an exquisite micro suede headliner. Together these surfaces set the tone for an upscale feel that you normally find in much more expensive models. The Equus Signature was loaded with amenities like 9 airbags, lane departure warning system, smart cruise control with proximity key entry with push button start, power-tilt and slide glass sunroof, front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera, 12-way power driver seat with lumbar/ 10 way passenger seat. The incredible driver's seat had a massage system, was heated and cooled and sat in front of a heated heated wood rimmed leather wrapped steering wheel.
The car also features Bluetooth connectivity, a leather-wrapped dashboard and genuine wood interior trim accents, electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, navigation system with DIS and multimedia controller, Lexicon 7.1 discrete surround sound audio with 17 booming speakers, dual automatic temperature control with air quality system, electrochromic auto dimming RR mirror with home link compass, power rear sunshade and rear side window sunshades. These upscale features combined with the ease of locating switches and buttons in this well thought out interior place the Equus at the front of the luxury pack. I must also mention that trunk space is abundant and easy to load and unload golf bags. The Equus offers much more than American consumers are accustomed to seeing from Hyundai but for those that cherish a roomy and upscale interior, Hyundai wants your attention.
You really can't be a player in the luxury market without rear wheel drive and a powerful engine under the hood. After driving the 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature a week we can say with certainty that the 4.6-liter DOHC D-CVVT Tau V8 engine that pumps out an impressive 385 horsepower is the real deal. This 8 cylinder engine couples with a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC to deliver a smooth and powerful ride that gave us the confidence to negotiate through traffic with ease. The electronic air suspension with dual continuous damping control had me thinking of those big luxury sedans of days long gone where you barely felt large bumps in the road. Handling was supported by vehicle stability management system with pre collision warning and electronic stability control with TCS/ABS/EBD and brake assist. The 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature handled like a charm on some curved roads and tough corners considering the size of this vehicle. Fuel efficiency measured at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway driving -- a respectable rating considering there are 385 horses under the hood of this full size luxury sedan.
Hyundai is currently one of the most aggressive automakers on the planet so it was no wonder they decided to start selling the Equus in the North American market. The Genesis is also a luxury car but the Equus was designed and built to take on the best of what Hyundai's rivals are currently marketing. After spending some quality time behind the wheel of the 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature we have to say that this car is going to be a player once more drivers are exposed to what the Equus has to offer. A smooth design, ultra luxurious interior, 385 horsepower and a highly competitive driving experience are some of the qualities of the 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature. When you add in the fact that our test model stickered out at an even $58,000, compared to competitors who are generally charging $10,000 to $20,000 more, even customers with this kind of disposable income and elevated taste will take notice.
Click the thumbnails below to see full versions of each photo.