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2011 Hyundai Equus takes on big names of luxury
The Virginian-Pilot ^ | March 18, 2011 | Larry Printz

Posted on 03/19/2011 2:32:39 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

It seems improbable to some that Hyundai, the company that once sold a car so inexpensive you could charge it on a credit card, would unleash a car that costs $58,000 and competes with the finest luxury cars in the world.

Those who sniff with disdain may do well to remember that some esteemed luxury automakers had humble origins. Consider, for example, Jaguar, which started as a manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars.

Given that every automaker has access to the same auto- industry suppliers, and thus the same technology, it comes down to this: Which brand do you like, and how much are you willing to pay?

Hyundai is gambling you'll want to pay less. Given its track record, that seems like a good bet.

After all, the 2011 Equus has the luxury features you'd expect in this class: a 608-watt, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, electronically controlled air suspension, electronic stability control, automatic cruise control, rear-view camera, leather seating surfaces, Alcantara suede headliner, lane departure warning system, driver seat massage, heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Pop for the Equus Ultimate and you'll get even more hedonistic pleasure from its forward-view camera, reclining climate-controlled rear seats with massage, rear-seat refrigerator, rear illuminated vanity mirrors and a rear-seat entertainment system.

What the Equus doesn't have is a luxury name on the hood. And while the quality of the materials is impressive, although in places, it's still a step down from the best in class. That seems less of an issue once you take the wheel.

A 4.6-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission delivers 385 horsepower to the rear wheels with a quiet, creamy smoothness. This velvet fog is enhanced by the ride, which is generally soft, although the air suspension helps keep things mostly in check. The ride quality isn't quite as serene as its competition, but only car connoisseurs will notice.

This is not a driver's car; it is a car to be driven in. For those who prefer comfort, this is the ride. Some pundits have taken Hyundai to task for this. My guess is that because the steering and suspension communicate some information back to the driver, they're expecting this rig to handle with the precision of a German sports sedan. But that's not its mission, despite the conservative styling that looks as if it was created in the fatherland.

Interestingly, both the Equus and the smaller Genesis, with which the Equus shares a platform, have a handsome, conservative look that's very different from the curvaceous flowing style that's the hallmark of its newer products such as the Sonata and Elantra.

That the Equus delivers 95 percent of the experience of its competition is without question. But is that extra 5 percent the Equus lacks worth the extra $13,000 to $33,000 in cost its competitors charge?

For those who value the driving experience of a premium sedan with exemplary manners and the aura of a premium brand, the answer is yes.

For those who find labels to be an excuse to charge more, the answer is no.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; The Guild
KEYWORDS: automobiles; cars; hyundai; luxury
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1 posted on 03/19/2011 2:32:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gotta admire Hyundai. I drive a Camry, but when I’m ready for my next car, it will probably be a Sonata.


2 posted on 03/19/2011 2:37:54 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: buccaneer81
I recall well when people "sniffed with disdain" at Toyotas. Most of them were in the auto business with the Big Three, now no longer in the auto business at all.
3 posted on 03/19/2011 2:42:53 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My wife wants a Genesis.


4 posted on 03/19/2011 2:43:31 PM PDT by colinhester
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Several years ago I spent about a week in Seoul. One thing which I still recall was the number of different luxury type sedans which were totally unfamiliar to me on the highways.


5 posted on 03/19/2011 2:44:42 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: hinckley buzzard

I remember the derision shown to Honda as well, back in 1974 when they introduced the CVCC. Ten years later, nobody was laughing anymore.


6 posted on 03/19/2011 2:45:27 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: colinhester

Yet they still have a car (the Accent 3 door) that starts at $9,985.


7 posted on 03/19/2011 2:45:56 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

hi doo doo.


8 posted on 03/19/2011 2:52:45 PM PDT by ken21 (dem taxes + regs + unions = jobs overseas.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I saw one of these on the road earlier this year. Pretty sweet ride.


9 posted on 03/19/2011 2:53:29 PM PDT by MichiganConservative (Letting Obama supporters vote is like giving a loaded gun to a child with severe mental retardation.)
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To: colinhester

My little girl has the Genesis Coupe which she bought to replace her stolen Audi TT and she absolutely loves it.


10 posted on 03/19/2011 2:54:22 PM PDT by WalterSobchak2012
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What, no soft Corinthian leather?


11 posted on 03/19/2011 2:54:24 PM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We are looking to buy a Sonata in the next couple months. We were Toyota fans until we saw the Sonata...sharp looking car. I like it in black.
Any 2010-2011 Sonata owners out there? Thoughts?....


12 posted on 03/19/2011 3:04:31 PM PDT by oust the louse (Mr. Obama is a left-wing ideologue who believes in the greatness of Fedzilla.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
That was until the Toyota Corona arrived in the USA market in the middle 1960's. The impressive build quality and the low price definitely attracted a LOT of American buyers back then and helped Toyota establish their USA presence.
13 posted on 03/19/2011 3:04:37 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: buccaneer81

I looked at one recently and the dealership had jacked it up $5000 over the sticker price.


14 posted on 03/19/2011 3:09:50 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I remember when the Lexus first came out and I predicted to an auto dealer friend that it would soon compete with the best of European luxury cars like the Mercedes and Rolls—because you could buy two for the cost of one.

He laughed and said Mercedes buyers would never consider anything else. Not laughing anymore.


15 posted on 03/19/2011 3:21:03 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: buccaneer81
My Hyundai Elantra will be my last,. Bad enough I had it in the shop about 10 times for check engine lights in the warranty period, but when I had to get a new battery I found out it was a proprietary battery that you had to get from the Hyundai dealer. All the major battery sellers all told me the same thing, it has to be a Hyundai battery.
16 posted on 03/19/2011 3:22:33 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: CaptainK
I looked at one recently and the dealership had jacked it up $5000 over the sticker price.

A Sonata? Demand must be through the roof.

17 posted on 03/19/2011 3:23:36 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: NavyCanDo

What year is your Elantra?


18 posted on 03/19/2011 3:25:12 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: buccaneer81

I know the sister of a dealership owner and they are flying out the door.


19 posted on 03/19/2011 3:37:27 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I would be a nervous wreck owning a very nice and expensive car. Just this week I discovered a long, deep, nasty scratch on one side of my 2007 Highlander. I was so angry that people can be that careless as to inflict that kind of damage on someone else’s vehicle. If I had a SUPER NICE car, I’d never want to drive it out of the garage.


20 posted on 03/19/2011 4:03:20 PM PDT by Trust but Verify (Let's party like it's 1773!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

TTIUWP

21 posted on 03/19/2011 4:18:26 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: buccaneer81
Gotta admire Hyundai. I drive a Camry, but when I’m ready for my next car, it will probably be a Sonata.

In 2008 I was set to buy a Sonata but when I got done I updated to the acero & I am very happy.

22 posted on 03/19/2011 4:19:56 PM PDT by Digger ((If RINO is your selection, then failure is your election))
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To: colinhester
My wife wants a Genesis.

I would say that it is the best car for the money out there.

23 posted on 03/19/2011 4:21:18 PM PDT by Digger ((If RINO is your selection, then failure is your election))
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To: oust the louse

Renting a 2011 Sonata now. Have had it for 10 days on a trip to upstate New York. I must say, as an owner of a 2011 Camry LE, this Sonata is an impressive vehicle. Likes to wander a little on the highway. Strong 4-cylinder engine, very quiet, smooth, great bluetooth interface. Seats are not as comfortable on long stretches as I would like. If reliability ratings hold up to Toyota, this could be the next “Honda” for North America.


24 posted on 03/19/2011 4:22:27 PM PDT by motoman
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To: martin_fierro

I think I read that ALL the seats have massagers...


25 posted on 03/19/2011 4:23:52 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: buccaneer81

“What year is your Elantra?”

2002


26 posted on 03/19/2011 4:45:13 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
it's in the same category as the Audi A8............???

why own a knock-off?


27 posted on 03/19/2011 4:54:56 PM PDT by Daffynition ( DBKP ~ Death By 1000 Papercuts)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Korean version of the Volkswagen Phaeton. Sold in the USA from 2004 to 2006 and then withdrawn. Nobody wanted a $ 80,000 Volkswagen Phaeton.
Nobody will want this car either.


28 posted on 03/19/2011 5:26:35 PM PDT by ncfool (The new USSA - United Socialst States of AmeriKa. Welcome to Obummers world or Obamaville USSA.)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve driven an Equus briefly. Suspension’s a bit soft but a really nice car.

Cheers,
Jim


30 posted on 03/19/2011 6:16:33 PM PDT by gymbeau (Free Tibet! (Limit two per customer))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A 4.6-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission delivers 385 horsepower to the rear wheels...

Damn. That's like 475 hp at the crank!

(I know, I know. Poorly written.)

31 posted on 03/19/2011 6:37:56 PM PDT by OA5599
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To: ncfool

Wasn’t the Phaeton hand-made, like a Bentley, Rolls-Royce or Italian sportscar?


32 posted on 03/19/2011 7:33:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: martin_fierro

Barf!


33 posted on 03/19/2011 7:38:30 PM PDT by 38special (AK, CA, CO, NV, WA ... WTF?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Like the Mulsanne?
34 posted on 03/19/2011 7:41:55 PM PDT by Daffynition ( DBKP ~ Death By 1000 Papercuts)
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To: NavyCanDo

I have a 2005 Elantra and I have had zero issues with it (72K miles). I have changed the battery in mine without a problem.

Did you get a special model or something?


35 posted on 03/19/2011 8:03:40 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: buccaneer81
Back in 1989, I owned a Hyundai Excel subcompact which was involved in a serious accident. I was on a 4 lane undivided road just north of Ohare airport by Chicago. The speed limit was posted at 45 but most people on that road drove faster. The Desplanes river was on the east side of that road and I was driving north at the time.

Someone stopped in front of me to make a left turn and I stopped behind him. A third car, an Olds Toronado, which was traveling in the far right lane swerved into my lane which was the second from the right not being aware of the traffic stopped in front of him.

He tried to avoid me by swerving back to the right but wound up hitting my right rear bumper. I was driven into the oncoming traffic where I hit a full size Olds station wagon which was traveling south.

I struck the oncoming vehicle on it's left rear tire. One witness who saw the accident stated that the car I hit spun around like a top, it's rear bumper was knocked off and it landed about a half block away.

A split second earlier, I would have hit him head on and a split second later would have missed him but hit the following car head on.

To make for a short story, both of the other cars were towed away and I drove away in my sub-compact Excell. My car was in the shop over three months while they tried to straighten it out from it's slightly trapezoidal shape.

I only suffered a Minor thumb sprain which I got reaching down for the floor shift lever. My passenger was totally uninjured.

From what I understood both of the other drivers were taken to the hospital with injuries.

So as far as I am concerned Hundai stands in good stead with me.

36 posted on 03/19/2011 8:52:14 PM PDT by dglang
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Škoda. Need I say more?


37 posted on 03/19/2011 8:57:05 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Revolting cat!

Why can't we buy these here?

38 posted on 03/19/2011 9:03:58 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Alfa has reportedly been planning to re-enter the US market for several years now. They withdrew due to poor sales back in the, what, early nineties? Their product line was dated then. It’s clearly not now. Goodlooking cars. Hope they’ve put some time and effort into reliability and maintenance requirements. Americans are far more “autopilot” prone and do not like having to put their cars in the shop.


39 posted on 03/19/2011 9:10:19 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why can't we buy these here?

Prostitution is illegal?

40 posted on 03/19/2011 9:21:49 PM PDT by Eaker (The problem with the internet, you're never sure the accuracy of the quotes. ~ Abraham Lincoln, 1865)
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To: dglang

Excellent story. Makes me want a Hyundai even more.


41 posted on 03/19/2011 9:24:50 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: RegulatorCountry

I had an ‘87 Spider Veloce. Most beautiful toy I ever owned. Chick magnet. Too bad it ran like Homer Simpson in a marathon. Sold it after three very long, expensive (repairs, parts and Massachusetts insurance) years.


42 posted on 03/19/2011 9:31:28 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: buccaneer81

Italian cars in general have had a reputation as being temperamental. The Fiat X1/9 was particularly bad, even though I liked the looks of them at the time. That was one car with which you definitely did NOT want to experience a broken timing belt.


43 posted on 03/19/2011 9:38:19 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
That was one car with which you definitely did NOT want to experience a broken timing belt.

I imagine that was the end of the motor.

Mid engine cars are a pain in the rear. I had a girlfriend who drove a Toyota MR2. When it went to Valvoline, they made you park it for half an hour and sign a waiver in case the engine caught fire during the oil change, due to the heat generated. And you could feel that heat coming through the back of the driver's seat.

44 posted on 03/19/2011 9:49:06 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yes in a factory called the glass factory. Shares conponents with the Bentley. But was a dud in the USA.


45 posted on 03/19/2011 9:50:22 PM PDT by ncfool (The new USSA - United Socialst States of AmeriKa. Welcome to Obummers world or Obamaville USSA.)
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To: Straight Vermonter
“I have a 2005 Elantra and I have had zero issues with it (72K miles). I have changed the battery in mine without a problem.”

They must have changes the battery type since 2002. I called everyone and got the same story - had to be
the Hyundai battery. As far as the check engine light it had to do with a seal on some valve on the gas tank. I think they were putting band-aids on it each time rather than fixing it. They did finally fix it after the warranty expired, so they were going to charge me - but I fought it.

46 posted on 03/19/2011 10:22:16 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: Daffynition

At the huge horological market area in Ghuanzho I got a good laugh from a billboard touting some watch brand as “Korean quality at Chinese prices”


47 posted on 03/20/2011 5:43:44 AM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Great story! Some truth in that advertising, eh?


48 posted on 03/20/2011 8:40:51 AM PDT by Daffynition ( DBKP ~ Death By 1000 Papercuts)
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To: buccaneer81

I bought a 2011 KIA Sorento. It is build with Hyundai parts. I love it.


49 posted on 03/20/2011 8:53:54 AM PDT by bmwcyle (It is Satan's fault)
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To: motoman

thx....good to know!


50 posted on 03/22/2011 5:45:34 AM PDT by oust the louse (Mr. Obama is a left-wing ideologue who believes in the greatness of Fedzilla.)
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