NEW YORK--The original Equus was a bit of a surprise, coming from a company thought of as an economy brand. But this big luxury competitor offered features and a price that could not be ignored. For the 2014 model, Hyundai focuses on updates to cabin electronics, and continues a focus on the passengers. The new Equus, like the previous generation, comes in two trims, Signature and Ultimate, with no options for buyers to choose.
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Styling updates mostly occur at the front of the Equus, and include standard LED parking strips in the headlight casings. The grille gets refined somewhat as well. Unlike its luxury competitors, which are starting to offer LED headlights as options, Hyundai has not yet trod in that particular high-tech lighting territory. However, the new Equus includes adaptive cruise control, able to bring the vehicle to a full stop, as standard.
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Hyundai says it has revised the air suspension in the Equus, stiffening the dampers when in Sport mode to improve handling. The company also added a snow mode, reducing torque at the drive wheels when the roads get slippery.
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The drivetrain goes unchanged with this update. Hyundai keeps its big 5-liter direct-injection engine, an advanced power plant generating 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. That engine gets mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
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Hyundai makes most of its changes to the Equus in the cabin. While keeping the plush leather seats and deep wood trim, the car gets electronic improvements, such as the addition of the BlueLink telematics system, which provides typical services such as emergency and roadside assistance along with data features, including local search and traffic.
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The Ultimate-trim Equus gets a 12.3-inch full digital instrument cluster with virtual gauges. The Signature trim uses analog gauges but includes a 7-inch LCD in the instrument cluster for driver information.
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Hyundai changed the look of the buttons around its cabin tech control dial, mounted on the console, but the functions remain basically the same.
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The center LCD, 9.2 inches and standard on both Equus trims, shows the various car functions, such as navigation and audio. Hyundai added the BlueLink telematics icon to the screen, making for easy access for drivers. The navigation system is also standard, but it only shows flat-view maps, not the richer perspective maps of companies such as BMW and Audi.
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In Ultimate trim, the rear seats come standard with these 9.2-inch monitors. A controller between the rear seats lets passengers have the same access to the cabin electronics as the driver.
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Rear-seat passengers can even access navigation, and program in destinations for the driver.
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