Roadshow Video Reviews
2014 Hyundai Equus UltimateIt's the German car killer you probably still don't think of.
-Here it is, the German car killer. The Germans don't use a ton of sleepover. The Hyundai Equus or Equus or Equus, or how the hell do you pronounce that? It's part of the problem. Let's ride this new 2014 with the techier cabin and a nicer ride in Check the Tech. Spotting a '14 over a '13 really hard to do. There's a little difference in the headlight, LEDs down here, I think. Perfectly nice-looking vehicle, but wow, you would easily lose it in a crowd. The changes happened inside. It's about as good as you're ever gonna feel on a car under a 100 grand. It's a very nice, quiet cabin as we'll see on the road in a few moments. The past Equus had just a little bit of a Hyundai stink about the plastic. That is really gone now. This screen is standard. This is not standard. We have the ultimate trim car, so that 12-inch LCD instrument panel comes on this trim level, not on the base car. Here is everything you've got on the system, navigation, your radio sources, including HD radio and satellite; your optical disc player is here. Jukebox is a 30-gigabyte hard drive. I could not care less. USB plug-in, or in this case, my iPad is using the USB. It comes upon a separate location, streaming audio of course, and you've got telephony and Blue Link telematics. The navigation system looks perfectly good. There's nothing about it that really grates me, and as a Hyundai tradition, you have basically very simple views, not this 3D flyover and buildings and bird's eye, and I'm okay with that, to be honest. One thing I like about the way it handles all audio sources is a really good usage of the meta tag information. Look, how clean that is. If I got a streaming audio, you'll see a similar representation. Lexicon-branded 7.1 surround system, 17 speakers as I recall, 598 watts of power. None of that matters; how good it sounds does, and we like it. And the last thing I wanna comment here is on Blue Link. This is a telematics system, not a connected driving system. The difference is this is more like a GM OnStar, if you will, that's got kind of basic information, send to car for destination, but there's no Google Search in here. There's no search to nav. The things that really are top of the class, this guy doesn't have. Hyundai's control interface is not like really anybody else as you got a Home button and a nav and click and turn here; that's pretty common. You've got a Home button over here, but notice what they do, they use bottom, left, and right corner logic, so these are shortcut buttons that take you to whatever the shortcut menus are in these corners of the screen. This is not a touch screen, by the way, which is kind of unusual. Typically, it's got to be a German car before it doesn't work on the touch. This one doesn't either though. You've gotta use buttons here all times. Thank you for a nice big Back button. Every car should have that. Look out there. You're gonna see a head-up display that is exceptionally good. This is one of the best in the business. In fact, aside from BMW, this is the best in the business. That's pretty impressive for this car. -Translate left [unk] Highway 1. -This car has more cameras than the B&H store in New York. I can move around from an around view alongside my back view. I can then select this and I can get back to you only. I can go over here and get back and left rear quarter. Here is back and right rear quarter. I mean, there is nothing you can't see on this car, except maybe up through the roof. Well, we can do that too. You got a sunroof. Aside from infinity, no one does as many views as this guy. Now, the backseat in this car is quite a nice place as well. First of all, it has great legroom. I don't like big cars that don't have backseat space. What's the point? This little rocker here lets you control lumbar support and of course heating and cooling back here; threesome, two in the front, one joint back here. Now this may be the best integrated set of rear-seat entertainment screens. I'm gonna say any car shy of a quarter million, but I don't think any car does a better job than this. You turn these guys on here independently with buttons for left and right passenger. They kind of tilt at an angle. Notice, like in a nice airline seat, I can watch what's on the map, sit here and fight with the driver, tell him or her she's an idiot for the route she is taking, all that fun stuff. I can jump through the home screen, the same one we saw up in the front row. Those Blue Link telematics services are back here so I can help out looking at stuff. The DVD in the front will play in the rear, but obviously not distract the driver in the front. Now up here on the prow, we've got relatively conventional button, modern engine technology. Let me explain that. V8 of course, 5 liter, gasoline direct injection. Beyond that, we've got the usual very complex, variable valve timing technology, but it is a longitudinally mounted, front engine, rear-wheel drive car. There is no all-wheel drive variant of this vehicle. This is modern, but relatively basic. 429 horsepower, 376 foot-pounds of torque. Zero to 60 is around 5.6, 5.7 seconds. For a car that weighs 4600 plus pounds, not bad. One choice on the gearbox, an eight-speed automatic, and the mpg is 15 city, 23 highway, averages about 18. I'll bet it will average a little bit less than that actually. They've really gone after Lexus LS. It does not feel like a German car. It feels like a nice tautly sprung Lexus. The power on this car is ample. In fact, you light up the rear end a little bit not trying to, not even wanting to, because it just got a whole bunch under tap even though the torque numbers are not terribly high. So if you're buying a big sedan that's also a great little tossable car, if you could even say that on the weekend, this is probably not it. And this head-up display is great. It shows you miles per hour of your speedometer. It also will show you navigation. It will bring up some other driving prompts as you're going. It's not quite as sharp, big, or bright as BMW, but it's the closest of any carmaker yet to all three of those things from BMW. So, it's a close number 2 in the industry right now. Okay, pricing an Equus is really easy. It's $61,920 delivered for the basic car, which is of course a very nice car, but to go CNET style, you gotta add $7000 Ultimate upgrade. That's gonna get you that LCD instrument panel. That's gonna get you the cameras that are just about everywhere, the rear-seat entertainment system, and that gets you the head-up display I like so much. So now you're at $68,920, and that's about what you can do on this car.