Nut & Bolts: Hyundai Equus

October 14, 2011

Bottom line: The Hyundai Equus is inarguably a fine luxury sedan offered at an attractive price. Buy it for that reason and be happy. But don’t waste time or energy trying to one-up your BMW neighbors.

Ride, acceleration and handling: The Equus gets excellent marks in all three — with a caveat. Ride and handling may be too soft, not as crisp as might be desired by hard-driving enthusiasts.

Head-turning quotients: Maximum star power. The Equus Signature snapped necks everywhere.

Body style/layout: The 2012 Hyundai Equus is a full-size, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan. It is available as the base Equus Signature and the super-luxury Equus Ultimate.

Engines/Transmissions: The Equus comes with a standard, gasoline direct injection, 32-valve, 5-liter V-8 (429 horsepower, estimated 415 pound-feet of torque). The engine is linked to an eight-speed — that’s correct, eight-speed — automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo capacity is 16.7 cubic feet. Fuel capacity is 20.3 gallons of gasoline. Premium grade is recommended for best performance.

Mileage: Estimated mileage is 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; emergency braking assistance; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; electronic brake force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; side and head air bags, knee bolsters, nine air bags in all.

Prices: The 2012 Hyundai Equus Signature carries a base price of $58,750. Estimated dealer’s invoice price on that model is $54,954. Price as tested is $59,650, including a $900 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $55,854.

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