It seems like only yesterday that the first Hyundai models started popping up on our shores; actually, it’s been almost 30 years since the first Excel went on sale here in the late 1980s. Today, Hyundai builds three of its most popular models in the U.S., and Sonata sedans that sell for well into the 20s or Santa Fe SUVs topping 38 large are not unheard of. Hyundai has plans to make its customers pay more a little more for the new Equus, at least, and while the Korean automaker is not even close to toppling that other H-brand from Asia, we’re expecting some upscale additions in the coming months.
The Equus—an honest-to-goodness luxury sedan that does a fair job of shadowing upscale competitors such as the Lexus LS460 and the Mercedes S-class—still can cost around 70 grand when fully loaded. The 2014 Signature and Ultimate models both go up by $1750, to a total of $61,920 and $68,920, respectively. There are no five-figure option packages and/or required bundles like the Germans love to make buyers pay for, just a towering sedan that’s now available with 7-series-style rims and handsome brown paint. On the interior, there’s a redesigned instrument panel and dash; on the exterior, there is a new front grille and bumper along with new rear taillamps. The 2014 Equus also now packs standard blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise with stop-start control.
The rear “first-class seats” that reclined like those in a Maybach are gone, as Hyundai realized that Americans don’t enjoy crushing their front passengers into subservience. Instead, the Ultimate packs two 9.2-inch screens and power lumbar adjustment for rear passengers (we’d have liked Hyundai to keep the rear-console fridge, but apparently we are the only ones). Signature models no longer have a massage function for the driver’s seat. Despite the car’s low volume, Hyundai doesn’t want any unpopular features standing in the way of increased sales.
For more information about Hope on Wheels, or to take a look at any Hyundai vehicle, contact Larson Hyundai.