Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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32 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR APRIL 2015 WWW.LCTMAG.COM VEHICLE REVIEW Hyundai Equus Delivers Luxury At Value The fagship sedan from the South Korean automaker has impressed clients with its smooth ride and comfort. Article & Photos by Tim Crowley, LCT senior editor T he Hyundai Equus has many as yet untold benefts for limo op- erators. The premium luxury se- dan is creating a small buzz in the industry from a few operators trying it out. Its performance and client response surprise them. Hyundai has been slowly introducing both the Genesis and more-so the Equus into the luxury chauffeured transporta- tion market recently, trying to gain mar- ket share left void from the retiring Lin- coln Town Cars. The Equus is the fagship, top-of-the- line Hyundai sedan, and it comes in two versions: The Signature with an MSRP of $61,500 and up, and the Ultimate, with an MSRP starting at $68,750. Featured here is the Signature version with a V-8, 5-Liter, 429 HP engine with rear-wheel drive, and a luxury interior with 126 cu.ft. of space (actually more than a Mercedes- Benz S-550). The Equus Signature version has many high-end amenities that jump right at you when you enter. The comfortable rear leather seats have reclining controls that offer more room than most other luxury sedans on the market. The upscale dash controls with wood trim resemble those found on competing luxury brands. For the Chauffeur Behind the wheel, the engine is very re- sponsive. The smooth steering gets wheel turning assistance. There's even a stabi- lizing "hold" button for holding the idle steady on steep hills. You can drive the car in three different modes: Eco, Sport, and Semi-manual. The Eco-mode drives effortlessly, almost like a video game and perfect for new chauffeurs. The sport mode and semi-manual transmission are easy to activate and could beneft chauf- feurs who need merging acceleration. The robust Digital Navigation system is relatively easy to use and fnd directions. The Equus' BlueLink dashboard system includes satellite radio, GPS navigation, and Blue-Tooth sync. It even has a voice- activation command that can locate the nearest gas station, restaurant, or point- of-interest. The seven-inch, electro-illumi- niscent gauge cluster behind the wheel indicates fuel effciency, direction, and lane drift warnings. The backup camera and proximity sensors help chauffeurs get it in and out of tight spaces without bumps or dings. The chauffeur can easily control all windows as well as a back rear window shade. Rear passenger temperature for air conditioning and heat also can be con- trolled from up front. The Signature ver- sion rides smooth and consistent thanks to a powerful engine with gradual ac- celeration that can move the car quickly without feeling like it slams passengers into overdrive. For the Backseat Client The difference between the Signature and Ultimate is most apparent in the backseat, with the absence of two 9-inch rear en- tertainment screens. But the Signature ver- sion has many client comforts worth men- tioning. The power seat adjustor resembles that of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, while both rear seats have ample reclining. The center console in the backseat allows clients to control the volume of the sound system, and switch among FM, AM, and satellite radio, or their personal music-playing devices. Clients have full control over the air conditioning and heat from this center console, so they can keep the temperature at their desired lev- els without having to ask the chauffeur. The center console includes two 12-V power adaptors, so clients can easily charge any laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The trunk has 16.7 cubic-feet of space, enough for two large suitcases or two sets of golf clubs without hassle. The smart key has an electric trunk opener. Exterior The Hyundai Equus has a sleek design with a wide frame and suitable length for a chauffeured car. The front grill with hood emblem denotes a luxury vehicle along with the light trim running down the sides. The side view mirrors tuck snugly against the windows when the car is locked, and the headlights slightly follow the vehicle during turns. Overall, the Hyundai Equus is a great leap in luxury for the price, but it struggles with brand appeal among clients. This ve- hicle will likely see success with clients who are less brand sensitive and more ap- preciative of tech and comfort features. With a listed 15/23 city/highway mile per gallon rating, this vehicle will appeal to operators who give it a closer look and be- lieve their clients would enjoy an upgrade regardless of brand name. — FASTFACTS HYUNDAI EQUUS ENGINE: V8, 5-L, 429 HP ACCELERATION: 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic FUEL ECONOMY: 15/23 city/hwy FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 20.3 gallons LEGROOM (IN., FRONT/REAR): 45.1/38.8 HEADROOM (IN., FRONT/REAR): 38.7/37.7 CURB WEIGHT: 4553 lbs. WHEELBASE: 119.9-inches TOTAL PASSENGERS: 5 including chauffeur TRUNK CAPACITY: 16.7 cu. ft. WARRANTY: 5-year/unlimited miles 24 hour roadside assistance PRICE: Signature: $61,500; Ultimate: $68,750

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