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Hyundai Refines Equus for 2014

From “cheap and cheerful” to posh and luxurious.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Hyundai's 2014 Equus features 30 new and enhanced features to compete against some tough competiton.

If you still think “cheap and cheerful” when someone mentions Hyundai, you obviously haven’t checked out the changes the Korean carmaker has undergone in recent years. And nothing symbolizes that more than the Equus, the maker’s big sedan that takes aim at some pretty formidable competition in the premium-luxury segment.

Less than three years after reaching U.S. shores, the Hyundai Equus is set to undergo some significant updates for the 2014 model-year, which Hyundai revealed this week at the New York Auto Show. That’s probably no surprise considering the tough competition it faces from Europe, Japan and the U.S., notably an all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class the German maker plans to reveal in just a couple months.

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According to Hyundai, there are “30 new and enhanced features,” starting with some immediately obvious tweaks to the exterior and interior. They include new front bumpers and a revised grille, as well as the addition of standard LED fog lamps and new 19-inch “turbine blade” wheels.

The Hyundai Equus is being offered only with the 5.0-liter Tau V-8 for 2014.

Inside, the 2014 Hyundai Equus gets a complete makeover of its instrument panel and center stack, along with the steering wheel and center console. There are upgraded “ultra-premium” wood trim options and a new control console for back-seat passengers.

On the “base” model, there’s a new 7-inch TFT LCD display in the gauge cluster, while the Equus Ultimate package opts for a 12.3-inch fully digital gauge display. Meanwhile, a new 9.2-inch color touchscreen display tops the center stack and operates the infotainment system and other vehicle functions. There are also new 9.2-inch dual rear entertainment screens.

For the new model-year, the Equus adds Hyundai’s new BlueLink safety and security system – along with a three-year subscription to Assured Connected Care, a suite of safety and ownership features.

Upping the level of interior refinement is one way Hyundai hopes to expand the appeal of Equus.

The 2014 Equus update adds a few more must-have luxury touches, such as power door closure and power lumbar controls for the outboard rear seats. The sedan also adds a new active cruise control system that can bring the sedan to a complete stop then start it rolling again when traffic begins to move.

Also high on the list of changes are promised improvements to the big sedan’s ride, handling and vehicle-control dynamics. Those are some of the areas that Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik told TheDetroitBureau.com he has personally targeted, as they are perhaps the brand’s biggest weakness when it comes to taking on better-established competitors, the Germans in particular.

The new multi-mode suspension, Hyundai says, has been retuned so that:

  • Sport mode receives crisper damper tuning for improved body control;
  • Normal mode receives enhanced ride comfort; and
  • Snow mode was added to drive mode system.

Hyundai is considering expanding its luxury line-up based on the initial success of Equus.

The new Equus adds a number of safety features, as well, including blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerts and a multi-view camera system. Key vehicle information, meanwhile, is visible on the new Head-Up Display, or HUD, system.

The 2014 Hyundai Equus will be powered by the 5.0-liter Tau DOHC V-8 making 429 horsepower and 376 foot-pounds of torque, and it’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The direct-injection engine is rated at 15 mpg City, 23 Highway and 18 Combined, according to the EPA.

Hyundai has done unexpectedly well with the Equus since the original model debuted and it’s aiming to increase its position in the luxury market going forward. Considering the competition, that won’t be easy, but the updated design and added features, the maker hopes, should help.

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