To be brutally honest, there was a time when we’d only clock the minimum number of miles necessary for a review of a new Hyundai product. What else could you say about cars of the early Pony era other than “cheap and cheerful.”
That began to change with the debut of the first-generation Santa Fe, and by the time the latest Sonata sedan rolled into our driveway we were sorry to let it go back into the press fleet. So, when Hyundai gave us a chance to drive a pre-production version of the 2011 Equus, the maker’s first super-premium luxury sedan, we jumped at the opportunity, even if it meant a quick round-trip to South Korea. (Click Here for that first drive.)
That trip it was Hyundai that cut things short, promising to give us a bit more driving time once the first production car arrived in the States. We finally got that opportunity, recently, clocking some significant miles driving along the Central Coast of California. It was a great chance to test the metal and mettle of the 2011 Hyundai Equus, the boldest example yet that the Korean carmaker intends to evolve beyond the limited confines of the economy car segment.
And if our drive proved anything it’s that Hyundai is a force to be reckoned with. Is this the car the competition should fear and loathe? No, the 2011 Equus is not going to take down the best of the German and Japanese fleets, but as with the original Lexus LS400, two decades ago, this is a shot over the bow that can’t be ignored.