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Hyundai EQUUS

The Equus is Hyundai's first full-sized luxury car in the U.S. While it's a very nice car that costs tens of thousands less than its competitors, it doesn't quite reach their high bar. There's plenty of power on hand and the cabin is well equipped, quiet, and nicely finished. Ride motions can be a bit busy, though, and handling feels ungainly. Overall, the interior falls short of the luxury feel and ambience of a first-class sedan.

Driving impressions:
On decent roads the Equus rides well, but on broken pavement the body doesn't feel quite tied down, and some sharp bumps punch through. Rough surfaces also produce more road noise than a luxury car should allow. There's no confusing the Equus for a sports sedan. Body lean sets in early and the steering feels slow and numb. At the track, the Equus felt ponderous and out of its element, with the late-to-wake stability control system allowing some oversteer before intervening. The 385-hp V8 delivered spirited acceleration and the six-speed automatic transmission shifted smoothly. A more powerful V8 and an eight-speed automatic arrived for 2012, but it's the chassis-not the powertrain-that falls short.

Inside the cabin:
With plenty of leg and head room and a wide foot well, most drivers should find a good fit. Front seats are big and comfortable, with good support and lots of power adjustments including a massage feature. Rear seating is very comfortable and spacious, but the center rear is no place for an adult. Most controls are simple enough, but adjusting the audio system involves some tedious wading through menus on the in-dash screen. Though it's luxuriously detailed and has some nifty features, like rear-seat adjustments, the interior atmosphere is too ordinary compared to the highest-level luxury sedans.

CR's take:
Overall, the Equus reminds us more of an older big, soft Buick or Lincoln than a modern luxury liner.

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