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The Hyundai Equus Is Your Entry Ticket Into Luxury Executive Saloons

Hyundai, Hyundai Equus, Op-Ed
After watching The Smoking Tire drive a 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom, I did a quick search for used examples of the ultra-luxury sedan. Unfortunately, as it turns out, prices aren’t that low.

A quick search for Phantoms on eBay revealed that the cheapest examples cost approximately $90,000. That’s not really affordable. Plus, this being a Rolls Royce, parts and labor are going to be insanely expensive. While I’d love to be able to daily drive a Phantom, getting into the sedan will never be within my reach. But someone can always dream, right?

Spending upwards of $90,000 on a car isn’t realistic for a lot of people. So that got me thinking: what luxury vehicle can enthusiasts actually afford and enjoy owning? While an old Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Jaguar seem like obvious choices, those vehicles aren’t exactly reliable or affordable to own when things go wrong.

With those requirements, my search led me to one obvious choice: the Hyundai Equus. While the South Korean luxury sedan may bring a sour taste to some enthusiasts’ mouths, the vehicle has nearly hit rock bottom and low-mileage examples can be had for a great price.

When new, the Equus undercut its German, Japanese, and British competitors by roughly $10,000, which is enough to add at least two Mazda Miatas into one’s garage. With that kind of price difference, the Equus was an incredible bargain. But now, the sedan is even more of a steal on the used market.

Let me get one thing out of the way right now. I know there’s no way the Equus is on par with the S-Class. With the exception of Lexus, German automakers rule this class. Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia are still working on these things. And the Equus isn’t nearly as good-looking as the S-Class either. But the price is right.

We found this ’13 Equus on eBay for just $20,700. The sedan has 47,600 miles on it and is the Signature trim, which comes with a 17-speaker audio system, tri-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled seats, and leather everything. There’s a lot more, but you get the idea.

The Signature trim was the entry-level model for the Equus. The Ultimate trim is the truly luxurious sedan and this one only has 17,080 miles on the clock and is selling for just under $30,000. While the Signature trim has everything one could ever want in a car, the Ultimate brings it with the luxury features. Things like two rear monitors, auto-latching doors, cooled rear seats, a forward-view cornering camera, and a heads-up display are included as standard.

Both variants of the Equus are powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that cranks out 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Most manufacturers are downsizing these days and V8s make way for force-fed V6s, but Hyundai’s luxury saloon still has a limo-appropriate V8.

No, the Equus isn’t a Rolls-Royce. It’s not a S-Class or a 7-Series either. But it is an affordable luxury sedan that would make for a great daily driver. And if you’re willing to get a high-mileage option, you could get an example for under $15,000.

I don’t think prices are going to get any lower, so if you’ve been looking for a little more luxury in your life and you can’t afford something German or British, the Equus is an excellent option.
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