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Hyundai Equus
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Hyundai
Overall: It’s really a limited-production luxury car and one that will surprise those considering a top-ranked model from Germany or Japan.

Drivetrain: A 429-horsepower V8 is teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel-drive would complete the package, but it’s still a no-go.

The Equus is ideal for those people who eschew the luxury-car status quo and aren’t hung up on upscale brands as simply a way of showing off to their neighbors and friends. Since its arrival for the 2011 model year, Hyundai’s luxury flagship has received minor exterior and interior updating in addition to a more potent engine and a retuned suspension to enhance ride comfort. But still the one ingredient that remains off the options sheet is all-wheel-drive. Entering through the Equus’s generously sized rear doors provides a clear indication that those seated behind the chauffeur can really stretch their extremities. The seats are covered in premium leather and come with what Hyundai calls built-in “thermoelectric devices” that provide heating cooling and humidity control to both the seat backs and bottoms. The resplendent trim pieces are done up in genuine wood and brushed aluminum that would do any luxo-cruiser proud. The driver’s chair can be further upgraded with a massaging function, while twin rear bucket seats separated by a multi-functional console are just an option tick away. The Equus has an electrically controlled air suspension that can be adjusted for maximum cushy-ride compliance, or switched to “Sport” mode if a firmer, more controlled ride is preferred. The standard drivetrain is a 429-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and eight-speed-automatic-transmission duo that’s optional in the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec sedan. Standard safety items include lane-departure warning for inattentive and distracted drivers, safe-distance-monitoring smart cruise control and a grille-mounted forward-view camera that aids in parking. For 2016, hands-free truck opening is standard as part of the Equus’s Ultimate package.

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