With the addition of the Genesis and Equus, Hyundai is now firmly entrenched in the luxury segment of the automotive world. The automaker now offers models ranging from an inexpensive compact, such as the Accent, all the way up to reasonably priced luxury vehicles. On April 10, Hyundai Motor America announced that the 2014 Equus was listed among Ward’s 10 Best Interiors by the editors of WardsAuto.com. Previous Hyundai recipients were the 2013 Santa Fe Sport, 2012 Azera, and 2012 Accent. The 2014 interior winners will be honored in a ceremony at this year’s WardsAuto Interiors Conference, which will take place on April 21 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan..
The 10 winners were selected by eight WardsAuto editors selected; they were found to be the best 10 out of 41 vehicles with all-new or redesigned passenger compartments. Editors spent two months evaluating the vehicles’ features including ergonomics, driver information, fit-and-finish, materials, value, safety, comfort, and design harmony. A price cap was not placed on the entries. The key criteria were interiors that raise the bar not only for that particular brand but also for that vehicle’s market segment. Thus, the majority of the winners were not in the luxury segement. The other winners were: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Chrysler 200C, GMC Sierra Denali, Jeep Cherokee Limited, Kia Soul+, Mazda3, Mercedes-Benz S550, Rolls-Royce Wraith, and Volkswagen GTI.
Hyundai notes that the redesigned 2014 Hyundai Equus interior features the themes of premium and performance. The instrument panel and center stack were totally redesigned with more premium materials and an ergonomically-correct layout. The panel features a new button iconography for quicker and easier feature recognition. More premium material selection and contemporary premium-luxury design cues are now available for the center console and shift lever. The steering wheel control layout features new low-sheen button designs and icons. Rear seat passengers are pampered with a rear console and button layout, with an available dual 9.2-inch, high-resolution, adjustable seatback video screens for video and audio media as well as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) or seating functions.
“The Hyundai Equus Ultimate has everything you would expect from a $120,000 ultra-luxury car, for about $50,000 less,” noted Drew Winter, Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto World magazine. He added, “While there is plenty of fine craftsmanship and sumptuous leather to go around, WardsAuto editors were most impressed with the limousine-like rear seating area of the Equus. A button on the rear armrest is labeled ‘relax.’ Push the button and the front passenger seat moves all the way forward while the rear seat reclines all the way back like a business-class airline seat. Even with a sticker approaching $70,000, that’s really special.”
Christopher Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America, explained, “Equus, Hyundai’s flagship premium sedan, offers a roomy, attractive cabin filled with luxury features that offer maximum driver comfort. Like the performance and the exterior design of the vehicle, the inside also impresses. Quality fabrics and straightforward controls help the Equus look sleek and modern.”
The MSRP for the base Signature model is $61,250. For that you get a 429 HP 5.0 liter V8 and a wealth (pardon the pun) of luxury features. For those who prefer luxury at a reduced cost, the Genesis is worth a look.