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A Fat Korean V8 Land Yacht Just Isn't That Cool

Illustration for article titled A Fat Korean V8 Land Yacht Just Isnt That Cool

I want to like the Hyundai Equus. I want to like the novelty of a big, Korean luxury sedan with a 5.0 liter V8. But dammit the thing's so characterless that it's hard to even form an opinion on it.


I guess that's the whole point of the car, really. It's a luxury car for someone who doesn't want to strand out too much. They want something big and comfortable and simple, but they don't want flame surfacing or a three-pointed star hood ornament or Cadillac's grill the size of Vermont. The Equuus should fill that void.

But the irony is that so many people buy 7ers and S-classes and A8s that the Equuuus becomes more ostentatious than not. It doesn't really fulfill its goal.


So I end up a little detached from the Equuuuus, even if I do respect it. Oh, and the facelifted version has some LEDs.

Illustration for article titled A Fat Korean V8 Land Yacht Just Isnt That Cool

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For Sweden

Once again, we're going to have to talk about Jalop Character vs. Actual Character

Jalop Character seems to be based on if the mark won an endurance race several decades ago, directly proportional to unreliability, availability in Anglo-French North America, and dealer markup.

Long, long, LONG ago, Jaguar made a few race cars. This apparently gives the XJ character. Never mind that there's nothing overly special about the XJ itself, and those race cars were build several owners ago, the XJ is now a JAAAAAGGGGGGG. Never mind that the Equus has a more reliable, more powerful naturally-aspirated 5.0L V8; there was no Hyundai at Le Mans, therefore the Hyundai has no character.

The Equus is a very large, very powerful, very posh Asian sedan, but because it's a large Asian sedan sold in Anglo-French North America. Just like the comparable Lexus. But if Toyota started importing the Century, another very large, very powerful, very posh Asian sedan, it would be the Pinnacle of Jalop Character. For a few years. Then it'd become another boring large Asian sedan.

Lastly, the Equus is relatively cheap. The sticker price doesn't include the price of telling your subordinates you're driving a huge boat with racing pedigree (ha), the sudden desire to buy trinkets emblazoned with the manufacturer's name, or rub posh elbows at an owners club. You get a bargain because you're just buying a great car. If you need to pay for a boost in self-worth, you can always get a Merc.

I think the Equus has tons of actual character. It's not perfect, it's not a Rolls Royce, but it's honest. It doesn't take itself too seriously, it's extremely comfortable, and it will never ever die.

It's the W140 of our time.