In my recent review of the 2013 Cadillac XTS Platinum, a comment was left by someone that stated,
"At $64k I'd take a Hyundai Equus over this. Which makes me think, has any magazine or website done a comparison test with a Hyundai Equus in it?"
This is somewhat funny since a week before I published the XTS review, I wrote up a first drive of the 2014 Hyundai Equus: A vehicle that starts around the same price range as my fully loaded XTS Platinum tester. So that brings up this question: Which vehicle would I buy?
Let's look at the good and bad points of each vehicle.
2013 Cadillac XTS Platinum
- Its Got Style: The XTS as I said in my review 'might be my favorite Cadillac design to date.' The sharp lines and angles give the XTS presence. Little touches such as a satin-chrome grille, twenty-inch wheels, and taillights with a little fin action give the XTS the Cadillac identity. No one will mistake you for driving anything else but a Cadillac.
- Technologies Galore: The XTS was one of the first GM vehicles to loaded with a lot tech. You have a reconfigurable gauge cluster that you can customize to your liking. A new head-up display that is in color and provides key information such as speed, navigation, and other items. There is CUE (Cadillac User Experience) which has been getting better to use.
- Smooth Rider: I found the XTS to be one most comfortable rides I've ever experienced. Credit an rear air suspension system and GM's Magnetic Ride Control.
- CUE: Now I did praise CUE a moment ago for getting much better to use. That doesn't mean GM has all of the problems licked. For one, CUE has a very steep learning curve. Trying to use CUE without reading the manual and spending some quality time with it will result in a world of hurt. There's also the distraction problem. With CUE using capacitive touch buttons, you have to take your eyes off the road and look at the buttons to make sure you're hitting the right one. Fine when you're parked or at a stop light. Not so when you're on the move.
- 3.6L DI V6: From my review; "When you think back to the big Cadillacs of yesteryear, all of them used a big V8 engine with the torque arriving on the low end of the RPM spectrum. The XTS' 3.6L is the complete opposite. With torque arriving at 5,200 RPM, you really have to work the engine if you want to get moving. Add on a curb weight of 4,215 pounds for the XTS Platinum with AWD, and you're in for a world of hurt."
2014 Hyundai Equus
- Value, Value, and Value: Looking at the Hyundai Equus window sticker and seeing how much stuff is standard may cause a shock. There is a 5.0L Tau V8, eight-speed automatic transmission, 9.2-inch for the infotainment system, a 7.1 surround sound system, three-zone climate control, power and reclining rear seats, power rear sunshade, nine airbags, smart cruise control, and much more.
- No-Cost Maintenance with Valet Pickup/Drop-Off: When Hyundai first introduced the Equus, they sent shockwaves through the automotive world by doing something different with their maintenance program. You can schedule a service appointment from your home and a dealer rep will come by, pick up your Equus, and leave you a loaner vehicle. From there, the Equus is taken to the dealer where the service is done and then brought back to you.
- Backseat Space and Luxuries: The backseat is huge. You'll find plenty of head and legroom. Plus, you can recline the seat to provide a bit more comfort. Fold the center armrest down and you'll find controls for the climate control and radio.
- Badge: While Hyundai has improved their image over the past few years, telling someone that you drive a $60,000 Hyundai will net you some strange looks.
- Exterior Design: Compared to competitors in the flagship luxury class, the Equus looks kind of boring.
For around the same price, you can get two different classes of vehicle. The XTS is around the same size as a BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, while the Equus plays in the Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and BMW 7-Series sandbox. Both vehicles for the price are very good for what they are.
You go with the XTS if you want a big, American luxury sedan with some clever tech and very unique styling. You go with the Equus if you want a big luxury car for not that much money.
What would I choose? Well at the moment, I would go with the Equus. The value for money argument is second to none and the maintenance pickup and drop-off is an amazing selling point. However with a new 410 horsepower TT V6 on the way for the Cadillac XTS, that could make this decision much harder.
So which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments.