Hyundai Equus Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Hyundai Equus Years To Avoid – Few automakers have undergone a transformation quite like Hyundai. From its early days of producing affordable, dependable vehicles for the masses, the brand has risen to become a leading force in the automotive industry.

Today, Hyundai boasts a diverse lineup of popular vehicles, including the Palisade, IONIQ, and Tucson, earning accolades for its innovation and reliability.

However, there’s a lesser-known chapter in Hyundai’s history that involves a bold foray into the luxury car segment – the Hyundai Equus.

Hyundai Equus Years To Avoid

Introduced to the U.S. markets in 2011, the Hyundai Equus was a courageous endeavor by the brand to compete with established luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Lexus LS.

Offering a full-size, rear-wheel-drive sedan with premium features at a significantly lower price point, the Equus aimed to challenge the status quo and win over luxury car enthusiasts.

However, as with any used car purchase, it’s essential to be cautious and informed.

Not all Hyundai Equus models boast the same level of reliability.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the crucial details of the Hyundai Equus years to avoid, helping you make a smart and well-informed decision when purchasing a used Hyundai Equus.

Let’s dive into the specifics, highlighting the worst years to steer clear of and identifying the ones you can confidently consider.

Hyundai Equus Years To Avoid

The Hyundai Equus, a luxury sedan introduced in 2011, has garnered acclaim for its features and performance.

However, like any car model, some model years have experienced issues that may affect reliability and overall performance.

We will explore the Hyundai Equus years to avoid and highlight the specific problems associated with each model.

Hyundai Equus Years To Avoid

Whether you’re a potential buyer or an owner seeking information, our in-depth analysis will help you make informed decisions and ensure a satisfying ownership experience.

2011 Hyundai Equus: A Challenging Debut

As a general rule, we recommend avoiding debut model years, and the 2011 Hyundai Equus is no exception.

Early production vehicles often suffer from unforeseen issues that only become evident after widespread use.

The 2011 Equus, in particular, faced numerous complaints and recalls, making it a problematic choice for used car buyers. received 40 complaints, two recalls, and over 70 service bulletins related to the 2011 Equus.

Owners reported various issues, including problems with the engine, suspension, brakes, and lights, as well as seat belts and airbags.

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The suspension, in particular, was a significant concern, with 21 complaints received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Many owners experienced a rough ride, and some faced severe suspension failures, leading to instability and safety hazards on the road.

Brake problems were also reported, with instances of the pedal going all the way to the floor and outright brake failure.

Considering these significant reliability concerns, it is advisable to steer clear of the 2011 Hyundai Equus when searching for a used luxury sedan.

2012 Hyundai Equus: Fewer Issues, But Still Worth Noting

While the 2012 Hyundai Equus had fewer complaints compared to its predecessor, it is not entirely free of problems. Potential buyers looking for a relatively problem-free used luxury sedan should be aware of the issues specific to this model year.

CarComplaints documented 15 complaints and one recall for the 2012 Equus.

One notable problem reported was related to the vehicle’s struts, with an owner experiencing a failure that caused the car to sag excessively, resembling a low-rider.

Repairing this issue can be expensive, with one owner spending almost $7,000 on repairs.

Another common complaint for the 2012 Equus was related to the leather dashboard, which proved to be susceptible to warping, peeling, or separating due to heat and sun exposure.

While not a critical safety concern, it can be an annoying issue for luxury car buyers.

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Though the 2012 Equus has fewer problems compared to its debut year, these issues should still be taken into consideration when evaluating potential used purchases.

2014 Hyundai Equus: Reliability Woes Persist

The 2014 Hyundai Equus stands out as one of the worst model years to avoid due to its numerous complaints and reliability woes.

CarComplaints registered over 40 complaints for the 2014 Equus, and once again, the leather dashboard problem surfaced.

Owners reported the dashboard’s leather covering detaching from its base, leading to an expensive repair costing around $4,500 due to the need to remove both the front windshield and the dashboard.

The NHTSA also received 19 complaints for the 2014 Equus, highlighting issues with the electrical systems, exterior lighting, seats, and suspension.

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One concerning problem involved the vehicle inadvertently lowering while driving, leading to loss of control. This issue was traced back to a faulty rear strut assembly.

Given the extensive complaints and reliability concerns associated with the 2014 Hyundai Equus, it’s best to avoid this model year altogether.

Hyundai Equus Best Years

Known for its reliability and attractive features, the Equus has been a popular choice for commuting and small family use.

However, with several model years available, it’s essential to understand which ones have earned the reputation for being the most reliable.

We’ll explore the most trustworthy Hyundai Equus years, as well as the least reliable models.

Hyundai Equus Best Years

By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the best-used Hyundai Equus to purchase.

Most Reliable Hyundai Equus Years

Over the years, the Hyundai Equus has seen improvements in reliability and ratings, with certain model years standing out as exceptional choices for used car buyers.

Let’s delve into the most reliable Hyundai Equus years:

2016 Hyundai Equus

The 2016 Hyundai Equus, being the last year of production before discontinuation, is a solid choice for used car buyers seeking a dependable luxury sedan.

CarComplaints listed only 17 complaints and one recall for this model, indicating its relatively problem-free nature.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded eight complaints and one recall for the 2013 Equus, signifying a lower incidence of issues compared to other years.

Critics and drivers praised the 2016 Equus for its performance and interior comfort.

Edmunds consumer reviews awarded it an impressive average rating of 4.5 out of 5, while reviews boasted an even higher average rating of 4.7 out of 5, with 85% of users recommending the car.

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If you’re looking for a reliable and satisfying luxury sedan, the 2016 Hyundai Equus is an excellent option.

2013 Hyundai Equus

As the oldest model among our recommendations, the 2013 Hyundai Equus still holds up well as a used car choice. CarComplaints documented only 17 complaints and one recall for this model, indicating its overall reliability.

Hyundai Equus Best Years

Similarly, the NHTSA recorded eight complaints and one recall for the 2013 Equus, with suspension-related issues being the primary concern, though not widespread.

Critics and owners alike were impressed with the 2013 Equus. Edmunds consumer reviews granted it an average rating of 4.0 out of 5, reflecting positive feedback from owners. reviews rated it even higher, with an impressive 4.7 out of 5.0, and 86% of drivers recommending the vehicle. If you’re looking for an older but reliable luxury sedan, the 2013 Hyundai Equus is a great option.

2011 Hyundai Equus

Being the debut year for the Equus, the 2011 model initially faced some issues as expected with early production vehicles. However, over time, it has proven to be a reliable choice.

CarComplaints listed 40 complaints, two recalls, and 70+ service bulletins for the 2011 Equus. The NHTSA received 21 complaints, with suspension issues being a significant concern.

Despite its initial challenges, the 2011 Equus is still considered reliable and provides an affordable alternative to more expensive luxury sedans.

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Over the years, Equus improved its safety and durability metrics, setting benchmarks for future models.

Hyundai Equus Problems

When purchasing a used Hyundai Equus, it’s essential to be aware of potential problems that previous owners have encountered.

Hyundai Equus Problems

Like any vehicle, the Hyundai Equus may experience certain common issues that could impact its performance and reliability.

In this section, we will explore the most frequent problems reported by Hyundai Equus owners.

Understanding these common issues will help you make an informed decision and ensure a smoother ownership experience.

Let’s delve into the most common Hyundai Equus problems and how they can affect your driving.

Common Hyundai Equus Problems

Based on data from and owner experiences, several common issues have been reported for the Hyundai Equus:

1. Strut Failures

One of the primary problems encountered by Hyundai Equus owners is strut failures. The suspension struts, responsible for providing a smooth and stable ride, may experience issues that lead to a rough and bumpy driving experience.

These failures can be a safety concern as they may affect the vehicle’s handling and stability.

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2. Losing Power While Driving

Another common issue faced by some Equus owners is the loss of power while driving.

This sudden loss of engine power can be a dangerous situation, especially at higher speeds or in heavy traffic. It may result from various factors, such as fuel delivery problems, electrical issues, or engine malfunctions.

3. Lights Not Working

Some Hyundai Equus owners have reported problems with the vehicle’s lights, including headlights, taillights, and interior lighting. Non-functional lights can compromise visibility, especially during nighttime driving, posing a safety risk to both the driver and other road users.

4. Exhaust Emitting Black Soot

The emission of black soot from the exhaust is another common issue experienced by Equus owners.

This can be a sign of engine or exhaust system problems, such as fuel mixture issues or clogged filters, which may affect the car’s fuel efficiency and emissions compliance.

Addressing the Issues

While these common Hyundai Equus problems can be concerning, prompt attention and appropriate repairs can mitigate potential risks.

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If you encounter any of these issues in your used Hyundai Equus, consider the following steps:

  1. Strut Failures: Have the suspension system inspected by a qualified mechanic to identify and replace any faulty struts. Regular maintenance of the suspension can prevent premature wear and potential failures.
  2. Losing Power While Driving: When experiencing a sudden loss of power, immediately pull over to a safe location and consult a professional mechanic. Diagnosing and fixing the root cause of this issue is crucial to avoid accidents and ensure safe driving.
  3. Lights Not Working: Regularly check and replace faulty bulbs or fuses in the lighting system. If the problem persists, have an automotive electrician diagnose and repair any electrical issues affecting the lights.
  4. Exhaust Emitting Black Soot: Consult a mechanic to inspect the exhaust system, including the catalytic converter and air-fuel mixture, to address the black soot emission. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help maintain optimal engine performance and emissions.

Which Hyundai Equus is Most Reliable?

The most reliable Hyundai Equus among the used models is the 2016 version. According to, the 2016 Hyundai Equus was a pinnacle in terms of performance, features, safety, and overall reliability.

This model not only boasts an attractive interior but also includes a range of extra safety features, such as electronic stability controls, antilock brakes, and a comprehensive suite of airbags.

If you’re looking for a used Hyundai Equus that offers exceptional longevity and value for your investment, the 2016 model is undoubtedly the top choice.

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Unlike some of the later variations, the 2016 Equus doesn’t suffer from newer issues or potential maintenance hurdles.

Is Hyundai Equus Reliable?

The reliability of the Hyundai Equus can vary based on individual experiences and perceptions. According to, the average reliability rating for the Hyundai Equus is only two out of five, ranking 21st among 30 full-size luxury cars.

This suggests that the vehicle is considered unreliable, prone to mechanical mishaps, and demanding in terms of maintenance.

However, it’s important to note that many other users rate the reliability of the Hyundai Equus much higher, with ratings as high as 4.8 out of 5.

Positive user reviews, particularly for the most reliable Hyundai Equus year, can be found on, highlighting overall satisfaction and consistent performance from this vehicle.

This indicates that Hyundai Equuses can be generally reliable, especially if you purchase a used vehicle from the correct year that has a solid maintenance history.

Is Hyundai Equus Expensive to Maintain?

Maintaining a used Hyundai Equus can come with some costs, and it’s crucial to consider the vehicle’s maintenance history before making a purchase to avoid potential issues. According to, the average annual maintenance cost for a Hyundai Equus is approximately $976, which is higher than the average maintenance cost of $651 for other vehicles.

While the Equus may incur slightly higher maintenance expenses, it’s essential to remember that these costs can vary based on the specific make and model you buy.

In cases where the Equus experiences severe damage or requires major component replacements, repair costs can escalate.

Which Hyundai Equus Are the Least Reliable?

While the Hyundai Equus has had some successful years, certain used models are known to be less reliable. The 2014 Hyundai Equus, in particular, received unfavorable reviews from both critics and owners alike.

This model faced issues such as malfunctioning power seats, malfunctioning sunroofs, and other electrical problems that plagued its performance.

Due to these reported problems, the 2014 Equus is considered less reliable and may not be the best choice for used car buyers.

Another model to approach with caution is the 2011 Hyundai Equus.

As the earliest version of the flagship car line used 2011 Equuses, especially those released primarily in South Korea, may be more prone to maintenance issues and potential complications that require attention.


When considering a used Hyundai Equus, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of specific model years to ensure a reliable and satisfying ownership experience.

According to data and user reviews, the 2016 Hyundai Equus emerges as the most reliable year, offering exceptional performance, safety features, and overall longevity.

This model presents a fantastic option for those seeking a luxury sedan that stands the test of time.

However, opinions on the general reliability of the Hyundai Equus may vary.

While some sources rank the vehicle lower in terms of reliability, user reviews often present a more positive outlook, emphasizing overall satisfaction and consistent performance.

This suggests that the Equus can be a dependable choice, particularly if you purchase a used vehicle from the correct year with a solid maintenance history.

On the other hand, some years of the Hyundai Equus should be approached with caution. The 2014 model, in particular, has received unfavorable reviews due to reported issues with power seats, sunroofs, and other electrical problems.

Similarly, the 2011 Equus, being the earliest version of the flagship line, may present more maintenance concerns.

When searching for a used Hyundai Equus, understanding the most reliable and least reliable model years will help you avoid potential headaches and ensure a satisfying ownership journey. Always prioritize safety, reliability, and overall satisfaction to find the perfect used Hyundai Equus for your needs.

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