When Hyundai and Kia announced that they were making 60-70k cars to compete with the S Class and other established luxobarges, I doubt anyone took them serious. Let’s be honest here, to most people, Badges = Status and that only gets more amplified the higher up the chain you get. This isn’t the Lexus invasion, there is no “Genesis” brand. This is the Phaeton but arguably not as good a car. Having driven the K900 and Equus, I will admit that they are unquestionably good cars. But it doesn’t matter how good the car is, when you sell a 65k$ car you’re dealing with status.

A colleague of mine actually bought an Equus and I was rather shocked (he came from a Lexus LS) but the car is very comfortable, the surfaces are tailored and the entire interior feels of “high class”. I don’t have the heart to tell him about how badly these cars are depreciating and hopefully he’ll keep it till it’s dead. So while I can’t really make a case for an Equus or K900 at 65k, I can certainly make a case for them at 35-40k. Look at the mileage on these things, they’re almost non existent, and despite the badge you’re still getting V8 Luxobarges loaded to the gills in options and tech, in sleeker less ostentatious packages for about half what the same car costs if you want the privilege of taking the plastic off the seats. If you’re thinking about C300 or A4 or 3 Series or hell even a Cadenza/Azera/Genesis or Avalon and Taurus these are certainly a better buy for the money (again the caveat being you’re not looking for sale on value). I’ve long since been a proponent of American luxury cars, but a used Equus or K900 take the cake for best bang for buck.

If you spring for an Ultimate (and if you’re buying a used Equus, spend the 2k more and do so) then you’re still getting one of the best rear cabins on the market. Certainly the best cabin you can buy in the 30/40k price range. I would have zero qualms about being a rear seat passenger in one of those, what with the reclining seats, shiatsu massage function and dual entertainment screens. But don’t listen to me, I’ll let the always good Brian Cooley explain why this car is so great.

In fact, if you’ll humor me for a minute, let me channel my inner Tavarish and say Why Buy a C300 when you could get a basically brand new Hyundai Equus Ultimate instead? Sure the badge isn’t quite up to snuff, but smart car owners know that brands are all in the eye of the beholder anyways. You have to drive the thing, might as well be comfortable while you do!