So You Can't Afford: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
429-hp, 4.6-liter twin turbo V8
The inexpensive imitator: Hyundai Equus
It appears that Hyundai's mission is to beat the luxury-car brands at their own game. And it's having some serious success doing so. The Genesis Coupe is the perfect low-buck foil to the Infiniti G37. The Genesis sedan arrived ready to take on the mid-level luxury sedans like the BMW 5 Series. The Korean automaker had to have some serious confidence to take on the large luxury sedans—like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class—with its new Equus. After all, since the 1970s the S-Class has been the car world's benchmark for what a large sedan should be.
But Maybe You Can Afford: Hyundai Equus
429-hp 4.6-liter V-8
On paper the Equus packs a serious punch. It matches the big Benz in horsepower, but produces it with a much smaller engine. The Equus is about the same size too, with a larger trunk than the Mercedes. The Equus packs the same level of luxury features, from its reclining rear seats to the smart cruise control and lane-departure warning.
So where's the extra $35,500 worth of car you'll get with a Mercedes-Benz? It's largely in the details. The leather is more sumptuous. The wood, buttons, and switches are higher quality. And when it comes to the drive, you can think of the Hyundai as Buick-level engagement. The Mercedes-Benz feels tauter and more responsive in the corners. And, of course, buying a big Mercedes-Benz doesn't require any explanation. It's an S-Class. You might have to explain to people why you bought a $60,000 Hyundai.