2002 Hyundai Equus JS300 3.0L V6

Summary:

Korean luxo-barge, competent car and great value for the money

Faults:

Periodic maintenance items (brakes, belts, filters, fluids), a noisy rear wheel bearing, two switches. Lots of the interior trim melted.

General Comments:

PERFORMANCE: the car moves nicely from a standstill, but it leaves you wishing for more in the responsiveness department. Will have the hardest time downshifting by itself unless you floor it. Decent MPG for a 2-ton car.

HANDLING: it's a 2-ton boat, but still manages to pull relatively tight U-turns. Never felt its marine handling was an inconvenience unless you tried to do anything stupid with it. This is not a car for aggressive drivers, and it will make you into a more serene individual at the wheel.

RELIABILITY: the car feels strong and has aged beautifully since 2002. My vehicle has covered roughly 100,000 miles and a lot of it seems original.

COMFORT: ungodly comfortable. Wide and floaty like a B-Body Buick Roadmaster, but tight like a Lexus LS400. Lots of little convenience items (folding mirrors, automatic climate control, foldable rear seat, two TVs from the factory) worthy of a chaebol chairman or a foreign diplomat.

DEALER: no issues. For as rare as this car is in this country, they get the right parts within a week. Service is friendly and personalized — they actually remember you.

RUNNING COSTS: surprisingly low. If you can get over it getting 20-24MPG, the car's original spares are very inexpensive, as they are shared with other vehicles, like the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero and some Kia models.

Final verdict: perhaps it does not have the qualitative edge over Lexus (cheap plastics, unfortunately), however, you can definitely tell that Hyundai/Mitsubishi tried very hard to build a solid machine worthy of executives and dignitaries. For the money, it can't be beat — got mine for $2,700 in 2016. The fold-down cushion in the passenger seat is always a great party trick. Try it! If you can find one...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2016