Car reviews - Hyundai - Excel - GLS 5-dr hatch
18 May 1990
CHEAP but cheerful? Early Hyundai Excels, including the second-generation X2 from 1990 to 1994 featured here, were definitely the former but not the latter. The South Korean giant's formula was simple and effective: get an outsider (say, Giugiaro of Italy) to style an attractive body, making sure it was slightly larger than the segment norm, and then built it down to a price and flog it off at bargain-basement prices. Like a super-sized meal from a fast-food chain, the results certainly fulfill basic needs but there sure is a deficit of quality. Hyundai didn't really turn the corner until the mid-'90s with the J2 Lantra and its '96 Coupe spin-off, but the Excel lingered until the far-improved Accent arrived in mid-2000. The 2002 Getz, meanwhile, is a good thing, but that's jumping ahead of ourselves. The Excel was pretty woeful in core areas. Durability isn't its strong suit, nor is its build quality. Flimsy construction and materials, low refinement and comfort levels and below-par dynamics are everyday Excel traits. There are much better used cars out there.
Model release date: 1 April 1990 to 1 October 1994
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