GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Hyundai - Excel - GLS 5-dr hatch

Our Opinion

We like
Pleasantly styled, spacious, cheap...
Room for improvement
... cheap, that is, in every way - starting with low quality and working its way down to woeful comfort, refinement, construction, durability and image.

Hyundai logo18 Jun 2003

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

HYUNDAI launched the Excel onto the Australian market in 1986. It marked the South Korean manufacturer's entry into Australia via Bond Motor Corporation.

The Excel did not have any outstanding engineering or styling features. It was aimed at buyers who wanted a small four-seat car which was reliable, cheap to run and, above all, affordable.

The Excel proved to be a package the budget conscious buyers wanted. Sales gradually increased to the point where it became the biggest selling four-cylinder car on the Australian market.

The second generation Excel was released in April, 1990, and remained on sale until superseded by the troublesome X3 from October 1994 to July 2000.

It was available with two levels of equipment, LS and an upper level GLS. The GLS was well equipped, considering its new price, with electric windows, AM/FM radio with electric aerial and power steering.

The Excel had a major update in late 1991. The update included much-needed firmer suspension and revised interior trim. External changes to the front panels and bumper gave the Excel a more rounded appearance.

The four-cylinder, 1.5-litre engine with multi-point fuel-injection is closely related to that used in contemporary Mitsubishi Lancers. The Excel uses a less complex eight-valve cylinder head while the Lancer uses a 12-valve version.

A five-speed manual transmission was standard equipment while a four-speed automatic transmission with a locking torque converter was available as an option.

Under-car mechanicals are conventional small car front-wheel drive - MacPherson struts and coil springs at the front and torsion beam axle with trailing arms and coil springs at the rear.

Fuel consumption for a manual transmission will range between 8 and 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres in normal suburban use. Highway use will return 7.5 to 8.0L/100km.

For everyday use the engine performance is good. Highway performance is adequate but limited by high transmission ratios and Excel's relatively heavy mass. Plus it's a chore to drive due to the excessively unpleasant gear shift.

Brake, steering and suspension systems perform their respective tasks adequately but nothing more. The Excel's suspension and tyres place modest limits on roadholding abilities, with below-par dynamics being the outcome.

The Excel may be conservatively engineered and uses proven components, but durability and reliability aren't really strong points, particularly as they age.

Body and interior spare parts are common in junk yards, while mechanical bits should still be easy to get from your friendly Hyundai dealer. Either way they should be inexpensive, reflecting the overall quality ethos of the Excel.

The Hyundai Excel GLS only really makes good sense with its hatchback versatility and good equipment levels if it's absolutely dirt cheap and in excellent condition.

Otherwise, people who want little more than basic transport but are not interested in the latest and greatest technology should check out a used Japanese car instead. Or keep saving.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Excel

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.