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Car reviews - Hyundai - Excel - LX sedan

Used Rivals

18 Jun 2003

AN ex-General Motors Europe castoff, the South Korean-built 1984-1991 Astra has size and price merits as well as an accommodating posterior. But refinement, dynamics, engine performance and comfort levels are of another era, while the car's durability isn't really up to scratch either. Not bad looking though.

A SPANISH-built VW Polo in disguise, the Ibiza isn't big on performance (a Barina can run rings around its 44kW 1.4 engine) but its handsome and strong body, firmly comfy cabin and nice ride, steering and handling qualities make it an enjoyable car. Just ensure it has power steering. Sadly Aussies ignored it to death.

EVEN less appealing than the X3 Excel, the South Korean-built (by Kia) Festiva has cheapness written all over it, from its wispy 46kW 1.3-engine, flimsy build quality and awful dynamics to the tippy-toed styling. Not nice to look at and equally unhappy to drive, the Festiva is below par in most respects.

THE Spanish-built City's smart styling, sassy cabin and Euro chicness are outweighed by the slug of a 33kW 1.2 litre engine, a drag of a manual gearbox, and dullsville dynamics. The '96 44kW 1.4 version is better, but the best by far is the post-August '97 facelift with its 60kW 1.4 and improved dynamics.

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