Car reviews - Hyundai - Excel - LX sedan
18 Jun 2003
DAEWOO CIELO 5D HATCHBACK (1995-1997)
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.
SEAT IBIZA 5D HATCHBACK (1995-1997)
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.
FORD FESTIVA 5D HATCHBACK (1994-1996)
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.
HOLDEN BARINA 5D HATCHBACK (1994-2001)
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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