1 Feb 1986
With its smart Italian styling, roomy body and good value for money, Australians enthusiastically said “Hi to Hyundai” in early 1986.
The front-wheel drive, five-door hatchback Excel in GL and GLS guises was the first South Korean car to be imported, although some of the drivetrain was cast-off Mitsubishi design – including the 53kW 1.5L Orion four-cylinder engine.
A five-speed manual or three-speed auto were the gearboxes on offer.
In March ’87 the range expanded to the GLS sedan, while a few months later the very basic four-speed manual L hatch arrived, followed by an entry level L 3-door hatchback.
In mid-’88 a minor facelift occurred, while a bizarre GLS four-door Cabriolet was included in the range from March to September ’89.
The X1 was mechanically durable but cheap and flimsy in feel.