1988 Hyundai Excel Base 1.5L from North America


Good cheap first car, but after a while, you'll want to upgrade


Engine cracked and leaked oil.

Driver's seat slowly coming apart.

Antenna snapped off due to rust.

Stereo needed replacing.

Rear left speaker doesn't work.

Rear left passenger window leaks (probably caused the speaker to stop working).

Interior paneling coming off.

Steering out of alignment due to accident.

Rear window defroster only clears half of window.

General Comments:

Not that bad of a car actually, a real good first car.

I got this from my mom, who bought it brand new in 1988.

I only use this for driving to and from school, and it does a pretty good job.

Gas mileage is pretty good, only takes about $30 to fill the tank.

Although when I park it in direct sunlight, I tend to get a little high off of the fumes coming from the plastics.

It's also a really hard car to learn to drive standard on, due to it being so low on power.

Takes quite a while to warm up, especially if parked outside overnight (probably due to the fact it has a carburetor, and the fact that it's 22 years old)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2010

1988 Hyundai Excel from North America


Glad I moved up to a Lexus, but if I had to get a cheap car again I'd be looking for one of these..


Had the muffler fall right off one time when I drifted her around a corner and onto a small snow drift on the way to my girlfriend's place. Went by a day later, still never found out where the thing went.

Had a tail light go out - normal wear and tear.

Fatal blow came when the alternator crapped out.

General Comments:

I loved this little car even though I had it for less than a year.

Only reason I sold my previous vehicle ('92 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.0 V6) was because I needed the cash to pay for real estate school. Took what little cash I had left and bought the most affordable econo car I could find. (Paid $800)

I think I changed the oil one in this thing?? Basically treated it like crap and the car loved it!

For the first few months in business, I'd take clients around and make them follow me unless they were brave enough to squeeze into the tiny seats. Some did. I drove through 2-3 feet of water with them in the car during a massive spring rainstorm when the streets were flooded. Drove through it like a charm. Exhaust sounded pretty throaty after that (this is post-muffler-falling-off-in-winter).

Took the car over a speed bump in an Ikea parking lot a bit too fast one time and blew out one of the tires - same ones that came with the car. And it's not the car's fault as I used to love doing burnouts while racing to appointments with the spiffy front wheel drive.

For a tiny car, body roll wasn't too bad. And trust me, I took corners like a roller coaster in this thing.

Highway driving is a bit hairy - semi's and big pickups would cause a burst of wind and make the car dance on the road. Nothing a bit of diligence didn't take care of. Many times I was in a rush to leave the city and make it to the g/f's parent's place out of town - I'd end up doing about 140kmh on the secondary highways when nobody was around and it handled great at that speed.

Best thing I can say about this car is the insurance and gas prices - stupid low! If you're short on cash, or in school, or need a good in-town runner, this car is fantastic. Great for groceries, picking up the kids, getting to class, etc. I even squeezed a whole bedroom furniture set (boxed up) on the back when I folded all the seats down as far as they could go. This thing even came with a moon roof!

If you're complaining about maintenance costs, you need a better job or a better attitude. You're getting foreign engineering and fuel economy for a dirt cheap price - of course things are going to break. But it's so cheap to fix and parts are everywhere if you know where to look.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2009