1988 Hyundai Excel GL Sport 1.5L from North America


Good basic transportation


Clutch cable kept on tearing until we found out that it would kink up at the tip of the pedal where it wouldn't fit in the groove, causing it to weaken. Prior to that, it went through 3 cables. The second time it tore, it happened on the freeway. We solved it (Or think we did) by taking off the clutch pedal and grinding off some of the groove where the cable sits when the pedal is depressed. That was the last fix we tried. Upon inspection, the cable looks fine so far. (About 3 months ago)

Oil pan gasket went bad. Still leaks oil from somewhere, though. Garage floor is spotted black.

Burns a small amount of oil too.

Previous owner broke drivers window crank, and the car's air conditioner takes Freon 12, which is now illegal, so during the summer months, the car can be pretty unbearable.

Gears grind when shifting into reverse and car is rolling.

General Comments:

Good basic transportation. The car has started each time I've cranked it. There have been times where I've left the lights on all day, and when I return to the parking lot later in the day, the car still starts. It's been pretty reliable--hasn't failed me once or left me stranded.

The downside: It's not the greatest looking car. It's noisy-- Hyundai engineers didn't believe in insulating the car I guess. It gets pretty hot inside. Handling isn't all that great, but it's a small car, so you can squeeze just about anywhere in it. It's the kind of car that you can park just about anywhere and not fear that anyone will bang it up.

I can get about 250 miles on a tank of gas. I fill it up once a week, and only pay around $25.00. Has a good sized reserve too.

Basically, if all one needs is cheap transportation, this is the car. You don't want to be involved in an accident with one of these, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th June, 2007

1988 Hyundai Excel GL 1.5 from North America


This car is a disgrace, it doesn't belong on the road


Fuel Pump went at 33,500.

Heater Core went at 34,500.

Cap and Rotor needed replacing at 33,000.

Ignition module needed replacing at 33,200 ($160)

Spark Plugs weren't even matched!!!

Exhaust has rusted out entirely ($400 to fix)

Passenger front window won't go down or up.

Passenger rear door won't open.

Car stalls when pulling onto main roads.

Car pulls forward when braking, almost as if the calipers are hanging up.

General Comments:

This car sucks. I got it for free from my Grandpa (so I won't complain about the price) who got it from his mom, my Great Grandmother, who bought it new in 1988. It had 32 thousand or so miles on it when I got it and had been driven about 3 times a week, never above 35 miles an hour. I learned to drive in this car, so it was fine until I got my licence, now, I'm realizing how much of a piece of crap this car truly was. I drive it everyday, 250 miles a week, the gas mileage is great, 260 miles to a tank, $25 fills it up. Other than that, the car is a disgrace. It does not belong on the road. With only 68 horsepower, it gets blown off the road by everything around it. I haven't been able to beat a car off of a stop light yet. It takes so long to get to 60 mph, not to mention the fact that you have to let it warm up for 5 minutes before you can drive it anywhere.

The seats are comfortable though, but I'm 6' tall and the driver's seat is all the way back and I barely fit in it.

The wind noise is unbearable when driving, even at 40, and the front end shakes at 45 and doesn't stop.

The only possibly good thing about this car is the price. I got it for nothing but sank about $600 into it. I'll probably never get that money back.

I recommend that anyone who needs a first car or a commuter, never buys a Hyundai Excel, at least one that sat for most of it's life at a retirement home.

I'm looking for another car now, one that has heat and doesn't stall when I pull out onto a main road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th November, 2006

8th Nov 2006, 14:25

No wonder it's acting up.. sounds like you want a race car instead of an everyday commuter... something that old that has been sitting all these years and suddenly you think you can take it out and make a Mustang out of it.

12th Nov 2006, 10:45

Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm buying an Eclipse now anyway. The Hyundai was a good car when it was running right, it'd have good and bad days, I guess that comes with a car that sat at a retirement home for 17 years. I can tell you this though, it was good on roads when the speed limit was like 25 mph, you could get through there at about 45 or more, I put 14s on the car, because I had a fear of rolling it with the stock tires, the 13s.

4th May 2008, 13:37

I've had this car since 89 and it's an excellent car. I've never been beat off the line, and it gets excellent gas mileage, and the only downfall is the price of parts for it.

26th Sep 2008, 00:52

Fuel Pump, Heater Core, Cap and Rotor, Ignition module needed replacing, Spark Plugs weren't even matched! Exhaust has rusted out entirely.

Unbelievable! I think its much more accurate to say these went at 17 years old, rather than at about 30,000 miles.

Buy almost any car that old and you expect problems. There are many components on a car that wear out with age as well as mileage.

27th Oct 2010, 07:56

My elderly mother has been driving an 88 Excel for years. Amazingly, the only non-consumable part I've had to replace is the engine thermostat. Everything else, including aircon, still works perfectly. I have to admit though, the automatic version is underpowered - it would have trouble pulling the skin off old custard.