1988 Hyundai Excel GLS from North America


Never Again!



Rear passenger window and driver's window would not roll either down or up.

Huge amount of water leaks after rain. We had to cover the whole roof with the plastic, but that didn't stop. Worse when driving. It's like a garden hose at full blast.

It died many times while driving for unknown reasons.

Driver's side door handles won't open from the outside.

Air conditioning didn't work.

Well, I'd say, EVERYTHING didn't work right at all! Poor manufactured! No power steering! Nothing!!!

General Comments:

This was my mother's car. She got it for really cheap, it ran beautiful as soon as we drove off the lot, after that, it was nothing, but problems! One September in 1995, she was finally fed up and traded for a 1990 Geo Prizm.

I even told her about the new Hyundais with excellent warranty, she still refused even though she thought they looked much better today, but she still refused! She's staying with Chevrolet!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd January, 2006

13th Mar 2006, 22:58

And she bought a Honda Accord. :-) She LOVES it!!!

1988 Hyundai Excel from Australia and New Zealand


Lacks grunt, but is very reliable


The CV Joints required replacing at about 205000km. This was probably due to my erratic driving rather than anything else.

There is a slight amount of rust beginning to develop just above the front windscreen, and on the door on the right hand side of the vehicle, behind the driver.

Otherwise I have been surprised by the reliability of this vehicle.

General Comments:

The model that I own is the most basic five door. It appears a bit odd without the mirror on the left hand side (passenger) door, and the steering, especially in car parks, requires muscles. The four speed manual leaves you wishing there was a fifth gear.

The acceleration in third gear going up anything steeper than a 10 degree hill is terrible. To go from 40kph to 60kph takes around 10 seconds.

It can handle the erratic nature of my driving (e.g. taking a round-a-bout at 60kph).

It goes through about 10L/100km of unleaded on the wide Australian roads. I could probably get 8L/100km if I did not push the car so hard.

Struggles at 100km on the freeway. The engine is very loud at this speed.

It can get really hot left out in the sun. Probably requires air conditioning to make it comfortable.

The heater is very effective, but it is seldom needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th May, 2004

27th Jun 2004, 09:11

Please note that I did not mean to deter readers from buying this car, as the blue frown suggests. If anything, I would probably put a smiley face up there because it starts every time, and it has caused me little grief.

16th Jul 2004, 09:57

Well there goes that car. If you are after something safe, stay well clear of this car. It was hit by the bull bar of a Landcruiser at about 10k/h and the back end crumpled like aluminum can being squashed by a shoe. So, it's a write-off. Thank God that the Landcruiser wasn't going any faster, or I'd be in hospital.

1988 Hyundai Excel GLS 1.5 four from North America


Unreliable, expensive, good for very cheap, disposable transport


Front and rear brakes had to be replaced last year, cost around $500.

Rear wiper and fluid pump don't work.

Overheated in the winter, blew two hoses, radiator and coolant froze.

Front springs and struts now badly worn, needs new springs, struts and mounts, nearly $800 in work.

Losing 3rd and 4th gear.

Car stalls when first started, terrible fuel flow for a block or two. Probably needs new carb.

Jack went through passenger side floorboard and nearly killed my friend while he was fixing the blown lower radiator hose.

Paint is terrible, clear coat peeling badly on roof and hood, rust around wheel wells, rear hatch.

General Comments:

I would not recommend an Excel, this car cost me $750 to buy, then another $500 in brake work, and now it needs $800 in suspension work and likely a new or rebuilt tranny.

It's slow (68hp), and handles badly. It isn't even that good on gas. The interior is small and bland, though I wouldn't expect much from that.

I could see buying an Excel if it were in good shape and you didn't pay much. However, it's likely more wise to get a Civic or 323 of similar vintage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st February, 2004

26th Feb 2004, 00:07

My wife had one in 2000 it was nice looking with the sunroof and white paint paid 1000 for it and the clutch cables always broke, vibrated like a diesel, slow as a slug and the engine went out with a bang a month later! Worst car I ever seen made.

9th Mar 2004, 16:12

Funny to say that, I had one too, looked better than it ran, clutch cables broke weekly, 2 alternators, water pump, ran like a diesel had most of the options and a month later the head cracked and killed the engine, paid 1,000 got $75 dead and it was abandoned 3 years later to haunt me with the title never been changed over, payed $50 fee yesterday, Yep a car from hell.

23rd Mar 2004, 06:40

I also purchased a excel a few months back it still runs fine when you let it warm up enough about 5 min. other than that a great car for the price of $650 but I think 5th gear is starting to go.

10th Jun 2004, 15:13

Has to be the worst running car ever. After getting the 94 model of the excel with in 2 months I've replaced the transmission the starter all four tires both front struts and mounts and the front brakes. Not a relibale car at all.

22nd Feb 2008, 22:12

What were you doing jacking up the car by the floor board???