1988 Hyundai Excel GL 1.5 from North America


Good beginner car


When I first got the car the car was in the need of some TLC.

The carburator is quite worn. It burns oil and the valve cover and oil pan gasket leak.

The car has had a new CV shaft installed and some carburator work done on it since I bought the car.

General Comments:

This car handles like a bus and accelerates like a tank.

The seats however are very comfortable and the accessories and place nicely.

I love this car, but if I had money to buy a different one I'd do it in a flash.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th August, 2002

1988 Hyundai Excel GLS 1.5 OHC carb from North America


Cheap beater car... you'll love it


My car has nothing wrong with it! I have replaced 0 parts since I got it and I just plain love the car!

General Comments:

The manual transmission is geared perfectly from second to fourth. I sometimes just start out in second because first is too jerky for my flatfoot. The electronic addition of fifth is good for economy, but I rarely ever use fifth, mainly because it's a big joke.

My car is dark blue with a grey interior.

I have installed a K&N air filter and oil filter. I use only synthetic oil (5W-30). I feel that it runs better with this. Sometimes, I have the car fully loaded down with people (I have a hatchback 5-door) but it still accelerates good. The car was never intended to race, but I have surprised a few people. I had a Ford Crown Victoria in first gear once, I beat out an early 80's Civic (I think it was CVCC), I was head to head with a 94 Excel, and I beat out a four cylinder Mustang.

My car must be specially fast, because I've driven other cars like this (89 four speed) and it wasn't as fast as mine. Maybe the K&N filters do something...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2001

20th Aug 2002, 01:26

I have a GL model of the same year, with the same engine/transmission combination. While I like my car, I would say its performance is sub-par; this car is by no means a "sleeper" like this reviewer suggested. I recently drove a Ford Focus Wagon, and it blew the doors off my car, performance wise, which doesn't say a lot. My Excel is well maintained, so its lack of performance is not due to a tired engine. My Excel also need frequent repair. If I knew what I know now when I bought the car, I MIGHT not have done it. If you can't do MAJOR repairs yourself (new pistons, rings, rod bearings, shocks and struts and motor mount for my car) look to buy a Tercel. It will have fewer features than an Excel, but much higher reliability.

29th Oct 2002, 20:21

I recently purchased a 90 Excel used with 120k on the odometer. It had a blown head gasket and some fuel injection problems, but I only paid 200.00 for the car. After a 17.00 head gasket and new fuel injectors I have driven the little work horse for 8K miles with no problems. My total investment in the car right now stands at 400.00 and I expect it to last for years to come.

3rd Nov 2002, 17:16

I also own a hyundai excel and its the best car I have ever owned. I beat out a ford fiesta hatchback in 1st and 2nd gear one time. I'm sure they got the excel mixed up with a performance beast at the factory. Here in England, there is no other car on the road that can beat me out into 2nd gear at all! This one time, I nearly beat out a bentley Turbo continental, up until about 1500rpm then it moved away. I'm definitely considering buying a 4x4 version. perhaps in dark blue. P. s Does anyone have one for sale?