The first-gen Hyundai Excel was sold in the United States for the 1986 through 1989 model years, and it was a supremely bad automobile. So bad, in fact, that most of them were used up and crushed by the middle of the 1990s. Because of their rarity today, I always photograph early Excels when I see them (including this ’86, this ’87, and this ’88). Hyundai did a fairly extensive cosmetic facelift for the 1990 Excel, and this generation was sold though the 1994 model year. The second-gen version was much more reliable than the first— it would have been hard not to improve upon the fantastically crappy 1986-89 Excels— but by that time just about everybody knew to stay away from the model. That makes these cars even harder to find than the initially-hot-selling first-gen Excels. Here’s a ’93 that I spotted at a self-service yard in Denver.
A modern EFI system on the licensed-from-Mitsubishi engine helped a lot.
This car barely cracked six figures on the odometer, but that’s still a lot better than most of its predecessors.
Here we see a happy South Korean family getting all schmaltzy with their ’93 Excel.
Just a decade before, South Korean car ads were much more macho, as seen in this Daewoo Maepsy ad.
By the time of the second-gen Excel, you could get a sporty coupe version (called the Scoupe in North America and the S Coupe in Europe). I’ve managed to find just one junkyard Scoupe since beginning this series.