Junkyard Find: 1993 Hyundai Excel

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1993 hyundai excel

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.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on Nov 01, 2012

    I'm not surprised no parts are sold, no one wants any!

    • See 1 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Nov 01, 2012

      @Xeranar There was no "next gen" after this. It was sold until 1994. So you must be referring to a different model.

  • Djkenny Djkenny on Dec 26, 2013

    There was a next generation. It was the Accent in 95. My friend has one as well. Bought stripped, in black, under 7 grand. He drove it until 2 years ago. 40 mpg, rarely gave him an issue, 200k+ miles. He sold it for $800 to his Hyundai serviceman. It was an acceptable car and he got his monies worth. Wish there was a simple under 8 grand car out today, might be doable with a new Accent if there was some incentives, although they are a little different engineering wise.

  • Kendahl I will look at my phone long enough to determine whether the caller is someone I really should talk to. If it is, I keep driving until I find a safe place to pull over before answering. If it isn't, to hell with them.I am greatly annoyed by people who sit at green traffic lights or drive well below the speed limit because they are focused on their phones instead of their driving. However, I don't express my frustration because (1) they don't think they're being inconsiderate and (2) may retaliate with road rage.
  • VoGhost What to name a car for people insecure about the size of their 'manhood'? Magnum. What do name a car for people insecure about their orientation? STR8. Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- knows their customer base like FCA/Stellantis.
  • VoGhost Finally! The minivan that Porsche owners have been clamoring for all these years?
  • 2ACL Random fact: despite cratering sales and discontinuation, the 200 is regularly featured in national top 10 lists for catalytic converter theft.
  • MaintenanceCosts The first-gen SRT8s look badass, there's just no two ways about it. A set of wheels from the same-year 300C SRT8 would make this into an impossibly good-looking car. But as a car rather than an object of sculpture, the second gen is so much better, even if it isn't a wagon.