Hyundai Excel

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This article is about the X1 and X2 models of the Hyundai Excel. For the X3 model (1995-1999) sold in some markets as the Hyundai Excel, see Hyundai Accent.
Hyundai Excel
1991-1994 Hyundai Excel (X2) LS 5-door hatchback 03.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Hyundai
Also called Hyundai Pony
Hyundai Pony Excel (X1 Hatchback in South Korea) / Presto (X1 Saloon in South Korea)
Mitsubishi Precis
Hyundai XL (Japan)
Production 1985–1994
Assembly Ulsan, South Korea
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact (C-class)
Body style 3 & 5-door hatchback
4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Related Hyundai Scoupe
Mitsubishi Mirage
Chronology
Predecessor Hyundai Pony
Successor Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Excel (Hangul:현대 엑셀), also known as the Hyundai Pony, Hyundai Presto and the Mitsubishi Precis, was the first front wheel drive car produced by Hyundai. The Excel was built from 1985 to 1994. The Excel range replaced Hyundai's rear wheel drive Hyundai Pony but the Excel was sold under the Pony name in some markets - any front wheel drive Pony is actually an Excel.

Background[edit]

The Hyundai Excel was available in hatchback and 4-door models.[1] Originally, the Excel was supposed to be replaced by the Elantra in 1990, but ended up being sold for four more seasons until being replaced by the Hyundai Accent in 1994. The Excel was the first Hyundai car to be exported to the United States. From 1990, there was a coupe variant called the Hyundai Scoupe, which was replaced by the Hyundai Coupe in 1996. The Hyundai Excel was available with either a manual or automatic transmission mated to a 4-cylinder engine aspirated by a carburetor or fuel injection system, depending on market and model year.

Names[edit]

Some markets, including Europe, had the Excel branded as the Hyundai Pony, although it is not directly related to the rear wheel drive Hyundai Pony from the early 1980s. In South Korea the Hatchback version of the X-CAR was known as Hyundai Pony Excel, and the sedan version was known as Hyundai Presto.

The Excel was also sold in the United States by Mitsubishi Motors from 1987 to 1994 as the badge engineered Mitsubishi Precis. Available as either a 3- or 5-door hatchback, the Precis remained in the Mitsubishi range as a "price leader," slotted below the Mirage until it was discontinued in 1992.[2]

X1 (1985–89)[edit]

X1 (1985-1989)
'88-'89 Hyundai Excel Sedan.jpg
Overview
Production 1985–1989
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro
Powertrain
Engine 1.5 L 68 hp I4
Transmission 3-speed automatic
4-speed manual
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 93.7 in (2,380 mm)
Length 160.9 in (4,087 mm) (2-door)
168 in (4,267 mm) (4-door)
Width 63.1 in (1,603 mm)
Height 54.1 in (1,374 mm)

The Excel was introduced as a replacement for the Hyundai Pony. In the United States it was the company's first and only model, but thanks to a price of $4,995 USD and being voted 'Best Product #10' by Fortune magazine, it set records for a first-year import by selling 168,882 units, helping push the company's cumulative production past one million by 1986.[3] Similar sales success was replicated in Australia, where it was priced at A$9,990. Sales soon dropped as serious quality problems emerged with the car.

1985-87 Hyundai Excel 5-door (Europe)
MY1988-89 Hyundai Excel 3-door (Canada)

Versions available were:

North America

  • 1.5 base
  • 1.5 GL
  • 1.5 GLS (5-door and 4-door only)
  • 1.5 GS (3-door only)

Australia

  • 1.5 L
  • 1.5 GL
  • 1.5 GLS
  • 1.5 GT

United Kingdom

  • 1300 L/Sonnet
  • 1300 GLS
  • 1500 GL
  • 1500 GLS

X2 (1990–94)[edit]

X2 (1989–94)
20100827 hyundai excel 01.jpg
Overview
Production 1989–1994
1995–1998 (Philippines)
Powertrain
Engine 1.3 L
1.5 L 81 hp (60 kW) I4
Transmission 3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
4-speed manual
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 93.8 in (2,383 mm)
Length 1990–91 & 1993–94 2-Door Hatchback: 161.4 in (4,100 mm)
1990–91 & 1993–94 4-Door Hatchback: 168.3 in (4,275 mm)
1992 Sedan: 168.6 in (4,282 mm)
1992 Hatchback: 161.7 in (4,107 mm)
Width 1990–91 & 1993–94: 63.3 in (1,608 mm)
1992: 63.1 in (1,603 mm)
Height 1993–94: 54.5 in (1,384 mm)
1992: 51.4 in (1,306 mm)
1990: 51.6 in (1,311 mm)

The second-generation Excel was given a facelift and slightly enlarged from 1990 onwards, while its engine adopted multi-point fuel injection, and a new 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission was offered. It was sold in CX, LX and CXL trim levels in South Korea. The South Korean (home market) range was:

  • 1.3 CX (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)
  • 1.3 LX (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)
  • 1.5 CX (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)
  • 1.5 LX (5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon)
  • 1.5 CXL (5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon).

The Excel was marketed in Eurasia as the Hyundai Pony or Pony X2 (X2 representing second generation). In the United Kingdom and some parts of Europe, versions available were:

  • 1.3 S (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback)
  • 1.3 Sonnet (3-door hatchback) - replaced 1.3 S base model
  • 1.3 LS (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)
  • 1.5 GSi (5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)

However, some European markets did not get the 1.3 version and the range was:

  • 1.5 L (3-door)
  • 1.5 LE (3-door)
  • 1.5 GL (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback)
  • 1.5 LS (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)
  • 1.5 GS (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)
  • 1.5 GT (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback) - note, not all markets got this version
  • 1.5 GLS (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan)

From 1991, the 1.5 versions were badged 1.5i to denote fuel injection.

All models sold in North America had the 1.5-liter engine, with automatic transmission as a freestanding option for any model. The lineup available at U.S. Hyundai dealers was;

  • Base (3-door hatchback, 4 door sedan)
  • GL (3-door hatchback, 4 door sedan, 5 door hatchback in 1990 only)
  • GLS (3-door hatchback, 4 door sedan)
  • GS (3-door hatchback)

The 5 door model may have been available in Canada for a longer period and in a wider variety of trims. The Mitsubishi Precis came as a 3 door only, in trim levels equivalent to the base and GL Hyundai-branded cars.

The 1.3 model and the Mitsubishi Colt also share the same engine and gearbox.

Hyundai launched the Excel in Thailand in the early 1990s. The lineup consisted of:

  • 1.3 Base (Manual and Automatic)
  • 1.3 LS (Manual and Automatic)
  • 1.5 LS (Manual)
  • 1.5 GLS (Manual and Automatic, with a fuel injected version (GLSi) also available)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Hyundai Excel The Car Directory". The-car-directory.com. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  2. ^ "ConsumerGuide.com review". Auto.consumerguide.com. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  3. ^ "Ssay it with SSUVs: Korea's SSangyong goes where the buyers are - sport/utility vehicles", Gwendolyn S. Knapp, Ward's Auto World, April, 1996 (FindArticles.com)