Not As Advertised – 1986 Hyundai Excel GL

It’s easy to look back at compacts from the 1980s and mock their quality, or their performance. And sure enough, the Hyundai Excel was mocked a lot, starting roughly in early 1987. But think of the competition – Mitsubishi Mirage, Ford Escort, Chevrolet Chevette, Renault Encore, Isuzu I-Mark, and then things improved a little once you started looking at the VW Golf, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla FX. At any rate, when’s the last time you saw a running Hyundai Excel, much less one that’s got 5 years’ worth of miles and doesn’t have to make any excuses for its condition? Check out this 1986 Hyundai Excel GL for sale for $2000 in Longview, WA.

1986 Hyundai Excel GL left front

Remember 1958, and the RS-series Toyopet Crown? Nowadays, classic Japanese car enthusiasts are falling over themselves to get their hands on one of those that’s not sun baked with crispy door seals, crunchy upholstery, and rotten floor mats. So what if you could pre-empt that trend with an equally undynamic car from the early days of Korean car production? Sure, you could go to Canada and find the last Hyundai Pony or Stellar, but then how would you cash in on the free warranty service that is no doubt still outstanding for this low-mile cream puff?

1986 Hyundai Excel GL right rear

Car and Driver actually gave this car fairly decent reviews for its time – one writer compared it to a Japanese car from the late 1970s, while others said if you were willing to accept the limitations of an inexpensive car, you might not notice. Powered by a 1.5-liter Mitsubishi MCAJet (same as the Mirage featured recently), it could pull off 0-60 sprints of around 16 seconds. So you’ll still beat your neighbor in his Trabant, and perhaps that jerk revving his Chevette’s engine in the next lane over. If he has an automatic. All that said, this car is in amazing condition for what it is – glossy, original looking paint, all trim present, full documentation. The only thing missing is a couple of interior trim bits, but those were probably subject to a short lifespan anyways. So what do you say? Drive it until the novelty wears off, then park it for about 30 years at, say, $75/month, means you’ll only need to sell it for $29,000. Before inflation. Who’s in?


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4 Responses to “Not As Advertised – 1986 Hyundai Excel GL”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    These were really awful cars;. I would occasionally buy them wholesale for about $100 or so in the 90’s. The automatics had a solenoid that would kick up the idle when you’d turn the a/c on, and they were really bad about failing; (they were also monstrously expensive compared to the value of the car); over $200 in ’96 as the dealer was the only source for the part

  2. Mike P Says:

    My oldest brother had one of these, when I pointed out what a POS it is, he reminded me that he had a ’73 Vega. In 1973.

  3. 1977chevytruck Says:

    Best earlier Cannuck options, for the extreme Korean car collector:

    Hyundai Pony (ad needs translating, as car is in Quebec):

    Hyundai Stellar ($3000 less, conditions shows):

  4. 86Excel4life Says:

    I’m actually the driver and owner of an 86 Excel just like this one. I’ve put 21,000 happy miles on it since I got it and it’s been a low maintinance, easy to love and hard to beat car since I purchased it!

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