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This article refers to the X1 and X2 models of the 'Hyundai Excel (1985-1994). For the X3 model (1995-1999) sold in some markets as the Hyundai Excel, see 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. It was built from 1985 to 1994.


The Hyundai Excel was available in hatchback and 4-door models. Originally, the Excel was supposed to be replaced by the Elantra in 1991, but ended up being sold for four more seasons until being replaced by the Hyundai Accent in 1995. The Excel was the first Hyundai car to be exported to the United Statesmarker. From 1989, there was a coupe variant called the Hyundai Scoupe. 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.


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. The sedan version of the X1 model was known as the Hyundai Presto in South Koreamarker. The Excel arrived in the United States in 1986 and Canadamarker in 1987, replacing the Pony.

The Excel was sold in the United Statesmarker by Mitsubishi Motors from 1987 to 1994 as the Mitsubishi Precis 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.

X1 (1985–89)


The Excel was introduced as a replacement for the Hyundai Pony. In the United Statesmarker it was the company's first and only model, but thanks to a price of US$4,995 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. 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.

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

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

X2 (1989–94)

The second-generation Excel was given a facelift and slightly enlarged from 1989 onwards, while its engine adopted sequential fuel injection, and a new 4-speed automatic transmission was offered. It was sold in CX, LX and CXL trim levels in South Koreamarker.The South Korean (home market) range was:
  • 1.3 CX (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon)
  • 1.3 LX (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon)
  • 1.5 CX (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon)
  • 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 Kingdommarker 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 saloon)
  • 1.5 GSi (5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon)

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 saloon)
  • 1.5 GS (3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon)
  • 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 saloon)

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 1989 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 eqivalent to the base and GL Hyundai-branded cars.

Image:'92 Hyundai Excel SE Sedan.JPG‎ |1992 Hyundai Excel SE sedan (North America)Image:Hyundai Pony GLS 2.JPG|Europe-spec 1993-94 Hyundai PonyFile:1991-1994 Hyundai Excel (X2) LS 5-door hatchback 02.jpg|1991–1994 Hyundai Excel (X2) LS 5-door hatchback (Australia)

Engine and gearbox in 1.3 model is from Mitsubishi Colt


  1. review
  2. "Ssay it with SSUVs: Korea's SSangyong goes where the buyers are - sport/utility vehicles", Gwendolyn S. Knapp, Ward's Auto World, April, 1996 (

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