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Car Magazine's Critique of Hyundai Excel Was Far More Positive Than Story Indicated

February 07, 1988

Regarding your Jan. 18 story, "Clunky and Dull, But a Big Hit" on Hyundai Motors:

I am concerned that the single statement attributed to our technical editor, Csaba Csere, ("It's dull, has modest performance and is one of the slowest cars in the market in any category") may lead your readers to the conclusion that Car & Driver reviewed the Hyundai Excel with a critique that, in the story's words, "would have killed a major motion picture." This is far from true.

While it is true that we never stated the Excel is a car built for the automotive enthusiast, our road test review of the Excel published in our March, 1986, issue, as the following quotes attest, is far more positive than your article contends:

- "Styling . . . is not a Hyundai problem."

- "It's easy to drive."

- "There won't be any complaints about the appearance of the interiors."

- "Its controllability . . . was very good."

- "If you consider the price, there's really nothing to dislike about this car."

- "An honest, unpretentious basic economy sedan."

- "Goes down the road in a most satisfactory fashion, with a reasonable ride and very satisfying handling."

- "Hyundai is trying to do the right thing. It's attempting to earn a substantial place in the car business by selling basic transportation."

Stating that a car is good basic transportation--which was the overwhelming tone of our review--is hardly what I would call "panning" the automobile. Your article may have given the impression that we viewed the Hyundai with very negative eyes. The record should be made clear that we did not.

BRIAN J. McMAHON

Los Angeles

The writer is the Western advertising manager of Car & Driver magazine.

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