I was having a lovely day and a nice stroll through town when my eyes fixated upon the local Hyundai dealership. There my eyes happened upon a new car on display. Well, I say new but it somehow looked…familiar.
I called it, I really did, just a couple of days after my last article went live Hyundai decided to give the people what they want and what people wanted is an outdated, overpriced, underperforming sedan whose underpinnings date to 1999 and, unlike a Panther car or the Toyota Crown Comfort from Japan, isn’t particularly well regarded by anyone. Everyone meet the Hyundai…sorry I’m trying to contain laughter here. The Hyundai Taxi Super Pony, known to you and me as “That POS Accent that was built when Hyundai hadn’t quite figured out how to make cars you’d want instead of settle for”. Changes to it include a new grille and being available only in the color of the average taxi in your town.
Of course you all remember the original Hyundai Pony as “that cheap car with Morris Marina door handles that Hyundai built as their first original design”. It came as a ute and it couldn’t be sold in the U.S. because it didn’t meet 1970’s emission regulations. Unfortunately it wasn’t a Super Pony. Would you buy a Pony if it wasn’t super? NO SIR! You wouldn’t!
So what do you get in this Super Pony? Well, it’s got the old Hyundai 1.5-Liter engine making 92 horsepower. Standard equipment includes A/C, an MP3-compatible radio to blast your reggaetón collection to your hapless passengers. An analog instrument cluster and body-colored mirrors, bumpers and door handles compliment the look. Fortunately they didn’t go ahead and made the 1999 Accent worse, but they haven’t given us any compelling reasons to buy one.
Well, I say that, but in Colombia the second-gen Accent and its smaller Atos sibling has been the taxi of choice for years. I’m guessing not because of power, reliability, cargo space or safety but rather because of price. The same reason that the average Honduran Taxi has remained a ten-year old, slightly musky Corolla. Hyundai is trying to pull the same thing off here, even having some display models fitted with taxi lights on its roof and having all of them painted taxicab white.
Well, at least they’re not trying to be clever and selling it as all-new to the common citizen. They’ll sell it to you if you want, of course, but unless you need about 4 of them to replace your aging fleet it’s not advised as being for you.
A word of warning to the actual intended demographic though, the vehicle does not include a destroyed suspension, a slightly insane driver, or graphics that cover half of the windscreen. It’s up to the owner to supply those.