Outsider’s Perspective: The New Hyundai… Wait are you sure?

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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of days after my last article went live Hyundai decided to give the people what they want and what people wanted is an outdated, overpriced, underperforming sedan whose underpinnings date to 1999 and, unlike a Panther car or the Toyota Crown Comfort from Japan, isn’t particularly well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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.

11 Comments

  1. Aren’t you forgetting one very crucial piece of information on this one? What’s the price? I’m sure it’s super!

  2. Mr. Solis is correct in stating that the US of A did not get sold the original Pony, but did my fellow hoons know that the second generation was a bestseller in Canada? Wikipedia says that us Canadian got our spec-level and everything! I feel so special to be living a country that was once sold a budget economy cars that America didn’t get.

    1. I knew that those unfortunate souls living north of the border had to put up with that Pony having lived near the border in that era I saw them from time to time. First time I saw one I did the serious double take as I hadn’t heard of Hyundai, since it would be a few more years before the Excel and Hyundai came to the US.

    2. Funnily Enough, the Honduran army bought quite a few Pony utes for office work back in the ’80s and were extremely pleased with them. some of them seeing duty to this day and looking quite good for wear.

    3. https://oldcarjunkie.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/canadian-cars-of-the-80s/
      For a time, there were scads of budget economy cars we got that the US didn’t get.
      And, around ’07 or ’08, I was working for a dealership. One of my coworkers, who’d just got her license (in her late 20s) and was looking to get her first disposable car, had her eye on a shockingly clean Pony we’d taken on trade. Apparently, it was almost terrifyingly slow, and she ended up doing the relatively sensible thing, getting an old Cavalier.

      1. Right, there were quite a few, and some were surprisingly recent. We got the Nissan X-Trail from 2005-07. The Smart Fortwo was sold here for three years earlier (2004-07). There’s a few more, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

  3. I’d take a pony ute. That looks like it could be useful and its not the norm. I have heard that a few Mitsubishi engines will bolt right into a pony as well as some of their suspension. If this is true this is the route I would take and make it proper fast just so I could say my pony just blew your doors off and actually be able to back it up.
    When I was 15 a friend and I stole his mom’s pony to get somewhere and I was actually shocked that it had a hard time getting to and attaining 80 km/h. We returned it after realizing that the car may not make the three hundred km trip. And hitchhiked instead.

  4. I had two of these (first a hand-me-down from my parents, and then my wife’s car in which I did the bulk of the driving). Depressingly adequate is the best way to describe them, but as long as it’s adequately cheap, you could do worse.

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