Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009) At A Glance
First it was dubbed the "swoopy coupe", launched in 1996. Then, in January 2000, it grew bulbous protrusions, like an early nineties Celica GT-4. Then, in January 2002, it became the seriously good looking car of today.
I admit the Bank Holiday Grey sky made ideal photographic conditions. But that rear three quarters view is one of the best of any sports coupe ever. Including Ferraris. The design team must have studied the form of exotic sports coupes a bit like Quentin Tarantino studies movies. It's got heart. It got passion. There isn't any way it could be improved. It's a stunner.
And the only real competition from this era is the Toyota Celica.
That's the slightly worrying bit. Volkswagen didn't cancel the Corrado, Ford didn't chop the Cougar and Vauxhall didn't curtail the Calibra because the cars were selling too well. The market moved away from that kind of car. Instead of climbing down into their low-slung cabins, punters clawed their way upmarket into more upright saloon-based coupes, like the BMW CI and the Mercedes CLK. Which, of course, are much easier to get in and out of for anyone past the age of 60.
Hyundai Coupe 2.0SE 2004 Road Test
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Reviews for Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
Which sports car for £3000
"My current car is a little banged up and I'm thinking of getting a new one but need some advice.
I am a small business owner working from home as a web designer. I rarely drive other than for the occasional meeting and once a week to the gym. I have no kids nor any plans for any so it's just me and my girlfriend/business partner.
This will be the second car as we also have my girlfriends car too. I will have a maximum of about £3,000 to spend after the sale of my current car. I'd like something nice looking so that my business clients take me seriously.
I've been told to steer clear of the RX-8. What would you suggest looking at?
My current car is a 2002 Honda Civic Vision with 28k miles on the clock. My girlfriends car is a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle which is too girly for me to drive.
I'm looking at Toyota Celica, Hyundai Coupe, Smart Roadster and Mazda MX-5."
The Celica is the best idea on your list; the MX-5 the next best, but check carefully for rust.
Is the Hyundai Coupe any good?
"I'm looking at a Hyundai Coupe TSIII. It's quite close to me and it looks good! I love the look of coupes, but this will only be my second car. Is this car worth it? Are there any other decent alternatives? My budget for the car is 6k."
Though it was quite a good car, this had the misfortune of being badged a Hyundai that, at the time, positioned it some way far south of a Toyota Celica. Decent enough car. Just don't buy one expecting it to endow you with any kind of status. And spares, especially body parts and trim, may be difficult to obtain. Road test here: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/hyundai/hyundai-coupe-20se-2004-road-test//
"I have been looking at Hyundai Coupes around 2005 model 2 litre engine. Every car I have looked at has cream inside the oil filler cap. Is this normal? I was told many years ago never to buy a second hand car with this problem as it was an indication of a failing head gasket. You advice will be very much appreciated."
Could be. Emulsified oil ‘mayonnaise’ can also be an indication that the car hasn't been used for a long time, or that it has been started from cold a few times just to move it and not been allowed to warm up properly.
How should my brother-in-law dispose of his Hyundai Coupe which has finance owing?
"My brother in law (who I’d better not name) is due to appear at the Sheriff Court on very soon on two separate drink drive charges in June 2010 and April 2011. He drives a 2009 Hyundai coupe, which still has an amount outstanding on HP. He is the registered owner but I understand the finance company is the 'legal owner'. A lengthy driving ban is expected and his best bet would be to dispose of the car. How best should he go about this ensuring he will receive the value of the sale less the outstanding HP debt?"
He cannot legally sell it without paying off the debt and if he attempts to do so it will show up on the finance registers. If he takes it up with the finance house they will probably simply auction the car off and he will get any balance between what they realise and what he owes, which may be nothing.