133 – If local government was a car, what sort of car would it be? The Hyundai Excel Sprint

Posted by Whistler                                                                                         700 words

hyundai excel

I have often wondered what local government would be like to work in if we were making cars. For a start we would need to produce something that resembled what the customer had in mind. We would need to make sure that cars left the assembly line with all of their wheels on, with doors all the same colour, and the engine connected to the drive train. People would be more easily able to judge the quality of output.

Then I started thinking about what if a council was a car, what it would be. After a random survey of colleagues, I settled on five choices. Each car is part of the Australian motoring tradition.

Think about what car your council might be.

The first is the Hyundai Excel. Economy car choice for thousands of Australians. Economical, reliable and inconspicuous. The car to own for the budget conscious. Own one of these and, if asked, none of your friends will be able to say what car you drive.

“Just as the world was going mad for pastel colours and bubble-car styling, along came the Excel with its palette of mute greens, pinks and purples.

While it’s no glamour car, it is out there in huge numbers, will go the distance in most cases, and is available for more or less loose change.

We have heard of plenty of Excels that have covered enormous distances without major mechanical problems, some of those without even regular servicing.”David Morley, 17 June 2008, www.drive.com.au

“The Hyundai Excel was a huge seller in Australia in the mid-to-late 1990s. These days it’s common to see small cars at the head of the sales race but that was a rare occurrence back then. Yet the Excel was frequently in the top three in the overall sales race, hitting the first position on one big occasion.

A combination of a spacious interior, good looks and reasonable performance certainly helped push the Excel to the top, but to be honest its low price was the main reason for the sales success. A low price that was further enhanced by Hyundai’s famous “driveaway no more to pay” system. Nowadays ‘driveaway’ is very much part of the automotive vocabulary but it was a revelation in the late 1990s and Hyundai led the way.

Early Hyundais were on the rough and ready side, but build quality improved substantially over the years the Excel was on the Australian market. The later Excels have body fit and paint finish that’s almost to Japanese standards. However, interior fit and finish can be on the rough side at times.” Ewan Kennedy,·Marque Motoring ·13 February 2013 www.carsguide.com.au

Review: The Hyundai Excel Council.

This is definitely a council for the budget consciousness. Affordability is a key feature of this model. It offers no frills, no embellishments, and no spare horsepower for rapid acceleration. You can expect a pedestrian effort (not to become a pedestrian) from the organisation that is totally predictable. The same service will be delivered first time, every time, whether it meet your needs or not.

Staff are brightly dressed, although not in council-issued uniform (a cost saving). Each week their clothing choice is colour coordinated to great effect. Polite and efficient, they are there to meet your every need to give you the services they offer.

The town hall and council offices (no civic centre is available with the Hyundai Excel council) are very nicely designed but conventional and offer basic trim and features (although they are painted in some popular colours – hot pink?). The heating will work and windows will open for a breeze on a hot day. Running costs will be low and the any cost increases will be below CPI, reflecting the very low servicing costs. New model pricing is very competitive with extended warranty.

Verdict – Savvy marketing has placed this model firmly on the list for many and it will be the council for you if most of your needs are met or you are prepared to accommodate its limitations.

Competitors – Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Holden Astra.

Value proposition – Sensible design and popular features with limited and reliable performance.