A two-door, front-wheel drive coupe, the Hyundai Scoupe made its debut to the U.S. market in 1991. Based on the Hyundai Excel sedan, the economical and compact Scoupe enjoyed a four-year run of production before being discontinued. In 1993, midway through the car's production run, Hyundai made several notable changes to the Scoupe. The car's unique name, which was pronounced ""scoop,"" was intended to be a combination of the words ""sporty"" and ""coupe."" Hyundai eventually fazed the Scoupe out in 1995, replacing it with the Hyundai Tiburon.
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About the Hyundai Scoupe
The two-door Hyundai Scoupe was produced during an era when Hyundai was considered a somewhat down-market brand, known for producing vehicles that while affordable were regarded as less than reliable. However, consumer reviews indicate that the Scoupe was fairly reliable. The Korean-manufactured coupe was a sub-compact car that offered drivers several choices in regard to transmission and trim level. The Scoupe was also notable in that it featured a suspension that was tuned by Lotus of England. The Scoupe ostensibly offered seating for four. However, space in the rear seating area was extremely limited and the car's compact stature made entering and exiting it something of a challenge even for average-sized individuals. Engine options consisted of either a 1.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 81 horsepower or a more muscular 1.5-liter four-cylinder that had an output of 115 horsepower.
In addition to its small engine and compact size, the Scoupe was also fairly lightweight. In its day, the Scoupe offered drivers reasonably good performance and an entry-level price. While all versions of the Scoupe were fairly maneuverable, the turbo version of the Scoupe offered reasonably good acceleration. The GT version of the Scoupe notably represented Hyundai's first foray into the sports car market. The Hyundai Scoupe famously made an appearance on the BBC-produced automotive television show ""Top Gear"" when the hosts were presented with the challenge of locating the ideal car for a 17-year-old driver.Hyundai Scoupe Features
1995 was the last year the Hyundai Scoupe was produced. Final Scoupe models were available with either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission. Both transmission options were equipped with overdrive. The Scoupe was also equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that was rated at 115 horsepower.
The 1995 Hyundai Scoupe was available in three different trim levels: the base two-door coupe, the LS two-door coupe, or the turbo two-door coupe. Beneath its sporty-looking notchback coupe body, the 1995 Scoupe featured the same front-wheel drive platform as the Hyundai Excel sedan from which it was derived. However, the Scoupe did feature its own unique lightweight exterior sheet metal.
Other features and options for the 1995 Hyundai Scoupe included air-conditioning, power steering, steel wheels, and a stereo system with AM/FM radio. There was also the option to add a cassette player.Hyundai Scoupe Evolution
One of the main advantages of buying a used Hyundai Scoupe on the used car market is the model's affordability. While reviews of the car remain mixed to this day, the Scoupe is undeniably an affordable used car option that offers excellent fuel economy along with reasonably good performance.
First year models of the Hyundai Scoupe were powered by the same 81-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that was found in the Hyundai Excel. However, in 1993 Hyundai introduced the more powerful 115-hp version of the engine. That same year Hyundai made a number of other notable improvements to the Scoupe. Among other things, models from 1993 onwards were outfitted with the same ""H"" logo that appears on Hyundai models manufactured today.
Models from 1993 through 1995 also included features such as new flush headlights along with body colored side moldings, redesigned front sheet metal, new taillights, and redesigned rear bumpers. Turbo models from the final two years of the Scoupe's production run are all equipped with five-speed manual transmissions. However, base and LS models also offered drivers the option of a four-speed automatic transmission.
Good fuel economy was a constant during the Scoupe's run of production. Base models equipped with manual transmissions produced between 1991 and 1992 achieved 26/34 mpg city/highway. Those from the same era equipped with automatic transmissions were capable of achieving 25/32 mpg city/highway.
Despite its surprisingly good performance and the fact that it earned decent marks for fuel efficiency across all the years it was manufactured, the Scoupe was also known to be noisy and lacking in rear seat room. And while acceleration on the turbo edition was good, base, and LS models lacked pickup for the most part.