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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For This is a unique, reliable coupe with bold looks

Against Visibility is restricted, it's low on power and the interior is claustrophobic and bland

Verdict It's an acquired taste, but at least it is cheap to buy and service

Go for… Early 2.0 SE

Avoid… 1.6-litres

Hyundai Coupé Coupe
  • 1. Check for rust around the sunroof and the tailgate
  • 2. Battery life is a little short and the central locking can malfunction
  • 3. The seats are not supportive enough, but the car can take four people without too much fuss
  • 4. If the gearchange feels unreasonably notchy, have it checked out before you buy
  • 5. Boot space is excellent - this is a surprisingly practical coupe
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Hyundai Coupé Coupe full review with expert trade views

It was billed as the Korean Ferrari when it was introduced to the world in 1996, but falls straight into the 'beauty in the eye of the beholder' school of design. However, if you want something different, this is right up your street.

Does it have a coupe feel? Not really. The interior is uninspiring and plasticky, and the car isn't much of an entertaining drive, either. It'll cope with corners adequately, but it's far from precise - or particularly fast. The 137bhp 2.0-litre version will give you a satisfying shove in the back, but the ride is lumpy, there's little feel through the oddly enormous steering wheel, the gearchange is notchy and rear visibility is poor.

To cap it all, the switchgear feels weedy and the whole cabin is claustrophobic and dark. The seats are also not supportive enough, but the Coupe can take four people without too much fuss, and the boot space is excellent.

Trade view

James Ruppert

2.0 SE is the best version for retail, silver and cobalt blue are the right colours

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Go for the 2.0-litre manual - early 2.0-litre models have gained almost legendary status among enthusiasts.

The 1.6-litre version has the same looks, but you'll be left hanging about at the lights. The 112bhp engine is largely unloved and regarded as nothing more than adequate.

Either engine with an auto gearbox will be greeted with derision from future buyers, so steer clear.

In 1998, the F2 2.0 Limited Edition arrived, thanks to the efforts of Britain's Alister McRae, who really put the Hyundai Coupe on the world rallying map. It has a mesh front grille and chrome sill treads. A year later, a more hairy 154bhp model made its entrance with ivory-coloured dials and uprated alloy wheels.

The car was face-lifted in 2000 with a new twin-headlamp nose, larger rear light clusters and a smoother bonnet. A new 1.6 SE with air-con, 15-inch alloys, leather seats and CD was added, and a 2.0-litre SE came with a manual or auto gearbox. For purists, though, the early 2.0-litre models are the only choice.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability with low repair bills, but watch those electrics

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

This is a good budget car that's reliable and cheap to fix. Hyundai keeps its labour rates down, so it's unlikely that previous owners will skimp on the servicing to save money, and examples with a good service history should be easy to dig out. These cars are not particularly sophisticated, so don't expect headaches when things do go wrong.

Early models are inexpensive although the later special edition models will set you back a lot more. Examples with air-con and leather seats will be sought after.

Insurance is relatively cheap. The 1.6 is in group 9 and the 154bhp 2.0-litre model is in group 14. Even if you opt for the 137bhp version, you only have to go up two insurance groups from the 1.6 at 11.

Fuel economy's not bad, either. The 1.6 manages about 37mpg if you're careful, and the the 2.0-litre car can return around 32mpg.

Trade view

James Ruppert

2.0 SE is the best version for retail, silver and cobalt blue are the right colours

James Ruppert
Used car guru

If you are tall, you might find that headroom is limited and cabin space feels cramped.

Check for rust around the sunroof and the tailgate, and for general paint touch-ups that can be hiding more serious issues underneath. The car is prone to the odd electrical glitch but it's not a regular offender.

Most of these cars were bought privately – and have usually been well looked after. Finding a car with a decent service history should not be too much of a saga.

If the suspension has been overworked, it can cause some problems, and if the gearchange feels unreasonably notchy you might want to have that investigated before parting with any cash. Either way, a good test drive will soon show if there are any problems.

Likewise, check out the electrics, as the battery life is a little short and the central locking can malfunction. The sunroof can also be a little temperamental, tending to stick every so often.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability with low repair bills, but watch those electrics

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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