Used Hyundai Coupe 1996 - 2002 review

Category: Coupé

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

Used Hyundai Coupe 1996 - 2002
  • Used Hyundai Coupe 1996 - 2002
  • Used Hyundai Coupe 1996 - 2002
Used Hyundai Coupe 1996 - 2002 review
Star rating

What's the used Hyundai Coupe coupe like?

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.


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

  • This is a unique, reliable coupe with bold looks
  • Visibility is restricted, it's low on power and the interior is claustrophobic and bland

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.

Ownership cost

What used Hyundai Coupe coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Hyundai Coupe coupe?

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.

Our recommendations

Which used Hyundai Coupe coupe should I buy?

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.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Hyundai Coupe coupe?