Hyundai Stellar (1983 – 1991) Review

Hyundai Stellar (1983 – 1991) At A Glance


+Rugged, simple, Cortina-based cars powered by reliable Mitsubishi engines

-Nowadays, most people would prefer the British original...

The Hyundai Stellar was the second new model line from its maker. It was actually a rebodied Ford Cortina - a car Hyundai had been building under licence since 1968 - but the body and interior were all new. Like the Pony, the styling of the Stellar was by Ital Design, and it was powered by a range of Mitsubishi engines. It was a simple car that continued to strengthen Hyundai's reputation for value and reliability - even if it lacked the dynamic abilities of rival saloons.

In the UK, the Stellar's simple charms were used to good effect. Advertising was piched at disaffected ex-Cortina owners who coudn't face a Sierra - and eventually, a generation of minicab drivers fell for its charms. UK buyers were offered the 1.6-litre engine with five-speed gearbox and from 1986 in overseas markets, a 2.0-litre. In 1987, some minor changes were made, most notably the dropping of the Cortina's double wishbone suspension set-up, to be replaced by a more conventional MacPherson package. Forgotten now, but not without its charms.